Mets Game 130: Win Over Braves
Mets 6 Braves 0
Irene may have been on everyone’s minds, but it was Chris Capuano who blew away the Braves like a hurricane.
Mets Game Notes
Chris Capuano completed his first game and pitched his first shutout in five years; it was the fourth CG and third SHO of his career. Additionally, he established a career high in strikeouts with 13. Allowing only two baserunners –one single, one double — it was easily Cappy’s best performance of 2011 and the best pitched-game by a Met starter all season. To top it all off, it was the first nine-inning complete game by a Met in 2011 and the first shutout of the year as well. What else is there to say? He was spectacular.
How did he do it? Mainly by getting the Braves hitters to chase the slider and the change-up below and outside the strike zone, then mixing in just enough chest-high fastballs to completely confuse them. It seemed like the Braves were looking for the fastball and getting fooled by the slider and change early in the game, then when they started looking for the offspeed and breaking stuff, Capuano shocked them with the fastball. A masterpiece of mixing pitches.
Meanwhile, the usually difficult-to-hit Tim Hudson was very hittable; he allowed 11 hits, 3 walks, and 4 runs in 6 1/3 innings. What is it about the Mets — or is it New York? — that causes Hudson to be so ineffective? Is it intimidating to have a river and a county the same as his namesake just a few miles away? Is his mind on hitting the Shake Shack after the game? Does he suffer an upset stomach from kimchi at a pre-game Korean BBQ?
Along the same lines, Jonny Venters also seems to struggle more against the Mets than he does against the rest of the NL. And why he was inserted into a 4-0 game is anyone’s guess.
The Mets offense was ignited by Angel Pagan and Ruben Tejada at the top of the order; they combined to go 6-for-10 with two doubles and two runs scored. Lucas Duda did his job in the cleanup spot, going 3-for-4 with 2 runs and 2 RBI.
Next Mets Game
Due to some chick named Irene crashing the party in Flushing, the Mets-Braves games on Saturday and Sunday have been canceled. The next scheduled game is part one of a doubleheader against the Marlins on Monday. More news when it comes. In the meantime, stay safe, friends.
Starting pitchers: Santana, Dickey, Niese, Capuano, and a free agent (I’m hoping for C. J. Wilson).
Relievers: Parnell, Beato, Carrasco, Acosta, Byrdak, and some new arms, including a second LH.
A great infield, hitting-wise: Davis, Murphy, Reyes, and Wright.
An OF of Duda, Pagan (for one more year, if he doesn’t put a good season together), and, sigh, Bay.
C: Thole and Paulino will do for now.
Bench: Evans, Hairston, Turner, and a LH infielder/PH.
But don’t get me wrong, I’m not all negative. I’m excited to see if Duda can keep improving, and I love Justin Turner and Nick Evans. I’d like to see Beato move into a starting role, though that might mean he’ll be in the minors for a few months. I also think Parnell could evolve if he grows a mean streak. And if Dickey sticks around, well, how is it possible not to like him? An awesome guy AND he throws the knuckleball. Finally, I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Reese Havens can stay healthy so we can see him climb the ladder.
Either way Steve is way too optimistic about league average players. He’s super excited about a bad bullpen and an okay bench but not excited about Pagan, who has no obvious replacement and is one of the top CFers right now in baseball considering the lack of quality at the position (and way better than the FA options). Is this really how Mets fans think?
I don’t think the Mets are that far away from contending, given a healthy Davis, Reyes, Murphy, and Wright, and Duda playing for a full year. Add some pitching, that’s all.
As to Pagan, he is having a bad year, but long term, he wasn’t “mediocre.” He was an average third/fourth OF with moments of greatness. I’m pretty sure he’s replaceable. But, a marginal improvement there isn’t going to improve the team that much.
Speaking of Pagan, I agree that he’s worth another year’s look. His batting is coming around, although his fielding, especially his throwing has been down this year. This is evident in the fielding stats and also to anyone who watches Mets games.
Net, I don’t think Murphy helps the team at 2nd Base and I’m worried about him again being hurt there. I don’t think Murphy can be in the OF either. There’s one slot there, and it is Duda that fits the best. Now, who knows if Ike will be back? But, if he is, I think it could be best to trade Murphy, who has value, instead of forcing him into a role he isn’t suitable for over someone else or even just to have him on the bench.
There’s also a good chance (although I hope not) that the Giants or some other team will give Reyes a monster contract, and Tejada will be the starter at SS.
The Mets are in a lousy place now but games like yesterday still are fun. We can complain and be cynical, often quite rightly, but a game that has no effect on the standings or really changes much at all is fun. And, I’m going to pretend they won the series. 🙂