ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Mets at Braves

For seven innings, John Smoltz was brilliant, striking out fifteen Mets. Then in the eighth, leading 1-0, he tired, and Carlos Beltran hit a 2-run homer to give the Mets the lead. You could criticize Bobby for not going to the pen, but then you see what the pen did. Tom Martin allowed a mammoth homer by Cliff Floyd, and what good is Martin if he can’t even keep lefties from hitting homers? He left after letting Doug Mienkiewicz double, and Roman Colon allowed a homer to David Wright, and it was 5-1. Jorge Sosa allowed a run in the ninth to cap the scoring. Smoltz gets his second loss, but didn’t deserve it.

We got Ryan Langerhans, starting in right for Mondesi, but Langerhans got a particularly on Pedro Martinez, who allowed but three baserunners. Andruw tripled leading off the second, but was stranded. Chipper walked in the fourth and Estrada doubled him home. That was it for the Braves, retired in order the rest of the way.

It would have been nice to win and push the Mets to five back a week in; instead the Braves are a game up on Florida and Washtreal, 1 1/2 on Philadelphia (up 8-0 on the Cards late) and 3 up on the Mets. The Natspos visit for three starting tomorrow. Monday sees Hampton versus Zach Day on TBS.

39 thoughts on “NY METS 6, ATLANTA 1”

  1. Smoltz looked terrific, very encouraging. Langerhans looks lost. His swing was horrible. Granted it was pedro martinez, but his mechanics are screwed up. After the dismal spring he had he’s not going to get much slack.

  2. I can’t recall ever feeling this bad after an April game. What a performance by Smoltz.

  3. I certainly don’t feel bad after this game. We’ve taken the first two series and Smoltz showed he is still capable of 7 innings of dominant pitching. This also keeps Bobby from developing a false sense of security with Martin for later on. The worst thing was Colon not pitching particularly well. And the bats, but Pedro was on his game.

  4. Smoltz was amazing. And I agree that it was questionable leaving him in to start the 8th, but as you said – you see what the bullpen did… The best likely outcome would have been that the bullpen would have blown the save, preventing Smoltz from taking the big L.

    After the pitch to Beltran that looked like a strike all the way – when Smoltz took a few extra seconds to regroup – I said out loud, “That’s it. Game over.” You could just see his focus disappear into the aftenoon breeze. Smoltzie deserved better.

    This game was a joy to watch, despite its painful ending. I love me some pitcher’s duels.

  5. Went to the game today — I bought my ticket a few weeks ago when it was determined that this would be Smoltz’s first home start. A few observations:

    –I was psyched to be there when Smoltz came out for the top of the first, a sight we haven’t seen in four years. As a part of the “fan experience” they now have a kid announce the starting lineups, and while usually I’m fine with that, I wish the PA announcer had done the intros today — having some random 8-year-old usher Smoltz to the mound negated some of its impact, IMO.

    –Smoltz was brilliant, of course, and so was Pedro. But Smoltz’s pitch count was higher all along the way — he was at 89 pitches after 6 innings, and 106 after 7. Everyone assumed that he would be pulled after 7, and he got his third or fourth standing ovation of the day. It seemed obvious to me that he was already tiring. His fastball was about 92 by then, and he left some balls up. We were surprised to see him come out for the 8th, and the crowd seemed very quiet. By the time Beltran came up, Smoltz was throwing 88 and missing. Yes, the bullpen stunk it up afterward, but there’s no way Cox should have left Smoltz in — he was done. It’s not October 10, it’s April 10. We can talk about Smoltz being a gamer all we want — if he keeps throwing 115 pitches he’ll be a gamer on the DL by June 1.

    –Evidently, in 2005 we will be required to hear Kate Smith’s “God Bless America” during the 7th inning stretch. A modest proposal — can’t we just watch a ballgame?

  6. It was obviously a mistake, but Bobby clearly left him in the try to get one more to break his own strikeout record.

    Pete Orr looked bad today. He was scuffling at the plate, and he booted a double play ball in the first. Hopefully Marcus will go tomorrow.

  7. i agree with Mark – Smoltz stayed to try to get his 16th K. i was worried as soon as Pedro grounded out to end the 7th, thinking that Smoltz would definitely be done if he had gotten the K then . . . he was tiring by that point (as sansho noted), and i was afraid Bobby would bring him back out to face the top of the order. It was a shame to lose this one . . .

  8. I imagine the amount of work our pen has been getting lately and it’s realtive weakness all played a role in the decision to send Smoltz back out. Orr did look bad at the plate, but no where near as bad as Langerhans. He’s been trying real hard since the beginning of spring trainer to not get any playing time.

  9. I guess whether or not sending Smoltz out for the eighth inning will be another debate which has no answers. My personal opinion on this is, regardless of the final result, we should not send Smoltz out for the eighth inning.

