Final Score: Braves 9 Mets 3

The Mets (54-60) lost to the Braves (66-47) by the score of 9-3 tonight at Citi Field.

The Mets are six games under .500 for the first time this season, have lost 21 of their last 29 games, and have lost 11 of their last 12 games at Citi Field.

Johan Santana started for the Mets and he got smoked, allowing eight runs in only 1 1/3 innings.

Santana now has a 17.36 ERA over his last four starts, spanning a total of 14 innings pitched.

Jeremy Hefner relieved Santana and allowed a run in 3 2/3 innings.

Manny Acosta worked two scoreless innings of relief, and Jon Rauch turned in another scoreless inning of relief.

Ruben Tejada and Andres Torres each had two hits and an RBI, and David Wright contributed an RBI single.

Jason Bay appeared as a pinch hitter and went 0-for-2 with two strikeouts.

For a full recap and box score, check out SNY’s In-Game Live.

Michael Baron, Contributor

That was ugly. Santana had no command at all, which has pretty much been the theme of the last six weeks for him. He and the Mets were out of the game in the blink of an eye and left the Mets offense with another impossible task of coming back from a very large deficit.

Coming into this season, I doubted what Ruben Tejada would be able to do. I thought he was nothing more than a part time player with an outstanding glove, but he has quietly become one of the best all-around players on this team. He doesn’t ever try to do too much, he’s patient at the plate and brilliant with the glove and makes consistent contact with a short, level swing. Of all the problems the Mets have heading into the off-season, Tejada and the shortstop position is not one of them. That’s good news, and one less headache to worry about this winter.

As I attempt to search for more positives, Rauch continues to pitch extremely well. He’s been going strong for two months. As I wrote last week, he’s really only had one very poor outing. His season has been unquestionably shrouded by the seven losses on his line, but he really hasn’t been a problem overall this season.

All-in-all, there is nothing really good taking place with this team these days. Their pitching is a mess and the offense can’t get it together consistently at all thanks to an inordinate amount of strikeouts as of late. When that happens, losses mount. It’s really that simple.

W.B. Mason Post Game Extra:

The Mets will look to salvage their three game series with the Braves tomorrow night at Citi Field, with Jon Niese facing Ben Sheets at 8:05 pm.