Mets Game 159: Loss to Braves

Braves 6 Mets 2

On the bright side, the Mets won’t have to play the Braves again in 2012, and will never again have to face Chipper Jones.

Mets Game Notes

Yet another game I wasn’t able to watch due to the WPIX / Cablevision disagreement. Oh, and I couldn’t watch it on MLB.com, either, because it was blacked out. Yeah, that makes sense. No, sorry, Joe, this game is blacked out because even though your cable company is not carrying the game, and no other cable carrier is available in your town, well, you should have the sense to move to a town that is served by Time-Warner. At least, I guess that’s the logic behind MLB’s blackout rules. Whatever. It’s not like I missed anything, and it’s not as though MLB cares, over the long run, whether or not I keep watching their rapidly declining product.

I did wait several hours after the game to watch it on MLB.tv’s “archives” and zipped through a few innings just to get a sense of what happened. From the little I saw, Jenrry Mejia still has horrendous mechanics and no command of any of his pitches — not that I expected anything to change in five days. I did note that on occasion he can throw a 95+ MPH fastball over the middle of the plate, so there’s that.

One thing established in my mind from this series: Andrelton Simmons is a very nice all-around shortstop, and reminds me a little bit of Rafael Furcal. I’m not sure he’ll be an All-Star, but he might if he continues to develop his offense, because he has serious defensive skills. As a comparison, Ruben Tejada is at a similar age and — right now — a notch below Simmons in all areas of the game. It will be interesting to watch both players develop over the next few years, to see if that gap between them remains, is narrowed, or widened. It’s kind of, sort of similar to when David Wright and Ryan Zimmerman broke into the league (though David beat him to the bigs by two years), and we’ve had the pleasure of seeing them mature into their respective club’s “face of the franchise.” I doubt either Tejada or Simmons will reach that level, but it’s neat that they’re in the same division, at the same age, and playing the same position.

For the second straight game, the Mets managed only five hits. At least they scored this time, though.

One of those five was single by Andres Torres, who is making a serious run to finish above .230; he’s seven for his last seventeen.

I will miss watching Chipper Jones. There, I said it. Sue me.

The Braves have now won 90 or more games 15 times in the last 22 years. Over the same period, the Mets have won 90 or more three times. The Mets have lost 90 or more over the same period, six times. But hey, who’s counting? So much for the perceived unfair discrepancy between big-market and small-market clubs.

With three games left and only 86 losses, there is no possibility that there will be a seventh time. So, there’s that.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Marlins open the last series of the season on Monday night at 7:10 p.m. Jeurys Familia faces Josh Johnson.

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. Tommy2cat October 1, 2012 at 6:16 am
    Enjoyed the Tejada/Simmons comparison. Simmons plays the game just a notch quicker than Ruben, which is a distinguishing upside. Simmons has incredible closing speed.

    However, Ruben has settled in to become an extremely reliable ballplayer at a very young age. His all-around game is bit more polished than Simmons, which is to be expected given his lengthier tenure.

    Why can’t the Mets cancel their contract with WPIX 11 citing a breach? Their appears to be sufficient privity. They should pull the plug on WPIX and air all games on SNY or – what the heck – put it on UHF for those who can’t afford cable…right after Luce Libre Wresting.

    Have a nice day.

    • Joe Janish October 1, 2012 at 9:39 am
      Agreed on Ruben’s all-around polish; he made a great leap from last year, when he looked much more raw.

      However, we now must wonder if he’s reached his ceiling. I think he will develop a bit more power as he matures — maybe similarly to how Orlando Cabrera developed a little pop in his mid-20s. But his OBP took a nosedive in the last two months of the season – is that really from being tired? And if so, why is he tired? He’s played in barely over 100 games, after all. I’m also not sure how much better he’ll get defensively. He’ll be solid and reliable, and that’s fine.

      Simmons may turn in Furcal, or he could become another Yunel Escobar – wildly inconsistent. Or he may fall flat on his face and fade away once pitchers figure him out. We’ll see.

      As for WPIX, I guess it doesn’t matter now, with the season over and the final three games on SNY. Further, why would the Mets care? They received their money from WPIX, and that’s all that matters.

  2. DaveSchneck October 1, 2012 at 9:02 am
    Joe,
    Nice phrasing “a notch below _____ in all categories”. Really sums up the Mets overall.
    • Joe Janish October 1, 2012 at 9:59 am
      Ha! Sad but true.
  3. Steve S. October 1, 2012 at 9:30 am
    DIdn’t think Mejia was that bad. He showed a good change up and his command improved later in the game a bit. Start him at AAA next year and see what develops.
    • Joe Janish October 1, 2012 at 9:58 am
      All of Mejia’s pitches “show” well once or twice. That’s the problem (much like Acosta) – he looks like he has impressive stuff, but he can’t repeat it consistently.

      For me the change-up was so-so; velocity difference was only about 5-6 MPH, which isn’t enough — only Stephen Strasburg can get away with a 90 MPH changeup. And only 6 of the 11 he threw were strikes.

      I’m not so sure AAA is the best place for Mejia, considering it will be Las Vegas in the hitter-friendly PCL. It may make more sense for him to pitch in AA. Hopefully what we see develop won’t be another arm injury, which seems likely considering his mechanical flaws.

  4. Steven October 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm
    Joe. I would like your take on the Mets pitching staff for 2013, considering that they are unlikely to sign any new faces as free agents. Should they sign Young, try to retain Pelfrey, trade Niese
    • Joe Janish October 1, 2012 at 2:04 pm
      Steven, as it stands now it looks like the Mets will have the third- or fourth-best pitching staff in the NL East. I think they will sign a few free agent pitchers — at least one starter and a few relievers, including AAAA types to shuffle between Las Vegas and the big club. Pelfrey is worth retaining on a minor-league, incentive-laden deal, but he may get a better offer elsewhere. I don’t see how Young will be affordable for their expected budget.

      That’s it in a nutshell. I’ll be writing on this topic much more during the coming weeks. Thank you for asking.

  5. chris October 1, 2012 at 3:13 pm
    according to the 2010 census Atlanta is the 9th largest city, growing at a 24% clip. Doesnt seem too small market to me.

    That said, I dont miss seeing Chipper gone. Go METS

    • Joe Janish October 1, 2012 at 11:39 pm
      Not being a smart aleck, but 22 years ago, Atlanta was 36th among US cities in residential population (16th metro area), and 48th as recently as 2000 (11th metro area). So, the city’s status as a larger market is fairly recent. Ironically, their greatest, most consistent success came before they entered the realm of big-market. Go figure.
  6. Metsphan October 2, 2012 at 12:14 am
    If your IP address were to be blocked then MLB.tv wouldn’t know what market you were in….
  7. Joe October 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm
    I was in “block 11″ land so I also couldn’t watch this game. There was always the Jets game. Ha ha.