Mets Game 157: Win Over Braves

Mets 3 Braves 1

After all that Larry Jones did to the Mets in his 19-year career, the least the Mets could do in return was spoil his special day in Atlanta.

Mets Game Notes

Who are these Mets we’ve seen for the past week? Maybe with the pressure of locking up fourth place off their shoulders, the team can finally relax and “let it all out.”

Jonathon Niese pitched one of his top five outings of the year, allowing one run on four hits and three walks in a strong seven-inning performance. He made very few mistakes, and one was sent over the fence courtesy of Freddie Freeman.

However, it looked like Niese’s brilliant outing might be wasted, because the Mets couldn’t plate anyone against Tim Hudson, who was his usual stellar self. That is, until Lucas Duda battled him through an epic 9-pitch at-bat that culminated in a resounding three-run homer into the right field seats. If only Duda could battle like that, and be that focused, in every plate appearance, he’d be … Freddie Freeman?

Bobby Parnell saved the game with a clean ninth in his new role as closer — a role he’ll keep “for the rest of the season.” Good practice for next year, and/or a good way to showcase him for winter trade bait.

Next Mets Game

Game two of this series begins at 7:10 p.m. on Saturday night. Chris Young goes against Mike Minor.

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. Steven September 28, 2012 at 11:19 pm
    I think this game was probably the most important of second half and provided a lot of hope for next year
  2. Steve S. September 29, 2012 at 6:52 am
    Hard to believe, but the Mets have some positives this year:

    The infield–all four look like keepers, even Murphy who is better (but still needing to improve) in the field. Just sign Wright.

    Duda and Hairston in the outfield. The former might actually be the answer in LF. That AB was something. And he does have power and can hit lefties. Hairston could be worth a 2 year/$4.5 m. contract to play RF much of the time.

    The starting pitching is solid, with Dickey, Niese, Harvey, and Gee. One more year of Santana should be OK, with Wheeler up in June.

    The bullpen needs a couple of additions, but Parnell looks good now, and even Acosta does. Edgin and even Hampson look like decent LH relievers, too.

    The bench and catching needs help though.


    • Izzy September 29, 2012 at 8:54 am
      If a team needs help only at catcher and the bench it should be in the playoffs, not 4th place. well under .500.
      Second most important game!!!!!!!! Maybe to Davey Johnson but he’s winning a pennant in DC not Queens, maybe to Chipper who is having hi farewell weekend. The important games for this team the Mets were over sometime in July.
      • Steve S. September 29, 2012 at 10:52 am
        Bullpen, too, needs improvement. Add two new relievers to Parnell, Francisco, Acosta, Edgin, Hampson or Carson. Joel Peralta for example. Familia might be good out there, as well.

        Sign B. J. Upton to play CF.

        How about David Ross at C?

        Spend a bit more NOW. I’m not talking about breaking the bank, Fred!

    • DaveSchneck September 29, 2012 at 11:33 am
      I enjoy wins over Altanta, and last night was no exception, but let’s get some perspective here:
      1. Ike hasn’t shown he can hit lefties
      2. Murphy can’t field his position even adequately (despite what SNY says)
      3. Duda has no position that he can field even just poorly, as he has been a league bottom defensive OF
      4. Parnell has clearly improved but he is no closer, even if he helped ruin Chipper’s day
      5. Met catching is amongst the weakest in the league, offensively and defensively
      6. There have been some positives, lead by Harvey, but like Izzy stated, and Bill Parcells said, you are what your record says you are
      • Steve S. September 29, 2012 at 11:53 am
        Agree on the catching. Ike hit 8 HR in 164 AB this year against lefties, and seems to be hanging in there better now against them. Murphy’s fielding definitely is improving and I think will be “adequate” next year. If he can hit, Duda should be out in LF next year, even with sub-par range. It’s too early to give up on Parnell as a closer.

        If the Mets have a bullpen that doesn’t blow so many games, more power from LF, CF and C, and Harvey for a full year and Wheeler for half, they could win another dozen or so games and be in the hunt for a playoff spot.

        • Joe Janish September 29, 2012 at 5:08 pm
          Enjoy the afterglow of this ballgame throughout the winter. But please don’t be surprised when the Mets are below .500 again this time next year.
        • Steve S. September 30, 2012 at 12:59 pm
          Hey Joe, I won’t be surprised, since I don’t expect the Wilponzis to improve the team much.
  3. Joe September 29, 2012 at 11:58 am
    Steve, you are not allowed to cite any positives, except when Dickey won his 20th. (Joe Janish’s no-hitter entry is recalled) Also, you have to toss in an Alderson dig.

    Meanwhile, how about those Pirates? Don’t we want to be like them?! What was it 16 games over .500 in August? What a charming story!

