Mets Game 144: Loss to Braves

Braves 13 Mets 5

The final score separated the winners from the losers by eight runs — but in reality, it wasn’t even that close.

In his first game back from a mysterious foot injury, Orlando Hernandez gave up 8 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks in just 3 innings. He appeared healthy, and reached 89 MPH with his fastball effortlessly, but had no command whatsoever. Let’s hope he’s simply rusty, and chalk it up to that.

Aaron Sele was useless in the mopup role, serving up a gopher ball to Mark Teixeira and adding two runs to El Duque’s already ugly outing. Why, again, is he on the roster?

The Mets managed five runs off Braves pitching, as Bobby Cox changed relievers like he had a one-run, rather than eight-run, lead. They scored three runs in the fourth on a sac fly by Jeff Conine and a two-run homer by the suddenly slugging Paul LoDuca. David Wright doubled in Jose Reyes in the seventh to pull the Mets within six, and Moises Alou hit a meaningless solo homer in the eighth.


There were some silver linings in this black cloud of a game. Most notably, Jose Reyes was 3-for-5 with three doubles. Alou was 2-for-4 with two runs scored. And Philip Humber pitched a perfect ninth, retiring the side on ten pitches.

Carlos Beltran made a fantastic throw from centerfield to nail Brian McCann at home in the second. Too bad it didn’t matter, as it was a great play.

Next Game

The finale of the season series against the Braves begins at 7:10 PM, with John Maine taking the mound against John Smoltz. As I mentioned in the series preview, another win is not nearly as important, to me, as seeing Maine make a move in a positive direction. His last start against the Braves was stellar — a seven-inning masterpiece — and we’d like to see more of that.

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. metbaseball September 12, 2007 at 6:22 am
    Is Maine recent slide just end-of-summer fatigue or do you think that the opposing batters have figured him out.

    The metbaseball blogger

  2. joe September 12, 2007 at 8:44 am
    Fatigue, without question. Maine’s issue is his command — he’s all over the place with his pitches and not hitting spots.

    Though, there are sabermetricians and statheads who will tell you it has something to do with luck and BABIP.

  3. Micalpalyn September 12, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    I’ve seen alot of nostalgia out there posted lately. After last night my horse was on ELDUQUE. Yes he is a magic playoff kharma, but if you google the Mets playoff 2006 as I just did, you MUST be left asking HOW did we get within a swing of the bat (vs strikeout) of the WS when first Pedro goes down, then El duque had his phantom-warming up-tore -a quad- injury, then Traxx was a 2 appearance diaster. in other 23 of the rotation goes down leaving the playoffs to Glavine-Maine and Ollie.

    This yr pedro is returning, maine and Ollie are a core of the rotation and Glavine is pitching as well as ever. BUT el duque’s arthritis, old age and phantom injuries are resurfacing. with a magic # of 13, and expanded rosters I’d put El Duque on restriction, and to keep him as as an option …..pitch him out of the pen.

    Sid Fernandez, aguiilera are all starters who went to the pen for the playoffs. El Duque was the difference maker for the CWS out of the pen just 2 yrs ago. just my opinion, but to keep him off the DL and an X-factor I see the pen as El duques most likely post season role or you mix him in if you need an ace-in -the hole as a starter. For that 5th game with the series tied 2-2. Sele is NOT that guy, nor is Sho.

    If you re-look with Mike S at the link you’ll see how many short hooks the Mets had last yr…perfect scenarios for El Duque. to come into a game in the 5th/6th innings and pitch 2-3 innings.