Duda HR spoils Chipper Night, Mets beat Braves 3-1




Four days after he hit the Shot Heard ‘Round Braves Country, Freddie Freeman hit a shot that looked like it might provide an appropriate outcome on Chipper Jones tribute night at Turner Field.

But after Freeman put the Braves ahead 1-0 on his fourth-inning homer, Lucas Duda hit a three-run homer off Tim Hudson in the seventh to send the New York Mets to a 3-1 win before a sellout crowd of 51,910, the largest of the season in Atlanta.

“Very rarely do you feel like just one pitch cost you the game, but tonight it was one pitch,” said Hudson (16-7), who gave up the homer with two out on a sinker with the count full, on the ninth pitch. “It’s frustrating, obviously. We lost the ballgame on that one pitch. If I throw that same pitch [again], he might pop it up. He just got the barrel to it and hit it over the fence.”

The Braves had their five-game winning streak snapped and wasted a chance to gain a game on National League East leader Washington, which trailed 9-1 in the sixth inning at St. Louis when Duda took Hudson deep. The Nationals lost 12-2.

“It’s hard to feel bad about the loss when everybody showed me such a great day,” said Jones, who went 0-for-4 with four groundouts and said he was nervous as he’d been in any game since his major league debut in 1993. “I wish we had played better. I wish I had played better. But that’s baseball. A lot of Jonathan Niese and one big swing by Lucas Duda, but we’ll come back and get them tomorrow.”

It was only the third loss in 13 games for the Braves, but they probably couldn’t afford to lose any games to have any chance to catch Washington. The Nationals have a four-game lead over the Braves with five games left on the schedule.

Barring a final-week collapse by the Nationals, the Braves will play in the Oct. 5 Wild Card game at Turner Field against St. Louis.

Hudson was charged with five hits, three runs and one walk in seven innings in the loss, after winning his past two starts. He’s allowed just seven hits in 14 innings over his past two starts, including two hits and one unearned run in seven innings of a 2-1 win at Philadelphia on Sunday.

“When Huddy gives you a performance like he gave tonight, you feel like you’ve got a good chance to win it,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “But we didn’t score runs. Bottom line, we didn’t score runs. You’re watching the scoreboard and see St. Louis, I think the last time I checked, up 9-2 or 9-1…. We’ve still got five games left. We’re four down. It’s a slim margin. You just hate to lose an opportunity with a  pretty good pitched ballgame from Huddy.”

Atlanta clinched a wild-card spot Tuesday when Freeman hit a two-run game-ending homer to give them a 4-3 win against Miami. Freeman’s walk-off homer was just the seventh in major league history to clinch a postseason berth, and only the second to bring a team from behind. The other was Bobby Thomson’s famous “Shot Heard Round The World” for the 1951 New York Giants.

The Braves first baseman continued his recent power surge and season-long success against the Mets. Freeman has four homers in his past 15 games, and against the Mets he’s hit .352 with five doubles, five homers and 18 RBIs in his past 14 games.

But outside of Freeman’s homer, the Braves would muster almost no threat against Mets left-hander Niese (13-9), who allowed just four hits and three walks in seven innings and had more than one runner on base in only one inning.

Until the Duda homer, there was a palpable level of excitement in an overflow crowd. It was the seventh-largest in Turner Field history, and the ninth largest Braves home crowd since the team moved to Atlanta in 1966.

“It was a playoff-type atmosphere,” Hudson said. “It was exciting. I enjoyed it. Fans were into it. Lot of stuff going on. Chipper smiled more than I think he has in a month. It was a cool day…. It’s just frustrating that one pitch put pretty much a damper on the night. I didn’t make a very good pitch right there.  One pitch cost us the game. It’s probably the one pitch the whole at-bat that I didn’t feel like I made.

“You’ve got to tip your hat to him. It sucks on my part, but he done his job. Sucks it was a homer. If it’s a single, we might still be playing.

The first pitch was delayed nine minutes after a 30-minute on-field tribute to retiring third baseman Jones prior to the game. Hank Aaron, Bobby Cox and Jones’ parents and two of his four sons were among those who sat on a portable stage set up on the infield for the ceremony, and Cox, Aaron, Braves president John Schuerholz and catcher Brian McCann praised the 40-year-old third baseman.