    Murphy can field his position “adequately.” He is their everyday second baseman. He doesn’t make errors left and right. He “adequately” fields his position. Hyperbole to respond to hyperbole (SNY: he’s pretty darn good!) doesn’t do it for me personally.

    Steve said catching needs help. I actually didn’t see him call Parnell a “closer” (yeah, he didn’t earn that title yet) either. Still, a team with no bench and lousy at a key position in the NE with the Nats and Braves to deal with, why would they be in the playoffs?

    And, going by what Steve said, Ike’s comment is off too, as Steve himself noted.

    As to records, if you want football metaphors, a few changes, any team can go from dog to playoff caliber. It has repeatedly happened.

    The Mets have key components. IF the pieces are provided, and what happens when the deadweight of Ike and Santana (just too much money for a guy who pitches 1/2 the time) is key here, the Mets have a shot. The second half collapse pissed me off, but the Mets actually did have positives, didn’t have another year of false hopes and digging deeper (like let’s sign Bay for four years … that will do it!).

    The Mets earned some scorn but some just want to add what isn’t there. Apparently reality isn’t bad enough.

    • Joe September 29, 2012 at 12:09 pm
      “Ike” should be “Bay.”

      As to Duda in the OF, that is somewhat iffy …it might work if they find a really good CF to compensate. I too btw think there are some promising arms in the pen. Hampson, Carson and Edgin showed something. One or more can be potential trading chips.

      Starting pitching, some pen, an infield (even if they can replace 1st or 2nd at some point) and a few pretty good bench players is not a bad starting point. Key is keeping Wright and Dickey, of course. They really need a few more bats and a CF. But, I’ll say this early, don’t expect too much there in 2013 given payroll restraints. I do have some hope they keep W/D. If they do, they will rest on that and perhaps find a serviceable CF that we shouldn’t be too excited about.

    • Joe Janish September 29, 2012 at 5:07 pm
      Wow still harping on my lack of excitement for the rapist’s one-hitter turned no-hitter thanks to a missed call on Beltran’s double. Why does it bother you so much that I have no celebratory feeling for that evening?

      So, because Murphy doesn’t make “errors left and right” that makes his fielding “adequate”? He’s been charged with 15 errors in 134 games / 1093 innings at 2B so far; that number would be closer to 20 if official scorers in visiting parks had an ounce of integrity and didn’t award so many “hits” to hometown players on misplayed balls. But even if we stick with the official total, that works out to an error every 8 games – close to one per week. That’s really not very good for a second baseman, and not adequate in my book. Further, you completely discount the mental errors and other miscues that aren’t recorded.

      But forget the old-school evaluation and ignore the .972 fielding percentage. Let’s instead look at the advanced fielding metrics championed by the SABR community: -7.2 UZR and -10.7 UZR/150. That’s horrific. Dan Uggla is a bad second baseman, and he’s at 1.0 UZR/150.

      As for the rest of the team, how many “pieces” do you think they need? It sounds like you think they need one or two, but even if those two are Johnny Bench and Jeff Kent in their prime I’m not sure it’s enough to transform this team into a playoff contender. They need a catcher, second baseman, center fielder, left fielder, right fielder, at least one more decent starter and at least two decent relievers. Though, if Lucas Duda turns into Adam Dunn, Dan Murphy starts hitting like Dan Uggla, and either Jenrry Mejia or Jeurys Familia can fill a bullpen spot, they’ll only be six players short of being a potential playoff club.

      • DaveSchneck September 29, 2012 at 8:37 pm
        So, 8 pieces, 5 of which are starters, on a Kansas City budget. Thanks. Please pass the kool-id.
  4. Hobie September 29, 2012 at 1:08 pm
    Wow only took one meaningless Sept game for rose colored glasses to come out again. You guys must be masochists
  5. Dan B September 29, 2012 at 4:25 pm
    I think I am the only one here who does not see Tejada as a long term asset at shortstop. I like his glove, especially his ability to always make the right play, however there are other better defensive shortstops. But it is his offense that turns me off the most. He has no power and will never be a RBI guy. His average hides the fact that he doesn’t walk enough and get on base enough to lead off. Plus he has no speed and no stolen bases. Also, I am afraid his career average of. 269 will come back to haunt him. He is more suited for the bottom of the lineup. Look how many more RBI’s Wright had with Reyes in front of him compared to Tejada. I am not saying I would be upset with Tejada at short next year as much as I would be upset if he was leading off next year. Still think trading him while his value is high should be looked into.
    • Joe Janish September 29, 2012 at 4:43 pm
      I think Tejada is OK, with the possibility of improving his offensive game.

      However, he’s like most players on the Mets – he’s fine so long as everyone else around him is better, and there is offense coming from other positions. In other words, I don’t believe he’s a piece to build around, but rather a complementary player on a team that is otherwise above average.