Mets Game 91: Loss to Braves

Braves 7 Mets 1

So much for the split.

Things were looking bad right away, when starting pitcher Fernando Nieve left the game in the second inning with a pulled muscle in his leg trying to beat out an infield grounder — and was replaced by everyone’s favorite “long man” Tim Redding. Redding immediately served up a solo homer to Yunel Escobar to give the Braves a 1-0 lead, foreshadowing more dismal events to come.

Somehow, Redding worked through the rest of the second without allowing a run, and things were looking up for almost 15 minutes, because the Mets fought back to tie the game in the top of the third and Redding shut out the Braves in the bottom of the same. But Escobar beat Redding again in the fourth, this time with a broken-bat single to drive in the go-ahead run. Then in the fifth, the roof caved in as the Tomahawkers trounced Redding and Elmer Dessnes for another five runs to put the game away for good.


Not much good came from this game. It’s hard to fault Nieve for running hard and trying to beat out a hit — pitcher or no pitcher, I like to see the game played right. And with this team it’s a pleasure to see someone giving 100%. Unfortunately that “stunt” will likely put him on the DL — he was diagnosed with a strained quad and no word yet on how severe is the injury. What makes it worse is it provides an example of why someone (particularly a pitcher) shouldn’t go all out. But I don’t buy that — had he not run hard through the bag, maybe he would’ve turned his ankle hitting the bag, or been wonked on the head by a wild throw. Injuries happen — usually for no reason other than bad timing or dumb luck.

Luis Castillo went 2-for-3, the only Met with more than one hit. The Mets mustered six hits all afternoon, and David Wright drew the team’s lone walk.

Brian Stokes threw a scoreless inning of mopup relief, as did Bobby Parnell — though Parnell walked two batters in his 21-pitch stint. Redding, Dessens, and Pat Misch continue to prove the other 29 teams right for having no interest in their services. Where’s Nelson Figueroa?

In the three hole, Daniel Murphy went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and is now hitting .238 with a .307 OBP. He’s 3 for his last 22 with 6 Ks.

Brian Schneider had one of the Mets’ three hits in his second start in the past week. I believe he and Fernando Tatis are the only Mets to go over the wall this month.

Yunel Escobar went 3-for-4 with 4 RBI and a run scored.

The Phillies beat the Fish 5-0 behind the arm of undefeated JA Happ, sending the Mets 9 games back. The Phillies are now 13 games above .500; the Mets are 5 below. But hey, there’s still a lot of season left, and the Mets have the benefit of playing the Nationals over the next three days.

Next Mets Game

The Mets embark to Washington DC to play the Nationals in a three-game series that begins Monday night at 7:05 PM. Livan Hernandez pitches for his job against J.D. Martin (not to be confused with J.C. Martin). Martin is filling in for Scott Olsen, who is being placed on the DL with an elbow injury.

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. David W. July 20, 2009 at 8:37 am
    I’m going to the game tonight–first Mets game of the season. Its like buying tickets to watch the Titanic leave port.

    Even worse I caught my 8 year old surfing the web the other day. He was looking at — gasp — highlights of the Yankees game. If only he’d been looking at porn.

  2. isuzudude July 20, 2009 at 9:20 am
    Funny stuff, David. Even for an 8 year old, I agree – it’s much dirtier watching the Yankees than porn.

    “I believe Brian Schneider and Fernando Tatis are the only Mets to go over the wall this month.” And the ironic thing about that, Joe, is that they both came in the same inning of the same game. What gives with this team?

    Other random thoughts:
    – If Nieve is put on the DL and Redding is picked over Niese to get his starts, I’m done for the year. I refuse to follow any team that’ll make a decision that dumb.
    – I’m glad he’s been given the chance, but we are quicly learning that Dan Murphy is not going to be the longterm 1B solution.
    – Angel Berroa is a bum. I don’t know if he could hit a ball if it was sitting on a tee. He’s pointless enough now, but if he sticks around even after a Julio Lugo addition, he might as well dress in street clothes to the game because his arse ain’t ever getting off the bench.
    – If the Nationals win this upcoming series, can we call it a season yet?

  3. hdarvick July 20, 2009 at 9:28 am
    “Where’s Nelson Figueroa?”

    On Saturday night, Nelson Figueroa won his sixth straight winning decision for the last place Buffalo Bisons (the worst team in Triple A), a complete game shutout, 2-0. The righty gave up just seven hits, walked none, struck out five, lowering his team-leading ERA to 2.32, 2nd best ERA in the International League! Figueroa has allowed more than two runs in just two of his 15 starts, and only three runs once. He has averaged an unbelievable 7.1 innings per start! His WHIP is 1.04, also 2nd best in the International League. If Manuel had brought in Figgy for long relief in the 2nd inning last night, he would have pitched through the eighth inning, handed the ball to Frankie Rodriguez for the 1-0 save in the 9th. Figueroa has averaged 113 pitches per game since June 2nd, the beginning of his 6-0 streak. Put Nieve on the DL (or back to Buffalo) and send down Redding. It’s better for Minaya to eat Redding’s $2 million contract now cause the feeling in his stomach come October will be much worse if he doesn’t. You can bring back Niese, too. It ain’t over till it’s over!

  4. Stephen Greene July 20, 2009 at 1:04 pm
    Manuel said he started Eric Bruntlett at first base in place of Ryan Howard simply to give his cleanup hitter a break.

    Howard took part in the Home Run Derby in his hometown of St. Louis last Monday, then played in Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

    “We don’t have a day off until” Aug. 3, Manuel said. “He was in the Home Run Derby and he had a lot of his family there and everything, and he’s been kind of on the go, and I felt like [yesterday] was a good day to give him a break.”

    Manuel also may have taken into account that Howard is 1 for 12 in his career against Marlins lefthander Andrew Miller.

    Mets got the wrong Manuel. Has Jerry ever done
    what Manuel did for Howard? Even down the stretch last year? Good to see a thinking manger
    even if he is not the Met manger! Philles have better players and manger. Only hope for Mets is the wild card!

  5. Baby Jesus July 20, 2009 at 1:48 pm
    Give me back my manger.