Mets Game 138: Win Over Braves

Mets 5 Braves 2

Mets pull out an afternoon win against Atlanta to stay within a dozen games below .500.

Mets Game Notes

Like many of you, I was earning a paycheck while this game occurred, so I have no personal observations to share. Looking at the boxscore, and seeing that Braves starter Kameron Loe allowed 14 baserunners and two homers in 4 1/3 innings, it’s slightly surprising the Mets scored only five — but then, five runs is like ten in the PEDs era, right?

Starting Loe makes me think this was a throwaway game for the Braves, who will be mathematically winning the NL East soon enough. Good that the Mets were able to take advantage.

Also from the boxscore, it looks like Dillon Gee threw another brilliant ballgame. Good for Gee, he’s easy to root for.

Next Mets Game

The Mets move on to Cleveland to face the Indians on Friday night at 7:05 PM. Current Mets phenom Zack Wheeler faces former Mets phenom Scott Kazmir.

Mets Item of the Day

I can’t provide any game insight, but I can offer you a fantastic Mets item. Sticking with the “back to school” theme, how about a set of New York Mets pens? Like the Mets themselves, they’re disposable, and they cost only about four bucks for a set of 5. If you don’t see the picture below to click and buy from Amazon, try this link:
MLB New York Mets Disposable Pens

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. Amazin' No More September 5, 2013 at 1:21 am
    Re the pens – “like the Mets themselves, they’re disposable”. Very funny, mainly because it’s sadly true.

    There are consistently solid insights from your blog, but today I got a chuckle over a game you didn’t even watch.

    Keep up the good work, Joe.

    • Joe Janish September 5, 2013 at 8:48 am
      Thanks Amazin’, glad you caught — and enjoyed — the joke. I have to do something to keep you engaged, because we can’t count on the Mets for entertainment!
  2. argonbunnies September 5, 2013 at 2:52 am
    Gee was pinpoint with all his pitches through 6. His fastball hasn’t been running lately like it did in his big strikeout games, but he’s been much more precise with it. Also, big break on the curve. Didn’t throw many change-ups, but it was effective when he did mix it in. Ump had a tight zone, and most of the Braves took good ABs, so Gee earned it.

    Leading off the 7th, yet another routine grounder to short went for an infield hit when Q couldn’t get to it and get rid of it in time. After that, at around 90 pitches, Gee seemed to tire a bit, and started missing his spots. The Braves helped him out a little there with some lazy fly balls.

    It’s a weird feeling, enjoying a pitcher’s artistry, rooting for him to go deep into the game, and then also hoping the manager has a quick hook as soon as the pitcher starts to lose it. 6.2 innings doesn’t look as nice as 7, but if the 20th out is followed by two singles and a HR, you learn to take the 6.2. I learned this lesson from watching Rick Reed.

    • Joe Janish September 5, 2013 at 8:46 am
      Bunnies, great job with the synopsis — thank you very much!
  3. Izzy September 5, 2013 at 6:37 am
    Matsuzaka should have pitched. As bad as Loe was, Matsuzaka might have gained a win, or at least a valued ND. But, this is a big weekend for old Freddy; meaningful games in September. Too bad they are meaningful for Cleveland. Other than that, the highlight was seeing Duda keep up the honor of being an awesome nobody on base power hitter.
  4. DanB September 5, 2013 at 6:58 am
    I have a theory that hitters like Duda are so obsessed with OBP, theydon’t know how to hit with RISP. With a runner on second, a walk IS NOT as good as a hit. Taking a strike only allows you two chances of driving a ball rather then three chances. If you are batting in an RBI situation, you need to be driving those runners in or atleast moving them over. Not thinking walk.
    • DaveSchneck September 5, 2013 at 10:02 am
      Exactly. I am all for high OBP, but it depends on how it is developed based on indivicual situations. When the league knows you are going to look at strike 1 90% of the time, it is a bad gameplan, as the batter is very very disadvantaged at 0-1, especially when the batter watches the most hittaable pitch right into the catcher’s glove. Hopefully the Dude can show appropriate aggression when the situation calls for it, but so far that hasn’t been the case and he is running out of time.
    • argonbunnies September 5, 2013 at 8:15 pm
      I still think Hudgens’ advice — “get a good pitch to hit” — is excellent. I simply think Duda is still figuring out which pitches he can hit.

