Mets 4

ESPN Box Score

Aaron Harang gave us another two hits over six innings — in 12.2 innings to start his Braves career, Aaron Harang has allowed four hits and one run — and he didn’t come close to a win or a no-decision, as the Braves offense decided to wave the white flag on Henry Aaron’s big day. Jason Heyward had another 0-for-5 game, which just won’t cut it from the leadoff spot, but the offense basically didn’t do much of anything until Proven Closer™ Jose Valverde came out of the bullpen in the 9th and the Braves got two straight singles to open the inning.

The Mets’ first and deciding run scored in the third inning, by way of two walks, a productive flyball out, a stolen base, and a wild pitch. Harang ultimately walked four but struck out nine, and your guess is as good as mine.

It remained a 1-0 game until Harang came out of the game, and the Braves bullpen played the goat. First, Pickles Schlosser gave up a pop fly to left center — B.J. Upton should have caught it, but Justin Upton called for it and simply couldn’t get to it, and his ineptitude in the outfield is becoming more evident by the day. Two bloop singles followed, with a sacrifice bunt in between, and it became 3-0. Luis Avilan came in and his hamstring cramped as he tried to dodge a broken bat, so the 7th was ruinous for more than one reason. In the 8th, the Mets added another run off Ian Thomas and Pedro Beato, neither of whom is the answer.

But it didn’t really matter. It’s not like the Braves were in any mood to score.

39 thoughts on “Mets 4”

  1. Ian Thomas, 3 games pitched into his career, and it’s already determined he’s “not the answer”? Such finality, we are most definitely doomed.

  2. I can’t think of a more frustrating player in the last 25 years than Jason Heyward.

  3. To me, it looks like Heyward is guessing.

    I have always thought it was odd that people would say, “he is to patient.” I’m now wondering if they are right. He has taken some really good pitches that were right down the middle.

    Sometimes he is swinging through fastballs as if he though a change-up was coming.

    I’m still not worried. That pitch he sent to the center field track would have been out in July. He will be fine.

  4. So, how long a leash do BJ and Uggla have? We will be, with tonight’s game 5% through the season. 20 games? 30? And if they really are trying to play with a forks sticking out their backs, is taking 1/5 of the season to decide that going to cost the team too much?

    Yes, I know it still early, but I hope Wren has already figured out when early ends and makes a move (if needed) before that point.

  5. @4 we all knew Francoeur was a wild swinger who’s luck wouldnt last. And of course BJ is frustrating, but Heyward was supposed to be our homegrown superstar.
    It’s painfully obvious he has as much talent/ability as anyone in the game but he never seems to put it all together or come through in a big spot.
    It’s just starting to look to me like he’s going to be one of those guys who never fulfills his potential.

  6. I think he’s off balance. When he gets into a funk, he looks as though he’s diving into the plate. As he stands so far away from the plate, this seems necessary for him to do for outside pitches, but to me, when he’s struggling, it’s there on all swings.

  7. It’s seven games. Step away from the ledge. As long as some of you never get in the business of managing other people’s retirement savings or any big pension accounts, things are going to be OK.

    Via Pizza Cutter/Fangraphs…when offensive stats stabilize:

    60 PA: Strikeout rate
    120 PA: Walk rate
    240 PA: HBP rate
    290 PA: Single rate
    1610 PA: XBH rate
    170 PA: HR rate

    910 AB: AVG
    460 PA: OBP
    320 AB: SLG
    160 AB: ISO

    80 BIP: GB rate
    80 BIP: FB rate
    600 BIP: LD rate
    50 FBs: HR per FB
    820 BIP: BABIP

  8. @7
    In 2010, his rookie year, Heyward was 8th in WAR for NL OF.
    In 2011, his worst year in the majors, he still ranked 30th and only logged 456 PA.
    In 2012, he was 3rd in WAR.
    Last year, he was 17th and was injured for 1/3 of the year. If he were to have continued his success, he would have once again been in the Top 5.

    There’s no doubt that the expectations are high for a #1 prospect and Heyward has thus far fell short of those expectations. However, make no mistake that if you were to calculate his total WAR over the past 4 years, Heyward’s in the top 5 for NL OF.

  9. #11,
    I don’t think the average fan came into Heyward’s career thinking most of his performance above replacement level would be realized via his defense in right field. While it’s great to have, it’s also tougher to appreciate when compared to the somewhat frequent slumps.

  10. @7

    He has not come through in a big spot this season. But he has come through in plenty of big spots.

  11. Notes from the 400-level last night:

    -I am very mad at Justin Upton for calling BJ off of that ball. I was right behind home plate; that ball couldn’t have been more than 6 degrees left of second base. Absurd. And how does BJ not call him off? It’s your little brother!!!! How do you not know how to lay the law down on your little brother when he ranges into center field?!?!

    -Speaking of stupid defense up the middle, that play reminded me of the one over the weekend versus the Natties when Dope Boy went to grab one of Andrelton’s grounders on the wrong side of the bag. These players ought to know after having played a full season together who should get the ball.

    -Skinny J’s at bat in the first looked turrrble from above.

    -Nickname for Harang: Big Handsome

    -The replay was an unconscionable delay. Look at the picture. Make the call. Do not leave us hanging.

