Mets Game 4: Loss to Braves

Braves 11 Mets 5

The Mets trailed this game from beginning to end, as John Maine couldn’t get past the fourth inning and the offense struggled against sinkerballer Tim Hudson.

The Braves scored their first run in the first inning thanks to the home plate umpire, who refused to call strike three on Mark Teixeira with two runners on base and one out. Teixeira ended up walking, loading the bases, and Brian McCann lifted a fly to rightfield to score Mark Kotsay.

The Mets evened things up in the bottom half of the inning when Carlos Delgado scored on a fielder’s choice.

However John Maine ran into some trouble in the third, as Jeff Francoeur and Matt Diaz stroked back-to-back, 2-out, RBI singles to put the Braves ahead 3-1.

In the fourth, more trouble for Maine, as he gave up a fourth run and is over 90 pitches. Seems he doesn’t like to pitch with two outs.

The Mets had a one-out, bases loaded rally in the top of the fifth, and Jose Reyes slapped a liner into left-center that should have scored two. However, the third base umpire called an out on the liner, which was trapped on a diving play by centerfielder Mark Kotsay, and Kotsay threw to second base to double off Angel Pagan, who had been on second base. Meantime, Pagan was being waved in to score by third-base coach Sandy Alomar, and in the process, Pagan blew by Ryan Church, who had seen the out call and was retreating to third. In the end, the out call was reversed, the bases remained loaded, with Church scoring. The Braves might have had an argument in that Pagan passed Church, but that occurred because of the confusion of the out call, so the Mets weren’t penalized. All in all an utter mess. Luis Castillo followed with a run-scoring groundout to score Pagan.

The game remained close until the seventh inning. Jorge Sosa began the inning on the right track, striking out Mark Teixeira. However, he then gave up a double to Brian McCann and a single to Jeff Francoeur to put men on second and third. Sosa then struck out Matt Diaz, and it looked like he might work out of trouble. Instead, he walked Martin Prado to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Kelly Johnson worked the count full before lifting a fat fastball into the rightfield stands to clear the bases and deflate the Mets.


How many times are they going to play that gosh-darn “chop” tune? Seems like they play it every two minutes. Don’t they know they’re offending Native Americans?

With his new “standup” motion, Joe Smith looked like Jeff Nelson. Rick Peterson has Smith staying more erect, rather than crouching over, and it looks pretty awkward. Whatever, as long as it works.

During an in-game interview, Willie Randolph commented that Maine was “too strong” and was overthrowing. Looked to me like Maine was unable to get firm footing on the mound — the ground was soaked — and couldn’t find a consistent release point. You can’t blame the conditions, though, because Tim Hudson had no issues.

Ruben Gotay began his revengeful assault on the Mets with a single up the middle off Smith, then later scored. Advantage: Gotay.

Next Game

The Mets and Braves do it again in swampy Atlanta at 1:30 PM. The Mets send Johan Santana to the mound against Tom Glavine. TV coverage will be provided by SNY, thank god — I watched the FOX broadcast on mute.

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.
  1. isuzudude April 5, 2008 at 9:55 pm
    Argument #2 of 2008 for instant replay in baseball occurred in the 5th inning as a line drive, clearly trapped by CF Mark Kotsay, was ruled an out by the one guy in the entire stadium who thought the ball was caught on the fly – the umpire. Joe, Matt Cerrone makes a great point on Metsblog that only in baseball will they take 10 minutes to sort out all the confusion, while an instant replay would have done just the same in half the time, at most. That botched ruling cost the Mets an extra run on the play, as Pagan would likely have also scored (although he scored on Castillo’s consequent groundout), and also took a lot of the momentum away from the offense. Hudson had plenty of time to regroup and rest up, and the Mets never got it going again.

    Call me crazy, but it also seemed to me the Mets pitchers got some pretty poor calls at the dish by the home plate ump as well. But I don’t want to cry over spilt milk.

    Anyone else see the ridiculous playoff predictions by McCarver and Rosenthal during the game? Neither of which have the Mets in the postseason. So much for “pitching and defense” being the keys to success.

    Joe, funny you bring up the Braves chop chant. For my girlfriend’s 30th birthday, I took her down to Atlanta last May to watch a threesome of Mets vs Braves games at Turner Field. First of all, let me say it’s a great stadium and I can’t wait for CitiField to open, because if it’s anything like Turner, we’re all in for a treat. Secondly, they do indeed play that chop chant every other pitch when they have a runner on base. It’s no joke. It doesn’t matter if they’re up by 10 or trailing by 10. They also have this giant drum out beyond the CF wall that some pimple-faced lackey bangs on whenever the music hits, adding to the annoyance. By the 5th inning even Braves fans are turning to each other and remarking how intolerable it is.

  2. julie April 6, 2008 at 3:07 am
    The umpiring in the first four games does not bode well for the remainder of the season.

    I do confess that I gave up following the Mets for a long time because I could not stand Tim McCarver, he ruined every game.