Mets Game 45: Loss to Braves

Braves 4 Mets 2

Was there a game? I didn’t notice. The TV was on, it was set to SNY, but it was more like indifferent background noise than anything worth paying attention to.

According to the SNY postgame, the Mets lost the “game”. Ace starter and “stopper” and hundred-million-dollar man Johan Santana allowed 12 hits and four runs (three earned) in seven innings. The Mets offense was impotent against Tim Hudson, which was not surprising — if they can’t do anything against Jorge Campillo, how can we expect them to hammer Hudson?

As usual, the Mets did not pitch up to snuff, didn’t hit, didn’t run the bases well, and make mistakes in the field. This is starting to remind me a lot of the late 1970s and the early 1990s — not much reason to watch. OK, maybe that’s not fair … it was an interesting game from the perspective of it being a classic pitchers’ duel. However, the entire time I had this awful feeling in the back of my mind, just waiting for the Mets to — dare I say it? — collapse. Again, reminds me of the dark days post-Seaver and pre-Bobby V.

Notes

Carlos Delgado hit a solo homerun, which justifies his existence in the lineup for at least another week. Too bad. If there’s one guy who needs to get out of the way it’s Delgado.

The other Carlos — Beltran — was responsible for the other Met run by clobbering a homer of his own. It immediately preceded Delgado’s, in fact, and those four minutes were all the excitement in the game.

Once again, the Mets avoid using the wheel play, this time in the seventh inning with a man on second base and Tim Hudson bunting. The announcers and the beat writers and the TV personalities and Willie Randolph, and every other idiot can say that David Wright blew that play all they want, but if you watch the replay you’ll see Jose Reyes hanging around second base with his finger up his nose. That’s not Reyes’ fault, it is the fault of the design of that defensive strategy — the shortstop has nothing to do other than watch. With a man on second, no one on first, and the pitcher obviously sacrificing, it is senseless to use anything but the wheel play. Do you think it was dumb luck that Hudson jerked that ball to the left side? Of course not. Bobby Cox knows that Randolph is never going to use any strategy other than the “straight” defense against the bunt, so he instructs the pitchers to bunt toward third base. It’s a gimme.

Not much else to say. The Mets stink, they’re fundamentally unsound, they have little life, and they’re boring. Or maybe they just look awful because they’re the exact opposite of the Braves (good, fundamentally sound, plenty of fire and hustle, full of personality). Unfortunately, the Braves are in the Mets’ division, and aren’t even in first place. This is going to be a long summer.

Next Game

Mets go to Colorado to play a three-game series against the Rockies. Game time on Friday night is 9:05 PM EST. Oliver Perez (or is it Mr. Hyde?) goes to the hill against rookie Greg Reynolds. Considering that the Mets have never seen Reynolds before, I’m not counting on the offense waking up.

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. RockStar78 May 22, 2008 at 9:59 pm
    Greg Reynolds huh? Well, I think it’s safe to say that a line of 7IP, 3H, ER, BB, 9K sounds about right. If they lose this series to the Rockies, I can’t even begin to imagine the vitriol waiting for this team when they return to Shea.
  2. joe May 22, 2008 at 11:14 pm
    If the Mets win less than two in the Rocky Mountains, Willie Randolph better update his resume.
  3. isuzudude May 23, 2008 at 6:12 am
    I’d just like to take this time to remind everyone that at this very time last year, the Phillies had the same exact 22-23 record as the Mets, were mired in 3rd place in the NL East, 6.5 games back of 1st place. And how did the 2007 season turn out for them?

    I guess my point is that their fans were probably feeling just as low and just as frustrated as we are right now, yet somehow their team managed to bounce back without firing anybody or without making any major moves. I’m certainly not saying the same scenario is bound to happen to the Mets, but I’m just throwing it out there that other teams have hit rock bottom in the past and rebounded very nicely to save their seasons without making any hasty decisions that might negatively effect the future of the franchise.

    The Mets definitely leave Atlanta with their tails between their legs licking their wounds, but this story has been told to us before. Is it anything new that the Mets can’t win in Atlanta? No one can. They’re 20-5 at home for god sake. Yes, the Mets made plenty of mistakes during the past 4 games, but the Braves had to capitolize on those mistakes to make to the Mets pay. Can you think of any mistakes the Braves made in this entire series? I can’t. It seems like their starters were dominant, their bullpen was brilliant, their hitters were clutch, and their defense was flawless. They played perfect baseball. There’s no other way for me to describe it.

    No matter how much the media and critics want to write off the season, IT AIN’T OVER TIL IT’S OVER. You would think the fanbase that is associated with the Miracle Mets of ’69 and Game 6 of 1986 would have bought into that philosophy by now. Time have been bleaker than this, and the Mets have still managed to emerge winners. I, for one, am not giving up yet.

  4. sincekindergarten May 23, 2008 at 9:49 am
    ID, you are center-of-mass, dead-on. I’m with you. Though, no one mentions those things. Especially when talking about Willie. The Mets hit the ball hard last night–the problem was, with a few notable exceptions, it was always right at one of the Braves’ fielders.

    As for media writing off this season, the AJC, as mentioned on MetsBlog, is doing exactly that. The Braves’ clock will strike midnight soon. And when it does . . .