    Again, this has nothing to do with the final result of the game. Another point I want to add is, if Bobby would have gone to his bullpen starting the eighth inning, Reitsma will be out there as we all know. Of course, we all know Reitsma doesn’t gaurantee success, so my own humble conclusion has nothing to do with the choice of relieve pitchers (of course, I think Martin has worn out his welcome in Cox’s mind. I mean, how much worse can you get when the two guys Martin was supposed to get out ending up hitting homerun and double?!).

    My conclusion has more to do with protecting John’s arm. I mean, perhaps he only pitched one and two-third inning the last time, or a 70 degree April afternoon is the best time to stretch out John’s arm or something, but I would rather save today’s eighth inning to make sure John has enough gas in the tank by the time September and October come. John has reached the 100-pitch count after his seven innings of work, and I thought Cox would be prudence enough to call it a day for John. Of course, John pitching a shutout didn’t “help” the situation as Bobby tends to leave starting pitchers in the game if they are pitching shutouts.

    Anyway, regardless of the result, John was basically AWESOME!!! Pedro was great as well, I don’t care what people say about Reitsma’s or Glavine’s changeup, but Pedro’s changeup was absolutely amazing…perhaps today’s afternoon was indeed a great day to pitch…

  10. A run of lefthanders is Martin’s job, of course. And, of course, he can’t do it, because he sucks. Again, to save a few hundred thousand, the Braves dumped a guy who outpitched Martin in spring and at least has some success in the past.

  11. “having some random 8-year-old usher Smoltz to the mound negated some of its impact”

    Agreed, but Turner field is geared towards families and the chop house crowd. Annoying as the carnival atmosphere is for we hard core types, it puts extra butts in the seats (or should I say feet thru the turnstiles).

    Evidently, in 2005 we will be required to hear Kate Smith’s “God Bless America” during the 7th inning stretch.

    This is not a change from last year, and they don’t do it every game.

    Oh and the food is awful this year. I had a hot dawg friday, popcorn and fries today and all were sub-par, The fries today were inedible. Anyone else notice that the mazzanine food service has slipped?

  12. I haven’t tried the mezzanine concessions yet, but I have noticed the beer venders are charging more money for less beer since they switched exclusively to those tiny plastic bottles. I may have to go dry this season.

  13. The wife and I were trying to remember. Were the old $7.00 cans 24 or 16 ounces. I think they were 16. That would mean beer is $.50 cheaper cause the new bottles $6.50 bottles are 16.

  14. I remember them being 24 oz., but then again, I had been drinking.

    The gf and I are just going to bring our own food from now on. Even though the new bbq ain’t bad, there is a place near the house that is better by several country miles for less than half the price.

    kc, I concur again, sir. Smoltz should rarely, if ever go more than 7 until we *really* need him to. It was great to see him and Pedro pitch so well today. Man, I love a pitchers duel.

  15. God Bless America Topic: It’s played every sunday. I can deal with it especially consdiering there are teams like NYY who have it sung every home game by the same guy

    8th Inning: I think smoltz was better left in. That is 20-20 of course. I will say this though. Our bullpen has been worked pretty hard the last couple weeks. The homer WAS to carlos beltran who has hit many homers off of many braves (see last post season).

    This was a good loss. It’s obvious you can’t win every game so we gotta give some up. I was there so maybe I’m biased in this, but it was a great pitching game. What more can ou ask for in a what was it 23/24 strikeout game. Our hitting was pretty pathetic, again it’s someone good like Pedro so thats to be expected to a certain extent.

    Lets just say I was happy. I saw an amazing game. Smoltz was great, Pedro was great. Our defense let smoltz make a few mistakes (giving up what 9 hits?) yet when pedro made one (giving up the walk) he paid for it.

    Good loss. I’ll take it. And a game to remember.

  16. I’m pretty sure the cans were 24oz. My friend Jason and I rationalized paying 7 bucks for an icehouse because has 50 percent more alcohol than Coors (roughly) so you (essentially) get 36 oz worth of beer which is (practically) three 12oz cans making it (approximately) two bucks a beer, and hey, that ain’t too bad.

    It was still a rip-off. Glad to know it’s even more the case now.

  17. My heart goes out to Smoltz. He pitched brilliantly, did get some strike calls, but deserved to come out on top. He showed me today that he will climb out of any personal jams he gets into, like the 7-0 start to opening day.

    I like the new red uniforms too, but can’t stand the hat. They shouldn’t turn a youth design into an official cap.

  18. “I’m more in shock than anything else,” Smoltz said. ” It’s not because he (Beltran) hit a homer, because he can hit a homer every time up. It’s because it never even crossed my mind. If I walked him, so what?”

    Well, John, I was thinking the same thing as well. With Piazza not in the lineup, why do you have to pitch to Beltran?! Well, John is John, always likes to challenge hitters. I guess it’s a good reminder for him that he CAN walk the dangerous hitters to get to the easier guys!!!

