ATLANTA (CBSNewYork/AP) — Daisuke Matsuzaka realizes his poor results in three starts with the Mets could jeopardize his spot in the rotation.
Even so, it appears the right-hander will be given at least one more chance.
Matsuzaka allowed six runs in only three innings as Freddie Freeman and the Atlanta Braves beat New York 13-5 on Monday.
Freeman homered, doubled and tied a career high with five RBIs in the first two innings.
Matsuzaka (0-3), who gave up seven hits with two walks, has a 10.95 ERA in three starts since signing with the Mets.
“Looking at the way I pitched today, if I’m told that this is my last start then that’s something that I’ll have to accept,” Matsuzaka said through a translator. “You guys saw the results. I’m very disappointed in myself today.”
Mets manager Terry Collins said he plans to stick with Matsuzaka but said the right-hander must pitch deeper into games.
“There’s no reason why we probably don’t run him out there again,” Collins said. “He’s got to keep going. He’s got to keep battling. He’s got to get going for us because we’ve got a lot more games to play this month and he’s going to be a part of those games right now.
“We need him for innings and that’s why we got him.”
The Mets, who lost at Washington on Sunday night, arrived at their team hotel in Atlanta about 4 a.m. on Monday, followed by their luggage about 30 minutes later. That left players only a few hours to sleep before the bus trip to Turner Field for the 1:10 p.m. start.
Matsuzaka, 32, was released by Cleveland on Aug. 20 and signed with the Mets two days later. He is 0-7 in his last eight starts since Sept. 2, 2012, with Boston.
“Nobody works harder than he does to get prepared,” Collins said. “One of the things we are a little surprised at is he has been so known for locating his pitches, and that’s something he hasn’t been doing. So we’ve got to figure out something or try to pick up something in the game films to get that back, because that’s the key to his success.”
Matsuzaka said he needs more consistency with his pitches.
“The difference between my good pitches and my bad pitches was too big and that’s something that’s needs to change,” he said.
Freeman has thrived against Mets pitching this season, hitting .349 (23 of 66) with five homers and 16 RBIs. For his career, he has 11 homers and 42 RBIs against the Mets, his best totals against any opponent.
Freeman put the Braves ahead with a two-run double off Matsuzaka in the first inning. Freeman made it 6-1 with a three-run homer a dozen rows deep into the right-field seats in the second.
“When you go out there and face guys you haven’t seen, my approach is to go up there and be aggressive,” Freeman said. “It was kind of easier with guys on base. They have to come after you and they don’t want to walk you and load up the bases. He was aggressive and I took advantage of his mistakes.”
Each starting pitcher struggled in the slow-paced game which lasted 3 hours, 41 minutes.
Paul Maholm (10-10) snapped his four-game losing streak despite struggling with his control. He yielded three runs on six hits and three walks.
Maholm needed 100 pitches to make it through five innings.
“I would like to take care of the bullpen for more than five innings,” Maholm said.
Jordan Schafer got four hits and stole three bases for Atlanta before leaving with a lower back strain. Andrelton Simmons drove in three runs.
The NL East-leading Braves, who matched their season high for runs, have won seven of eight.
Josh Satin hit two doubles for New York.
Simmons’ double in the fifth off Gonzalez Germen drove in Chris Johnson and B.J. Upton. Justin Upton doubled off Pedro Feliciano in the sixth and scored on Brian McCann’s single. B.J. Upton’s double drove in McCann for a 10-3 lead.
Matsuzaka had an RBI single in the second. Zach Lutz had a pinch-hit double in the Mets’ two-run fourth.
NOTES: The Braves said Schafer is day to day. Gonzalez said Schafer may have had “just a little back spasm” on a swing before his fourth hit. … Atlanta also scored 13 runs in a 13-3 win at Philadelphia on July 6. … Matsuzaka recorded his first career RBI with a single in the second. … The Braves recalled RHP Kameron Loe from Triple-A Gwinnett and announced he will start against the Mets Wednesday, giving RHP Julio Teheran a rest. … The series continues Tuesday night when Braves RHP Kris Medlen faces Mets RHP Carlos Torres.
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