Mets 7, Braves 6 (10 innings)

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Tim Hudson returned from his back sprain (I swear mine weren’t sympathy pains) and pitched four shutout innings, allowing three hits and striking out one. Unfortunately, Tom Martin struck again, allowing four runs in the fifth, highlighted by a three-run homer to the immortal Victor Diaz. Martin’s ERA is now 10.80, and I have to think that eventually the Braves will cut bait and eat his contract. Gabe White, who would take Martin’s spot, went two innings, allowing one run on a solo homer to Piazza. Kolb, who hasn’t looked good at all, allowed a run in the eighth to tie the score, and after good part-innings by Barry and Hernandez, Mears allowed the game winner.

On the offensive side, Betemit hit a pair of homers and Langerhans hit his second of the spring — and his second in as many days. Jordan was 0-2 but had an RBI and a stolen base… Betemit is hitting .297 now, slugging .568. A lot of people seem to want him gone in favor of Pete Orr, but Orr’s hitting .244 with a .366 SLG. (Neither has drawn a walk; again, that’s just the nature of spring.) It’s not just spring training. Betemit was a better hitter than Orr last year; Orr’s gaudy batting average is mostly made up for by Betemit’s better walk numbers (neither is exactly Kevin Youkilis) and Betemit has far more power. Plus Betemit’s two and a half years younger. Okay, Orr’s a better defensive player, but I’ll take the bat.

13 thoughts on “Mets 7, Braves 6 (10 innings)”

  1. Tom Martin struck again

    Lets hope that’s a phrase we won’t have to hear every other day this season. If he keeps this up he may not make it out of spring. Personally I’d rather he learned how to pitch, but that seems unlikely at this point. Time to move on.

    I agree on Betemit/Orr, take the bat.

  2. I blew off work today to watch the game (A top ten reason you like baseball too much: you skip work to watch a spring training game…when your already are skipping some work to watch the NCAAs. Maybe that’s a top ten sign you don’t like your job.), and it was a mixed bag.

    Hudson looked great and we lit up Glavine again, which is always fun. Kolb is becoming a concern as he looks very hittable, but I guess you can’t read too much into spring training.

    This was the first time I had seen Buddy Hernandez in person. The obvious comp is to Greg McMichael who had a nice run before the league caught up to him. He got out of a mini-jam in the bottom of the ninth, I would be surprised if he doesn’t make the team somehow.

    Betemit has obvious talent, why we don’t flip him to a team like the Royals or Nats for something we can use is a mystery to me.

  3. But, as you’ll notice, Kolb didn’t give up any hard hit balls. He’ll be okay if he keeps that up.

    Hudson looked great. It’s hard to allow three baserunners and only leave one stranded without giving up any runs.

  4. I don’t think there’s any excuse for choosing Orr over Betemit. Some team out there would take a flier on Wilson were he available (and we’d have to waive him if he didn’t make the big club); the risk of that happening with Orr is much lower. Also, Betemit projects as a more valuable option over this season and future seasons for the reasons Mac cites. I’m very optimistic at the time he’s been seeing at SS this spring… at least they haven’t given up on him playing there. It’s too bad that Kelly Johnson couldn’t stick as a middle infielder.

  5. Kolb worries me far more than Martin. While I trust JS, Cox and Mazzone, I think that the way Kolb pitched during the second part of the season(and his start this spring)gives me reason to believe that he could be the biggest problem in the bullpen.

    Otherwise, Betemit should be taken over Orr.

  6. Another four runs given up in one inning for Martin?!?!?! I’ve actually been biting my tongue in support of this guy. He’s pretty unpopular on this BLOG, but I really thought Leo was going to make an effective pitcher out of him. I’m really losing my faith in this guy. I can hear you laughing all the way in Tucson, Mac…

  7. Good point about moving Betemit, nyb. It seems like the Braves have a log-jam of utility infielders and decent outfielders. Perhaps JS should move a one or two of these prospects to shore up the bullpen. Our veteran relievers are looking more sorry everyday and something’s got to give.

  8. When Tom Martin enters the game, it brings back a feeling I hadn’t felt since 1991, when Dan Petry entered the game.

    Interesting side note. On the day of the Martin trade last year I commented over on the evil Braves board that it made no sense to acquire this guy, because he makes a ton of money and he’s no better than a AAA lefty. Well, for some reason my comment struck a nerve with Bull Shanks, who (while ignoring almost every other post) responded to my analysis sharply. “This is a GREAT trade,” he wrote without any explanation. So, at least I get some satisfaction when Martin is blowing the game.

  9. I keep hearing BK Kim has fallen out of favor in Boston, who could use a decent MI or OF for that matter. He’s a guy I’d love to see in a Braves uni, if some salary acomodation could be made, either as a “closer” or even just a Steve Reed death to righties redux.

  10. Martin enjoys watching the long ball just like the rest of us fans. That’s why he gives so many up. Can’t blame a guy for that, unless he is your pitcher. Makes you really pine for Grybowski in moments like those.

    I’m for Betimet over Orr so you can showcase him to trade. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him traded before the season starts anyway. JS likes those late spring training trades. It’s more likely to happen if Mondesi isn’t ready for the season. The pitching is a concern, but they have enough arms to rotate back and forth from Richmond until they get someone who is affective.

  11. Orr appears to be the hard-working, scrappy guy flavor-of-the-month, and I think he will someday have a future in the big leagues (maybe not a long one) because he can play IF and OF and his hitting appears to have improved from when he really stunk in the low minors.

    But in the short term, I can’t see jettisoning Betemit (unless he is traded to fill a need). It appears Luis Hernandez has been semi-annointed as the SS of the future, but it might be a year or so before we can get to that. I always thought the Braves made a big mistake in moving Betemit off of full-time SS when he went to AAA and it’s great to see him getting more innings there this spring. I think he could contribute as the interim between Furcal (if he leaves) and Hernandez (if he develops) at SS.

  12. It’s a shame that Betemit doesn’t have an option year left, because if he were sent to AAA they’ve have to play him at short since Marte will get most of the time at third.

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