Mets 4, Braves 2

Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets – Box Score – April 07, 2012 – ESPN.

This is not going well. It’s only two games, of course. A lot of it is the new guys, who were predictably awful. Livan Hernandez gave up a Grybo with two out in the fifth to put the Mets up 3-2, the winning run. Chad Durbin unsurprisingly gave up a home run when Fredi inexplicably brought him in for the seventh. And Juan Francisco was 0-4 and popped up with a runner on base for the next-to-last out of the game. Admittedly, Brian McCann and Dan Uggla haven’t done much either.

The good news about Jair Jurrjens is that he struck out three in 4 1/3. The bad news is everything else, including that he threw 4 1/3 innings. He walked three, allowed seven hits, and most disappointingly continued his homer-proneness from the spring, allowing two solo shots. He was lucky to allow just three runs, and the one thing he can’t do is start allowing homers. Preventing homers has been the basis of his career.

The Braves finally got their first runs of the year in the fifth with a two-run homer from Martin Prado, scoring Michael Bourn. Bourn had two hits and a walk, but took off late from third on a passed ball in the third inning and was called out at the plate. (Some replays suggested he was safe, but he deserved to be called out.) Jason Heyward was 1-1 with two walks, but struck out in the ninth after Freddie Freeman led off with a single (his second hit of the game).

Cristhian Martinez needed only seven pitches to get through the eighth inning. Presumably Fredi was saving him when the game was closer.

48 thoughts on “Mets 4, Braves 2”

  1. On the bright side, our total runs scored for the season is on a pace that’s easy to calculate.

    So, how many games does the Pythagorean project us to win if we score 162?

  2. Is there any chance Gonzalez could be fired during the season? Kind of feel as if the Braves could be 0-81 midway through the season, and nothing would happen to him.

  3. Well at 0-81 you’d probably want to give him a chance to shake up the bullpen and lineup before you fired him. Maybe put Livan in the 8th and Durbin closing with Constanza and Diaz both starting and hitting 1/2. See if that works before you do anything rash.

  4. It’s just sad to see what this franchise has become. I wish they would give me just ONE reason to care. I still do, but I have no idea why.

  5. @5

    Because ownership comes and goes. Eventually, we’ll have someone in charge again who gives half a damn. But as I’ve asked myself many times the last few years, “If ownership doesn’t care, why should I?” I patiently waited out the five years they had to hold onto the team. I have no patience left.

  6. Missing the playoffs a couple years in a row… That sucked, but, they were rebuilding. Couple bad contracts, nothing in the farm, underperformers in the lineup. But you could still root for them.

    But now… Now we suck because we’re stupid. And I don’t want to keep watching stupid.

  7. That “Heyward’s big day: He hits a homer and takes one away” headline has been there forever it feels like.

  8. Just turned on Fox and where I am, the game of the week is the Giants v D-backs. Goldschmidt, who wears #44, was just retired and the color man (I have no idea who he is but he’s got the most obnoxious voice) just said the following thing:

    “You think of all the other guys who wore 44. You think of Reggie Jackson. (pauses)… Tom Rathman.”

    And that was it. Tom Rathman?

  9. I know what everyone’s thinking: Chad Durbin sucks. But come on, he’s just a little rusty!

    Good to see ole C-Mart back in action and dominating. Just stay away from the wheel when you’re sauced up, kid…

  10. JJ was apparently having trouble gripping the ball because of the cold. I can believe it. I’m sure it is just me, but a lot of his pitches looked flat today.

  11. Hitting .175 & scoring 2 runs in 2 games ain’t gonna get you much, no matter which middle relievers we roll out.

    Will be there again tomorrow, though.

  12. So, Fredi’s dum-dums for today:
    -Bringing in Livan in a high-leverage situation — and to face three lefties when O’Flaherty, Venters, and Medlen are on the bench. Fair to argue that any of those pitchers would’ve had a better chance at keeping the game tied.
    -Pinch-hitting Constanza for Livan — with Hinske, Ross, Diaz on the bench — with predictable results.

    I don’t know if I feel all that badly about this:
    -Using Durbin in a somewhat high-leverage situation, when we’re already losing…I know, we shouldn’t be using him at all, but that’s not Fredi’s fault.