“Yeah, I think I had a tear planted in the corner of my eye basically all night,” said an exhausted Jones. He smiled and added, “It’s pretty tough to hit when you’re misty like that. It doesn’t bode well for picking up rotation real well…

“I’m glad it’s over. I’ve been pointing to this day and nervous about this day and with all the friends and family in town coming here to watch, it’s been …I just want to concentrate on baseball. It’s been all the attention needs to take a backseat so we can focus on the job at hand. I’m certainly, I was telling some friends, I’ll be glad when tonight is over, so I can start concentrating on doing my job a little better.”

Niese is another of the lefties who’ve given the Braves trouble in recent years. He has a 2.97 ERA in 12 starts against the Braves, and Niese is 5-1 with a 2.93 ERA in his past seven starts against them.

Besides Freeman’s homer, the only other time the Braves advanced a runner to second against Niese was in the second inning, when Dan Uggla walked with one out and Andrelton Simmons hit a two-out infield single. Hudson grounded out to end the inning.

Niese is 5-3 with a 2.35 ERA in his past seven starts, and the Mets scored just three runs in 19 innings while he was in the games during his three losses.

The loss was only the second for the Braves in their past 13 games against the Mets. They are 10-6 against them this season with two games left this weekend, the last two games of the Braves’ regular-season home schedule.

The Braves will finish the regular season with a three-game series at Pittsburgh beginning Monday.

50 comments Add your comment

jason

September 28th, 2012
10:33 pm

Nats are going to get swept so fredi could have cost them a chance at the division tonight. He overused venters last night and venters should have been brought in to face duda as hudson was out of gas and missing location in the 7th before the duda at bat. Duda isn’t hitting venters. Then you have o’flaherty and kimbrel.

When hudson is out of gas you have to take him out. If Fredi had played it right the defecit could have been down to one game by the end of the weekend. Fredi uses venters for two innings last night when braves were up by 4 runs but doesn’t go to him to face duda when hudson is out of gas and missing location.

lee maye

September 28th, 2012
10:45 pm

Jason, you are right, but where was Avilan? Truth is, he had no one warming up. Bad managing. Very bad. Trusting in the veteran too long. A Bobby Cox move. Likely cost us a chance at the division. Washington could have easily lost 4 out of 6. They likely will not lose 4 out of 5 for the Braves to tie.

NorCal Brave

September 28th, 2012
10:46 pm

First-string proofreader took the night off again……

WTFredi?

September 28th, 2012
11:05 pm

Not sure if Nats are going to get swept, but the Braves really missed a chance to put some real pressure on a Washington team that really hasn’t faced much all season. But could you imagine the Nats in the clubhouse after a blowout loss to St. Louis with the Braves having won 5 straight and only 3 back, with the Nats staring at the possibility of losing the division and getting a series beat-down from a likely WC opponent. Their sphincters would be so tight we could make diamonds out of coal…

Dan The Man

September 28th, 2012
11:07 pm

@Jason-why are you so cocky the Nats are going to get swept by the Cards. You all were so sure the Phillies were going to sweep the Nats and the Nats took 2 out of 3. And, the Nats lead the series with the Cardinals, so, I am not sure how you are making this claim. In addition, if I were you-I would be very concerned about the lack of runs the Braves have been putting up to some of the worse teams in the National League.

Congrats to Chipper Jones on one amazing career and nice tribute by the Braves tonight.

Semper Fi Braves Fan

September 28th, 2012
11:14 pm

Sell out = choke fest

BryceH

September 28th, 2012
11:40 pm

mcguire

September 28th, 2012
11:48 pm

Duda, you have proven what everyone already knows about jerks like you who live and play in NY.
Hudson was overused, should have been pulled. Even David Ross has the Uggla disease now. How much do we pay the marlins to take Uggla back? Get McCann back in there to do the job he’s paid to do.

PaulG

September 29th, 2012
12:08 am

Lobosolos know nothing’s are in full bloom tonight

jason

September 29th, 2012
12:10 am

@Dan The Man

I think the cards are going to get swept because the cards still haven’t clinched the wild card and they play well at home and will be tough to beat this series against the nats.