      The answer may be “not many”, and if that’s the case, then taking a lot does make sense. For a better hitter, that wouldn’t be the case, but Duda is who he is.

      Oddly enough, who he is is probably the 2nd best hitter currently in the organization. Besides Wright, Duda is the only one who’d surprise me if his OPS dropped below .700.

  5. crozier September 5, 2013 at 11:54 am
    Someone new to this blog would find a close-knit community that provides good analysis and insights. But I think they’d be puzzled by the assessment that club “stinks” and is “disposable” as if by ownership design; as if the team weren’t decimated by injuries. As if a rotation of Harvey/Wheeler/Gee/Niese/Mejia (I’m not forgetting a healthy Hefner, either); Hawkins + Parnell in the 8/9; and the July lineup — with the addition of d’Arnaud — wouldn’t be a decent team. Not a great, championship-level team; I’m not a crazy person. But a pretty good team, nonetheless. So many positives to this season, yet the entries seem indistinguishable from 2012’s.
    • Joe Janish September 5, 2013 at 2:46 pm
      Yes, as we all know, this is very definitely the antithesis of the typical Mets blog. MetsToday follows in the FOX vein of “fair and balanced” analysis. 😉

      If this were 2010 or 2011, I might agree with the idea that the rotation is pretty good. But in 2013, when pitching throughout MLB is performing better than it has since the 1980s, the Mets’ staff isn’t all that special. And a “decent’ team in 2013 only means it isn’t as bad as the Astros, because there are about five teams absolutely dominating, and then half of the league is ten games below .500. So a “pretty good team” would be what? .500? Two games below? Two games above? Or does it have to be 10 games above?

      Are the Washington Nationals a “pretty good team”? If so are you suggesting that with a few breaks the Mets would be at their level? Or are the Reds “pretty good”? Personally, I don’t think the Mets stack up with either, which is why, in my mind, they stink — in other words, lumped together with all the other “second division” clubs who have no shot at the postseason.

      Even in an offense-starved 2013, the Mets lineup is terrible. Their defense is terrible. Their starting pitching is average. Their bullpen is whatever. The only reason they had a decent run in July was because of a perfect storm of sending a fresh group of highly motivated over-achievers facing opponents on downswings. EYJr. isn’t that good over a full season. Neither is Omar Q. Neither is Lagares. Nor Satin. Nor Byrd. All five are reserves on most clubs — even teams equal to or worse than the Mets. Maybe Byrd is a starter this year, in his career year, but I don’t see that as sustainable any more than Scott Hairston’s career year last year was sustainable. The Mets in 2013 were and are a bad team with no depth, and their only strength — starting pitching — was unremarkable in a year that most teams had similar strength.

  6. DanB September 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm
    Crozier, I agree some of us (including me) get too negative. But I disagree the Mets were decimated with injuries. They had their share but I have seen worse. What they did have is a lack of depth. Also, like Bill Parcell said, you are what your record is. The reason I am sadden with this year is that our lineup went from some pieces to two pieces. Our lineup went way backwards. Pitching has improved but they still need depth. Hawkins was a blessing but not for the future (just like Byrd was for the lineup). We have an ace which might be they hardest spot on a team to fill. But there is a lot to be proven otherwise.
  7. DaveSchneck September 5, 2013 at 3:45 pm
    I agree that injuries aside, the Mets are average at best. As terrible as the offense is, they have scored more runs that the Pirates, a first place team with 18 more wins in a tougher division. Even though the young pitching has shown promise and Young/Lagares have improved the D, run prevention – pitching and defense – are still badly needed. A significant defensive upgrade at SS is required, not optional. As brutal as the offense has been, importing a professional leadoff and cleanup hitter (think Choo/Elisbury and Beltran/Kendry Morales) will change the entire lineup without costing any young pitching. See what the Chisox want for their SS, who will bring plus D and a decent bat, and the offense/position players are now decent enough. Sign a legit vet, an anti-Marcum, and a proven back end arm, and you have a borderline playoff team for 2014. The cost will only be the players traded for SS, which will require a young pitcher not named Syndy or Montero, plus another lesser player or two.
  8. argonbunnies September 5, 2013 at 8:09 pm
    Remember the preseason article about “are the Mets behind the Braves/Nats/Phils at every position besides 3rd base?” Only two Mets have beaten the predictions from then — Harvey and Byrd. The only other relative gains were Espinosa being awful, and Howard and Revere getting hurt. So it’s not like the Mets’ record is an unexpected fluke — it seems reasonably indicative of their talent level.

