Mets Game 152: Loss to Braves

Braves 1 Mets 0

Was it surprising to anyone that less than 24 hours after scoring 12 runs on 20 hits, the Mets couldn’t cross the plate once with R.A. Dickey on the mound?

Mets Game Notes

R.A. Dickey and Tim Hudson traded zeroes through seven frames with remarkable speed and efficiency. Then in eighth, Dickey was the one who blinked in this pitchers’ duel, allowing Chipper Jones (who else?) to drive in Jason Heyward with a single up the middle — and that was the ballgame.

The Mets actually outhit the Braves 4 to 3, but the Braves walked 6 times to the Mets’ 2.

Larry Jones and Ruben Tejada were the only batters to enjoy a multiple-hit game; both had a pair, with Larry stroking a double in addition to the aforementioned RBI single.

The Mets’ best opportunity to score came in the seventh inning, when they put two runners on base thanks in part to a curious call by the field umpire on what appeared to be a double play executed by Atlanta shortstop Alex Gonzalez; the ump said Gonzalez failed to touch second base. If he did, he missed it by millimeters. In any case, it was a break for the Mets that could not be converted into a run.

Yet another failed bunt attempt occurred in the third inning, with none out, men on first and second, and Dickey at the plate. Dickey missed on three tries, and then 75% of Jose Reyes bounced into a double play.

Craig Kimbrel’s first pitch in the ninth inning was up and in to David Wright; through the rest of the frame, Kimbrel’s command was stellar as he painted every corner of the strike zone. I really have to wonder if that initial offering was a “purpose pitch”, to get Wright thinking and fearful. The unspoken word among scouts the last two years is that Wright still isn’t over the beaning he suffered from Matt Cain, and if that’s true, it would behoove opposing pitchers to make David “move his feet” every once in a while. Though, in my mind, all pitchers should consider that as part of their strategy against all hitters. That doesn’t mean they should purposely bean guys; quite the contrary. Rather, pitchers can responsibly use the element of fear every once in a while, just to keep the batters from “digging in”. The complete removal of fear is one of the reasons for the increased batting averages and power numbers over the years, and it is also makes hitters more vulnerable to mistakes that are hurled at their body parts. If a hitter has no reason to believe he can be hit by a pitch, he won’t be prepared when the situation arises.

Next Mets Game

The rubber match begins at 1:35 PM on Sunday afternoon. Dillon Gee faces Brandon Beachy.

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.