The New York Mets shutout the Atlanta Braves in a 3-0 victory Sunday afternoon, heading into the All-Star Break with good vibrations. They are now four games behind the first place Atlanta Braves and eight games above .500. Who were the major players in today’s win?

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Initial Reaction:

Johan Santana took the mound against Derek Lowe in the final game before the All-Star Break. Santana was brilliant again tonight, while the Mets offense gave Lowe some trouble throughout the game. The best thing about today’s game was seeing Johan pitch well in three consecutive starts after struggling for a good portion of June.

The Mets lineup also picked it up today, recording 3 runs on 13 hits, even though 16 men were left on base. The typical bench players (Alex Cora, Chris Carter, Jesus Feliciano, and Josh Thole) went 5 for 10, while driving in two and crossing the plate once. Ike Davis broke out of his slump, launching his eleventh bomb of the season.

It was really important to salvage a win in this series against the Atlanta Braves. Not only because we’re battling for first place, but they also need some momentum going into the second half of the season.

Positives From The Game:

Don’t Mess With The Johan: After pitching a complete game shutout against the Cincinnati Reds earlier in the week, Johan Santana threw seven scoreless innings versus the Atlanta Braves this afternoon. He yielded five hits, walked three, and struck out five batters. The gem has lowered his ERA below 3.00, and credits him with win number seven.

Ike Davis: After a 4 for 25 skid, Davis launched an opposite field homerun (11) in the bottom of the sixth to give the Mets a 2-0 lead. He also had a single and a walk in today’s game, ending the first half of his rookie season on a positive note.

Angel In The Outfield: The Mets MVP of the first half, Angel Pagan, had another three-hit performance this afternoon. He legged out his sixth triple of the season in the third inning, and then scored the first run of the game on an Alex Cora single. He has multiple hits in 6 of his last 7 games, and leads the team with a .315 batting average going into the break.

Negatives From The Game:

None

Interesting Facts:

  • Ruben Tejada achieved his first major league stolen base today.
  • Josh Thole is 9 for 17 since his promotion at the end of June. He is 4 for 5 as a pinch hitter.
  • Johan Santana did not allow a run for the sixth start this season. He now has a 16 straight scoreless innings streak.

What’s Next?: The All-Star Break, which includes the Homerun Derby Monday night and the All-Star Game Tuesday night at Angel Stadium. The New York Mets will then travel to the west coast on Thursday to take on the San Francisco Giants in a four-game series.

With the All-Star Game right around the corner, who do you think has the stronger team this year: the NL or the AL?