Mets Game 44: Loss to Braves

Braves 8 Mets 1

Atlanta Braves pitcher Kyle Davies delivers a pitch against the New York MetsKyle Davies must die.

Preferably, the death will be the result of a murder-suicide involving Kelly Johnson.

And speaking of evil deeds, the deal with the devil that Jorge Sosa made finally ran out; apparently he needed a better negotiator.

Maybe it was a matter of returning to Atlanta, and putting too much internal pressure on himself to prove his old team wrong. Or maybe the Braves batters know Sosa better than anyone. In any case, Jorge was awful, allowing 5 runs on 6 hits, 3 walks and one homerun in 4 innings. His highlight was a 1-2-3 first inning, but it was all downhill from there.

Sosa’s bad karma extended to Aaron Sele, who gave up pitcher Kyle Davies’ fifth career hit — which happened to be a 3-run homer that transformed the Braves lead from comfortable to insurmountable.

But it didn’t matter what Sosa (or Sele) did, because the Mets couldn’t hit Kyle Davies. Two days after Tyler Clippard pitched the game of his life, Davies had the greatest game in his (that includes little league, I checked).

Kyle Davies — certainly you’ve heard of him? If you’re in a fantasy league, he wouldn’t be on your team — even in a deep, NL-only league. He had a 5+ ERA coming into this game, and typically has trouble getting past the FOURTH inning (in this contest, he pitched through, ahem, the 8th). The offensive juggernauts known as the Rockies, Nationals, and Marlins have beaten the crap out of Davies — yet against the Mets he’s something akin to a young Jim Palmer. Somebody please ‘splain dis to me?

Davies didn’t look dominating; in fact, the Mets seemed to hit him pretty well. But they couldn’t put anything together with less than two outs, and were often the victims of bad calls or bad bounces.

The sixth inning was particularly painful, and a microcosm of the ballgame. Carlos Beltran led off by hitting a rocket right at Kelly Johnson. Then Carlos Delgado worked himself into what should have been a comfortable 3-1 count, but the home plate umpire screwed ‘los and called a high and outside pitch strike two to make the count 2-2 — he struck out swinging on the next pitch. To top off the inning, David Wright hit a screamer right at Edgar Renteria. In the boxscore, it looks like a simple 1-2-3 inning, and to the sabermetricians, it’s boiled down to BABIP. For those who witnessed it, it’s termed AGITA.

Notes

Paul LoDuca and Carlos Beltran combined for five of the Mets’ eight hits. Whoop-dee-doo.

Beltran went the other way for a double to left-center in the 8th — a very good sign, since we haven’t seen him going to left very much this year. Nice to see him going with the outside pitch, rather than trying to pull it.

A bright spot? There was one: Ambiorix Burgos pitched two scoreless innings of mop-up duty. He gave up one hit and struck out one on 22 pitches, with a few clocked north of 95.

Next Game

The pressure is on Oliver Perez to be the stopper once again. He faces Chuck James in another TBS-derived 7:35 PM start. The Mets banged James around for 10 hits and 6 runs in 5.1 innings the last time they faced him; let’s see more of the same.

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. sincekindergarten May 23, 2007 at 4:56 am
    Several observations . . .

    1) Carlos Delgado is killing us, right now.

    2) Carlos Beltran needs to run more. Stay out of the inning-killing DP.

    3) Sosa is known by the Braves. They also know what changes he’s made. When you throw 90% sliders, all the opposing hitters need to do is to sit on the slider. That’s exactly what the Braves did. Yeah, I’ve heard that Sosa has three different breaks on his slider, but it was obvious that the Braves knew how those breaks went.

    4) Brave-killer Ollie Perez is going tonight, and Ollie seems to rise to the occasion in big games. This game, whether you want to believe it or not, is a big game.

    5) If this series had been last week, at Shea, the momentum from the opening series of the homestand carries us to the win last night.

    6) Is it me, or does Aaron Sele seem as if his better days are behind him? When’s Dave Williams coming back?

  2. joe May 23, 2007 at 7:58 am
    1 & 2 – Delgado doing nothing in the four-hole is definitely destructive. And as long as that’s the case, I agree — Beltran needs to start stealing.

    3 – agreed.

    4- I think it’s big in that the Mets don’t want to be swept (and if they lose tonight, I doubt they’ll beat Smoltz tomorrow), and further ingrain the idea that they can’t beat the Braves. As far as standings go, I’m not terribly concerned, as the Mets will beat up on everyone else.

    5 – agreed.

    6- It’s not you, and there were around 25-28 other MLB GMs that agreed with you — that’s why the Mets were able to pick him up so cheaply and so late in the offseason. Williams, from what I understand, has at least another month. My guess is we’ll see what happens with Vargas — maybe he’ll be a long man — or they’ll continue to stretch out Burgos, as you’d mentioned last week.

  3. sincekindergarten May 23, 2007 at 8:36 am
    Joe, in reference to your response to my fourth point . . . let’s remember that when Smoltz left his last game against Glavine, Smoltz was on the hook for the loss. It was the Mets bullpen that gave up the two three-run HRS that kept Glavine from getting that win.

    Yeah, Smoltz and Glavine are best friends, but they’re also fierce competitiors. Smoltz is in line for his 200th win. Glavine, IMO, being the professional that he is, does not want it to come against him. If it comes down to Glavine gutting it out to maybe get win #296, or playing it somewhat safe and letting Smoltz get #200, he’s going to gut it out.

  4. joe May 23, 2007 at 9:54 am
    I vividly remember the last time Smoltz started against the Mets, and at the time I felt it was a rare opportunity to beat him. Believe me, I’d love to see Smoltz get knocked around again, but I’m not counting on it. And as much as I love Glavine, I’m never confident in him against the Braves — partly for the same reasons you brought up in regard to Sosa (Braves know his game plan all too well).

    Bottom line — IMHO — if both Glavine and Smoltz are on their game, I wouldn’t bet against Smoltz.

  5. sincekindergarten May 23, 2007 at 12:02 pm
    Maybe so. I think that Glavine is enough of a competitor–and has an ego to match–to not want Smoltz to get #200 against him.
  6. joe May 23, 2007 at 12:38 pm
    I hope you’re right.