Atlanta Braves defeat New York Mets, 8-7

Gary Sheffield knew when he arrived in New York in April that his opportunities to star might be few.

But Wednesday, Sheffield was given the rare chance to come up big for the Mets twice - in the eighth and 12th innings.

Unfortunately for the Mets, it turned out to be a good news/bad news scenario for the 40-year-old slugger in their 8-7 defeat.

The Mets were trailing, 7-6, in the bottom of the eighth when Sheffield jumped on a 1-1 pitch from Braves reliever Rafae...

Exciting or excruciating? Take your pick.

The Mets followed seven straight wins by dropping two of three to Atlanta - Wednesday in alternately thrilling and painful fashions with an 8-7, 12-inning loss at Citi Field.

Yes, the Mets found ways to storm back from deficits, including a grand slam by Fernando Tatis in the fourth inning and a game-tying home run by Gary Sheffield in the eighth.

But most Met fans will not view every lining as silver.

Jon Niese couldn'...

Over the weekend Jerry Manuel called reliever Ken Takahashi a cross-over pitcher. That meant he was confident the lefthander could be counted on to retire righty batters in pressure-packed moments, and work long innings to give other arms in the Mets bullpen a break.

The 40-year-old rookie did neither Wednesday afternoon.

Summoned from the bullpen to start the 12th inning, Takahashi managed to get one out before leaving a full-count fastball out over the plate. Brave...