Mets 5, Braves 3

Noah Syndergaard vs. Sean Newcomb. On paper, it’s wise to be concerned about the outcome. But, Newcomb ever-so-slightly — Games Scores 54 to 53 — out-pitched Thor. Newcomb’s ERA through 4 starts has been a little better — 4.32 last year down to 3.74 this year — but his peripherals have improved across the board through the young season. His K/9 has increased significantly from 9.72 in 19 starts last year to 11.22 so far this year. Home runs are down a tick — .90 to .83 — though that can have a huge sample size swing. And the walk rate is down a little (5.13/9 to 4.57). All told, his 3.37 FIP is second amongst the four starters who have made their way through 4 times. His K rate is tops along with his HR rate. So, really, we’re all good with Newcomb right now.

But once again, you’re facing Thor, so the league’s best offense could only push across 3 runs through 6. The real problem came when the Mets’ bullpen shut the Braves down for 6 innings. The Braves mustered 1 hit, 3 walks, and 6 K’s through the last 6 innings of the game. They’re now 1-4, and the offense goes into Hibernation Mode when they get into extras, it seems. One of the few weaknesses of this team so far. Ryan Flaherty was the only guy to contribute a multi-hit game, though Ozzie Albies destroyed a 99 mph fastball from Thor for a no-doubter home run. In 499 PAs, last year’s predominant second baseman Brandon Phillips produced 1.5 fWAR. Through only 89 PAs, Ozhaino’s got your back to a cool 1 fWAR. So let’s play Fun With WAR: if Ozzie compiles 600 PAs, he’d produce 6.7 fWAR if he kept pace. He probably won’t, but that’s why it’s just for fun.

The bullpen threw 4 straight scoreless innings until the 12th. Dan Winkler actually struck out the side, and looked dominant doing it. Josh Ravin, recently called up to replace Luke Sims, hit the pitcher’s jersey, thus awarding him 1st base. Rosario bunted him over, then Frazier popped up. So the pitcher was on second with two outs. Instead of walking Yoenis Cespedes, who, admittedly, has been struggling, they pitch to him and he singles softly to right in the vacated second base spot. Asdrubel Cabrera then doubles to plate the second run, but that was already more than enough.

Oh well. These guys won’t score 7 a game every time. Let’s get them today.

66 thoughts on “Mets 5, Braves 3”

  1. New poll. Prognosticate to your heart’s content.

    I think they keep Gohara down, and ride with the current rotation until Wisler turns into a pumpkin, which is fine by me. No way Newcomb goes down. No way.

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  3. As I said on the other thread, sometimes you lose a game and it doesn’t mean anything. I’m not sure there was anything that couldn’t be attributed to whose luck was running well yesterday. I am currently wondering how much Freddie’s hand is bothering him. Also, you have to take the positive from Newcomb matching Thor pitch-for-pitch. Our relievers were fine until the last inning. But how can you complain about a scraped jersey and a great hitter currently hitting less then .100 getting a hit?

    Wisler was a prospect with a good projection. If he’s finally figured it out, that’s good. I’m not sure if he will become one of our best five, but he could be a great middle reliever or a good trade chip. I think both Fried and Wisler could be good in middle relief with Fried eventually becoming a top arm.

    What to do with Gohara and Acuna in the near term with a roster crunch coming soon will be interesting. AA may have to go to the trade market well before the ASB.

  4. @2 Chief, while there’s always room for improvement, it seems to me that they are rotating through the bottom two spots with potential prospects until they find someone that sticks. They couldn’t be finished with that project yet while Biddle hasn’t pitched and Whitley is on rehab.

    The current bullpen of Viz, Minter, Winkler, Freeman, Moylan, Carle, Biddle, and Ravin is not bad. No star power but a few potential stars. We still haven’t tried Whitley. Eventually Sanchez will be in the bullpen when Gohara or Wisler or Fried are starting. If Carle keeps pitching well and if Biddle proves himself then only Moylan and Ravin are left to replace. I think trading out someone for a real bullpen stopper of some sort to replace Moylan has to be a priority. Nothing else is coming up from the minors for relief except Wisler and Fried.

    I just think the bullpen is not that bad as it is.

  5. I’m a Newk fan and we could hardly expect at this stage back to back perfection but…

    on the matter of poor control he played the typical tyro role, 6 inches or so, say, east and west, north and south, sometimes both, away from the glove….

    then there were a couple of real bloopers, but so what…

    what bugged me was the six or eight times he reverted to type and put the ball fifteen inches off the plate on his arm side. Horror show for what it implies. That number of times…

    Ah well…what shall we say to him when we Skype? He likely will not be able to resist further instruction.

