Mets Game 142: Loss to Braves

Braves 6 Mets 5

The final score states that this was a one-run game, but it didn’t feel that way.

Mets Game Notes

This was Chris Schwinden‘s MLB debut and also his last start of 2011 due to a predetermined and asinine innings limit. Why is it asinine? Because all innings limits are asinine, because a 4-pitch inning counts equally to a 24-pitch inning, and a pitcher with terrible and harmful mechanics is limited equally to a pitcher with safe and efficient mechanics. But I digress…

Unfortunately, it was an inauspicious initial game for Schwinden, who allowed five runs on eight hits and a walk in five innings and exactly 100 pitches (64 strikes). He seems to have ordinary stuff — a below-average fastball, decent but inconsistent curve, and so-so changeup. I imagine he is the kind of pitcher who needs to be razor-sharp and have at least one of this secondary pitches working well in order to get through a MLB lineup more than once.

After Atlanta jumped out to a 3-0 lead in their first at-bat, the Mets responded with a four-run first thanks to a grand slam by Jason Bay to go ahead by one. However, that didn’t last long — the Braves came back with two more runs in the top of the third to take a lead they never relinquished.

In addition to Bay’s bomb, the only other score by the Mets came on a sac fly by Nick Evans. Bay, Lucas Duda, and Justin Turner had two hits apiece to pace the Mets attack. Meanwhile, Freddie Freeman and Martin Prado combined to go 6-for-10 with 3 runs and 3 RBI. Prado saw an astonishing 31 pitches in his 5 plate appearances — he did that without drawing a walk.

In the first inning, Dan Uggla scored on a double off the wall by Freddie Freeman. Uggla should have been thrown out by several feet, but Angel Pagan missed the cutoff man (again), and Ronny Paulino dropped the throw in from Justin Turner. Paulino had the plate completely and properly blocked, but he did not have the baseball — that’s a case where the umpire could have called interference on the catcher, but never would. And because an umpire would never make that call, catchers continue to block the plate without the ball, sometimes resulting in major injuries such as the one suffered by Buster Posey. By the way, do missed cutoffs get counted in UZR or other advanced defensive metrics?

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.