Obviously it doesn’t matter anymore after the loss tonight.

The Brave Californian

September 29th, 2012
12:16 am

It does appear that Hudson was left in the game at least one batter too many. Hudson says one pitch lost it….but if he hadn’t let those other two reach base the home run would have only tied it. Pity, it would have been fun to see those Gnats squirm.

Realistic

September 29th, 2012
12:39 am

Nats aren’t playing that well right now, perhaps showing nerves, perhaps some arms wearing down. But it’s hard to imagine they (the Nats) won’t win at least one game of their remaining games against the Cardinals and at least one against the Phillies (in DC). It’s equally hard to imagine the Braves won’t drop at least one of their games in Pittsburgh, even if they win the next two against the Mets. Need to focus on the wild card play-in game (I refuse to call it the ‘playoffs’). Most interesting — at this point — is the question of whether the Reds or the Nats will get the winner of the play-in. The Nats may well find themselves traveling to San Francisco.

Ken Combs

September 29th, 2012
12:59 am

chipper choker, it was expected!!! One strike shortened world series trophy, that’s funny! Way to lead chipper, you’re a loser, fitting to be with the loser braves! Where’s ya trophy? Ain’t got one, won’t get one, never will have one! Strike shortened right! Good riddance chipper, go away! Hall Of Failures, 1 – 4 in world series, not to mention all the other playoff losses, leave now!!!

Matt

September 29th, 2012
1:05 am

You might want to fix the headline of this article, it says “Braves beat Mets 3-1″ when that’s clearly not the outcome.

Come on, AJC. You’re getting sloppier all the time. I know the internet is where spelling/grammar/usage go to die, but I expect more from you.

Matt

September 29th, 2012
1:05 am

You might want to fix the headline of this article, it says “Braves beat Mets 3-1″ when that’s clearly not the outcome.

Come on, AJC. You’re getting sloppier all the time. I know the internet is where spelling/grammar/usage go to die, but I expect more from you.

Ken

September 29th, 2012
1:31 am

Loser paper for a loser team, understand the source!

Mitchell

September 29th, 2012
1:40 am

The Braves are such ridiculous choke artists.

They just invent ways to lose games.

You know watching they know they’re going to lose, it’s just a matter of time it comes to pass.

Nomar

September 29th, 2012
2:20 am

Nice typo AJC, thought the Barves had avoided derping for once. Enjoy that one game playoff!

Bobby

September 29th, 2012
3:35 am

I cannot believe all of the negative comments after every Braves’ loss! It is so sad that you guys consider yourself Braves’ fans. It’s alright, I am sure all of you will either change your tune or, better yet, disappear once the Braves win the WC game.

Larry loser

September 29th, 2012
4:05 am

braves fan, that’s funny, who could love those losers, even when they won the little pennants, the losers showed they were really still, bottom of the barrel losers!!! 1966 – 2012 the losers, I’m not a fan of theirs, I even enjoy loving them lose! A strike shortened world series as their first and only, Saturday night live BS! Chipper Jones a leader lol, he’s the biggest loser for selling himself short! Winners are led by winners, lead the losers chipper the loser! I’ll cheer for ya when you go back to Florida, you loser!

No. 1 Braves Fan

September 29th, 2012
4:13 am

Not surprised to hear all the crap from anti-Braves fans after they lose a game.
You expect to hear the rants to fire Fredi, he lost the game,chokers, etc. everytime.
Maybe they will wake up late this a:m and forget to get on the blogs.

Preston Thompson

September 29th, 2012
7:00 am

Can you believe Hudson says he lost the game on one pitch? That’s unreal. If I remember correctly he had runners on base most of the game with mistakes he threw. The seventh inning there were 2 Mets on base before the homer Duda hit. So I see three mistakes. Why is it Hudson nor Freddie can own up to screwing up. Hudson says he lost on one pitch. Wrong! Then Freddie says we didn’t score runs. Wrong again. Minor has made one run stand up, Medlin has made one run stand up. So why not Hudson? The man cannot put the pitches where the catcher calls for them to be and there in lies the problem. He’s wild. One run should be just fine for someone who is supposed to be a good and Hudson. No? Me personally is sick of “excuses”. Own up to your screw up and be a man about it.

