Mets Game 120: Loss to Braves

Braves 15 Mets 2

It’s deja vu all over again … kind of.

The Mets and Braves entered the twilight zone — or perhaps the George Costanza dimension known as The Opposite. One night after the Mets blasted the Braves for eight runs in one inning, the Atlanta turned the tables and scored eight runs in one inning to pound Bobby Parnell en route to a laugher of a win.

Atlanta scored two touchdowns against the Mets before it was all over, beating up on Parnell, Nelson Figueroa, Tim Redding, and Sean Green with equal aplomb.


Speaking of aplomb, early in that nightmarish second inning, Ron Darling relayed Jerry Manuel’s description of Parnell as a young man with great poise. Talk about bad timing.

Seven of those runs were scored with two outs.

In defense of Parnell, the Braves scored four runs after Luis Castillo had a brain freeze and did not cover second base on what would’ve been an inning-ending fielder’s choice on a Garret Anderson grounder. Anderson Hernandez would have easily thrown out Omar Infante had Castillo covered, but since he didn’t, AHern double-clutched and was a hair too late to get Garret at first. But hey, who expected Garret to hustle?

Parnell threw 36 pitches in the second inning — and was sent back out to pitch the third after Jair Jurrjens quickly dispatched of the Mets with 10 pitches. He barely had enough time to sit down and get a sip of water. He threw another 23 in his final frame. Ron Darling commented that it was important to see how Parnell would respond to the adversity of the second inning. OK, I understand mental toughness, but how about the fact that most overuse injuries occur during times of fatigue? Parnell was so exhausted in the third that he walked Jurrjens on five pitches. I seem to be the only pundit concerned for this kid’s arm.

Though that brain freeze was bad, Castillo was one of the Mets’ few highlights — he went 2-for-2 with an RBI, pushing his average to .310. Dan Murphy also had two hits, including a triple.

Speaking of Murph, just prior to the first pitch of the game, SNY posted a graphic mentioning that he’d made 6 errors in 65 games at 1B. Why they would want to draw attention to that negative stat, I’m not sure. Strangely enough, Keith Hernandez blurted, “Murphy, with ONLY 6 errors at first base …”

Today’s Baseball Tip

In the second inning, Atlanta’s Omar Infante slid head-first into first base on an infield grounder. Youngsters, do not ever, ever, ever, EVER slide into first base UNLESS you are doing it to avoid a tag. As soon as you make the decision to slide, your body slows down. In addition, sliding is infinitely more dangerous than running through the bag. So there you have two good reasons to always run through first — safety and speed.

Next Mets Game

The rubber match will occur at 7:10 PM on Thursday night. Johan Santana faces Kenshin Kawakami.

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. murph August 20, 2009 at 1:59 am
    I feel for you, Joe.
    While most of us Mets fans can turn the game off after the 3rd inning to resume more productive activities, bloggers like you have to stick around to report on the carnage.
    It is a microcosm of the season: I hope your readership doesn’t wane during the meaningless games of September.
  2. isuzudude August 20, 2009 at 12:17 pm
    ^ not waning

    Parnell’s 6 shutout innings against the Giants is the worst thing he could have done. All that did was fuel the fire of believing Parnell can be a member of next year’s rotation. Because even with a horrible outing like last night’s, and even if Parnell doesn’t get out of the 4th inning in 6 more starts this season, people are going to look back at that start against SF and say, “hey, look, he did good against the Giants in that one start so obviously he can start and be good, we just have to be patient.” And I say phooey on that. Parnell is a one-pitch pitcher who can touch triple digits as a reliever but only 96-97 as a starter as he has to save his bullets. Why mess with a good thing? He is not Joba Chamberlain so stop trying to emulate the Yankees. Leave him in the bullpen and find someone more suited for starting duties.

    Ron and Keith were projecting next year’s starting rotation (not including potential trades or FA signings) as Johan, Pelfrey, Perez, Parnell, Niese. Can you say hello 60 win season? No mention of John Maine or Fernando Nieve, either? And these are supposed to be the analysts who we are supposed to gather our facts and opinions from. Yikes.

    I also concur with the not-sliding-into-firstbase tip. I’d like to see umpires automatically call players out for sliding into first base, even if they’re safe. The decision to slide is so dumb they deserve to be called out.