  19. I didn’t get to see any of this game because I was watching the AA Mississippi Braves this afternoon.

    Jeff Francoeur hit a mamoth home run to left center, a few feet to the left of the 395′ marker at Montgomery’s Riverwalk Park. The OF wall is about 14′ high then behind and on top of that is a monster scoreboard that is probably another 40′ high. Francoeur’s homer hit just a few feet from the very top. Huge shot. (FYI, the AP report on the game right now has the shot as being hit by Scotty Thorman, but the box score has it right.)

    Then the next time up, he was plunked by an up and in 88 mph fastball. I was sitting down the left field line and didn’t have a great view, but it appeared to hit him around the base of the shoulderblade as he turned into the pitch. Francoeur threw his bat down and took a few steps towards first, the benches emptied, but nothing happened.

    Later in the game, there was, however, an altercation. In the bottom of the 8th, Braves pitcher Ryan Bashner hit Montgomery’s Fernando Cortez with a pitch about the same as the one that nailed Francoeur – high 80s fastball in the middle of the back. Cortez threw down his bat and helmet, took two steps towards the mound … and Bashner ran at him, grabbed him and threw a punch. Francoeur was the player most visibly angry after the brawl, but I couldn’t see anything he did or was done to him in the pile.

    Other than the fights and the homer, Francoeur also had a solid single and reached first base on what was ruled an error, but was a close scoring judgment – slow roller to 3B who made a nice pickup, but threw it in the dirt.

    The Mississippi Braves are now 0-4 having been swept by Montgomery, the Devil Rays AA affiliate.

  20. I thought Smoltz should have walked Beltran and so did most of the people sitting around me today at the game. Floyd looked terrible his other two at-bats and I think Smoltz could have sat him down.

    ANother note, are there more anoying fans in the NL than the Mets? When Beltran went deep, they started cussing and trying to pick fights with Braves fans. My group of people did start the “1986” chant.

  21. If I walked him, so what?

    Well, then Captain Ding-Dong (aka Tom F. Martin) enters the game and tacks on those earned runs and the loss in your absence. So, nothing really changes.

    Imprison Tom Martin!

  22. Amazing performance by Smoltz. Do we even have to use Tom Martin as a pitcher, can’t he help out between innings with the grounds crew.

  23. Would someone please re-explain the omission of vowels from crappy pitchers’ names. I know this was done with Reitsma last year, but can’t recall the origin of why.

  24. I’m sure glad that Andruw Jones is having his breakout year. What would he be hitting if he hadn’t changed his stance?

  25. I’m pretty sure the vowel omission stems from the omission of vowels when printing curse words, implying that R**tsm* is similar to, say, f*ckh**d.

    That’ll probably get me censored :)

  26. Watched the game on TV. It was one of those great pitching duels that neither pitcher deserves to lose. At this point, I’d rather release G*d D*mn T*m M*rt*n than have to watch him pitch to another left handed hitter. Too bad Langerhans first start had to come against vintage Pedro. Hate the softball…I mean red home jerseys.

  27. For all of those that want G*d D*mn T*m M*rt*n released remember that this is the team that kept Albie Lopez for a whole season. We do not believe in the principle of sunk costs.

    Sure hope Langerhans realizes that he is playing his way to AAAA status if he doesn’t get it going.

  28. Let’s not be too hasty about Langerhans — he’s only batted 6 times so far. His five outs so far consist of three ABs vs. Pedro, one vs. A.J. Burnett, and a botched sac bunt vs. Matt Perisho. The sample size would have to increase 10x in order to be considered small. As Marge once said, “Let’s none of us have a cow.”

  29. To continue the simpsons theme…

    “Let us never speak of of the 15 strikeout loss again.”

  30. Smoltz looked great, but Pedro had it going on. He’ll become a malcontent soon enough, and we won’t have to worry about him come July, he’ll be pitching for the Yankees or Astros. We’ll pick up Glavine on the waiver wire so he can finish his career as a Brave, and Martin will be lounging in front of Keith Lockhart’s old locker when he makes the playoff roster.

    I think the Braves could have some fun against the Nats. They still aren’t that good. St. Louis though, is stinking up the place pitching wise.

  31. I think the Nats have a surprisingly good lineup. I don’t expect a lot of consistency from their team, as their pitching is still pretty much the same as the last couple of years, but they could steal a few from us if our pitcher’s aren’t careful.

  32. Well, Langerhans got plenty of at-bats in spring too, didn’t do much there either.

    I know, but you know as well as I do that spring training stats are fairly meaningless. If he’s pressing right now, I trust Cox to get him straightened out — he kept the faith with LaRoche last year, and it worked out pretty well. Not that I think Langerhans is an All-Star or anything, but I think he can play.

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