Braves 6, Mets 3

ESPN – Braves vs. Mets – Box Score – April 25, 2008

Another reason to despise the bunt: it’s a good way to get a player hurt. After getting the leadoff man on in the first, Bobby decided to have Escobar bunt again. And the team’s only shortstop got the bunt down only to have to leave the game for non-shortstop Martin Prado because of a “contusion” (bruise) to his index finger. X-rays were negative, but I’d be surprised if he played tomorrow. Anyway, the Braves got a run in the first but left the bases loaded.

Jair Jurrjens looked great for the first two innings, retiring the Mets in order. He gave up a couple of weak hits in the third, but looked to be out of it after getting Reyes, then issuing a walk, but getting Wright on a perfect 0-2 pitch down the middle of the plate. Except that for some reason the umpire decided that it wasn’t a strike, and Jurrjens completely lost it. He issued three consecutive bases-loaded walks to put the Mets up 3-1, and Bobby got himself ejected arguing balls and strikes.

KJ drove in a run with a sac fly in the fourth, and Francoeur doubled home McCann in the fifth to tie it. KJ then hit a two-run homer in the sixth (Jurrjens had singled in front of him, Braves’ pitchers’ first hit of the season) to get the lead back, and singled in Blanco in the seventh for some extra help.

Jurrjens was perfect for three innings after the third. Ohman did his usual high-wire act in the seventh, walking two but getting out of it. This will not work in the long-term. Boyer pitched the eighth, and Ring and Acosta combined in the ninth.

In addition to KJ’s four-RBI, two-run night, Blanco had a big day with three hits and a walk. He’s now hitting .462. Kotsay sat out the day with a minor injury, and really either he or Diaz is going to have to until Blanco cools off.

31 thoughts on “Braves 6, Mets 3”

  1. Jurrjens showed us something tonight — a hostile crowd and a hitter’s umpire brought him to the brink of destruction, and he worked it out. I like this kid a lot.

  2. KJ and JJ!

    JJ might have gotten a shut out if not for the strike zone shenanigans.

    And KJ was definitely the offensive hero. Good night for him.

  3. Boyer looked sharp, too.

    I’m looking forward to ububba’s wrap up. Judging by the reaction of the fans at Shea, that fight in the stands in the 6th must have been pretty serious. Let’s hope our man in Flushing was not involved.

  4. Have you noticed that Resop backwards is Poser?

    I “see” the games over the ‘net (thanks again, TBS!), so did the ump just lose the strike zone in the 3rd and suddenly get it back, or what?

  5. One thing that I noticed watching the game was that Pelfrey has an incredibly irritating habit of sucking and flipping around a clear plastic retainer or whatever it is in his mouth. After a minute, he becomes unbearable to watch. Oh, and he reminds me of Kyle Davies, in that he has pitches that the radar gun says should be hard to hit, yet they get hit hard and often. Good for the Braves, because the radar gun should get him plenty of opportunities to start and lose games.

  6. “X-rays were negative, and Cox said Escobar would probably miss the rest of the series but might be back for Tuesday’s series opener at Washington.”

    Great way to help your team Bobby!!!

  7. Too bad about Escobar. Not just losing him, but having to watch Prado at short. Still came away very impressed with Jurrjens, though. We might have gotten a steal, depending on what we can get out of Hernandez.

    Pelfrey has some sort of “mandibular” condition – he has trouble biting his tongue. Seriously. Miller and Morgan talked about it on Sunday Night Baseball last week.

  8. I “see” the games over the ‘net (thanks again, TBS!), so did the ump just lose the strike zone in the 3rd and suddenly get it back, or what?

    No, he was all over the place all night. But as Mac says that 0-2 to Wright that would have ended the inning was as sure a strike as there could be. I have no idea how he didn’t call it. Horrible call in a big spot.

    Glad to see JJ bounce back. I was worried that all the pitches in the third would be the beginning of the end but he just picked up where he left off the next inning.

  9. I had an idea that the evening would go well when a Met fan gave me an unopened 25-oz Heineken can on the LIRR train to Shea. “I bought too many—want it?”

    He didn’t notice my UGA cap. Probably thought it was a Packers logo.

    The crowd was uneasy & distracted tonight. I can’t tell you how many people seemed to be more wrapped up in the Rangers-Penguins NHL playoff game.

    Lotsa grumbling on the way out—just the way I like it.

    Obvious observations: The home plate umpire needs a joint because he’s got glaucoma. I was actually at the concessions in front of a TV during the Wright AB when he called that perfect strike 3 a ball. Ree-diculous. That inning was over.

    Other observation: I was positive that ol’ Jair would give up the big hit then, but he didn’t. I was positive he’d run out of gas in a following inning, but he didn’t. He gave us his all, dropped 2 SAC bunts, even got a hit & scored a run. I’m liking him a lot.

    Big night for KJ & the Mets only got 2 hits. We’ll see if we can keep the sleeper hold on ’em tomorrow. Scored a ticket from my mellow Met fan pal, so I’ll be there.

    Nasty scrap in the stands below me. Lotsa beer flung. Looked like 2 big roid-heads going at it. Not sure what it was about, but it went on and on and on. It was the only excitement New York fans could enjoy—even the Rangers & Yanks lost tonight.

    Met a nice Vandy grad on the train on the way back. We were mildly giddy listening to all the Met-fan moaning.

    Hey! Let’s play two!

  10. Does anybody really know if Cox was having him bunt there? I really think it was Esco’s idea, and he was trying to bunt for a hit – just like he did the other night. It is a possibility.

