Mets Game 47: Win Over Braves
Mets 4 Braves 2
For a moment there, it appeared as though the Mets were going to lose another one due to lack of offense. Somehow, though, they pulled it out — thanks to, of all people, Ike Davis.
Mets Game Notes
Shaun Marcum deserved better. Marcum hurled 7 ugly yet masterful innings, throwing all sorts of slop at the Atlanta hitters, living on the razor edges of the strike zone and changing speed and/or movement on every pitch. Stuff-wise, he has absolutely nothing, but competes — he could be described as a righthanded Jamie Moyer. Unfortunately, he pitches for the Mets, which has a lineup that personifies futility.
Instead, the win goes to LaTroy Hawkins, who threw 9 pitches in a perfect eighth inning. Nothing against Hawkins, but something isn’t right about that.
Ike Davis finally struck a base hit, and I’m not talking about the gift from the hometown official scorer in the fourth. His two-run single in the 8th put the Mets ahead, and it was the biggest hit he’s had in at least a month. Never mind that it’s another ground out if Dan Uggla is not playing at double-play depth. Never mind that it came off of minor league journeyman submariner Cory Gearrin. It was a two-run single, and that’s all that matters. Hopefully it will give Ike the confidence boost he needs to resemble a Major League player going forward.
Outside of Ike, the Mets’ biggest offensive highlight was Lucas Duda, who went 3-for-4 with a homerun.
Daniel Murphy walked in the third, then was picked off. He was actually picked off twice, but the umpire called him safe the first time. Julio Teheran may have been using a pickoff maneuver that is a balk, but none of the umpires were calling it a balk. That said, the baserunner has to adjust, and be more careful about his lead — it’s similar to adjusting to a strike zone that may be broader than normal. In other words, a player can’t play umpire, or expect that the men in blue will suddenly change their mind about what they interpret. Murphy didn’t adjust, and was picked off. For all the great hitting he does when he’s on a hot streak, how much of it is nullified by his dopey baserunning?
In the seventh inning, Justin Upton reached base with a leadoff infield single. Was it really a single, though? Maybe it could have been called an error, considering that Ruben Tejada did his usual sit-back-and-wait for the grounder to reach him routine. There was no urgency whatsoever on the play — Tejada played it like he was taking grounders during pregame infield. Later in the inning, Dan Uggla hit a homerun, driving in himself and Upton, to put the Braves ahead. It absolutely boggles my mind to a) see a MLB shortstop not charging the ball and b) see that shortstop continue to play when taking such a poor approach. Is anyone on the Mets coaching staff going to correct him? Is Terry Collins ever going to bench him? Will the Mets send him down to the minors to work on his defensive skills? Tejada is on the big-league team for his glove. If the glove isn’t stellar, he’s not contributing.
Jason Heyward is in a serious funk. I wonder if the Braves are considering sending him down to the minors to get back in the swing of things? They do have Evan Gattis to play a corner outfield position.
Crazy that Heyward, Dan Uggla, and B.J. Upton are under .200, key relievers Eric O’Flaherty and Jonny Venters are out, backup relievers Luis Ayala and Jordan Walden are out, key starter Brandon Beachy is out, Brian McCann was out for the first month, Chipper Jones retired, Fredi Gonzalez is the (mis)manager, and the Braves are still in first place and 11 games over .500. But that’s what happens when you have talent and depth (i.e., the opposite of what the Mets have).
Shout out to the Hawthorne Axemen 11U team, which won two games in outstanding fashion on Sunday morning but then were knocked out of the tournament in the evening by former Met Dave Gallagher‘s squad. I am an assistant coach for the Axemen and have enjoyed every minute of our spring season — we are blessed with a great group of boys and wonderful parents supporting them. Gallagher’s team is stacked with ringers — one of whom threw out a batter-runner from centerfield on what appeared to be a base-hit up the middle. First time I ever saw that in a ballgame.