Mets Game 65: Loss to Braves

Braves 2 Mets 1

Suddenly, Dillon Gee is pitching like an ace. But it wasn’t quite enough.

Mets Game Notes

Gee worked quickly, threw a ton of strikes, and got quick outs. He shut out the Braves through 8, allowing just 3 hits and a walk. Was his performance a factor of the long delay, causing hitters to be more aggressive? Maybe, but he looked stellar regardless, and pitched just well enough to beat the great Tim Hudson. Almost.

Gee had to do it all himself — he drove in the Mets’ lone run with a single.

I have to wonder: what if the game had been canceled? Would the Mets have skipped Gee’s turn and still went with Zack Wheeler in Tuesday’s nightcap? Hmm …

Say what you want about Bobby Parnell waiting and ready in the bullpen. If I’m the manager, I’m sticking with Gee in the ninth. He deserved a shot to finish the game and earn a shutout, but more importantly, he was pitching spectacularly.

If only Freddie Freeman had suffered the flu or turned an ankle prior to game time, perhaps Gee would’ve earned that shutout win. Freeman was the only Braves batter who handled Gee all night — he was 3-for-4 and looks locked in.

In his first start at 1B in 2013, Lucas Duda looked like a brand-new player. He went 4-for-4 with an aggressive yet controlled approach, and did well on defense. More than anything else was an apparent change in facial expression and body language — he was clearly comfortable and full of joy. If playing his natural position is what made this drastic change, and allows him to hit the way everyone has been hoping, then Ike Davis‘ ticket to Las Vegas could be of the one-way variety.

Sorry to not post more in-depth notes, but this was too late a ballgame for me. Feel free to expound in the comments.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Braves engage in a twi-night doubleheader on Tuesday. Game one begins at 1:10 p.m. and pits Matt Harvey and Alex Wood. Game two starts at 7:10 p.m. and will feature Zack Wheeler vs. Paul Maholm.

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. Gabriel Pena June 18, 2013 at 8:15 am
    Hey Joe. Much has been talked about the Mets futility scoring runs but I haven’t heard any rumors of firing the hitting coach. So I have to ask, shouldn’t the hitting coach held accountable for the team’s weak offense and approach?

    Who’s responsible for the defense? The manager? The bench coach? I get a sense the Mets not only need better players, but better coaches as well.

    Your thoughts.

    • Walnutz15 June 18, 2013 at 10:03 am
      They should all go, but won’t. This is all about the payroll – and the Mets not looking to tack on additional coaching salaries in 2013.

      Otherwise, Collins is definitely terrible — and all too willing to permit his team to play down to the dregs of the league, year after year.

      – This year’s record vs. the Marlins is comically bad.
      – In addition to having been a couple of outs away from being swept at home by the Cubs, throwing balls all over the infield (however, thanks for the gift Mr. Marmol!!)

      Then again, this shouldn’t be surprising to anyone — considering we regularly reflect back to their record since last July:

      56-92 — a mere 36 games under-.500. Maybe the “goal” is to let him reach 40 games under, and hold a pre-game ceremony?

      Hudgens has failed every major “project” he’s been assigned. Just look at how long Wright was going badly a few seasons ago, before someone finally took him aside — away from that “tutorial”.

      Ditto, Tejada’s regression — Duda’s lack of aggression at the plate, Ike Davis’ hack-attack implementation, and Jason Bay’s repeated floundering.

      Think it’s clear that he sucks as a hitting instructor, as well.

      Harvey and Wheeler — just about the only 2 names I’ll care to pay attention to, going forward.

    • Joe Janish June 18, 2013 at 11:48 am
      Gabriel, thanks for commenting.

      Hudgens won’t be fired, as the front office is enamored with him and believe that his system of taking pitches is the way to go. They seem hell-bent on forcing square pegs into round holes when it comes to defense, so my guess is they believe any hitter can dramatically change his approach as well. In other words, the front office likely feels that if a player isn’t doing well in Hudgens’ system, it’s the player’s fault. It reminds me of the White Sox’ fascination with Walt Hriniak in the 1980s.

