Mets 6 Braves 1
With only 152 games to play, the Mets are really putting the pressure on the NL-leading Nationals, this time plowing over the third-place Braves to remain a mere half-game out of first place.
Mets Game Notes
Dillon Gee gave the Mets seven strong innings, allowing only one run and working his way out of a few minor difficulties with aplomb. Not much more you can ask from a #5 starter. Was Mike Pelfrey taking notes? If not, he should have been.
Gee threw many more curves than we’re used to seeing, with somewhat mixed results. Several hung and were hit hard, but luckily, right at people. Still, I liked seeing the breaking ball used frequently, as it “sped up” his fastball, keeping the Braves batters off balance. I also liked Gee’s tempo — he worked quickly and with purpose, especially after getting a lead.
Gee had a weird thing going on every once in a while where he’d get under the ball on his fastball and it would fly up and away to a lefty hitter. He did it only a handful of times but it was enough that it gave me pause. Then I noticed that he had a similarly low arm angle on his curveball. Now I’m wondering if he changes his arm angles significantly enough that opposing batters can notice and get an idea of what’s on the way — i.e., “telegraphing” his pitches. Further, is that low elbow going to cause an arm injury? It may be a minor issue but something to keep an eye on nonetheless.
Nice to see Gee helping himself with two perfect sac bunts. He’s the kind of pitcher who has to do everything other than pitching well, and he does. He’s not just a pitcher, but a ballplayer.
I know I’ve referenced this before, but I have no idea how Tommy Hanson has gone this far without some kind of an arm injury. His arm motion is violent and ALL of the brunt of deceleration is on his arm — why no one ever showed him how to use the larger muscles of his body as “brakes” to slow down his arm is mind-boggling and a travesty. Though, maybe there is something he is doing to take off the pressure that I’m missing; I haven’t looked at him in super slo-mo video yet.
Ruben Tejada keeps driving the ball with authority and hitting doubles — he leads the league in two-baggers. Does he know he’s not supposed to be doing that?
David Wright has been on base twice in a game for seven straight games. FWIW, no Met has ever done that over that many games at the start of a season. An impressive stat, but how do they come up with this stuff?
In the “barely noticeable” department, Brian McCann did a fabulous job of stopping very sharp, hard-breaking curves in the dirt from Hanson, particularly with runners on third base. Not an easy thing to do. But, he did get eaten alive on a nasty slider in the dirt in the 7th that allowed Josh Thole to score from third for the Mets’ fifth run.
While on the subject of Hanson’s curves, he hung one — the fourth one in a row to Ike Davis, and Davis demolished it into the right field seats to give the Mets a lead they’d never lose. In general, Ike still doesn’t look great at the plate, but he’s certainly doing a fabulous job of making pitchers pay for mistakes.
Bay also made a spectacular leaping catch over the wall to rob Jack Wilson of his first hit and first homerun of the season. Remember what I said yesterday about Pete Orr? Wilson is another one of those 70s style middle infielders, though at least he has one tool — defense. I’d liken him to Mark Belanger.
Speaking of the 70s, once again I have to say that every game thus far makes me feel like I’m in a time machine. I’m not sure if it’s the Mets or the NL in general, but to me it feels like a three-run (or more) lead is insurmountable. And I mean that no matter how early in the game that lead is extended. We’re seeing good pitching an powerless singles hitting on both sides — lots of station-to-station “rallies” with extra-base hits an exciting rarity. Maybe it’s a function of being early in the season and pitchers being ahead of hitters, or maybe it’s a sign of what’s to come. In any case, it’s a far cry from the Nintendo baseball bombs-away days of the PEDs era, and warmly welcomed by this fan. Suddenly, the “little things” have significance once again.
Next Mets Game
About the Author
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.