Mets Game 151: Win Over Braves

Mets 12 Braves 2

In four innings against the Wild Card leading Braves, the Mets score double the amount of runs they mustered in four games against the previously fourth-place Nationals. Go figure.

A nice outburst, but it doesn’t really take the sting out of that four-game fold-up in Flushing.

Mets Game Notes

The Mets exploded for four runs in the first frame against Derek Lowe, and just kept piling on. If this offensive outburst had anything to do with Terry Collins motivating the club, then tell me: what does that tell you about a) the other 150 games of this season; b) the players’ internal motivation; and c) the manager’s ability to motivate over the course of a 162-game season? Feel free to discuss in the comments.

After failing repeatedly in clutch situations and treating the ball like a hot potato over the past week, David Wright blasted two homeruns, drove in five, and didn’t make an error. His errorless streak has now extended to nine innings.

Lucas Duda had a walk and four hits — including a double — and scored three runs. Three hits were also collected by Josh Thole, David Wright, Jose Reyes, and Nick Evans, with Thole driving in three runs.

Reyes also stole his first base since Mackinaw peaches were in season. Boy, you take a bite into one of those luscious stone fruits and it’s like a circus in your mouth … they make Georgia peaches taste pedestrian in comparison.

The Mets pitchers did a brilliant job of holding the big lead. Chris Capuano put forth his typical five-inning effort, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks, striking out six, and the bullpen shut out the Braves the rest of the way. Even Ryota Igarashi threw a clean inning.

Atlanta manager Fredi Gonzalez pulled Chipper Jones from the game in the seventh, sending reserve infielder Jack Wilson to pinch-hit for the future HOFer. I wonder how many times Chipper has been replaced by a pinch-hitter in his career?

Gonzalez continued to pull starters through the final nine outs of the game. Braves fans should be angry, as it was clearly a case of Gonzalez folding it up. For shame, for shame.

The other Gonzalez — Alex Gonzalez — made maybe the best play seen by a shortstop all year. Gonzalez went deep in the hole to snare a Jason Bay grounder, then made a turn-jump-throw to nail Bay by a step. Nearly as impressive was the pants-splitting stretch by first baseman Freddie Freeman that made my groin hurt just watching it.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Braves do it again on Saturday afternoon at 4:10 PM. R.A. Dickey goes against Tim Hudson.

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. MikeT September 17, 2011 at 8:58 am
    My lone observation about this game: Wright hit a HR in the first inning, had a smile on his face, and then went the entire game without an error. Coincidence? I think he’s been bringing his frustrations at the plate to the field with him.
  2. gary s. September 17, 2011 at 9:01 am
    Maybe it being on the road and having more than 500 people in the stands motivated them.Btw, Wright’s 2nd home run with two on would have been caught in the Wilpon’s pathetic excuse for a ballpark.
  3. Joe September 17, 2011 at 10:45 am
    Lowe lost a lot of games this year. It’s easier to beat him than some young stud. The Mets repeatedly struggle against such people.

    The Mets also struggle at home. I don’t quite see the point of moving in the wall on that front. Mets pitching is not exactly superior, so wouldn’t that help the other team as much or more? Also, it is not like the guys on the team are hitting too many homers AWAY from Citifield either. Anyway, last week or so the NYT had a good article about the pitchers’ perspective on the subject.

    MikeT has a point and it also might be that the game as a whole was going well, which could also lead him to be more relaxed.

  4. gary s. September 17, 2011 at 11:24 am
    Moving in the fences is a done deal.Just a matter of how much and where.I recommend a simple solution.Return the distances to the shea stadium dimensions,I don’t think that alone will make a difference in the won and lost record.What it will do is end all the snorefest 0-0 games after 4 or 5 innings.Plus we have no speed or pitching to exploit a big park.Especially if Reyes leaves,Lets see if we win more games in traditional fashion.
    • Joe September 17, 2011 at 2:37 pm
      Yeah, those triples really are boring. And, nothing excites me more than seeing the Mets pitching giving up more home runs. The Mets aren’t a home run hitting team as a whole, though one hoped Bay would have done more. The dimensions can easily favor a certain type of club. Such a club would still score runs, early and later.

      Done deal or not, I’m not one to think it some essential thing or something I’m that thrilled about.