      As for defense, again, many square pegs in round holes, so you can’t place too much blame on the manager / coaching staff. Murphy is not a MLB second baseman, Duda not an outfielder. Those two players alone create havoc on defense and add stress to everyone else. Combine that with the fact that every other position player on the roster other than David Wright is average or below average in skill set, and you have a recipe for disaster. The coaches can only do so much — much like a poker player can only play the cards he’s dealt.

  2. Walnutz15 June 18, 2013 at 8:23 am
    You’d think it would surprise me to see the final score in this morning’s boxscore, but really — I couldn’t care less. (Fell asleep in the 8th, with the Mets up 1-0…..but woke up on the couch to see the “highlights” of the Brave comeback victory. LOL)

    Good job by Dillon Gee last night – pitching well and driving in the only run on the board. Take away his and Duda’s nights, and you have 1 measley hit (Wright).

    Then again, the Braves were in “speed-it-up” mode last night – as well.

    Overall, I’m just of the belief that ya can’t let Freeman beat Gee there….and he was the only guy in the lineup handling him all night long. After a hard hit single, and the only “threat” of the night coming up — it’s academic, IMHO.

    Aside from the fact that if Parnell’s going to be “closing”, then he should be doing it in tough spots against good teams within the division. Once Freeman got announced, Collins should have made his way to the hill.

    Just my $0.02.

    Looking forward to today’s pitching matchups. That’s about all I’ll be paying attention to, throughout the summer — hoping for progress.

  3. Izzy June 18, 2013 at 8:53 am
    Funny criticisms. Day after people come here blasting away at collins for over managing. when he manages correctly, he gets blasted for not over managing. Hint to all those second guessers. Parnell is OK as a closer. Look around, he’s just mediocre. collins did the right thing.
    • Walnutz15 June 18, 2013 at 9:33 am
      Oh spare me, Izzy. Go find a Minaya statue to kneel at the feet of.

      As terrible as your commentary usually is (aren’t we all “day after people” – commenting on game results? Joe — give me a password to the site, I need to comment during the game for Izzy), Collins is an even worse in-game strategist.

      One day, he decides he’s going to “let Dillon feel good about himself” — removing him amidst 5 consecutive strikeouts and a masterful performance vs. the Yankees.

      …..and yet last night, Collins leaves him in vs. the only guy who’s handled him the entire night — to club a game-ending 2 run homer.

      You’ve got your supposed “closer” up and throwing in the pen, ready to come in at the 1st sign — and yet, he doesn’t make an appearance after the first hit’s smoked?

      Your comment would have an ounce of validity, provided I was some kind of irrational fan who looked to get on Collins for everything under the sun.

      I don’t, and just call him for the clueless dolt he is.

      Maybe that’s coming from above him, since he’s merely a “middle manager” taking orders from the front office…..however —— if that’s the case, then I’d expect Alderson to get fitted for a uniform, and head to the dugout.

      Make a move that makes sense. Especially when it comes off the heels of essentially “taking Parnell off the market” narrative, about how important he is to the bullpen.

      *shrugs* – put him into a big spot to prove that.

      Just like the week’s worth of playing time they finally gave Valdespin — coming off a month’s worth of pinch hits. You could have done that for a week straight 2 months ago, while he was actually hitting —- at the very least?

      If he doesn’t produce, then you save yourself the embarrassment caused each time the media wanted to go with a locker room story.

      But, this is the Mets — they love to drag their feet, and when they do make a move…….it’s 2 weeks behind what everyone else is thinking.

  4. Dan B June 18, 2013 at 8:56 am
    Gee lost this game when he didn’t drive in the second run with two outs in the ninth. Met pitchers better learn to hit better. Seriously, how could you not feel bad for Gee. Personally I am glad he was left in. Today being a doubleheader only supports that decision.
    • Walnutz15 June 18, 2013 at 9:43 am
      I can certainly see the point about the doubleheader. However, as “closer” — they’ve been ridiculously careful about the situations Parnell’s been put into this year.

