Mets 7, Braves 5

Not as close as the score indicated, and the Braves never actually got the tying run to the plate. The Mets got all seven of their runs before the Braves got a hit (in the seventh inning).

The Mets got a run in the first, a sac fly by Designated Good Player David Wright. Mike Minor was able to keep it under control for a couple of more innings, but in the fourth another sac fly made it 2-0, two runs in the fifth made it 4-0, and he was pulled after allowing two runners in the sixth. It didn’t help, as Cristhian Martinez allowed both of them and one runner of his own to score thanks to a couple of doubles.

Freddie Freeman broke up the no-hitter in the seventh, and Dan Uggla (who had walked) scored on an error to make it 7-1. Then Jason Heyward doubled home two runs, stole third, and scored on a sac fly. Brian McCann hit a solo homer (off of Manny Acosta, who else?) in the eighth.

But they couldn’t get another baserunner. All very normal. Also, after Martinez Fredi brought in Kris Medlen and Eric O’Flaherty. Because he uses bad relievers when he’s tied or down one run but the good ones when he’s down three.

57 thoughts on “Mets 7, Braves 5”

  1. Carried over from last thread:

    We end the last season with one of most epic collapses in baseball history. We open this one with a three-game sweep by a terrible Mets team in New York.

    I’m going to be in Europe all summer, flying out last week of April. I was thinking about getting the Braves/MLB package and watch some games, listen to some radio while I’m over there.

    Screw that! I’ll pocket the money and use it on French whores.

    (That last one was for Sam.)

  2. Went to the game today. A few observations:

    Was sitting behind home plate, with a view just over the ump’s right shoulder—certainly seemed like he was in a hurry. Early in the game, I think he rang up Uggla on a not-that-close 3-2 because a) he felt shown-up by Uggla slinging away his bat & b) he had dinner reservations in Little Italy.

    Had an entire row of South African tourists behind me. Only one of them knew anything about the game of baseball. It fostered a few amusing moments, like when the Braves issued an intentional walk to Wright: “What? That’s not proper sportsmanship! By what right can they do that?”

    It also created a few cringers, like when the Mets took a 7-0 lead: “Does baseball have a mercy rule? Is there a number they have to achieve before they call it for the day? Or can the players just keep running ’round and ’round?”

    Eventually, I had to explain why the home fans cheered when Freeman broke up the no-no.

    I was actually becoming very afraid that we’d get no-hit, not so much because of the mighty Jon Niese, but mainly because this whole group of people was attending its first MLB game. Why? Dumb superstition.

    When I was a kid, I showed a new friend how to play ABPA table baseball game. Just my luck, he threw a no-hitter against me in his first game (with the Braves’ Buzz Capra, 1974 ERA champ & “Grade A” pitcher on APBA’s ’74 version of the team). “You realize,” I said, “that this almost never happens.”

    Then, many years later, I attended Dwight Gooden’s no-hitter at Yankee Stadium vs. Seattle. I scored 4 free tix at the last minute & one of the guys who came along was a friend of a friend—he’d never been to a major-league game, knew nothing about baseball. It was an early-season game in 1996 and there was a big Knicks/Bulls playoff game that night, too, so there were only about 20,000 people there—still, they were totally zoned into what was going on. And this guy doesn’t get it at all. Doesn’t understand the tension, can’t understand the basic rules, all that. Even though I was excited to see my first in-person no-hitter, it was beginning to get to me.

    Finally, as the 9th inning approached, I said, “Look, you might be seeing some history here. If the pitcher can get 3 outs without giving up a hit, you’ll see this place go crazy.” Pretty soon, Griffey bounces out to Tino Martinez and this guy shouts, “Oh, too bad! They hit the ball. It was nice while it lasted, right?” He was met with death glares from about 10 Yankee fans. I said, “Just watch, OK?”

    I had a sinking feeling today. It was cold & windy, and everything felt futile. There was the incessant conversation of baseball cluelessness from the tourists behind me, which wouldn’t have been at all annoying if we weren’t being so humiliated, but it was turning into more of a story than I wanted to ever re-live. And if Niese had scored that first franchise no-hitter against us… Let’s just say that I’ve never wanted to avoid a no-hitter more in my life. Thanks, Freddie.

