Squiffed Braves 4 Torched Mets 3

Thank you very much. In the oddest , wildest most ridiculous game proceedings were brought to an end in an appropriate manner. The estimable Kelsey was giving the hero of the hour, Ender, a rapid series of ‘how did it feel’ questions to which he replied in graphic detail. Only then did it become apparent that her voice was several octaves lower than his throughout , a perfect ending to a crazy evening.

We were spoiled by the first seven innings of great Major League pitching. The more glamorous and newly shorn De Grom, was matched inning for inning by a newly revived Julio who is rapidly losing any fear he might have had about pitching in our park. They each exited after 7 full scoreless innings, De Grom allowing 4 hits (none till the 5th), 2 walks with 10 strikeouts. Julio’s line was 4 hits 1 walk, six strikeouts. Enthralling stuff.

With the starters gone things came back to earth with a thud generously helped by some appalling defense by the Braves, one of whom fielded as though he was stoned which perhaps he was. He of the Grecian Gods yesterday with his thunderbolt made a series of terrible errors a 10 year old would be ashamed of. Not getting to first base in time on a bunt play, he looked half asleep, maybe he was. Then minutes later when we started what looked to be a pretty easy DP he first dropped the ball then did not recover it. Two outs became none. He looked bewildered throughout these sequences, as though he was having trouble focusing.

All this nonsense plus a lead off walk by Sam gifted the Mets three runs in the top of the 8th. Ho Ho we thought, here we go again. But no. Freddie, who had looked to this point as weak as he did last night hit a powerful high double to split the two outfielders in left center and score our two runners. Familia came on, got the last out, and we went to the ninth down one.

And then Mr. Biddle appeared, to general acclaim, his major league debut. Somehow, not always easily – he joined the bullpen walkers club almost immediately- he finished the innings out with no addition to the Mets one run lead. So to the bottom of the ninth.We had a couple of runners on when Camargo, who had looked awful at the plate all evening with De Grom’s change ups, smashed a low rocket through the drawn in field and outfield alike, scoring the tying run.

Up came Ender who has been much criticized lately for trying to steal third, trying to steal home etc by our friends in the booth. He executed a perfect bunt towards second base and the winning run scored.

The DEA were not involved after the conclusion of this game. Snit confined Ozzie to the clubhouse overnight, under guard, and that was that. A memorable baseball game.

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32 thoughts on “Squiffed Braves 4 Torched Mets 3”

  1. Romario Williams draws the penalty in the box at 90+4 and Miggy Stardust slots the PK hometown end it. Atl 2-0 over LAG in full time.

  2. This team really is fun. As I indicated last night, the energy and excitement remind of 1991. Signs of hope after years in the wilderness. On the other hand, it is still April, and I need to remind myself to avoid irrational exuberance.

    Truth is, the 91 team hung right around .500 for the first half of the season. As you recall, they were 9 1/2 out at the AS break and sitting at 39-40. It was a torrid second half that propelled them to the pennant.and generated so much excitement.

    Of course both the 2015 and 2017 editions of the Braves were near .500 over the first half. The difference in 1991, at least as I recall it, was that you could tell the team was heading toward better things.

  3. A quick perusal of Baseball Reference on the 91 team reveals what a pitching-dominated team that was. Of the top 8 in WAR that season, 7 were pitchers (MVP Pendleton being the standout position player). The 4 starters and also 3 in the pen (the young lefties Stanton and Mercker and Senor Smoke Berenguer) all accumulated more WAR than any position player. That doesn’t include the best reliever of them all, Alejandro Pena, who had a fantastic run as the closer after Berenguer got hurt. And Marvin Freeman was quite good.

    It’s true, as Sam says, that they had a few clunkers in the pen, but the pitchers really carried that team, especially after Smoltz turned his season around half way through.

    One reason the individual position players didn’t accumulate as many WAR as the pitchers is that Bobby really used his whole roster. Five outfielders contributed and six players shared first base, second base, and shortstop.

  4. I see many parallels to the 1991 team.

    Muller, Wilson, Wright, and Allard went for the top 4 affiliates last night. Wright went 6 IP, 0 ER, 4 K’s. Allard went 5 IP, 2 ER. Wilson got bit by some bad defense, so in 73 pitches, he only got through 4 2/3, giving up 1 ER, 5 K. Muller went 6 1/3, 0 ER, 4 K. He’s probably not long for A-. These days are fun where a legitimate prospect is at all levels.

    I’m uniquely excited for A+ this year since the A+ games I went to last year never had a SP prospect toe the rubber. With Muller probably headed for A+, you’ll have him, Wilson, Anderson, Wentz, and Tucker Davidson. I’m almost guaranteed to see somebody.

  5. Great recap, blazon. I think Ender was safe at third, btw, and at worst, it shouldn’t have been overturned.

  6. IMO the use of replay to detect momentary loss of base contact that is imperceptible at real time speeds is an egregious application of the technology. That’s a rule that needs changing.

  7. To be fair, a litmus test of “imperceptible at real time speeds” isn’t a good one. After all, let’s say Yoenis’ foul ball was a little closer. Just because they couldn’t see it in real time, it doesn’t mean that HR shouldn’t have been wiped off the board.

    I just see a lot of inconsistencies with what amount of evidence calls for overturning. I think both challenges on Ender and Ozzie’s plays did not have enough evidence to overturn. I think the call on the field was the correct one both times, and at best, the call should have stood, and they still got it wrong. I loved replay for a while, but I’m growing tired of how inconsistent it is.