  11. From pitching probables on the official site:

    “ATL: RHP Tim Hudson (3-1, 2.93 ERA)
    Concerns about Hudson’s health were silenced on Monday night, when his fastball returned to its normal velocity — between 91-93 mph.”

    Silence of the Critics.

  12. I was at the game and I wondered what the heck was going on with the home plate ump. Sure, it’s all fun and games whan Pelfry wasn’t getting the calls, but it was tragic when JJ wasn’t getting them either. Thankfully, he was able to get it together again.

    So I gather JJ was really all over the place except for the 0-2 pitch to Wright? What about Pelfry? Was he getting bad calls, or was he all over the place as well?

    Thanks for the info on the fight, ububba. It was in the section below where I was sitting so we couldn’t see anything except the reactions of everyone closer to it.

  13. Even aside from his sketchy judgment, Tim McClelland is the most annoying home-plate ump in all of baseball.

    He makes almost no gesture on called strikes and the very little movement you do get from him comes way too late. It’s so easy to get confused on the count with him & it makes me crazy.

    One more thing: I heard more than one fed-up-with-Willie Met fan praising Bobby Cox for “showing some fire tonight.”

  14. I thought Smoltz was our only pitcher that could get in a jam like JJ did, & not have a complete meltdown (grandslams, doubles,… getting pulled after giving up 6 or 7 runs). I like this kid a lot.

  15. This morning I watched the end of the Phillies game on the Fox replay. I was shocked to see T.J. Bohn (who hit all of .241 for Richmond last year) playing for the Phillies. If they have to rely on the likes of Bohn, I like our chances.

    That said, did anybody notice Chase Utley’s start? He has 10 HR and he has yet to see Braves’ pitching….

  16. I have two questions completely unrelated to the game or each other….
    Does anyone know what the percentage of pitches thrown after a visit to the mound by the pitching coach or manager result in a strike? I was at the game Thursday night and it just occured to me, it seems after every visit the next pitch is almost always a strike.
    Does anyone on here have any recommendations for a good portable radio? I take a small radio with a speaker to the game with me so I can listen to Skip and Pete (or whoever is covering the game). I like to have a radio with a speaker instead of headphones so my wife and I can both listen to it. Unfortunately my current radio is dying (I think it got rained on at too many games last year). Ideally it would be AM/FM with a speaker and digital tuning plus small enough to fit in the bag I put my media guide, glove and peanuts in. If anyone has any suggestions that would be great.
    Thanks.

  17. Ububba,

    Man, looks like I missed a hell of a game. My buddy from home is moving out to NY (Giants fan, poor guy) so we’ll have to meet up for another game this summer.

  18. Praise to JJJ but also to BC. He backed his pitcher and was able to keep the important one of them (the pitcher) in the game and JJJ went on to right the ship and take a lot of a potentially horrible load off of the bullpen.

    These are just the things that make BC an all time great manager Per Neyer updating Bill James, 137 games over what would otherwise be expected for his career, #1 all time). 1. He backed his guy. 2. He got the ump’s focus off of the kid. 3. He keeps smart enought people around him and keeps them all on the page where when he goes to the clubhouse, nothing seems to change.

  19. @16, By Design,

    JJJ was on with his pitches all night, EXCEPT the last part of the third when he lost it mentally. He was within inches of the strikc zone on most of his other balls.

    I think the earlier post was to point out the UMPIRE was all over the place. Sometimes the high strike was a strike. Sometmes it wasn’t.

    The pitch to Wright was about the third strike of the inning called a ball.

  20. Well, I feel pretty good about taking this series with Huddy and Smoltz coming to the mound. I do not expect a sweep without a shortstop. They are kind of important.

    Hey, why don’t we just get rid of Resop now and call up Lillibridge until we have to activate Glavine.

  21. One more point to raise in praise of JJ, the second of the 2 hits he allowed would have been a double play ball if not for a hit and run (or was it a steal and hit?) play by the Mets. Not saying it was cheap or anything, but the kid was on last night.

  22. Hudson going with Prado or Gotay out there could be bad news, but I don’t think it’ll kill Smoltzy.

  23. RE: the third inning — Jurrjens gave up two weak singles, got two out, walked Castillo to load the bases, K’d Wright for the third out, K’d Church for the fourth out and then legitimately walked the next guy. Tim McClellan had two of the Mets’ RBIs tonight.

    Another pretty cool thing to note. When Cox waddled out to take the ejection for his pitcher (which is clearly and unquestionably what he did) Mark Teixeira walked in to the mound and talked Jurrjens down. If Tex hadn’t done that both Cox and Jurrjens would have been tossed, but Jair was well ready to take McClellan’s bait and start jawing.

  24. Hap,

    I have a Grundig that I like a lot. No digital tuning but I’m sure they make one that has it. Mine has AM/FM/SW1/SW2, a light and is hand-crankable. Best radio I’ve ever had.

  25. Praise to JJJ but also to BC. He backed his pitcher and was able to keep the important one of them (the pitcher) in the game and JJJ went on to right the ship and take a lot of a potentially horrible load off of the bullpen.

    Indeed. The Mets announcers praised him endlessly for that during the game. Obviously getting the ump’s attention and getting thrown out is right in Bobby’s wheelhouse.

  26. While McClelland’s strike zone was small, a problem with the Wright at-bat was that McCann was setting up off the plate. Jurrjens was hitting the target and therefore he thought they were strikes. They showed the replays, and the pitches to Wright were outside. It was McCann’s location that made the pitches look good.

  27. Greg White could be the Willie Harris of 2008. Hope that this means KJ is going to start a hot streak.

    Jair – dang. I was one of those that thought for sure the guy should start in Richmond.

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