    OK, 0-3. Hopefully, the bats are awake enough to win a series in Houston.

  3. Heyward is hitting .200 and at least has an OPS of .833/OPS+ of ~150. I’ll take a year of that.

    /Straws. I am grasping at them.

  4. Every regular is hitting below .200 except for Freeman at a hot .250.

    Will the passive-aggressive hate for Jason Heyward never abate around here? J-Hey’s hitting an even .200, which last I checked is not below .200. Laugh if you will, but that’s good for second on the team!

    Okay, go ahead and laugh…

  5. France is pricey. Germany and Spain are better deals, or so I am told.

    Understood. Actually, I’ll be staying with a former romantic flame who lives in Paris for a week before heading to Budapest for the rest of the summer. So the whoring will actually be kept to a minimum while in France (as will rooting on Braves victories, apparently…)

  6. Eastern Europe is a joy on many levels. Talinn, Estonia, pretty much anywhere in Poland, Prague are all wonderful for many leisure activities. Or so I’m told.

  7. I’ll be in Atlanta tomorrow taking my daughter to see Emory. Just as well that the Braves will not be in town.

    Well, the Braves and the Yankees (as well as the Red Sox) are all 0-3. Last year, Tampa Bay was 0-6, I believe. So, not to be too pollyanish, there are still a lot of games to play.

  8. Listened to the game while on the road today…at least I was spared the TV broadcast crew, but the radio booth is pretty dreadful as well. We got 5 runs on 3 hits. That’s efficiency! We fact another lefty tomorrow. Beachy is probably our best pitcher so hopefully he’ll pitch 14 shutout innings.

    Also, can we keep a running tally of Constanza pinch-hit appearances? The fact that he’s the first option off the bench tells me all I need to know about this roster and this manager.

  9. #13 – Yep and these games count. This is the same team that wasnt good enough last year so why would it be any different this season?

    I just want to hear someone else tell us how this was a top 4 team in MLB through August last year. Problem is that every season you actually have to play 162 games, not 130.

  10. I don’t know what to think of this team. Especially being in St. Pete, it’s hard to be a Braves fan while the Rays are making smart decisions and winning.

    The Rays have made the smart trades and free agent signings that have put them in position to be successful. Atlanta seems to refuse to.

    Oh well. It’s just three games.

  11. Well welcome back to the season. At least in baseball there’s a new game every day.

    Maybe this was posted in the last thread, but Derek Lowe: 1 win, Braves: zero. too soon?

  12. So who’s getting demoted when Chipper comes back this week? I want to believe it’s Constanza, but… the Braves do things differently.

  13. What an appalling team….I can’t believe that we wasted 5 runs–I mean it may take us three games to produce as many….

    #20–Watch Frenchy have another productive season as well….

  14. Hello from NY. What a shitty start into the season.
    I guess I am glad my GF didn’t let me go to any of the games after all. Thanks again for all the recommendations. Especially Stanton Social was fantastic!
    JohnR. If you are mostly in Eastern EU, make sure to visit Prague. It’s the most beautiful city in Europe IMO. Also Vienna and Zurich especially are worth visiting. Having lived on several European countries, worked in most and currently living in Switzerland, do let me know if I can help or give some tips.

  15. Just 3 games. But ‘Swept by the Mets’ is tough to take any time of the season.

  16. 24: I’ll be in Budapest from mid-May through August. I’m working on a recording project with some friends there. I’ll be plenty busy but will also have plenty of travel time. I plan on visiting Prague, Bratislava, Croatia and Slovenia at a minimum. I hope to do more extensive traveling than that, but we’ll see when I get there. I assume they have the Braves on basic cable over there?

  17. Certainly. No one wants to open the season 0-3 and no one wants to get swept by the Mets (who are not as bad a team as the jokes would have you believe.) Still. 3 games. If this team was a WC contender a week ago, it still is today.

