Mets Game 154: Win Over Braves
Mets 5 Braves 0
Mets win but are mathematically eliminated from the postseason. Thus, the rest of September will be filled with officially meaningless games.
Mets Game Notes
The Braves really stink. When did that happen? Hmm … it started around the time Bobby Cox retired and the club was put into the hands of Fredi Gonzalez, who may be one of the most ineffective managers in baseball. Say what you want about stats, but I believe that the man in charge can have an effect on a team’s performance; strangely enough, many CEOs of businesses large and small agree with me — why should athletics be any different? The Braves are one of the most laid-back, impassive teams I’ve seen in a long time — not since the Marlins were still identified by their state rather than their city. Who was the manager back then? Right. It didn’t help that the Atlanta front office brought in dispassionate players such as the Upton brothers, who I used to think were better. I’m now convinced they’re both dogs, and I don’t care what David Wright nor their youth coaches have to say. They’re dogs, and it’s a crime, because they’re incredibly talented.
Zack Wheeler is one of those rare pitchers who seems to struggle, yet walks off the mound with six shutout innings. Maybe it had something to do with the anemic Atlanta offense, but Wheeler did have a great curveball working. He threw far too many pitches, though — this start recalled the John Maine foul-off marathons.
Lucas Duda demolished a flat change-up by Julio Teheran into the popcorn bucket, and that was the difference in the ballgame. Daniel Murphy slapped about seventeen singles, and scored the other Mets run.
I hope Duda can keep this up in 2015, he’s become enjoyable to watch.
Keith Hernandez was fixated on “drop and drive” for the first few innings of the game, letting us know which pitchers did NOT “drop and drive.” News flash, Keith: very few, if any, MLB pitchers practice the “drop and drive” method made famous by Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman but not used successfully by anyone else in the history of baseball. It’s an ineffective and inefficient style that robs pitchers of velocity — which is not opinion, but scientific fact. And for the record, there is nothing to be gained by “pushing off” the pitching rubber — most of the lower half power comes from the planting and pulling of the front leg, and this is also a scientifically proven fact.
I don’t know how a MLB pitcher who throws 99 MPH walks a .180-hitting rookie to force in a run with the bases loaded. But it happened in this game.
Do I sound bitter? I am. MLB overall stinks. We’ve reached parity, via mediocrity, and we’re paying MLB prices for minor-league quality. Thank you, BeelzeBud Selig, you’ve succeeded in your communist mission.
With teams like the Braves playing out the string, and most of the young Mets playing to impress for 2015 jobs, it’s really hard to evaluate what the heck is happening right now. I THINK Matt den Dekker deserves consideration, for example, but Dilson Herrera? I’m not sure. Can we trust anything we see by Mets pitchers against the Braves? Then again, maybe the Braves will be even worse next year, especially if they continue building a culture and philosophy that is far from the Bobby Cox Era.
I find it funny that the Mets (and many other teams) are limiting pitch counts on their young pitchers in September as a precautionary measure. Because why? Because human arms have only a certain amount of “bullets” in them? Because arbitrary innings limits and pitch counts have prevented injuries to MLB pitchers of any age? How about practicing proper rest and recovery guidelines from Opening Day? And/or making mechanical adjustments that ensure deliveries are efficient and safe? Nah, let’s not trust evidence-based research, let’s instead just come up with some theory out of our backside that everyone else is doing to, ironically, publicly cover their backsides.