Mets Game 21: Loss to Braves

Braves 6 Mets 3

The Mets garnered TWO hits all night — one from Marlon Anderson, the other from Raul Casanova, both coming in the third inning — as they were beaten to a pulp by the mighty Braves.

Jair Jurrjens — who began the season as the Braves’ #5 starter — shut down the Mets lineup through six innings, his only struggle coming in the third inning when he walked four straight batters. Although, from my seat, it looked as though the home plate umpire may have been squeezing him during that four-walk episode; in any case, he wasn’t far away from the strike zone.

The Mets were only able to score because of Jurrjens’ temporary control issues. The bats were feeble and lifeless.

Mike Pelfrey was not great, but I’m not going to get on him for a poor outing. This kid has no business being at the MLB level right now, his most recent two starts notwithstanding. Considering that he is a fifth starter who throws one speed, we can’t expect him to pitch seven innings of shutout ball every time out. It’s not fair. Big Pelf should be at AAA right now honing his command and working on a legitimate offspeed pitch.

We could detail the Braves’ scoring here but I don’t have the energy nor desire to do so. If you missed the game, here is the boxscore and play-by-play.

Notes

Pelfrey did not look good from the first batter of the game (Kelly Johnson walked). There was something amiss about Big Pelf’s face and body language — he appeared, to my instincts, to be unsure about himself.

Willie Randolph looks like he’s aged a few years in the last few weeks. I wonder if he’s starting to worry about his job, despite what he says to the contrary.

Not clear on why Duaner Sanchez was brought into this game, down three runs and the bats asleep. Did Willie Randolph really believe the hitters would miraculously wake up and score three runs in the ninth?

Carlos Delgado was given a day off, and Marlon Anderson was spectacular in that he had half of the Mets’ hits.

What’s with Harold Reynolds on the SNY postgame? I’ve never been much of a fan, although I was happy to see him a bit more calm and controlled than the hyped up caricature ESPN made him be. Also happy to see that SNY put an african-american on the postgame show for once. Lee Mazzilli’s George Hamilton tan and Sicilian background didn’t quite fill that void.

I keep telling myself it’s very early in the season, it’s not even May yet, but the initial “feeling” of this year’s Mets has my stomach queasy.

After losing the opening game of the series, the Mets will now face Tim Hudson and John Smoltz over the weekend. Talk about an uphill battle.

Next Game

John Maine goes against Tim Hudson at 1pm. The highlight of the day might be the bloggers roundtable on Mets Weekly prior to the game.

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. sincekindergarten April 26, 2008 at 5:43 am
    Okay, Joe, it’s time to step back from the edge a tad.

    Big Pelf didn’t do himself any favors, to be sure. And, you’re right–he should be at N’awlins, working on those second and third pitches, and possibly even bringing back his curveball.

    How many days rest are Hudson and Smoltz on?

    Also, Joe, any team that’s within, say, three games of .500 at the end of April is still in it. That eliminates . . . the Nats, the Reds and Pirates (who we play next), and all of the NL West with the exception of the Diamondbacks. Let’s face it–the bats are going to get hot against righthanders soon. We wish it was yesterday, or earlier, but that’s baseball.

    As for the highlight of the day, in the pregame, yes, you guys will be the highlight. But, I think that the bats will get to Hudson today. Smoltz is more problematic, but I think Maine will do well today. I’ve had three cups of (badly made) coffee, too, so my brain is fully wired (We won’t get into how badly I made the coffee this morning, except to say that I would not serve it to my wife).

  2. isuzudude April 26, 2008 at 7:57 am
    I even think the Mets were lucky to get those 2 hits last night. Marlon’s single was a bloop into CF off the end of the bat, and Casanova singled through the vacated SS hole b/c Prado was going to cover 2B as Anderson was attempting to steal. It was a very weak offensive performance, no doubt. And this is the type of results to be expected when Alou is hurt, Delgado is hitting under .200 (and is consequently out of the lineup), and Wright and Reyes are 0 for their last 100. I hate to use it as an excuse, but the Mets have got to be tired. I can’t come up with any other reason for their offesnive woes. Think about it. The team hasn’t had an off day in nearly 2 weeks, and has played in 5 cities in 9 days (New York to Philly to Chicago to Washington back to New York). It’s either that or the offense completely blows – and I’m not ready to admit that quite yet. Check back with me in another 2 weeks.

    I agree that Pelfrey should be AAA bound. Don’t we have all these extra arms laying around the system (Armas, Claudio Vargas, Bostick, Joselo Diaz) so that they could get the spot starts as the #5, allowing Pelfrey to work on his stuff in the minors? Why has that plan suddenly been scrapped? None of those aforementioned pitchers are going to win 10 games, or 5 at that rate, this season, but it’s at least better than marching Pelfrey out there every 5th day to get his @$$ handed to him.

    And though the offense was putrid, and Pelfrey was ineffective, I think sometimes you also have to tip your hat to the competition. For a 22 year old, Jurrjens showed more poise than our own Oliver Perez in that he battled his way back from control issues to win a ball game. How many times have we seen Ollie in the same situation as Jurrjens last night only to come completely undone and spot the opposition 5 or 6 runs while burning himself out by the 4th or 5th inning? Also, Johnson hitting the go-ahead 2-run HR in the 6th of Feliciano was huge. The move was made take out Smith in favor of Feliciano to get the lefty-on-lefty matchup, but Johnson came through in the clutch anyway. It would be nice to see someone on the Mets step up in a big way like Johnson did last night…but how long will we have to hold our breath until we see it?

    And actually, Joe, I like Harold Reynolds. I always thought John Kruk was the goofball on Baseball Tonight, and Reynolds was the guy who provided the best analysis. I think in the future there’s a lot SNY can do with Harold. Right now, it seems like a 3-man pre- and post-game squad is a bit overcrowded. I wouldn’t be completely shocked to see him replace Keith “Tootsie Pop” Hernandez in the play by play booth down the road, as sacreligious as that may sound coming from a Met fan.

  3. joe April 26, 2008 at 9:27 am
    SK, thanks for the support … you’re keeping me tethered, though I admit I’m waving in the wind. It doesn’t help that my porch overlooks the Hudson River … so tempting … LOL!

    ‘dude, I wonder if the Mets are still hesitant to trust Nelson Figueroa, and/or are delusional about Pelfrey? Meaning that they feel Figgy is a shaky 5th starter option and Pelf is more solid as a fill-in fourth? And therefore they feel bringing up an Armas / Stokes / etc. makes them weaker?

    You’re right though … Jurrjens was great. I was ticked that the Braves stole him from the Tigers — along with a Carlos Gomez-type prospect — for Renteria …. http://www.metstoday.com/07-08-offseason/2007/reaction-renteria-girardi-torre/

    re: Harold Reynolds … the moment I saw him on the screen I remarked to my wife, “ugh, I can’t stand watching this guy”, then was impressed with some of the stuff he was saying and the way he was presenting it. I think when he was on ESPN, they made him too over the top — too much forced energy that affected his overall presentation. For example I feel like he did a lot of screeching, spoke too quickly, and was too excited on ESPN — it seemed fake and his high-pitched voice got on my nerves. In contrast, last night he was very controlled, and got all his thoughts out without stumbling over certain consonants. I hope he continues to re-invent himself.

    As for Keith … I have a feeling he’s our Phil Rizzuto for the long term.