Fly OnThe Wall

September 29th, 2012
7:18 am

This one is on Freddie…he knows it…we all know it. It really doesn’t matter…were not going to win the division anyway. Time to get everyone healthy and ready for the big game next Friday. Go Braves!

reckingball

September 29th, 2012
8:36 am

Looks like some of the members of the Loser Squad are on the blogs today after a Braves loss. I call you the Loser Squad because that is what you are.
Dan the Man…..see you finally showed up, haven’t seen you since the Braves sweep the Nats. Which was exactly the opposite of what you said was going to happen.

74bravesjersey

September 29th, 2012
8:54 am

@Lee Maye;& Jason; My sentiments exactly, Agreed totally!

74bravesjersey

September 29th, 2012
8:59 am

Well, possibly the headline was printed wrong due to all the emotions of Chipper night, but fredi was hoping his veteran could mustard holding on the lead w/ 2 men on in the 7th, just wanting that one mistake back, geez, had a bulpen full of arms(fresh out there could’ve used).

Same Ole, negative dumbazz comments

September 29th, 2012
9:09 am

lee maye. Dan the Man, Semper Fi, mcguire, Ken Combs, Ken, Mitchell, Nomar, Larry loser, Preston Thompson……………..
Those were some excellent comments, that you made.
I can see that you hate the Braves as much as I do, today.
Reading your comments, I can tell that you possess just as much baseball genius as I do.
I am a huge Braves fan when they win. If they lose, I hate their guts.
It sure would be nice if someone could build some robotic players for the Braves, that would never make any bad pitches or errors, and would always get a hit every AB.

reckingball

September 29th, 2012
9:15 am

It would have been nice to get that win, I thought that Hudson was going to get him, but he put that 3-2 pitch in the wrong place. It was a good AB for the Metropolitan player.
Oh well, you’ll have that from time to time.
go braves

reckingball

September 29th, 2012
9:17 am

Oh yeah,…..Ralph, the Braves lost a game.
You can come out now, and make some comments.
HAHA.

David O'Brien

September 29th, 2012
10:26 am

This one is on Freddie…he knows it…we all know it.

So if Fredi had removed Hudson with the Braves ahead 1-0 and and brought in a reliever to face Duda, who up to that point was 5-for-19 with no homers in his career against Hudson, and that reliever gave up a hit or homer to Duda, I’m sure Fredi haters on the blog would not have criticized the move one bit, right? You wouldn’t have asked why he didn’t leave in Hudson when he was pitching a shutout and had thrown about 80 pitches?

J J

September 29th, 2012
10:34 am

I told you. See what happens when offense falls flat on there face. They didn’t score enough on a 4th place team. It is unbelieveable what Cardinals will do to them.

229BravesFan

September 29th, 2012
11:09 am

It’s ridiculous all the hate on this blog when the Braves lose and then when they win all these haters are never around. The Braves are fine, they are going to win the series and then win Pitt next week. GO BRAVES!!!

J J

September 29th, 2012
11:28 am

Whatever you are smoking. Pass some around where we can all imagine. No Offense won’t beat cardinals.

74bravesjersey

September 29th, 2012
11:29 am

Man, I’m a diehard Braves fan hoping they’ll hang on somehow, just wish’n while the nats were losin’ we would’ve took advantage to be 3 behind the division, & cool if we we’re to unseat em’ at the end. I’m here when we’re winning, & all fired up, & I’m here after a loss, just hopeing we can find a solution after a loss.

Italian_29

September 29th, 2012
11:47 am

DOB, don’t waste your time, some of these,”Braves Fans” wouldn’t be happy if the Brave finished the regular season undefeated and swept the WS 4-0. They would still find something to criticize the Braves and Freddi for. Go Braves! Take the rest of the series.

J J

September 29th, 2012
11:54 am

Final score Cardinals 8 Braves 2. Nice try Braves.