    -Valverde was going wild in the high-five line after the game. He gave like 90 high fives to every Met’s player. Cause he pitched so great!

    -Couldn’t believe Rev wasn’t called up in that bases loaded spot.

    -My favorite Heyward swing of the night was in his last (or second-to-last?) AB when he turned on an inside pitch and ripped a grounder foul up the line. Looked like the way Freddie handles inside pitches. He was real late on a couple fastballs, though. Couldn’t see his mechanics last night, but in Washington he looked real off-balance on the knee-high outside strikes, which are the ones I think of as his bread-and-butter. Let’s see him turn it around.

  12. Time to settle down folks. We haven’t lost a series this season. Wren/Fredi are not going to bench Uggla or BJ 7 games into the season. As for Heyward, it’s extremely disappointing and I’m sure the braves feel the same way. There’s a big reason why he got a 2 year deal and Freddie got locked up long term.

  13. One last note about Heyward:

    The o-fer streak is a little misleading. He did not hit well on Saturday, Sunday, or last night. But on Friday he was 0-1 with 2 walks, a HBP, and a stolen base. I will take that from the lead-off spot any day of the week.

    The box score on Friday indicates he didn’t strike out. Was that the game when Harper made a real nice play on his hard line drive?

    Anyway, the point is that 3 bad games on offense while continuing to play excellent defense (see: his outfield assist last night cutting down the Ankle-Breaker at 2B) does not merit a day to think about it on the pine. Four or five more games like that and it’s another story.

  14. @2, fair enough. But he’s a 27 year old journeyman who’s spent a lot of his career in independent baseball in Canada, who doesn’t have overwhelming velocity, and who hasn’t shown anything so far. Great story, and God love him for making the majors, but the odds are against him being a difference-maker.

  15. J-Hey is also playing with a bad neck, which will cause swinging issues but we have no OF depth so he can’t sit it out.
    I am still mad at Justin on the ball he called BJ off of. The Mets TV crew was all over him about it.
    Yes, i listen to the Mets announcers when we play them, they are quite good.

  16. We don’t need to be benching guys just yet, but can we at least swap Simmons and BJ in the order?

  17. Alex, Ian has a .571 BABIP against right now. That is Regression luck+60% that batterss have had against him. The dude has 2 plus pitches and can throw them for strikes and was a bobble away from turning a DP last night.

    The adjustment he’ll have to make on the fly is to learn when not to throw as many strikes. He has the ability to become a successful 2nd lefty in the bullpen. That is not out of his realm of possibilities. Remember, not many gave Venters, O’Flaherty, or Avilan much of a chance to be successful and look what they were able to do for this organization.

    He’s as good a answer as anyone else in the organization not named Alex Wood.

    I agree about Beato.

  18. I’m sure 2 of Thomas, schlosser, and Beato are only around until Harang/Wood and Venters are in the pen.

  19. 22: Will Harang’s “stuff” even play out of the bullpen? They’ll probably want to keep him around in the likely scenario where he’s needed to start again, but they may prefer to have him stretched out at Gwinnett, and I’m not sure if his contract allows for a unilateral minor-league assignment.

    Venters will definitely displace someone if he gets fully healthy. Not necessarily Thomas, since Venters when he was going good was really tough on righties, too.

  20. @22
    I don’t think the Braves will have loyalty to anyone in the bullpen not named Kimbrel, Walden, Carpenter, or Avilan. May the best reliever win.

  21. @24, I think that’s likely. If and when Gavin Floyd is ready, the last rotation spot will be between Harang and Wood — Wood can probably go into the pen easier than Harang can, though they could always turn Harang into an of-last-resort Longman, like they did with Freddy Garcia and Livan Hernandez. But our recent starting pitcher surpluses have always had a way of working themselves out.

  22. Yes Smitty that’s the rotation until Floyd is ready. The last spot will be between Harang and Wood. If we need that extra LH guy or if the Braves are watching Woods innings then he might find himself back in the pen. I think Harang is now throwing hard enough that he could be effective in relief.

  23. @27 ‘But our recent starting pitcher surpluses have always had a way of working themselves out.’ Dang Alex please don’t jinx us.

  24. I think if we get everyone back healthy Wood is the one who goes to the ‘pen, especially since he has the innings limit.

  25. The innings limit didn’t much help Medlen. I don’t know the solution but Wren or Fredi will probably bring that up when presented with the surplus.

  26. @ajcbraves: #Braves lineup: 1 Heyward RF 2 Simmons SS 3. Freeman 1B 4. Johnson 3B 5. J Upton LF 6. Uggla 2B 7. Gattis C 8. Schafer CF 9. Santana P

  27. Two weeks is too little time to determine if Aaron Harang can be in a major league rotation. Two weeks, however, is a week and a half too long to determine that BJ Upton sucks.

    I’m sorry. I’ll quit.

  28. @33 and 34

    BJ did have a hit last night. I wonder if this was a planned day off or something else.

  29. If Harang reverts to sucking then the Braves could adjust then. Just seems to me Wood would be the most logical fit since they want to limit his innings and he would profile well as a reliever.

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