  6. All it takes is one start for people to push the reset button, it seems. Wisler has had multiple (several?) solid-to-dazzling starts in his Braves career, which is now entering it’s fourth (yes, fourth!!) year. The question has always been can he repeat that success enough while minimizing the dismal starts. I wouldn’t pencil him into anything but his next start, which he earned with his last one. And see how it goes from there. Odds are Gohara and maybe Fried will earn it right back from him. We’ll see.

  7. So what’s the difference between a .500 team and a borderline playoff team? I thought every .500 team considered itself borderline playoff.

  8. LOL it’s April 21, and nearly no one thinks this is a 75-win team anymore.

    (I’m the one who voted for the ’27 Yanks.)

  9. there is a temptation to teach
    (what others might well call a reach)
    the art of controlling
    a ball he’s not rolling
    by airing his former pastiche.*

    * ‘ A work of art that imitates the style of a previous work,’ Perfect for Newk. The ‘good’ work, obviously.

  10. I voted for 75 win team, but the difference between that and .500 is obviously very small. The team is noticeably more fun to watch this year and for that I’m very grateful.

  11. Here’s a positional dilemma, today and apparently every day, I simply do not understand and would appreciate enlightenment on.

    Back up catchers. Why when Flowers went down did we knee-jerk into an ineffectual, aging never-wozzer who, int al, is an automatic out and no dazzler to second, when we have at least 4 promising kids on the farm, at least some of whom are defensively sound(see our AA friend last night – bye bye D’Arnaud). And some can hit too they say. Any one of whom would benefit from a month ‘up’ having been told it was temporary unless of course he turns into another Mr. Nido and stays.

    What’s the downside?

  12. Because catchers have a far larger role to play in the game than a random outfielder. Especially with a super young and developing pitching staff you need a catcher who can help control and call the game from behind the dish. Calling up a 20 year old from AA doesn’t do that.

  13. Alex Jackson is still raw, especially defensively. He’s the only one of who you speak of who is sort of close.

  14. @19

    1-3 with a walk. Flyout, flyout, single, BB. Was subbed out after the last walk. Did not make any of the Fire Frogs six (6!) errors in the field tonight.

  15. 1991 was magical, of course, and still my favorite season, but 1982 is a close second. Horner was a helluva hitter. Just couldn’t stay healthy.

  16. Teheran is looking good tomight. I think he found an extra tic on his FB. Seems to be running 91-92 vs 89-91.

  17. Starting to look like Julio has figured out how to pitch with a fastball that doesn’t get to 90 mph. He’s mixing up pitches, changing speeds, and hitting his spots, much like Anibal has been doing. This is his third good start in a row. It can be done, but not much margin for error.

  18. of course that call on the steal of third was reversed against us, fucking thing sucks.

    There was no conclusive BS to overturn it, ender’s thigh seemed in contact the whole time even if the leg popped off.

    and of course freeman doubles now

  19. @28 yeah, Ender’s instincts on the bases aren’t altogether great. The other night he stole too late and tonight he stole too much. If he had just stayed on second and let Ozzie try to move him over then he’d have been either on second or third for Freddie.

    But Julio’s gone 7 scoreless tonight and pitch-for-pitch with deGrom. We’ve got some starting pitching. Who says this is not a contender?

  20. What’s with this team’s bullpen and the leadoff walks/HBPs? Every game, seemingly every inning.

  21. The bullpen was fool’s gold to anyone who was paying attention. That being said, it’s amazing how the standard for a conclusive overturn almost always works against then Braves.

  22. Ozzie hasn’t had a good game, period, pop ups all over the place.

    give him a day off, though camargo looks bad offensively as well

  23. Ozzie has screwed it up big time this inning but it’s the leadoff walk that started it. Seems like the bullpen has done that in virtually every game. They’ve actually been lucky that it hasn’t been worse–but that luck appears to be running out.

    And it just did.

  24. And the next reliever that needs to go the firing squad is Freeman. I sure thought he would get over it but he has walked at least one including the first hitter in his last three appearances. Where in the hell is Biddle? He is the “freshest” reliever on the team.

    Freeman didn’t get a single out and Carle couldn’t bail him out. Now the Mets have a crooked number.