Brave New World

September 29th, 2012
12:17 pm

DOB: You have more patience than most – answering the inane blogs by some of these fools is very gracious on your part.

jake

September 29th, 2012
12:26 pm

Pathetic hitting AGAIN but even so, Freddi G. blew this one- bring in Venters or O’Flarhety or even Avian to pitch to Duda (2for3,HR) -Freddi G. – LHP against LHB-tying run on 3rd, go ahead on 2nd …..Get it ?
Division 1st Place looks like no longer possible so get ready for the Wild Card Game-rest Chipper, Bourn, McCann, Prado and Freddy Freeman -

Love Chipper but enough already-Play Ball

BillRGoat

September 29th, 2012
12:37 pm

To Uggla Haters: The guy is not really having that bad of a season. In comparispn to 2011, he has scored about the same number of runs, has about the same number of RBI’s, and has a much better OBP (.311 last year, .346 this year). His fielding percentage is higher this year and he has fewer errors. His HR’s and BA are down, but he is accounting for about the same number of runs. He has started and contributed to a lot of rallies with his BB’s, and he gives 100% effort, is a smart base runner. It would not surprise me if we saw his BA and HR totals go back up again in 2013. Those who want him gone will be complaining if he goes elsewhere for 2013 and has a .260 BA, 35 HR’s and 90-100 RBI’s for his new club while the Braves pay a lot of his salary.

J J

September 29th, 2012
12:47 pm

@jake Why don’t they just pack there bags and go home. When you have no offense,you don’t win

jake

September 29th, 2012
1:49 pm

JJ-PITCHING -SF Giants -Remeber

J J

September 29th, 2012
2:21 pm

Jake, Where are you going to find the pitcher that will shut Cardinals out? That is whaty it will take to get it done. Pitching means nothing. Braves lose.

reckingball

September 29th, 2012
2:51 pm

JJ……….You probably wouldn’t look so silly, if you knew what you are talking about, before you start talking.
Perhaps you should wait until your Cardinals actually clinch a playoff spot, before you start bragging about how bad your team is going to beat the Braves.

74bravesjersey

September 29th, 2012
2:56 pm

I do hinge alot on Medlen; Out of the any other starters, he’s the Rockstar right now, the offense needs to quit being so inconsistent, get established, make a statement. I think the fan-base is frustrated at the offense being erratic, on & off type of hitting, really, in front of 50 thousand screaming fans, they’ve should’ve been bust’n loose. Freeman,Heyward, & Uggs we’re try’n to keep it in the zone. Full house, they should’ve been smash’n. Niese is crafty, but the offense suckered in to him, to his pitches, not workin’ the count, not making him give in to them. Gotta stay consistent w/ that approach, now, this is it, Bravos.

J J

September 29th, 2012
3:12 pm

The Cardinals are not my team. I hate the Cardinals. I am just stating fact. Get real. Cardinals are highest scoring team in NL. Braves are 5th. Enough said. Cardinals8 Braves2

DonofAcworth

September 29th, 2012
3:23 pm

That was some game last night and being there was a great treat. The between inning messages by celebrities and former Braves and teammates were very powerful. It was very interesting to see all of the Mets and Braves players hanging on the railings watching what can happen to a player who resists the moving around of present day players who will never be able to feel the love given to someone who stays with an organization like Chipper did. In fact, what I and 51,99 fans and a TV and Radio audience witnessed won’t
be done again anytime soon. All in all it was a treat and while we all would have loved a win even that didn’t spoil the night because we were a part of some pretty good history.

reckingball

September 29th, 2012
3:54 pm

JJ……The fact is, your team(the Cards) is not even a playoff team, as of today.
Fact is, you sound just like a Cards fan, on a Braves blog.
Fact is, the Braves beat your Cards, 5 out of 6 games in May.
Fact is, the Braves were on a 7 games losing streak, when they started the 2nd three game series against your Cards.
Fact is, the Braves outscored your Cards 40runs to 32runs in those 6 games.
Fact is, unless you are Nostradumass, you don’t know what the score will be in the WC game(in which your team is not yet qualified to play in).

reckingball

September 29th, 2012
3:56 pm

Fact is, “To argue with a fool, is futile.”
So,……..good day to you sir.
go braves

J J

September 29th, 2012
4:06 pm

Good day to you too sir. Have another beer for me that day. Just don’t put a losing tears in it. See you next year. Braves LOSE AGAIN,because thet don’t score runs.

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October 4th, 2012
8:55 pm

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