Mets Game 16: Loss To Braves

Braves 6 Mets 0

Mets nearly no-hit by someone from the scrap heap.

Mets Game Notes

Aaron Harang — where do I know that name / seen that man before? He looks SO familiar … was he a beer guy at Citi Field last year? Harang threw 7 no-hit innings before being removed from the ballgame. He didn’t look awesome, and didn’t necessarily dominate — it was kind of like Johan Santana‘s no-hitter, in that he somehow managed to not allow a hit, and no one can explain exactly why.

The pitch of the night from Aaron Harang came to Curtis Granderson with two outs in the sixth, runners on first and second, 2-2 count: a 91-MPH fastball right at the knees, on the inner half of the plate, that froze Granderson for strike three. Kudos, also, to catcher Evan Gattis for catching that pitch when it was a strike and “sticking it,” rather than catching it late and trying to frame it back into the strike zone.

If Homer Simpson were a real person, or inspired by a real person, would that person be Aaron Harang?

Tough luck for Jonathon Niese, whose sparkling six-inning, one-run effort was all for naught. Niese struggled in the early innings, but gritted through it and came away with what turned out to be a very strong performance. I’m still concerned about his mechanics and the health of his arm, but there’s no questioning his competitiveness.

The only hit of the night for the Mets was a 55-bouncer by David Wright.

Perhaps the most interesting detail of this near no-no: the Mets struck out “only” 8 times. I say “only” because they’ve been averaging around 10 Ks a game up to this point, and one would think that they’d have missed more pitches in a one-hit shutout. Baseball is a funny game, isn’t it?

Freddie Freeman‘s two-run homer in the top of the eighth looked kind of like a guy scooping ice cream, digging a ditch, pitching a golf ball out of a sand trap, or maybe like a lacrosse player — Freeman caught the ball around the knees, and lifted it over the fence. I shudder to think where that ball would’ve landed had he taken a full swing, with a full follow-through. The parking lot?

Just when it appeared that Dan Uggla should be shot and sent to the glue factory, he crushes a Gonzalez Germen pitch to the left-field wall. Though, I can’t imagine that the Braves can have much more patience with Uggla’s inability to hit — he certainly is not in the lineup because of his glove.

Keith Hernandez made a great point on that Uggla blast — where the heck was Chris Johnson to direct Justin Upton on what to do as he approached home plate? What, exactly, do on-deck hitters do these days? Are they too busy texting or tweeting to provide guidance? Taking selfies? From the replay, we saw that Johnson was taking extra practice swings while the play was developing. Really? The moment the bat makes contact, the on-deck hitter should become a participant in the play. Kids, do you understand? Scoring a run is THE most important thing a team can do, and I emphasize the word TEAM — if there is anything at all that anyone on the team can do to help that run score, you drop everything and do it.

It just occurred to me that I would like to see Jose Valverde finish a losing ballgame — for no other reason than to see his reaction after getting the third out.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Braves do it again at 7:10 PM on Saturday night. Bartolo Colon rolls himself up the hill against Ervin Santana.

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.