  18. #22 – HA, thats comical. They want us to believe that we are just now becoming bad vs lefties? Seriously, how bad will this be if the Braves drop 2 of 3 vs Houston?

  19. #28 – “If this team was a WC contender a week ago, it still is today.”

    Ok, but how many people believe this team is actually a WS contender?

  20. DOB’s blog –

    And the Braves struggles vs. lefties even seemed contagious after Michael Bourn arrived in a deadline-day trade from Houston. After hitting .284 with a .341 OBP against lefties before the trade, the speedy leadoff man hit just .210 (17-for-81) with a .226 OBP against lefties as a Brave, with 23 strikeouts and one walk. Yes, 23 strikeouts and one walk.

  21. Relax guys, our only problem is that we struggle in day games. We will have a winning percentage of over 70% during night games.

    (Please note sarcasm above).

  22. #28 – “If this team was a WC contender a week ago, it still is today.”

    Ok, but how many people believe this team is actually a WS contender?

    Sam used the phrase “If this team…”, which I take to be a suggestion that if any of the complainers in this thread thought that the Braves were WS contenders last week, but have now jumped off the bandwagon after only three games, then the problem lies with us, not the Braves.

    I look at things this way: I didn’t envision this team to be a WS contender for 2012. Heck, by September 1 last year I thought it would have been pure luck if we’d have gotten to the WS at all. I had no idea we’d not even make the playoffs, however, but Fredi and company truly shocked and amazed me down the stretch!

    It’s with that in mind that I’ve put no stock in the 2012 season. I don’t see us as WS contenders. Spring training reinforced that. These three games, which are nearly identical to last year’s routine, have reinforced that.

  23. Getting swept by the Mets gives the same feeling as finding a dog turd in your yard when you know you don’t own a dog.

    We can grouse about Fredi, or grumble about Wren, but right now our offense is fit for the pooper-scooper.

  24. John, you may be right. Last years team, despite the record, never had the feel that they could make a deep run in the postseason. The SP was solid, the bullpen was great, but the offense was anemic for most of the season.

    We were told not to worry about the offense in Spring Training since those games/stats didnt matter. Our pitchers are going to need some early runs if this team is going to be successful moving forward.

    The Braves are about to see two more lefties in Houston. Its sad but the Braves offense still rest on the shoulders of our 39 yr old DL’d 3rd baseman.

  25. Timo,

    Glad you enjoyed Stanton Social, I highly recommend it to anyone visiting NYC.

  26. Here’s something to think about.

    Barry Bonds had over a .500OBP in 4 straight seasons, 2001-2004. In 2004 he posted a .609OBP.

    Since 2000, no other player has had an OBP over Giambi’s .477 in 2001.

  27. On Terdo: he was aggressively assigned to AAA. Personally, I think he should be in AA, and am skeptical that he’d hit all that well even there. Meanwhile, any talk that he’s going to contribute to the 2012 big-league team is absurd. Let’s see him hit in the high minors first.

  28. Ok, but how many people believe this team is actually a WS contender?

    Well, let’s back that pony up a bit, ‘kay? I actually said “if they were a WC contender, not WS.

    I did believe the Braves are a WILDCARD contender. I still do. Especially given the expanded WC scenario of 2012. WS? The new WC scenario takes a bit of the randomness out of playoffs, but not all of it by any means. Getting there is still more than half the battle.

    The Braves are not notably worse than any team in their division, excepting the Phillies perhaps. And the Phillies are treading softly on a cliff of age-related decline.

    The Braves are not notably worse than any NL team that I see. Certainly not favorites, but not worse than anyone by significant measure.

  29. So I was reading the writers’ predictions for the season over at SI.com, and this guy named Mel Antonen has the Marlins winning the East and the Nationals taking a Wild Card spot.

    I have no comment to make on this observation.

  30. I think this team is a playoff contender. Once in the playoffs everyone is a WS contender as the Cardinals have shown twice in recent history. So I guess I believe the 2012 Braves are World Series contenders. Stranger things have happened.

    #40 – I guess Bonds had a strike zone smaller than Eddie Gaedel’s those years.

