The New York Mets were defeated by the Atlanta Braves 9-3 on Monday night. They played an awful game on both sides of the spectrum, struggling to hit with runners in scoring position and losing it on the mound. They are back to under .500 for the season, and give the Atlanta Braves a larger division lead in the NL East.

AP Photo/John Bazemore

Initial Reaction:

Pat Misch took the mound against Jair Jurrjens in the opener of a four-game series. Misch came into the game knowing that it was a make it or break it start for him. It didn’t go well for him, though. With Jenrry Mejia‘s dominant outing for Buffalo tonight, I think he’s a definite to get the nod this weekend against the Cubs. Jurrjens also struggled, but the Mets didn’t take enough advantage with all the guys that reached base.

Oliver Perez just proved to himself that he has been the Mets biggest problem this year. Unfortunately, he probably still thinks he deserves to be on the team.

As his season progresses, Josh Thole looks more and more like the team’s best contact hitter. He could be a very useful number two hitter when it’s all said and done.

Once rosters expand, this team will be more exciting. At this point in the season, all Mets fans want to do is look towards 2011.

Positives From The Game:

Drawing Walks: They had no problem reaching base via the base on balls. Six walks didn’t help much though with the Mets “pathetic” bats.

Frenchy: Even though he’ll probably see less playing time once rosters expand, Jeff Francoeur has been hitting as of late. He went 2 for 5 tonight, while scoring two of the Mets three runs. It was his third multi-hit game of the week.

Negatives From The Game:

“Misched” Opportunity: Pat Misch had the chance to prove to Jerry Manuel he could stick as the 5th starter, but failed at the opportunity tonight. He pitched three innings, allowing five runs on eight hits–one being a monster three-run home run off the bat of Jason Heyward.

Wright and Davis: They combined to go 1 for 10 with 6 strikeouts, and stranded 12 runners on base. Ike Davis made his seventh error of the season in the 7th inning. After a promising hot streak, David Wright is currently in a 1 for 16 skid.

Bad Ollie: Oliver Perez made his return after almost a month’s absence and showed exactly why Manuel hasn’t played him. The first batter he faced crushed the second pitch he threw over the right field wall. He then proceeded to walk two batters before getting out of the inning. Ollie, do us a favor and stay off the field for the rest of the season.

Interesting Facts:

14: Walks for Josh Thole compared to 16 strikeouts. That’s a terrific split.

25: Doubles for Ike Davis

253: Strikeouts by David Wright and Ike Davis combined

What’s Next?: The New York Mets continue their series against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on Tuesday night. Game Time 7:10 PM on SNY.

NYM Jonathon Niese (8-6) 3.63 ERA vs. ATL Mike Minor (2-0) 4.00 ERA