    If you start out expecting a bad team, and then get what you expected, it’s hard to stay positive. The one solace was watching Harvey dominate every 5 days, and now that’s gone too.

    On the plus side, no one knew we might have the best defensive CF in the game playing RF in AAA, so that’s been a nice development. The team is also still putting up some decent ABs and running hard in September, which is better than the last two years.

  9. crozier September 5, 2013 at 9:13 pm
    Nice discussion points from everyone – another thing that sets Mets Today apart from other blogs. Izzy aside (not that I’d have him any other way), there’s no mud-slinging or “you’re an idiot” modes of argument.

    I agree, somewhat, on the “lack of depth” argument, but perhaps you’re ignoring the enormous turnover in both pitching staff and lineup between April/May and June/July. It was the AAA replacements that made the team into a better one. And the rotation improved substantially with the additions of Hefner, Mejia, and Wheeler. That they couldn’t rebound from the loss of Wright, Parnell, Hefner, Mejia, Harvey, and Byrd after the makeover isn’t surprising at all.

    I’m cool with agree-to-disagree on this. I firmly believe that despite sketchy defense and an anemic bottom of the order even at their best, the Mets team that came together in late June and July were a team worth watching, and they rewarded their fan base by winning more than losing. I don’t think it was a blip, because they team was clearly playing hard and aggressive, even though they had no shot at winning anything. And that’s progress that shouldn’t be discounted, so long as it carries over into next year. And it’s why I find the dismissive “they stink” uncalled for.

    • Joe Janish September 6, 2013 at 12:02 am
      Agreed on the agree to disagree.

      In my not-so-humble opinion: as a result of the miraculous “Mets Makeover,” the team from Flushing became a good AAA team. Also IMNSHO, they stink.

      😉

      It’s a pleasure arguing with you, Crozier — I mean that sincerely and without a glint of sarcasm. You always make me stop and wonder if I’m just being a crusty old d-bag longing for the good ‘ol days — and maybe I am.

      • crozier September 6, 2013 at 7:54 am
        Well, you are kind of a curmudgeon. But I’m actually kind of one myself, so…glass houses, etc.
  10. DanB September 6, 2013 at 8:07 am
    I do agree the team got better and more enjoyable to watch by midseason. The big “however” is getting better and getting good are two very distant things. It is actually frustrating how much better the outfield got with the addition of Young and Lagares because it shows how weak the opening day outfield was more then how good the new players are. My hopes for 2014 is simple. Three new starting position players. Then by 2015, three more. Add one top shelve starting veteran pitcher and a couple more vets in AAA for when injuries/inning limits happen. Then in 2015, the Mets are challengers. Oh, new owners because a team can not be successful in the long term with bad owners.
    • crozier September 6, 2013 at 8:23 am
      The Mets didn’t upgrade to a so-so outfield in my estimation; they upgraded to a very good defensive outfield. Byrd was already strong. With Lagares, they became superior, and Young’s speed compensated for whatever he lacked defensively (so long as Lagares was in center). It’s an outfield that prevented runs, and that’s not a minor detail.

      Here’s the thing: If the Mets rotation is strong, they don’t need to win games by 6 runs; they only need to win. Look how many close games they’ve played this year, and imagine them just a little better. I expect Alderson to overpay/trade for two impact players during the winter. If so, and if his picks don’t go all Jason Bay on him, the team will compete – yes, despite inadequacies wherever they may lie, because a solid pitching staff overcomes such issues, especially in today’s environment of near-parity. We’ll see soon enough.

  11. Colin September 6, 2013 at 3:58 pm
    I really enjoyed reading the insights of everyone on this particular recap. As Mets fans, we are all used to being miserable, however I think we can all agree that its nice to see at bats being given to guys like Lagares, Flores, d’arnaud and den decker, even if they aren’t producing with any consistency yet. We have been burned so many times that its easy to assume the worst, but I tend to side with Crozier, that we aren’t that far from competing for a wild card next year with the right moves.