Mets Game 137: Loss To Braves

Braves 3 Mets 1

When did a two-run deficit seem insurmountable?

Mets Game Notes

Mets starter Carlos Torres was absolutely fabulous through the first six innings, shutting out the Braves batters in remarkably efficient fashion (66 pitches in those first six frames!). The Bravos were typically aggressive, helping drive down the pitch count, but Torres was feeding them exactly what he needed to feed them — the first two times through the lineup. But as they say, the third time’s a charm, and it certainly was for Atlanta, who teed off on Torres during their third time facing him.

Unfortunately for Torres, he had no room for error, because the Mets could do nothing against Atlanta starter Kris Medlen, who looked like the Medlen that dominated in 2012. His change-up was sick, and he was getting contact-less waves at it in all counts, including 0-0.

Red-hot Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda, and Eric Young, Jr., all touched Kimbrel Medlen for extra-base hits, but only Young converted his triple into a run. As a team the Mets were 1-for-9 with RISP. Ouch.

Craig Kimbrel breezed to his 44th save of the season. It’s really unfair to hitters when Kimbrel is “on.” With a 98-MPH fastball that he spots knee-high on the corners, one of the sharpest curveballs in MLB, a nasty slider, and a decent change-up, why isn’t he starting?

Perhaps the biggest news of the game was B.J. Upton breaking the Mendoza Line for the first time of the year. For the youngins’ who have no idea what I’m talking about, Upton is finally hitting .200

I write this nearly every time the Mets play the Braves, but I’m writing it again: Evan Gattis is a beast.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Braves have a getaway day afternoon ballgame starting at 12:10 PM on Wednesday afternoon. Dillon Gee faces Kameron Loe. If that pitching matchup isn’t a gift for the Mets, I don’t know what is.

Mets Item of the Day

Another back-to-school kinda item — a sleek black sling backpack adorned with the Mets logo. It’s on sale for $25.21 (regularly $27.60) and there are only five left in stock as of this writing, so act now! If you can see the image below, click it to buy from Amazon. Otherwise, follow this link to check it out: MLB New York Mets Sling Backpack, Black

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. Izzy September 4, 2013 at 8:02 am
    So what do the Braves do with the beast? Do they let McCann walk or trade Gattis or keep playing him all over. He certainly is no left fielder…Worse than Duda but better than Todd Hunfdley!! I suspect Gattis is their # 1 catcher next year. Kudos for writing everyday with nothing but meaningless games for months on end.
    • Joe Janish September 4, 2013 at 8:00 pm
      Thanks Izzy.

      It’s a good question. If I’m the Braves, I’m keeping both McCann and Gattis, because in my mind, I can never have enough catchers who can hit with power. I’d keep them both and play them around the field, as they’re doing now, and as the Yankees did back in the day with Yogi Berra, Elston Howard, and Johnny Blanchard. Sure, you lose a lot in the field when either are not facing the pitcher, but I think over the long haul they’ll hit enough to make up for it. I wouldn’t play Gattis in the OF every day, but there has to be a way to get both of them ABs — especially considering that McCann is getting older and will need more rest to remain productive going forward.

  2. Walnutz15 September 4, 2013 at 8:15 am
    “I write this nearly every time the Mets play the Braves, but I’m writing it again: Evan Gattis is a beast.”

    May as well have a similar line, at the ready, for any time Collins lets Torres face Andrelton Simmons. Keep in mind, this was a “match-up” he wanted last time – late in a game, w/Simmons murdering a base-clearing double……off the heels of a previous HR off him at Citi.

    Simmons vs. Torres:

    3 for 7
    1 2B
    2 HR’s
    1 Walk
    6 RBI
    1.929 OPS

    Small sample is growing, and should be something Collins recognizes going forward as Manager… long as he intends to utilize Torres, anyway.

    Cruisin’, but that should have been the end of him – post-Gattis. (Not that it matters when ya score 1 run.)

    • DaveSchneck September 4, 2013 at 10:03 am
      Most of those 4 outs were hard hit balls. On the HR he hit last night, he unloaded like it was BP. Good thing, though, as Mets are now one loss closer to a protected pick next year.
      • Walnutz15 September 4, 2013 at 10:33 am
        Yeah…….would have been annoying to sit through 3 additional Collins pitching changes to get a couple of outs, afterward.
  3. Walnutz15 September 4, 2013 at 8:53 am
    Not sure if you listened to Alderson’s interview w/Francesa yesterday – Joe:

    I found it interesting that he didn’t even mention Jenrry Mejia’s name as a potential starting candidate in next year’s rotation. Think he said every possible name, from Harvey to de Grom (and even a mention of potentially picking up an “inning eater” – without a syllable about Mejia.

