Mets Game 44: Loss to Braves
Braves 11 Mets 4
In a game the Mets were desperate to win, they instead took a drubbing. On the other hand, it was a nice present for birthday boy Bobby Cox. Swell.
The Braves scored, scored, and scored some more, while the Mets offense continued to sputter. Jair Jurrgens earned his sixth win, completely dominating the Mets batters. I’m beginning to wonder if all these pitchers are that good or if the Mets’ offense is that bad. I’m leaning toward the latter.
The offense’s ineptness mattered little, as the pitching was about as effective at stopping the Braves bats as swiss cheese is to a bullet from a .38 special. You can’t expect to win games scoring only two runs through the first seven innings, and you can’t expect to win allowing 11 total. But it must be Willie Randolph’s fault that the players stink, right?
Mike Pelfrey was looking pretty good through the first two and two-thirds innings — whatever that’s worth — but then allowed three runs after Luis Castillo couldn’t make a play on a ground ball by Mark Teixeira. That infield hit sent Chipper Jones to third base and extended the inning, allowing Brian McCann and Mark Kotsay to hit back-to-back doubles off the wall to make the score 3-1. Pelfrey’s face and body language changed as a result, and was not nearly as effective through the rest of his abbreviated outing — which ended before a man was retired in the fifth. By the time his book was closed, the stat line looked like this:
4 IP | 8 H | 6 ER | 6 R | 3 BB | 2 SO | 104 Pitches / 57 Strikes
I’m trying to figure out how Pelfrey’s ERA for the season is only 5.00 … but then, I was an English major, and worthless at math.
Perhaps the most entertaining part of the game was Keith Hernandez calling the Padres and the Giants “stinkowski” back in the early 1980s. (It was in reference to his deciding whether he would stay with the Mets after 1984 or exercise his right to free agency.)
Keith also relayed a bit of advice he gave to David Wright. Hernandez took note of Wright’s intense regimen in fighting off his slump, and suggested that, for one day, he ignore the video, the batting drills, and even BP, and go into the game completely “cold”. The theory being that he’d have to concentrate extra hard on that first at-bat of the game, and focus only on hitting the ball up the middle. Not a bad idea, but Keith guessed that D-Wright did not take the advice.
Bright spot … hmm … the closest thing I suppose was Scott Schoeneweis plugging Chipper Jones in his bad knee in the eighth.
Another encouraging point: Jose Reyes taking pitches. He let the first ball of the game go by, for strike one, then hit the next one — an identical pitch — to left field for a base hit. He took the first pitch again in his second AB and stroked a single to right a pitch later. In his third at-bat, he took the first three pitches and eventually walked. Coincidence? Not likely. More likely, getting on base is the result of a good approach. Let’s hope he builds off this.
Oh, another negative … as if it weren’t bad enough that Ryan Church nearly suffered a second concussion, the Mets also lost Moises Alou in this game. The wind in Atlanta was blowing almost 7 MPH and caused Alou’s left calf to cramp up. He’ll be in NY to get an MRI so scratch him out of the lineup as well tomorrow. Do the Mets HAVE to play the game, or can they just forfeit and
Billy Wagner was brought in to get his work in and almost gave up his first earned run of the season. Kind of a waste, if you ask me. If he’s not going to be all pumped up and throwing at high energy, he may as well get his work done in the bullpen, where there’s little chance of a ball coming back at him and causing injury. I also don’t like the idea of the Braves getting a “free look” at Wagner in this meaningless outing. If he’s needed on Thursday, the Braves batters may be more comfortable against him after seeing him the night before. Although, we would hope that Wags would turn it up a notch and therefore have a “different look” in that case.
The Braves will go for the FOUR GAME SWEEP tomorrow at 7:10 PM. It will be a matchup of the aces — Johan Santana vs. Tim Hudson. The main purpose of trading for and signing Santana was to avoid long losing streaks, so hopefully he can come up big again and keep the broom in the closet. Unfortunately, even if he does, there will be four games before he goes to the hill again.