    The light bulb went on a little in the 9th. This all seemed fine to me:
    -Pinch-hitting Hinske for Pastornicky, resulting in a single
    -Pinch-running Wilson for Hinske
    -Pinch-hitting Diaz for Martinez

    If people don’t have changes to make, that’s 4 Frediotic episodes total, 2 per game in the early going. Or twice as many runs as we’ve scored thus far.

  13. Two games are too soon to jump off the bridge but I totally agree with Mac’s comments from a couple of threads ago about the Braves not considering anyone but Fredi. I think it was defensible to hire him and we can argue about how much of the problem is his fault, but a competent management would have at least looked at the options. I felt that they should have gone in a different direction to shake things up a bit-especially given that the team has not been overly successful in recent years. But, even if they didn’t, they should have at least looked.

    This plays into what Insect Overlord (do I have that right?) said about the Braves being a complacent organization. Obviously, they are operating under payroll constraints that they didn’t have during the 90s but I have gotten the feeling the last few years that the Braves FO are convinced that they know it all and that because it worked before, it will work again and they need no changes. The organization does seem stale notwithstanding that they have produced some good players. This is a dull, lifeless team and the FO seems more concerned with meeting minimum corporate goals than with winning. Oddly enough, the organization doesn’t seem to really care if fans care about the Braves. Right now, there is not much reason to care about this team.

  14. Open the year losing back to back against the consensus worst team in the National League. I can barely read about these games, much less spend valuable weekend time listening to them.

  15. The Mets were a much better hitting team last year than the Braves, and will be again this year. The only thing keeping us from 70 win seasons has been good-to-great starting pitching and a lights-out bullpen. I don’t think either will be nearly as good this year, and of course it doesn’t matter how good Venters and Kimbrel are when you never have a lead.

    It’s probably gonna take record-low attendance to force our front office into making a move. We’re at least off to a decent start on that front.

    Another lefty tomorrow. Minor better not give up more than one run.

  16. How can we expect anything different when we keep doing the same thing. The offense stunk last year, so the braves march out the same lineup except its got a broken down chipper and a rookie slap hitter at short.

    Definition of insane is doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results.

  17. Guillen is off to a great start in Miami:

    CINCINNATI (AP) — Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen is apologizing for telling a magazine that he loves Fidel Castro.

    The team released a statement on Saturday saying there is “nothing to respect” about Castro, calling him a “brutal dictator.”

  18. Only thing Id like to complain about is not giving Ross a chance in the 9th instead of Diaz. You know because Ross can actually hit right handed pitching.

  19. So, you guys think we’ll score more runs than the Padres this year?

    I see the best-hitting catcher in baseball is picking up where he left off last September.

  20. hank’s bizarre fixation on taking shots at Brian McCann is still going strong in 2012.

  21. It really is bizarre, which is what makes it kinda great. There’s no explanation. It just is.

  22. You know, I’ll bet that hank has a HUGE mancrush on BMac and this is his way of not surrendering to it.

  23. @15

    “Dum-dum” No. 1: Medlen pitched two innings yesterday, and O’Flaherty and Venters are late-inning guys, and no matter how much you dislike it or jump up and down, he’s not gonna use them in the fifth inning…ever. Nor would any Major League manager today. This doesn’t count. It’s not sabermetric, but you can’t ring him up on a list of stupid decisions for doing something that every manager would do. If you want to argue that he could’ve used Durbin or Martinez, that is acceptable (I probably would’ve gone with Martinez myself, but Fredi does have to know if Livan can get out of a mid-inning jam at some point), but you’re gonna have a lot of “dum-dums” on here (which is probably the point) if you ring him up every time he doesn’t put one of the big three in in the fifth freaking inning, because he is never going to do it, and if that’s stupid, all of baseball is stupid, not just Fredi.

    “Dum-dum” No. 2: Don’t really have a problem with this. Hitting Constanza instead of Hinske with one out and the tying run at the plate late in the game is pretty stupid. I pray to God that nobody gets injured in the next week so that we pretty much have to send Constanza down when Chipper comes back.

    I count one decision in the first two games that I would characterize as outright “dumb”, wherein I just don’t see where he was going with it at all strategically, and it is that last one.

    I am somewhat disappointed that we haven’t had any bunting nuclear meltdowns yet. I’m sure every single bunt will be a “dumb” decision.

    Note: If you’re actually going through with this for the full year, you mentioned not being sure how to compare Fredi versus other managers. You could keep track of the decisions of the opposing manager in each game the Braves play. That’s certainly not like watching every manager for every game, but would at least give you a basic idea of where Fredi might stack up.