    Granted, health is part of the picture……but if I’m taking anything at all out of this, it’s that he probably prefers to see Mejia out of the ‘pen at some point. Can’t say I disagree, either — short of him coming back w/bionic health.

    Also “loved” hearing about this, with regard to Tejada:

    “One of the problems with Ruben Tejada is it’s like pulling teeth,” Sandy Alderson told WFAN’s Mike Francesa.

    “It’s extra batting practice, extra this, extra that, it doesn’t happen, necessarily, unless someone else is insisting on it,” he said. “We need to see a commitment to improvement. He’s going to have to earn it.”

    Maybe it’s not so crazy to think he’s a lazy kid…..which I had suggested years ago, after he “overslept” (basically, blew off) his commitment to appear at local baseball camps, 5 seconds into his Major League career.

    Think it was in 2010….and continued on through comments about reporting “later than he would haved liked to see” from Collins, etc., etc.

    Enough with these entitled wimps……get a few hungry ballplayers to throw into the mix at SS, if not a legit starting one all-together.

    • Timo September 4, 2013 at 3:04 pm
      Maybe Mejia wasn’t mentioned because he won’t be a Met next year. Sandy keeps saying we have lots of pitching depth that can be traded for position players. Maybe we flip him and others for the Angel’s SS. Next years team could look alot different if the wilponezes give Sandy some power and money to do things. Lots of money coming off the books. Let’s see if the Wilponezes spend it or invite in themselves.
    • Joe Janish September 4, 2013 at 8:06 pm
      ‘nutz, thanks for the link, as I hadn’t heard Alderson with Francesa. Interesting interview, and you make a good point re: the glaring lack of Mejia’s name.

      My guess is they either know Mejia’s arm is in worse shape than they’re making public, or as you point out, his future is in the bullpen. I don’t see him as a starter long-term. In fact, I don’t see him on a mound long-term — I see constant stints on the DL.

      As to shortstop, where do they find one? Who will be available this winter and worth getting?

      Letting Reyes walk looks like a larger and larger mistake as time goes on, in my humble opinion.

  4. friend September 4, 2013 at 9:24 am
    “Red-hot Daniel Murphy, Lucas Duda, and Eric Young, Jr., all touched Kimbrel for extra-base hits”

    ????? Maybe in a fantasy game somewhere, but in the real game, none of these three even batted against Kimbrel.

    • Joe Janish September 4, 2013 at 12:30 pm
      Jeez Louise, don’t you read these posts after three glasses of wine? That’s how I write them …

      Thanks for the correction. Obviously I meant “Medlen” but really, it’s hard to tell the difference from the perspective of the Mets’ inability to hit either of them.

      • Timo September 4, 2013 at 3:05 pm
        3 glasses? I usually have to drink the whole bottle to get thru a Mets game these days! 😉
        • Joe Janish September 4, 2013 at 8:07 pm
          Maybe I’m being conservative with what I state and what I actually do.
  5. DanB September 4, 2013 at 10:59 am
    A lot of people thought I was crazy for saying Tejada should be traded this past offseason when his value was at his highest. Look at his career — first half of 2012 was his only productive offensive stretch. He has no power, no base stealing skills, and low OBP. His defensive does not offset this for a starter.
    • DaveSchneck September 4, 2013 at 6:31 pm
      The rumors that I read this winter said that Tejada was made quite available by the Mets, but as we know Alderson was never able to create a package that enticed anyone, I doubt highly that he will be the SS next year,,,only if the make various big moves, run out of funds/prospects, and live with him. To my eyes, he reminds me of that gymnast that peaks at an early age and then outgrowns themself athletically. He will never hit for power, but as he has filled out in his early 20s, it appears that his quickness and agility has cost him defensively. If he can’t be a plus defensive player, and he really is not a 1 or 2 hitter, it’s time toupgrade.
  6. Joe September 4, 2013 at 7:47 pm
    Yes, it was a gift.

    A two run lead is a “win” when you face a light hitting team, you have it late and your bullpen is very good. The Mets’ hitting is lackluster, but that was one of the times when others were in the same boat.

    The term ‘quality start’ is cheapened somewhat but when your long guy gives you one against one of the top three teams after a mess of a game, it fits.

    The Mets have gone 9-10 vs. the Braves, but has done better than the rest of the NL East on that front. If they had a serious starter on Monday, they had a decent chance to have won the season series. Not bad.

  7. DanB September 5, 2013 at 6:47 am
    I always thought the Mets should of extended Reyes the winter before he was a free agent. He was coming off an injury and could of been extended for a reasonable price. By waiting, Reyes would either not bounce back and not be resigned or bounce back and be too expensive (which he did). Marlins overpaid for him (which, in a bidding process, always happens). Would it be a risk to resign him off the injury? Sure. But having Tejada as your backup plan was a risk, too. But then again, the Mets had no money to sign anyone even to a reasonable contract.