      Has it been:

      – because they’re handling him with white gloves?
      – because they don’t really believe in him when it comes to crucial spots?
      – because they want his numbers to be the best they can be, in an attempt to move him somewhere? (according to reports yesterday, we can cross that off)

      My thing is: Does anyone truly believe that Parnell will be in 2 potential save situations today?

      And that’s where I’d be looking to capitalize on the 2 measley outs Parnell’d be looking to get last night. Especially with Freeman coming up.

      However, knowing Collins — he probably would have wasted Rice for an out, since it’s a lefty-lefty matchup —— then called for Parnell, burning an additional 2 pitchers in the process.

      So, I guess we should be grateful for that much.

    • Joe June 18, 2013 at 12:59 pm
      Parnell would have to go .2 an inning in a game where the Mets had a good shot at winning. Who’s to say when that will happen again? The bullpen was already saved and they are getting Atchinson back. Keeping him in was a heart move after the guy got on and risky.
  5. Paul Festa June 18, 2013 at 11:04 am
    It probably wasn’t encouraging for Zack Wheeler to see a Mets starting pitcher throw 8.1 innings, give up 2 runs, (and have the only RBI of the game) and lose.

    That’s been the story lately – the starting rotation is pitching well, but the run support is missing.

  6. DaveSchneck June 18, 2013 at 11:50 am
    Getting soft in your old age? I expected at least another two paragraphs on Freeman vs. Gee or Parnell. Me, being much more dedicated, fell asleep at opening pitch and woke up to the commotion of Freeman stepping on home plate. Oh well, Marmol giveth, Freeman taketh away. I don’t think the point about Duda at 1B can be underestimated. This is only a one game sample, but in the bigger picture, Ike is far from a certainty to get “fixed” any time soon. He is hitting a weak .192 and 0 HR in Vegas. Even if he gets “hot”, I don’t think rushing him back to Flushing is wise. The Mets are going to need to pick from between Ike and Duda for 1B this offseason, and I think Ike is in a distant second. Throw in the wildcard possibility of Flores, and Ike’s future is less certain. Lastly, the Mets absolutely have to get a clean-up bat before opening day 2014. If acquiring a 1B to fill that role is the best available option, then Ike and Duda may be goners. Duda is no OF, not even a LF, so playing him at 1B has the added benefit of increasing his potential trade value. I know it took an extra week but I hope they now have this right and keep him there.
  7. murph June 18, 2013 at 12:00 pm
    Classic Mets! I feel sorry for the fans that stayed up to watch this one.
  8. Joe June 18, 2013 at 12:56 pm
    Gee was left in a batter too long. The one batter who consistently handled him and now it was like the 4th time around or so and Gee was around 100 pitches.

    As to Duda, he did look great. So, let him shine there, upping his trade value. Or, keep him, and hope someone will take a chance on Ike Davis, including “well, they are the Mets, so how can we totally be sure” grounds talent-wise.

  9. Mike B June 18, 2013 at 1:17 pm
    I cant believe all the people that wanted Gee out in that spot. If pitching 8.1 scoreless wasnt enough he also provided all the offense. I say give the kid a chance to make an out when it counts, Its not like last night crippled our chance at the wildcard, we can still win 15 in a row and be 10 back.
  10. Dan B June 18, 2013 at 7:26 pm
    Don’t forget this is still spring training. Wins and losses don’t count. I bet Gee learned more in losing yesterday then he would of if he got pulled. Save the debate for when the Mets are serious about winning.
    • Dan42 June 18, 2013 at 8:41 pm
  11. TexasGusCC June 19, 2013 at 2:53 am
    Look, I saw that game and had no problem with Gee continuing. He was looking good. He hung a slider to B. J. Upton two innings earlier and got away with it. However, Freeman didn’t let him get away with it. Coming in to Freeman in that spot was a mistake, too risky. Pitch the guy away, away, away. Especially because he has been on Gee all night. But, when your pitcher gives up two runs and loses, don’t blame him.