Fear of flying game thread: July 11, Braves at Mets

“So, Mac,” people ask me, “Why don’t you like to fly?” Well, I’m just afraid that Jeff Francoeur is moonlighting as an aeronautical engineer. I think that the following footage demonstrates what could happen.

157 thoughts on “Fear of flying game thread: July 11, Braves at Mets”

  1. Hope I’m not jinxing anything by pointing this out, but the Braves now have the largest lead of any first place team in the majors.

  2. It could be worse. Jeff could be the pilot. After all, there was that Delta commercial. They might put him up in the cockpit like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in “Airplane.” How would you like to be on a flight and hear the words “Captain Francouer is your pilot.”

  3. If Francoeur had been involved in the above video, the airplane would not have successfully been invented.

  4. I’m with Peter. The Mets could be dangerous if they do something sensible and bench Francoeur, play the hobbled Beltran in RF and let Pagan continue to cruise CF. They do that, get Reyes back semi-healthy (which, admittedly, is a lot like saying ‘if only the Braves could get Chipper healthy’) they’re dangerous. Bay won’t be in this funk all year, and they have solid starters.

  5. Is it true that the Mets have solid starters? Santana and Pelfrey are clearly solid. I guess I think Niese, Dickey, and Takahashi have been radically overperforming. Is Takahashi still their 5th SP?

  6. If you’re going to write off Niese/Dickey/Takahashi as overperforming, in order to be intellectually honest you’d have to dismiss Kris Medlen and Jair Jurrjens as well.

  7. One of those last three starters could be Ted Lilly before long — not that he’s unbeatable, of course, but that’s probably an improvement.

  8. So part of the issue is that I don’t know too much about Niese/Dickey/Takahashi. My questions in that post were actual requests for information.

    In contrast, by standard measures, Medlen is not overperforming because he has a fine K rate and an elite walk rate. Trying to assess Jurrjens is complicated; his peripherals don’t seem to support his performance, but his peripherals are still those of a legitimate mid-rotation starter even if he’s not the elite starter he seems to be by ERA. So they’d still be solid.

    Does anyone know more about the back end of the Mets rotation?

  9. If you’re looking at past performance, Pelfrey has overperformed this year, as well. Besides, all those guys have less credentials than JJ who has pitched like a 1 or 2 SP for two years.

  10. Nathan, all three of those guys are more or less good enough to pitch in a big league rotation. Not ideal for a pennant race, but we’ve seen teams do more with less. Of course, it’s a golden opportunity to screw up and put Ollie or Maine back in the rotation, similar to the opportunity to bench Angel Pagan. I’m hoping Ollie and Maine make 30 more starts between them.

  11. Niese — ERA 3.61, xFIP 3.97, BABIP .316 — Slight overperformance, but he’s also young and getting better, and the results are consistent with his minor league performance

    Dickey — ERA 2.77, xFIP 3.74, BABIP .310 — He’s been around since 1997 and has never before approached his 2010 actual performance, and really never pitched as well as his 2010 expected performance. Always possible that he’s finally mastered the knuckler, but clear overperformance is the far more likely answer.

    Takahashi — ERA 4.15, xFIP 4.27, BABIP .323 — No prior stateside track record, so you have to assume he’s performing basically to expectation.

    Conclusion: Don’t hold your breath waiting for Niese or Takahashi to blow up, but Dickey is a good bet to do just that.

  12. I guess no one told Bobby that it’s Sunday…

    Frostless Tips

  13. Shorter answer for Medlen and Jurrjens. The comment on Niese pretty much goes for Medlen as well. Jurrjens is not overperforming, and to make such an assertion about a pitcher with a 5.40 ERA and Jurrjens track record (while throwing terms like “intellectual honesty” around in the process) is bizarre.

  14. Wagner can’t go today apparently. He was also selected to the All Star game as Heyward’s replacement but declined to rest his ankle. Wagner’s replacement will be Brandon Hicks I guess.

  15. The point is that the back end of the Mets’ rotation isn’t exactly “Jorge Campillo that one year” or “Jorge Sosa that other year.” Maybe – *maybe* Dickey is due for some regression. Maybe. But he’s a knuckle-baller. He’s 50/50 to regress and 50/50 to be the next Tim Wakefield. All projection systems fly out the window for guys like R.A. Dickey. Neise is the Mets version of Kris Medlen. If you’re assuming he’s going to slide back to the league you have to assume the same for Medlen.

    Jurrjens has pitched beyond his peripherals for two years (I’m not counting his injury riddled 2010 against him.) Is that notably more projectable than Takahashi? If you run the ZIPS against either you’re going to get a lot of woggle for both, because we don’t really know how to project from their previous experience.

    The bottom line, IMHO, is that the Mets are solid 1-4 and one of Takahashi or Dickey will continue to provide them with better than average starts out of the #5 slot. Unless they do something stupid – and it’s the Mets, they’re more than capable of doing something stupid – like putting Ollie or Maine back in as starters, or giving up Pagan at-bats to Francoeur (almost guaranteed) they’re here for the long run this season.

