Mets Game 153: Win Over Braves

Mets 9 Braves 5

What a sloppy, annoying game … but in the end the Mets won so who gives a hoot?

I apologize, but have little energy for a postgame due to a really bad cold and sinus infection, which makes me cranky and ornery. Or maybe it was seeing a different pitcher for each batter in the seventh that made me ornery …

Anyway, I’ve come to the conclusion that the Mets are guaranteed to make the playoffs, which makes the inane pitching changes even more ludicrous. Here’s the thing: the Brewers are done, no question, no worries, and no concern. The next-closest wild card team is the Marlins, who at five games out probably are too far away to realistically sneak in. Further, if the Marlins beat the Phillies, then that helps propel/keep the Mets into first place. If the Phillies beat the Marlins, that pushes the Fish further away in the wild card. Either way, the Mets benefit.

The worst possible scenario is if the Fish win all of the rest of their games, AND the Phillies win all of their games after their series with the Fish, AND the Mets go 3-3 in their next six games. It’s mathematically possible, not realistic — it would mean the Marlins finish the season with an 18-game winning streak. Or something like that … the medicine is clouding my head …

Please post your comments on the game below …

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 September 20, 2008 at 7:39 am
    I actually thought this was one of the more exciting and enjoyable games of the past few weeks. You had all the elements: clutch hits, big bullpen performances, winning in Atlanta, and jumping back into first place. The constant pitching changes do make even the most healthy viewer’s head spin…but at least for this one time Jerry’s moves proved correct. Especially in the 7th, when I thought Figueroa was a gutsy call from out of the bullpen. And he certainly deserved better than what he got – a throwing error by Reyes, and then a hit-and-run single through the vacated 2B hole that scored the runner on first because of Church’s miscue. But then Rincon retired Johnson, Heilman (of all people) struck out Infante, and Felciano got Kotchman to end the inning limiting the damage to just 1 run. Also, let’s thank Bobby Cox for sticking with Tavarez in the 8th with Murphy at the plate when he had Ohman and Ridgway (both LHP) available in the pen. Murphy delivered the go-ahead RBI, and the rest is history. A nice bounce-back win from some ugly fielding mistakes.

    However, Joe, I don’t share your ecstatic optimism regarding making the playoffs. I don’t think the Mets are as much as a shoo-in as you do. At this point, even though we have first place for the moment, I see the Phils ultimately winning the division. After playing in Florida, they’ll travel home, get an off day, and then play out their schedule against the Braves and Nationals, two teams that look to be completely uninterested in playing spoiler. I can easily see the Phils going 6-2 or better, putting them at 92 wins for the year. Now, I agree that the Brewers are finished. They got crushed again last night and have absolutely no life left. However, the team that worries me is the Marlins. And what worries me the most about them is that they play the Mets for 3 games to finish out the season. If the wildcard hangs in the balance during that final series, I’m not so confident the Mets can pull it out. Florida has 2 left at home against Philly, then take to the road for a make-up game in Cincy, 3 at Washington, and 3 at Shea. If they can split the remainder of their series with Philly, I don’t see why they can’t win their next 4 against easy opponents (with as hot as they’ve been) and cruise into Shea within striking distance. They remind me a lot of last year’s Rockies team. They came out of nowhere with a young but determined team, and streaked all the way to the world series. I am not counting them out by a long shot – especially knowing they hold their fate in their own hands by finishing the year against the Mets. What complicates matters is that the Mets have to play the NL’s best team for 4 games leading up to their series with the Marlins, and don’t think the Cubs are simply going to be resting all their starters and not care about snubbing the Mets from the postseason.

    Because Florida and the Mets have no remaining days off, I’m able to project the starters for that last series of the season, and it looks to be Pelfrey vs Volstad, Niese vs Nolasco, and Johan vs Olsen. How appropriate that Johan would get the final start of the regular season with the playoffs potentially hanging in the balance. And what that also means is that if the Mets were to play a 1-game playoff, Ollie Perez would be the guy to get the start.

    One game at a time, I suppose. Keep beating the Braves and take care of your business and everything else should fall in to place. Of course, we all know while dealing with this team that nothing comes easy except indigestion and heartburn, and that’s exactly why I’m not counting the eggs before they hatch.

  2. David W. September 20, 2008 at 7:47 am
    Interesting point about Murphy in the NYT. He was prepared from early in the game to pinch hit in the 8th, guessed he’d face Tavares, knew he’d developed a reputation for taking pitches, and determined to drive an early pitch up the middle or to left center. What happens? First-pitch swinging against Tavares, drives it into the left-center gap. Wow!

    Love that we bounced back, but we shouldn’t have given up more than two runs–too damn sloppy, having heart is great, being efficient is even better.

  3. isuzudude September 20, 2008 at 10:24 am
    You know what, David. At this point, I’ll take any win. I’m perfectly content with being successful rather than flawless.
  4. murph September 20, 2008 at 11:38 am
    While watching Manuel’s Thursday night 9-inning pitching changes, my friend (who is not a Mets fan) joked:
    “eventually, Manuel is going to bring in a different pitcher for each pitch. If he pitches a strike, he stays, if he pitches a ball, JM will bring in the next pitcher”.

    Watching Friday night’s 7th inning, it looked like they were heading in that direction. 4 pitchers for 1 inning is just crazy. I know it worked, so I shouldn’t complain. Glad to see Heilman bounce back with that strikeout.

    Thanks to Dan Murphy for another great performance.
    Way to go, Murph! Even when he got picked off, he comes out unscathed.

  5. Evan Foster September 9, 2010 at 11:00 am
    i often get indigestion when i eat so much without taking foods high in fiber–,