Mets Game 46: Loss to Braves

Braves 2 Mets 1

Mets pitcher Tom Glavine pitched just well enough to lose to the Atlanta BravesTom Glavine pitched a good game, but it wasn’t good enough to beat John Smoltz.

Smoltz had his typical unbelievable performance against the Mets, and received a boatload of magnificent support from his defense.

The Mets’ best chance to score against Smoltz came in the top of the third, when they loaded the bases with two out for David Wright. Wright made a check swing with two strikes that the first base umpire ruled was a swing to end the threat. Replays from every angle showed that Wright had checked the swing, and that the pitch was outside and low, but unfortunately the replays mean nothing. Their only other threat came the very next inning, again with two outs, when Paul LoDuca was standing on third and Ruben Gotay at bat. Gotay slashed a wicked grounder that appeared to be destined for right field, but Kelly Johnson made a fantastic diving play to stop the ball and throw Gotay out at first to end the inning.

Oh, and then there was the ninth, when the Mets got the first two runners on, moved them to second and third on a Gotay sacrifice, but only managed one lousy run on a putrid check swing grounder by pinch-hitter Julio Franco. Jose Reyes followed with a just-as-putrid infield popup to end any possibility of a tie, stranding pinch-runner Carlos Gomez at third base.

Meantime, Glavine gave up two runs — one on a sac fly in the first and the other on a solo homer by Matt Diaz leading off the second. He finished up completing six innings, allowing five hits, two walks, and two runs, striking out two, on 110 pitches. Any other night, that output probably results in a win.

Notes

Glavine is now 3-10 career against the Braves.

Aaron Heilman retired the Braves 1-2-3 on five pitches in the eighth.

John Smoltz, behind his slippery slider, won his 200th freakin’ game.

Carlos Beltran was 2-for-3 with a walk. Yippee!

Ruben Gotay must have bumped into Willie Randolph on his way into the clubhouse and introduced himself, because Randolph started him at second base. Gotay played flawlessly in the field, dropped the key bunt in the ninth, stroked a line drive base hit in the seventh, and should have had a second hit and RBI in the fourth but was robbed by Johnson. For someone who should have been rusty, he swung the bat a-ight.

Next Game

The Mets continue south to play the Marlins on Friday night. Jason Vargas is listed as starting against Sergio Mitre, but word is that Orlando Hernandez is ready to come back and take his turn instead. Game time is 7:05 PM.

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 25, 2007 at 4:33 am
    As much as I hate the fact that the 2B ump called Matt Diaz safe on the pickoff, when the replay clearly showed that Reyes had him by about five-six inches, the Mets stranded . . . how many runners, again? Nine LOB? It’s a factor of not getting the runs home. The second Glavine v. Smoltz game, the Mets scored five runs on Smoltz in the sixth, and the bullpen blew it. How many did they strand then?

    I’d yank hair out of my head, but that’s a reason I keep it as short as I do. As someone on MetsBlog said, hopefully the rest of the division will beat up on the Braves to the point that when the Mets do play them again, we’ll have both a comfortable lead and Pedro back.

  2. joe May 25, 2007 at 7:13 am
    Yes, the Mets left a lot of runners on, but how many times did they wait until there were two outs to get runners on? I know there was one inning where they put the first two batters on, but otherwise, it’s hard to constantly rely on a two-out hit to get the job done — especially against a guy like Smoltz.

    I don’t know that the rest of the league will beat up on the Braves …. they’re back to being an all-around sound fundamental team. The only thing holding them back are their #4 and #5 pitchers, who are as unpredictable as any.

  3. sincekindergarten May 25, 2007 at 9:44 am
    Yes, they are sound fundamentally, but after Smoltz and Hudson . . . Kyle Davies is so-so, they’re promoting someone from Richmond to start tomorrow, and Chuck James has two losses against Ollie this year. And, as long as they have Bob Wickman closing games for them, they will continue to be suspect.
  4. joe May 25, 2007 at 10:02 am
    Davies and James have been inconsistent, and look to be a year or two away from being solid MLB starters. Wickman drives me nuts — I’d hate to be a Braves fan and see him come in to close. Yet, the guy somehow, some way, gets the final out of the game just before the tying run scores. That’s why I compare him to Inspector Clouseau … Wickman, like Clouseau, seems to fumble his way into success.