  31. LIES!!!!

    Sparingly. RT @bscotty5: @ajcbraves I enjoy your articles, but I have to stop reading the comments. Holy cow! Do you read those?

  32. I guess Bonds had a strike zone smaller than Eddie Gaedel’s those years.

    A combination of various factors drove those OBPs. One was the deference umpires gave to Bonds’ selectivity at the plate. For those last few years, it was pretty much a living example of the anecdote about the rookie pitcher facing Ted Williams. The umpires were often of the opinion that “if it’s a strike, Mr. Bonds will let you know by swinging at it.”

    Another factor in those over-.500 OBPs was the fact that there at the end, *noone* pitched to Barry Bonds in situations that mattered. He would be intentionally walked at the drop of a dime. He was once intentionally walked *with the bases loaded.* (Pretty sure Mike Soscia call for that one, but time plays tricks on the mind.) At the end, the combination of Bonds’ hitting prowess and the lack of anyone else in the lineup remotely similar to the threat posed by Bonds led to a ton of IBBs, to the point where many analysts at the time were questioning whether Bonds was breaking the OBP-uber-alles model for offensive measurement.

    EDIT: Buck Showalter, not Mike Soscia.

  33. That huge piece of armor that he wore to the plate probably helped to inflate those OBP totals also. Still surprised MLB approved that thing.

  34. It may or may not be worth noting that five teams (including the Braves) are a combined 0-15 to start this season. Four of those five are expected to contend this year. Three of the five have won a World Series in the past five seasons. Strange game this baseball.

    On a separate note, an argument was made last thread challenging the legitimacy of the term “aggressiveness.” I’ve been debating this in my head since I saw it yesterday. Other than the fact that Webster’s lists it as the noun form of the adjective “aggressive,” I just can’t see any reason for aggressiveness not to be its own word. Aggressive is not the root word for aggression as some might assume. They both root from the word “gress” (to step) and can branch independently into other words by switching in and adding different prefixes and suffixes such as “ness” to the point that they take on more specified meanings. For instance, if you look at how aggression is most often used (“He has a lot of pent up aggression” or “It was a war of Northern aggression”) it suggests combativeness (also a word!) on the part of the aggressive party (the aggressor). Aggressiveness is more abstract than aggression. It speaks more to the quality or state of being aggressive. You could view aggression as being something that is external and affects others directly while aggressiveness is internal and has an indirect influence on others.

    Now I’m not saying I’m completely right on this point. I’m just saying I’m open-minded to aggressiveness being it’s own concept(as opposed to being “narrow-minded” which is the only true alternative to open-minded. “Closed-minded” is a term used by nitwits who don’t know any better).

    :)

  35. @47-

    MLB doesn’t approve of it; Bonds got grandfathered in, though, so he got to keep wearing it until he retired. No one could wear it now though.

  36. @48

    I’m impressed! Based on this evidence, I think I’m gonna have to cede the point. I myself will continue using “aggression” in that situation, as “aggressiveness” still sounds stupid and made-up to me. But I take back what I said about it being a prime example of announcer idiot-speak and not being an actual word.

  37. Boy, want to feel (a little) better about the Braves’ lineup? Check out the Philly batting order today:

    Pierre(!)
    Polanco
    Rollins
    Pence
    Victorino
    Mayberry
    Ruiz
    Galvis
    Hamels

    Bleh

  38. Well, they are justified in not scoring runs with that bunch. Plus, theyll get Utley and Howard back at some point and theyll find a way to add some payroll. The Braves have no real reason to keep putting up zeros.

  39. Getting Utley and Howard back is no more certain than “getting Chipper back.” Except they’ll be paying those guy $20+ mil for the next five or so years.

  40. @50

    I’m glad you didn’t view my response as an act of “aggression”. I felt compelled to do the research just to put the matter to rest in my own mind. Otherwise it would have kept eating at me. Thanks to your post I am now more informed about the “gress” words than I ever wished to be.

  41. @48

    Excellent stuff there. I’m late to this (awesome) party, but I’ll contribute that “aggression” would seem to describe an action, while “aggressiveness” would seem to describe an attribute.

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