Mets Game 132: Win Over Braves

Mets 3 Braves 2

Remember when the Mets lost most one-run games?

Mets Game Notes

It was Juan Lagares Night in Flushing, as the skilled center fielder beat the Braves almost singlehandedly by chasing down fly balls that were potential extra-base hits and hitting a two-run homer. Yes, you can win MLB games with defense here in 2014.

The other Mets run was driven in by Ruben Tejada. What is it with Tejada? It seems like every time you’re about to forget he’s on the roster, he gets big hits and makes sparkling plays in the field — but he can’t maintain it. Is it a matter of motivation, or is he a player who can’t be over-exposed? Hard to tell, really, because at times he can look fairly athletic. He may turn out to be a Ronny Cedeno (who by the way is listed as 31 years old … hmmm … he’s an OLD 31).

Dillon Gee wasn’t spectacular to the eye, but mowed down the Braves hitters nonetheless and posted a very nice final stat line. His change-up worked well and had the Braves batters off balance — a good thing to do to all-or-nothing sluggers. Gee allowed 8 baserunners in 6 2/3 innings, and wiggled out of several jams by the skin of his teeth, bailed out by Lagares and multiple double plays. I was stunned to see him start the seventh inning, and couldn’t believe he wasn’t removed after Chris Johnson walked to make it first and second and none out with Evan Gattis at the plate in the 7th. Gee was completely out of gas at that point, but Terry Collins left him in, held his breath, and Gee induced a double-play grounder. I suppose you could call that “great instinct” by Collins, and/or Gee “being tough” or “reaching back.” Or maybe it was a lucky roll of the dice. In any case, it worked.

You know you were sweating after Jenrry Mejia walked Justin Upton to start the ninth inning. I was a little surprised that Upton didn’t attempt to steal second, considering all the double plays the Mets turned during the evening, and Mejia’s inability to hold runners close. But, that’s the Braves — all or nothing.

Next Mets Game

Mets and Braves do it again at 7:10 PM on Wednesday night. Zack Wheeler faces Julio Teheran.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.