  16. I mostly agree, except for Dickey. The fact that he’s having his first truly valuable season at age 35 fits a possible narrative of successful knuckleballers, but the sudden leap in his performance is too pronounced for me to trust. I’ll say 75/25 he relapses significantly.

    I don’t think the pertinent question about Jurrjens is whether he’ll match his ’08-’09 performance in the second half of 2010. Nathan asked whether what Niese/Dickey/Takahashi have done so far this season is sustainable. If you want to bring Jurrjens into that discussion, the question is whether he’s going to help us more, less, or about the same in the second half as he did in the first half.

  17. The Mets have been over-performing their Pythag record a bit. Unless Beltran hits like a beast and they bench Frenchy instead of Pagan, I don’t see them being able to do enough to overtake the Braves barring something crazy happening.

  18. The question is, when will the Mets choke?
    HH Greg is terrible. I hate that little singing thing.

  19. The Mets’ rotation had better carry them — they don’t have much out of the bullpen behind K-Rod and Feliciano. Parnell might be a nice find, but the rest of them are coin flips.

  20. How great a disparity is there between the tv feed and the radio feed? (I haven’t tried.)

    I think our radio crew is pretty solid. Powell seems to bring out the best in Sutton.

  21. It’s entertaining watching Frenchy bat when he’s on the Mets. Braves were genius sending him up there.

  22. I can’t handle another day of Chip and Ron. I am switching to the Mets channel.

    That’s exactly what I did. Guess what the first line I heard was? “Francoeur has been a great aquisition for the Mets. Most games played by any Met since he came over, second in hits to Pagan, second in homers to Wright, first in RBI…. Ryan Church, meanwhile, is really struggling right now in Pitthsburgh”

    Some people never get it.

  23. What a poorly designed stadium. You cant have a wall that short so close to the field.
    Typical Mets.

  24. Hey, what does ‘ground-rule double to shallow right’ mean? I assume it has something to do with the laughter re: Francoeur.

  25. Nathan,

    Frenchy was running for Melky Ric Flair and couldn’t catch it but also couldn’t stop running and fell into the stands. It was funny.

  26. Hey, what does ‘ground-rule double to shallow right’ mean?

    That the ball bounced into the stands?

  27. Shut up, Gant. That pitch to Wright was fine, he just reached down and hit a Flair.

  28. 85 — Nope, they started blacking out ESPN and TBS games a couple of years ago if a local channel also has the coverage.

  29. According to Ron, the Braves’ game plan is to be aggressive early in the count, then to work the count and increase Santana’s pitch count.

  30. anyone help get a video of frenchy flying into the stands? I could REALLY use that!

  31. Thanks for swinging at that and hitting that foul when the base stealer was already at 2nd, Tejada.

  32. Im not sure that was a balk. Maybe it was the crow hop thing, but I am not sure how you can balk while the base runner is stealing.

  33. He didn’t step off. He turned with his left foot first. A righty can only step off with his right foot because it’s the only one that’s on the rubber from the stretch.

  34. 109 — Yeah, that’s what I meant.

    Santana threw a CG shutout his last time out. Wouldn’t be good if he’s figured something out.

  35. We’ve had our chances in this game… Unless we can knock Santana out, I don’t like our odds.

  36. Holy crap, that was amazing.

    Kc, the odds don’t matter once the game starts. The fact is we had lots of opportunities and the fact that it was against Santana doesn’t matter.

  37. Hell of a play.

    McLouth led off the Gwinnett game with a first-pitch homer. Good–he’s found a home.

  38. sdp, you would hope we are getting a healthy and old Nate back instead of seeing Melky or Blanco there every day, right?

  39. How does me thinking we should have scored make me a Lowe fan?

    I guess we should just forfeit the games where the pitching matchup doesn’t favor us, right?

  40. Santana isn’t as quite as dominant as he used to be and his K rates are down this year. Some think that he isn’t fully recovered from his surgery. It’s probably a combination of that and aging.

    He obviously still knows how to pitch, though.

  41. Escobar looks pitiful at the plate….Santana has been nowhere near overpowering. Which makes this game so frustrating.

  42. Geez Bethany, are we watching the same game? I certainly didn’t see the “many” chances that you are saying.

  43. We’ve had plenty of baserunners. Lowe’s inability to lay down the bunt was a back breaker.

  44. Bethany, that was our one chance. I don’t count the bases loaded at bat for Lowe as a chance because you know Lowe wouldn’t be able to deliver.

    So, one chance for six innings.

  45. Well this team has had trouble seizing opportunities, and I wouldn’t discount the inning with Lowe, because Yunel went up there and popped up two batters before. You can’t miss chances against people like Santana.

    I’m not going to celebrate that we’re losing just because it’s close and the matchup wasn’t great.

  46. Two things I did like today, frustration shown by Lowe and Escobar….which to me shows they at least care.

  47. Interesting fact, the Mets have not played a game against the Pirates, Dbacks, and the Astros.

  48. KK could have done THAT. Thank God for Venters.

    Now, PLEASE, do what you want Braves in the ninth, but PLEASE don’t score two.

  49. @151 Don’t worry, it will be a 1-2-3 nine inning. Bobby told the guys that he wants to head home soon.

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