  8. In fact, if you listen to the Mets’ TV broadcast, Darling thought Ender’s wouldn’t be overturned. That should highlight how bunk some of these calls get. Of course, like with Dez’s catch, not every sport gets this right.

  9. Someone on here mentioned correctly that my idea of not letting the replay people know the call on the field would not work since they would see the players’ reactions. I’m not sure if you could try to “edit” out after-play reactions (or the umpire), but some sort of system where the call on the field is irrelevant has to be a part of a new system. Just look at all the video, take one minute, and make the call. End of story.

  10. Mets broadcasters were even more amazed that Ozzie’s play was overturned and called a dropped ball.

  11. It seemed to me on the Ozzie play the ball rolled a long way away from him almost in the direction the throw came from. I was thinking the only way it could travel like that was if he had his throwing hand on the ball and was pulling it back out of his glove for the wind up to throw then lost the handle. I don’t see how the ball could travel the way it did without Ozzie giving it some kind of energy to go in that direction.

  12. Joey Bats 1-1 with another walk for the Frogs’ day game today, so far. Leading off, playing third. Hit is a double.

  13. @11 I am specifically talking about loss of contact plays. Determining fair or foul, was a tag made, did the runner beat the tag, etc. don’t bother me. If the runner beats the tag and did not clearly come off, then using replay to dissect frame by frame if there ever was a few milliseconds where contact was lost is ridiculous.

  14. The problem is that once you start using replay for “tag plays” then they’re absolutely going to use it expansively for those “oh, it looks like his ankle bounced a quarter of a millimeter off of the bag at the end of the slide, and the tag which was late was still down, so he’s clearly out!” It’s the nature of legislation and enforcement. If you give them an inch, they will take a mile. Every last time.

    I would absolutely love it if they rolled the use of replay back to border calls. Fair/foul. HR/not. Simply remove it altogether from tag plays and bang bang force outs. Yes, the umps will occasionally get some wrong. Every now and then egregiously so – i.e. Buster Posey “stealing second.” But the hand off for that is a game that isn’t stopped for minutes on end while officials a thousand miles away watch 20 slow motion replays of things humans can’t be expected to see perfectly in real time.

    All major sports – not just baseball – have allowed the pursuit of “perfect game calling” to harm the basic flow and humanity of their games. Replay should be hamstrung in every league, if not removed entirely.

  15. Camargo’s triple was really unusual. The Mets broadcaster said he hadn’t seen anything like it since the days of artificial turf. The ball was hit extremely hard, as was Suzuki’s subsequent hit. Are the exit velocities of these hits available?

  16. On a close play, different umpires may call the play differently. There is not a single MLB umpire who calls Ender out on that play. That to me is the difference.

  17. The proliferation of instant replay review correlated with my diminishing interest in watching sports. There may or may not be causation.

  18. Really fun game last night. I remember being tempted to let myself think that the 2015 team had “it,” which was obviously insane in retrospect. This is an infinitely more talented and more likable bunch, with more horses on the way soon. Why not get excited?

    I agree with Sam that replay should be abolished. Who cares if the umpires get a call wrong occasionally? I’d rather live with it and move on than have every stolen base attempt followed by a 5-minute parsing of a million replay angles. It’s clear they still get plenty of calls wrong with replay anyway.

  19. As the world’s #1 Rick Mahler fan, I have to correct a few things from the prior game thread:

    First, Mahler was acquired in mid-June after he was cut by the Expos. Looking back at B-Ref’s game logs, he’d last pitched for the Expos on June 8 against…the Braves! How about that? 2 innings of scoreless ball. They cut him two days later. The Braves picked him up on June 14 and he saw his first action back in a Braves uni two days later against…the Expos!

    I’m trying to remind myself why the Braves felt like they needed Mahler. Looking at boxscores from the week before they acquired him, most starters were going 7 or 8 (or 9!) innings and the bullpen wasn’t racking up a lot of innings. And there were days like June 13 when Juan Berenguer recorded a three-inning save for Pete Smith’s first win of the year.

    Anyway, he didn’t pitch better for the Braves than he did for the Expos, unfortunately. In fact, he mostly sucked. He was basically brought in to losing games to sop up innings, which he did with aplomb.

    But there was one game for ol’ Rick that year that all Braves fans should be grateful for. It was June 28, 1991, and the Braves had lost 4 of 5 and were starting a series against Pittsburgh with a double-header. Mahler was called into duty for the spot start because there was basically nobody else that could do it. I remember this vividly because I actually couldn’t watch the game that day, I had to work. But I called my dad at regular intervals to get updates. Rick Mahler pitched six strong innings, giving up only four hits and one walk against the mighty Pirates, holding them to one earned run. The Braves won 5-3 and Mahler got what would be the last W in his career.

    He’d pitch two more games for the Braves, one a terrible relief appearance, and one a terrible start on August 6, and then he was cut two days later never to pitch professionally again.

    But that one start against the Pirates was exhilarating. I thought perhaps he’d found his footing as the fifth starter, or long reliever/spot starter, and could help continue this wild, amazing ride the ’91 Braves were on. It would have been nice to have a legacy player on hand for what was to come. He was the only player from the early 80s to play for the ’91 Braves.

    Rest in peace, Rick Mahler.

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