Braves 6 Mets 0
The Mets couldn’t lose this game fast enough.
Tommy “Gun” Hanson handcuffed the Mets hitters through seven frames, allowing them only three hits and three walks en route to his tenth victory of the season.
Pat Misch accomplished a typical fifth-starter job — 4 runs allowed on 8 hits and a walk in 5 innings. Nothing spectacular, nothing terrible, either.
Braves first baseman Adam LaRoche was a one-man wrecking crew, going 4-for-4 with two homeruns, 4 runs scored, and 3 RBI. That “strong finisher” theory that moved Atlanta to acquire him from Boston continues to ring true.
The Mets were shut out for the 11th time this season.
Atlanta leadoff batter Nate McLouth was 2-for-5 with 3 RBI.
Hanson has one of the best overhand curveballs in baseball today. It has excellent, tight, 12-6 to 1-7 rotation, consistently drops it at the bottom of the strike zone, and throws it at two speeds — around 85 MPH and around 76 MPH. He mostly kept it toward the middle of the strike zone, with a “yellow hammer” vertical drop of 3-5 feet, and if he ever learns to spot it on the corners, he’ll be a regular no-hit threat.
I bumped my head after falling off the chair with laughter when Bobby Ojeda and tried to compare Bobby Parnell to Hanson. Forget mentioning them in the same sentence — Parnell doesn’t belong in the same PARAGRAPH as Hanson. I like Parnell, am rooting for him, but that’s like comparing apples to ribeye steaks.
The Mets had four hits on the night, two by Dan Murphy, who is making a case to be penciled in as the 2010 first baseman.
Braves did a nice job of picking up lefty reliever Eric O’Flaherty for nothing at the beginning of the season; he has a 3.14 ERA and 1.25 WHIP through 69 games. Kind of like how the Mets were smart to take Darren O’Day in the Rule 5 Draft (though, not smart enough to hang on to him).
Today’s Baseball Lesson
The first two pitches of the ninth inning resulted in outs. Dan Murphy and Jeff Francoeur should be ashamed of themselves — that’s selfish and unintelligent baseball. I don’t care if you’re down by six in a meaningless game — you still play the game right. For you youngsters, the “right” way to play the game is to TAKE A STRIKE when your team is losing by two or more in the late innings and there is no one on base. Why? Because you can’t hit a three-run homer with no one on. In the cases of Murphy and Francoeur, they couldn’t hit a 6-run homer to tie the game. Their best chance of winning was to try to build a rally, and walks are almost always a part of building rallies (often a big part). Let the other team make mistakes, make them execute and beat you — don’t make it easy for them. See more baseball playing and coaching tips at OnBaseball.com.
Next Mets Game
The Mets and Braves do it again at 7:00 PM on Wednesday night. Bobby Parnell faces Derek Lowe.