Archive: July 17th, 2009

Mets Game 89: Loss to Braves

Braves 11 Mets 0

So much for Mike Pelfrey building on his previous strong start.

The game was over within a half hour after it began, as the Braves pelted Pelfrey for three runs in the first and another three in the third, finally chasing him from the game in the fifth in the midst of another scoring spree.

I could go on, but why?

Notes

While the Braves banged out 14 hits, you can count the number of Mets hits on one hand. In fact, Three-Finger Brown could have counted them on one hand, and still have had one finger left.

It should be noted that the Braves have been struggling to score runs all season. Looking at their top four starting pitchers, it’s hard to believe they’re only in third place. But Derek Lowe, Javy Vazquez, and Jair Jurrjens in particular have been victimized by remarkably poor run support.

After the fifth inning, I was fantasizing that the umpires would invoke the 10-run rule and mercifully end the game.

Elmer Dessens is an older, more Mexican version of Carlos Muniz.

On a positive note, Jeff Francoeur was roundly cheered by the Atlanta home crowd every time he came to the plate. Or is that a negative?

Prior to the game, a ceremony took place to retire Greg Maddux’s number. How fitting. After the game, there was a fireworks display. Again, how fitting.

Gary Sheffield left the game in the fifth with a hamstring cramp. He suffered it while running after one of the myriad missiles blasted off the bats of Braves during the game. Sheff walked off the field on his own power and all reports indicate that he will not be placed on the DL. Stinks for him — there is no escape from this travesty of a ballclub.

So tell me, how would Carlos Delgado, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, and JJ Putz have made a difference in this game? Even with the “cavalry” intact, these Mets routinely stuck their collective heads up their butts and quit after falling behind by 4-5 runs early in games. Can’t blame this loss on injuries — it’s all on Peflrey.

Pelfrey, by the way, lost his cool early on and never regained it. We mentioned that he got away with losing his composure in some previous outings, but those were against inferior clubs (the Nationals, the Orioles). Pelf has a stunning skillset but does not have the otherworldly talent needed to overcome his own undoings. He needs to learn how to control his emotions if he’s ever to reach his full potential.

Although Pelfrey was charged with 3 of the 4 runs in the fifth, he didn’t get any help from reliever Tim Redding. Redding allowed both of his inherited runners to score, and then another one of his own responsibility. He did strike out two in his 2/3 of an inning of work in his “long man” role. Funny, isn’t it, that the “long man” didn’t even pitch a complete inning?

Hate to nitpick in a game like this, but Omir Santos was the starting catcher. Santos, as you know, is a RH hitter. Lefthanded hitters are pummeling Jair Jurrjens to the tune of a .300 average this year (righties are hitting .190). I am aware that Santos hits righties better than lefties, and that his average is 40 points higher than that of Brian Schneider (though, remarkably, Schneider’s OBP is 30 points better), but against a guy with a sub-3 ERA you have to find and expose any vulnerability you can find. In the end, of course, it would not have made a difference — but I feel like being extra critical this evening.

Next Mets Game

The Mets attempt to avoid a sweep when they play the Braves again at 4pm on Saturday afternoon in Atlanta. Johan Santana faces Kenshin Kawakami. If they can’t win that one it may be time to pack it in. The game will be televised on FOX. Yee ha.

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