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.

Next Mets Game

The Mets host the Yankees on Monday night. Game time is 7:10 p.m. Pitching matchup is Jonathon Niese vs. Phil Hughes.

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. TexasGusCC May 26, 2013 at 11:23 pm
    A few other points: Baxter made his brain lock of not taking third on the overthrow to the plate worse by trying to steal third base. Collins will point out the aggressiveness of trying to get to third with only one out (probably why ESPN didn’t even bother to interview Collins during the game). Davis didn’t follow Baxter, that’s how shocking that was.

    Wright’s error belongs to Ike Davis. Instead of stretching, get off the base! He threw off balance from left field line, Davis couldn’t get it? Ridiculous. Just the same, Dan Uggla threw a ball that hit Freddie Freeman right in the middle of the glove, and Freeman dropped it.

    Otherwise, the ESPN announcers also pointed out Buck trying to throw out Upton from his knees instead of standing up.

    • Joe Janish May 26, 2013 at 11:53 pm
      I don’t know what Buck is doing with that throw-from-the-knees garbage; he’s done it a few times now, and it’s not good execution. If you’re under the age of 30 and your name is Benito Santiago, Tony Pena, or Joe Janish, OK, let ‘er rip, but otherwise, proper footwork and efficient exchange will get the ball down there faster than a weak toss from the knees.
  2. Izzy May 27, 2013 at 5:56 am
    The Mets won????? Shocking. Fire the Bravo coaching staff.
  3. Corey Gorey May 27, 2013 at 9:27 am
    “Unfortunately, he pitches for the Mets, which has a lineup that personifies futility.”

    Classic, Joe. I was actually more surprised than Marcum’s pitching line last night than Davis getting a hit with the bases loaded. But that’s just me.

    Can they legally just send the whole team to Las Vegas except for Wright and Harvey for a few weeks–and bring up the whole AAA roster–just to confuse everybody and see how it goes for two weeks?

    • Joe Janish May 27, 2013 at 11:09 am
      I think it’s legal. Hey, what do the Mets have to lose? Certainly not any more ballgames.

      Would be a fun PR stunt.

      Better yet, maybe the Mets could have “Oldtimers Week.” Instead of having former retired Mets favorites play a few innings, they’ll play an entire week of actual, scheduled ballgames. Bet they’d win at least two or three just by trying.

      • Dan42 May 27, 2013 at 8:55 pm
        Tonight’s Subway line up has our pitcher with the 3rd highest BA, but only 1 under .200. Good thing he’s only given up one run so far, with his 2 hits wasted.
  4. DaveSchneck May 27, 2013 at 9:36 am
    Hey, we’ll take a win, at least once a week. The Tejada play was very troubling, as it almost cost the Mets the game, and this has become a pattern. A RH power hitter beating out a routine weak grounder to SS? Really? We are all obsessing over Ike, but Tejada has been a big disappointment on both sides of the ball. At the same time, Omar Q has been hitting in Vegas and he has been known more for his glove than his bat. I say bring back Omar`. Heck, bring back both Omars.
    • Joe Janish May 27, 2013 at 11:10 am
      I’m not sure what they’re waiting for. Tejada’s issues are not necessarily related to poor confidence — he’s technically incorrect with his execution, and needs to learn and fix.
    • Dan B May 27, 2013 at 7:01 pm
      I was begging the Mets to trade Tejada this offseason because I thought he was at max value. He has been a 235-245 hitter most of his career. He hit well in the beginning of 2012 but reverted to his norm in the second half. Now the Mets will have to think about replacing him. But then again what starter other then Wright haven’t they considered replacing? I wouldn’t hep surprised if there were six new position players starting by opening day of 2015.
  5. Vilos May 27, 2013 at 10:26 am
    In sure that coment put a smile on Izzy
  6. TexasGusCC May 27, 2013 at 7:07 pm
    They wouldn’t get much for Tejada, IMO. Other teams see what we see.
  7. Dan B May 27, 2013 at 7:58 pm
    they would of gotten more this past offseason then they will this offseason. But then again, who would the Mets replace him with?
  8. Joe May 27, 2013 at 10:58 pm
    Marcum did what he was hired to do. The team won as light hitting teams often manage to win in such situations — late off the pen. At times, he also looks as old as Moyer.
  9. argonbunnies May 28, 2013 at 5:33 pm
    Marcum actually reminded me a bit of Rick Reed. Pinpoint control of a bunch of stuff in the low-to-mid 80s that moves in different directions and comes out of the same exact arm slot so batters can’t distinguish what’s what.

    That said, I think he got some help from the Braves hitters. Against another team, no way he gets 12 Ks… although his pitch count also probably stays lower, so maybe he doesn’t tire in the 7th.