Mets Game 89: Win Over Braves

Mets 4 Braves 3

Mets avoid the possibility of being swept at home by beating the Braves in game one of a four-game set.

Mets Game Notes

Prior to this game, Terry Collins said this series was “huge.” I guess most things are huge to Terry Collins, especially lately.

Great game by Daisuke Matsuzaka, who was nearly matched pitch for pitch by Mike Minor. Dice-K couldn’t win, though, because the Mets bullpen shat the bed. Thankfully, though, Curtis Granderson made up for the firemen throwing gasoline on the fire and in the end, it was Ruben Tejada who came through with yet another walk-off game-winning hit.

Tejada clearly was motivated by being snubbed from the All-Star game roster — he’s playing like a man on a mission, laser-focused on proving Mike Matheny wrong.

Mets were handed a gift in the bottom of the ninth, when the umpires misinterpreted a neighborhood play and put it under replay review. Per the newfangled MLB rules, the neighborhood play is not subject to replay review. Hmm … Anyway, the play was reversed, I’m guessing because the on-field umpires decided that it was NOT a neighborhood play, and therefore, the play was judged by the replay umpires as something else. Once the play was overturned, the Mets had men on first and second and no outs. So what does Terry Collins do with this gift from the gods of baseball? He sends Lucas Duda out to pinch-hit and swing away. Hmm … No bunt there, Terry? Really? Nope. Three outs later the Mets returned to the field and the Braves came to bat to start the top of the tenth.

What I liked about that ninth inning: the Braves playing it straight — in other words, not intentionally loading the bases to create a force at home, which some (many?) teams might have done. As you know, I hate, hate, hate putting runners on base, and really hate putting the pitcher into a situation where he cannot make a mistake.

From the Gee I Wonder Why There Is A Tommy John Surgery Epidemic? department: Carlos Torres pitched the top of the tenth, with only two days’ rest after tossing 81 pitches on Friday night. Huh. ASMI recommendations, based on hard scientific evidence, insist on a minimum of three days’ rest after a pitcher throws at least 62 pitches. In fact, the cutoff for four days’ rest is 89 — only 8 away from Torres’ last outing. So it’s not like Collins / Dan Warthen were bending the rules a little bit — they were bold-face spitting on them. So, again, why is there a rash of pitching injuries lately? Well, it can’t have anything to do with breaking rules, because rules were made to be broken, right? And/or, Major League pitchers are not human, and therefore not subject to rules for humans based on decades of evidence-based research. Nah, let’s just keep twirling our thumbs and coming up with nonsense theories based on nothing but opinion, such as, “pitchers throw too hard,” or, “youngsters should be playing other sports, not baseball all year,” or, “the mound is too high.” Gee whiz. Is MLB EVER going to wake up? Nah.

Since Torres pitched well through his 22 pitches / two innings, the science is worthless, right? Of course. Torres obviously has a “rubber arm” and doesn’t have to follow the rules. Thank goodness!

Ironically, one of the reasons Torres was in the game was because Collins was trying his best to keep Jeurys Familia out of the contest. Familia threw 12 pitches on Sunday, and 45 pitches on Friday. For those unaware, a 45-pitch effort requires a minimum of TWO days rest; Collins gave him one. Where’s the irony? Had Collins given Familia the requisite two days rest after Friday, he would’ve been fresh and ready for this game. But the Mets won so what’s the difference?

Collins mentioned in the postgame that “… yesterday when we brought him in, his velocity was down … I talked to the pitching guys today and they said, ‘listen, if you can give him a night, give him a night, because he can use it’ … if you think about it, he didn’t pitch much in April, now he’s like third in the league in appearances, so I’ve been pitching him like crazy and I have to back off a bit … he didn’t say anything, but when he’s usually 96-97 and yesterday he was 94 …”

Hmm … sounds pretty loosey-goosey to me. No rules at all, just some vague suggestions by “the pitching guys,” who I suppose are checking the pitchers’ horoscopes or biorhythms (or maybe The Farmer’s Almanac?) to figure out when to rest guys. My guess is that most other MLB pitching staffs are run similarly.

Collins is right in that Familia was used quite a bit after April — he appeared in 18 games in June. But it’s not necessarily about the volume over a period of time — it IS about how much rest and recovery a pitcher is given after outings. If a pitcher throws less than 20 pitches, he can throw every day, without rest. But once he gets to 27, one day of rest is needed. At 45, two days. 62, three days. 89, four days. These numbers were not picked out of a hat.

By the way, the Mets added reliever Buddy Carlyle to the roster when they put Jonathon Niese on the DL. Carlyle did not pitch in this game.

Pedal to the metal, baby!

Next Mets Game

Mets and Braves do it again at 7:10 PM on Tuesday night in Flushing, NY. Jacob deGrom faces Julio Teheran.

Mets 2014 Games

About the Author

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.

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