  24. @33 – Medlen didn’t pitch any innings yesterday. Yesterday was an off-day. He should have been available today.

  25. @33, Fair points. There are things Fredi will do that will be conventionally or traditionally stupid, and things that he’ll do that’ll defy…everything. Good call to keep track of and categorize both. But even though you claim that no manager would put a LOOGY in in the 5th, it still has to go in the bad decision column.

    Maybe I’m crazy or ill-informed, but I think some teams’ attitudes towards bullpen usage and leverage are starting to change ever so subtly. It’s interesting to me, for instance, that Lidge and Henry Rodriguez (!) are closing right now for that Nats while Clippard remains available for use in high leverage situations — or even that Clippard hasn’t been closing over Storen. Also, it’s tough to say what Robin Ventura is thinking, but maybe he’s going the same route with Reed/Thornton vs Crain/Hector Santiago (!!). It could be total naive optimism, but I detect some slight changes that could signal that bullpen traditionalism is eroding, if only with regards to the closer/set-up roles.

    Point being, if other managers start pushing the envelope, I’d hope the Braves want someone in the dugout who could keep up. It’s questionable if Fredi can even do what tradition is right in telling him to do.

    I like the idea of at least keeping track of whether Fredi was out-managed, game by game.

  26. Again, Medlen should have been available, because yesterday was an off-day, and he should have been used in the 5th today.

    Bobby wasn’t a tactical giant, but he was flexible enough to use his assigned “groundball” guy in innings with runners on base, and then go to his inning-appropriate relievers.

    But just so we’re clear, here’s what happened:

    When the 4th inning began, the Braves had not yet scored, and trailed 1-0. Then Jurrjens allowed a homer, to make it 2-0. Then, with 2 outs, Jurrjens allowed two singles and a walk to load the bases.

    Bases loaded, two outs, down 2-0. McDowell went to the mound and Hernandez started throwing in the pen. It’s on my DVR, camera flashed to the pen and this is when Hernandez began throwing.

    If Jurrjens gave up one more hit, the score falling to 4-0, then Hernandez would have been a perfectly appropriate choice.

    But Jurrjens got off the hook. Then, miracle of miracles, top 5, Braves tied the score on a Prado two run homer.

    Bottom 5, Jurrjens returns to the hill, and gets in to trouble again. Hernandez was warm, so he entered the game.

    Once the score was tied, Hernandez should have not been an option. Or, you could even argue that he should have started the inning. But by sending Jurrjens back out there, in a tie game, you’ve GOT to know “Hey, if I go get him this inning, it’s going to be with men on base.”

    But Fredi didn’t plan for that. Hernandez was warm from the previous inning, when his entrance would have been appropriate. But instead of coming in with two outs, two on and down 4, he came in with two men on, one out, tie game. He promptly surrended the lead.

  27. I was shocked Livan only gave up the Grybo. Even when he gets calls off the corners or strikes I hate it because it gives me flashbacks.

    jjshiller is 100% correct that he only came into the game because he was warm and the only one warm. To not have other relievers at least getting loose in the second game of the season after an off day is pretty unbelievable if you think about it. It’s basic managing.

  28. I’m calling Fredi “the Blank,” from here on — in honor of his stare and what we know is behind those eyes.

  29. Happy Easter All! Hopefully the Easter bunny can keep the eggs off of the scoreboard for the Braves today.

  30. Fredi isn’t the reason we lost yesterday. We lost because we couldn’t hit a knuckleballer.

  31. We didn’t lose yesterday because we couldn’t hit a knuckleballer. We lost because we allowed more runs than we scored.

  32. The Mets aren’t nearly the worst team in the league. They’re just the most screwed-up franchise in the league. They have better pitching and hitting than the Astros and Pirates, and possibly the Padres. The difference is that the Astros, Pirates and Padres weren’t BFFs with Bernie Madoff.

  33. A Braves fact I just read in a completely unrelated article: in 2011, we got a .644 OPS from our 2nd spot in the lineup. We got a .747 from the 8 hole.

    If only our league-designated official number 2 hitters would have just hit better! Or if only they’d change the rules to let you CHOOSE what order you could bat your hitters!

  34. I’d say a large percentage of the time you only score 2 runs you’re going to lose.

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