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Saturday, April 19, 2014

UnHappy Recap: Game 16 - Braves (6) at Mets (0) - Harang shuts them down, Mets only get one hit



New York
W: A. Harang (3-1) L: J. Niese (0-2)
HR: ATL - F. Freeman (5)   NYM - None


Aaron Harang saw his bid for a no-hitter end after seven innings due to a high pitch count, but two Atlanta relievers preserved his shutout and the Atlanta Braves blanked the New York Mets, 6-0, on Friday to open a three-game set from Citi Field.

Harang (3-1) struck out five and walked six over seven stellar frames, but after 121 pitches -- 70 of which went for strikes -- manager Fredi Gonzalez decided to pull his starter despite the no-hitter and turn it over the pen. Luis Avilan retired the first two batters he faced in the eighth before David Wright ripped a single to left for New York's first and only hit. Jordan Walden pitched a perfect ninth to finish it.

Harang, who struggled in 26 starts last season for the Mariners and Mets, has been terrific in four starts so far for the Braves. The 35-year-old righty has allowed just two runs and nine hits in 25 2/3 innings.

Atlanta nearly became the second team in the last three seasons to toss a combined no-hitter. The Seattle Mariners used six pitchers to accomplish the feat in a 1-0 win over the Dodgers in 2012.

Freddie Freeman hit his fifth home run of the season for the Braves, winners in six of seven. Chris Johnson had three hits, including two doubles, with an RBI and a run scored and Dan Uggla doubled and scored in the triumph.

Mets starter Jonathon Niese (0-2) was the unlucky loser after giving up just a run on four hits while striking out seven in six innings

After a scoreless first inning, Atlanta broke through with a run in the second. Justin Upton singled to lead off the frame, Evan Gattis walked and two batters later, Johnson delivered an RBI double to left. Niese avoided further damage, however, striking out Ryan Doumit and forcing Harang to line out to second.

Harang was untouchable the rest of the way despite dealing with control problems. He walked a batter in both the second and third innings but didn't allow either to reach second base. He then tossed 1-2-3 fourth and fifth innings and issued two walks in the sixth before running into trouble in his final frame. After two quick pop ups, Harang walked consecutive batters and ran the count full to pinch-hitter Andrew Brown. But on his 121st pitch, Harang got Brown swinging with a breaking ball in the dirt.

Freeman's two-run shot in the top half of the eighth off Gonzalez Germen plated B.J. Upton for some insurance runs. Later in the inning, Justin Upton was thrown out at home trying to score from first on Uggla's double. Mets catcher Travis d'Arnaud fired to third to try and catch Uggla advancing, but the throw got away and Uggla trotted home. Johnson then singled and scored on Jordan Schafer's double over Curtis Granderson's head in right.

Justin Upton's sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth plated his brother and resulted in the final margin.

Game Notes

Harang has taken a no-hit bid into the seventh inning twice this season. Only one other pitcher has done it once (Matt Garza against Harang on April 2) ... Atlanta hit just 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position ... Prior to the game, the Mets shipped first baseman Ike Davis to the Pittsburgh Pirates for minor league pitcher Zach Thornton and a player to be named later.

Box Score:

Andrelton Simmons SS501000000.321
B.J. Upton CF422000010.210
Freddie Freeman 1B512210100.390
Justin Upton LF211100021.310
Evan Gattis C400000011.341
Dan Uggla 2B412010002.232
Chris Johnson 3B413120001.293
Ryan Doumit RF300000002.105
  Jordan Schafer RF101110000.125
Aaron Harang P300000001.000
  Tyler Pastornicky PH100000000.200
  Luis Avilan P000000000.000
  Jordan Walden P000000000.000
Eric Young LF200000011.246
Daniel Murphy 2B400000000.279
David Wright 3B301000012.262
Curtis Granderson RF400000002.154
Chris Young CF400000000.000
Lucas Duda 1B300000011.256
Travis d`Arnaud C300000010.143
Ruben Tejada SS200000011.178
Jon Niese P000000010.000
  Kirk Nieuwenhuis PH100000000.300
  Carlos Torres P000000000.000
  Andrew Brown PH100000001.192
  Gonzalez Germen P000000000.000
  Scott Rice P000000000.000
  Jeurys Familia P000000000.000

E_T.d'Arnaud. LOB_Atlanta 8, NY Mets 7. 2B_F.Freeman, D.Uggla, C.Johnson 2, J.Schafer. HR_F.Freeman (5) off G.Germen. SF_J.Upton. S_E.Young. GIDP_F.Freeman. DP_NY Mets 1 (D.Murphy, R.Tejada and L.Duda).

Aaron Harang (W 3-1)7.0000650121-700.70
Luis Avilan1.010002019-1110.80
Jordan Walden1.000001011-73.00
Jon Niese (L 0-2)6.0411370104-672.84
Carlos Torres1.010001014-91.86
Gonzalez Germen0.244410118-104.09
Scott Rice0.11000008-510.80
Jeurys Familia1.021100017-115.87

T_2:55. A_33199.
Umpires_Home,Tom Hallion; First, Eric Cooper; Second, Mark Wegner; Third, Pat Hoberg.
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