  25. more concerned about the offense than the bullpen, chief. can’t win if you don’t score.

    everyone seems to be regressing except dansby and flaherty, but singles from them at the bottom of the order do not equal runs.

  26. I’m not sure that was the bullpen. Mistakes caused 3 runners to reach. We should have been out of that inning unscathed, leadoff walk or not. Albies’ miscues accounted for all 3 of those runs.

  27. You’re right, Rob, that without Ozzie’s miscues the Mets would not have scored. Nonetheless I’m so frustrated with the leadoff walks; you just can’t keep
    doing that and escape unscathed.

  28. Would have been better off letting Perez hit and having Suzuki hit in the pitcher’s spot. Culberson is probably the worst hitter among position players.

  29. We’ve won 12 of our first 20 and it’s entirely possible that we will be getting better, at several positions, as the summer heats up.

  30. Again, resiliency and the will to win can’t be quantified and probably not sustained over a season, but so far this team is a lot of fun to watch. Say what you want to about Snit, but at the very least, I think he’s done a good job preparing the team for the start of the season.

  31. How about that Biddle and Bits. I can’t watch on TV so I don’t know what happened during Cespedes’ at bat (was there a HR or not?) but in the box it looks like a perfect inning for Mr. Biddle. And his first win to boot. I don’t think S. Freeman would pass though waivers but he needs to go somewhere and start throwing strikes again. Biddle was the first reliever in days to come in and start throwing strikes from the first pitch (yes, I know he gave up a walk but that was after several fouls and two outs, not the first batter of the inning).

  32. Honestly Bobby wasn’t the best in game manager ever so I will not be too critical on Snit. I think Snit has done a great job stabilizing the ship during the turbulence time of the organisation. I also think he has better relationship with AA than with the two Johns.

  33. 54 — It was a clearly foul ball that the 3rd base umpire initially ruled fair but was overturned by the other umpires.

  34. BTW, I guess I have the influence of Bear Bryant from my youth and I think building up an opponent makes you look better in the long run. I’ve never liked the IWOTM axiom. I suggest calling them IWTAM – It was the Amazing Mets. There’s just enough sarcasm involved to make it fun.

  35. @ 48 I agree. I was screaming at the computer to wait until the pitcher’s spot to use Suzuki. I thought for sure that they’d walk two with no outs to be able to get a force at home. Suzuki did the equivalent of that by getting on base w/o Camargo scoring. I thought they might walk Culberson (in fact, I hoped on it). Once Culberson struck out, they had a chance to get out of it with a DP so I am ecstatic that Ender bunted – smart baseball. As much as they blew it last night and tried to blow it tonight, the team came through and has a chance to get within a game tomorrow. Wheeler against Folty should be another primo pitcher’s duel.

  36. @56 thanks. The computer registered the HR and then, with no explanation, took it away. ’bout gave me a heart attack.

  37. Dare I say it? This team has a 1991 vibe about it.

    Understand, I’m not saying this team is that good–compare that bullpen to this year’s. But the energy and comeback wins definitely evoke those memories.

  38. @57 – following Louisville basketball during the Pitino years, it was always kind of fun to track how he’d refer to his first-round NCAA tournament opponents. every year, no matter the seed disparity, it was something like “I can’t believe it. This [15 seed] is the toughest first-round matchup I’ve ever seen in forty years of coaching.” if his team blew it/turned in a clunker, he could say I-told-you-so, and if they won by a bunch he could look like a Master Motivator etc. Of course, these days, Pitino’s first rounds are only coming at the bar.

  39. History is blurry and memory unkind, so it bears mentioning that the 1991 Braves bullpen was actually sort of shit-tastic in the first couple of months. That team opened with Randy St. Claire taking meaningful innings. There’s little bad that Sam Freeman or Jose Ramirez have done this year that wasn’t matched by horrible outings by Rick Mahler and Dan Petry in the early goings of ’91.

  40. @63 I remember that. Not too long after they traded Murph for Jeff Parrett…… LOL. There was talk every year about finding the magic closer and they’d trade for some over the hill savior who was sometimes effective. The whole closer thing kept going on until Wohlers claimed the position. There were the Minter/Winklers (something comparable to the Stanton/Merckers) but a lot of chaff going through. And yet they went to a WS here and there. I think we really have a chance to do well this year – the guys will continue to mature. There was also the annual search for the big slugging 1B (a problem solved by the Crime Dog). At least, that’s a problem we don’t have with this team.. :-)

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