Braves 5, Mets 2

As Casey Stengel once noted, it is a truth universally acknowledged, that a ball club in possession of a good rotation, must be in want of a catcher.

However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his facing his former ball club, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of his surrounding teammates, that the Mets are considered as the rightful property of him.

Mr. d’Arnaud was so odd a mixture of quick bat, laid-back temperament, and frequent injury, that the experience of six years had been insufficient to make his employers understand his character. Their mind was less difficult to develop. The Mets were a club of mean understanding, little information, and uncertain temper. When they were discontented, they fancied themselves nervous. The business of their life was to play in the National League East; its solace was visiting and home games.

On a related note, I am broadly comfortable with Bayesian logic, which relates the likelihood of something happening in the future to what one already knows about its having happened already. Therefore, while the Braves came into this game at 10-13, while the division-leading Mets were 16-7, Bayes provides a helpful reminder:

The Braves are the world’s champion, and IWOTM.

In the event, this was actually more or less an ideal baseball game, notwithstanding the fifty-something-degree weather in New York on the second of May. The Mets had Chris Bassitt, who I swear I actually hadn’t even heard of before the Mets brought him in and everyone wrote “wow this guy is really good” blog posts.

And apparently he really is! All he did was go seven strong, strike out eight men while giving up just one walk, and the three runs he yielded actually increased his ERA from 2.25 all the way to 2.61. But we had Varsity on the bump, and he struck out six without walking a soul, and he gave up just two runs in six innings, and notwithstanding a bit of insurance, the pen made that margin hold up. That’s more or less how they drew it up in the offseason: Varsity, Matzek, McHugh, Minter, Jansen, shake hands and hit the showers. (Hancock didn’t appear, but I love him too.)

Of course, the Braves had to actually put runs on the board in order for that to happen, and for that, they have the catcher to thank, as I previously alluded. In his career, Travis d’Arnaud has played nine games against the Mets, and he’s hitting a measly .469/.528/.875 with 3 HR, 4 2B, and 14 RBI in 36 plate appearances. So last night he went 3-4 with two doubles and three ribbies, including a gorgeous backhand slice down the line on a pitch in the other batter’s box.

By the way, it turns out that Austin Riley doesn’t mind facing the Mets either — he’s got a cool .303/.375/.664 line against ’em, in a hundred more PA than Travis has got, and he joined the fun with a solo tater. (By contrast, Chipper only hit .309/.406/.543 against the Metropolitans.)

Speaking of which, I often bemoan the lack of great nicknames in baseball, and it turns out that the only thing Austin Riley loves as much as baseball is hunting.

So I’m gonna start calling him Elmer. Who’s with me?

(One last thing. Did y’all know that Man or Astro-Man is still making records? What a time to be alive!)

109 thoughts on “Braves 5, Mets 2”

  1. A shout-out back to JonF for his wonderful company during last night’s wonderful win.

    And for the record, no broadcasters were harmed last night.

    Let’s play two!

  2. @1
    “And for the record, no broadcasters were harmed last night.”


    And I don’t know about Elmer as a nickname for Riley….maybe if he were bald…

  3. I was flying back from the Braves/Rangers series and was unavailable when Nick did his recap. My apologies, Nick. Here is his Braves 3, Rangers 7 recap. I’m glad I didn’t have to recap this because I would’ve ripped Travis Demeritte to shreds. There were things not caught on TV that were brutal to watch. I don’t know whether it was the roof closure or just a bad day, but he misread nearly every single ball that came to him Sunday. Anywho, here’s Nick:

    Welp, I have yet to recap a win in my young career, so I’m starting to think it’s me. It seemed as though we might be turning a corner, winning a series over the Cubs and then taking Game 1 in North Texas, but alas… .

    I will say that it’s tough not to notice these last two losses have coincided with a trip through the…what’s a nice way to put this? The experimental portion of our rotation? I didn’t think Elder was terrible last night, actually. But Muller today…uh, yeah. Seven runs allowed on four hits over 2.2 innings, and he threw six walks in there just for fun. After the game, he was talking about being around the plate, which I’m not sure I fully understand. I mean, he wasn’t going full Rick Ankiel like he was bordering on last summer, but a pitcher who walks six guys in under three innings talking about being around the plate is an interesting thing.

    On the other hand, it’s not like the Braves offense has been on fire these past couple games, either. They managed three runs today, with one coming in the ninth with the game already decided. They got an RBI groundout from Matt Olson and a run-scoring single from Austin Riley in the third to cut what had been a 3-0 Rangers lead to 3-2. However, Texas scored four more in the bottom half of the inning and the Braves didn’t seriously threaten after that.

    Back to the bit about the experimental section of our rotation, I kinda think we need to tighten it up to a standard five-man rotation. I know they’re trying to give the top guys extra rest between starts, but a) you can stay with a five-man even if there are off days to do that a bit; and b) trying to find enough people to competently staff a six-man rotation is proving to be a problem. And now we’ve sent both Elder and Muller to the minors, so it’s gonna be somebody different the next time through.

    On the offensive side, it is early. Some combination of the season not even being a month old, the fact that everyone and their mother now makes the playoffs and the fact that we won the World Series last year has me feeling fairly chill about the whole thing. But the bats do need to get going at some point.

    So now we have our first quasi-important series of the season, a four-gamer in three days against those lovable punching bags, the New York Mets. They’re off to a good start this year and they get us at their place. I know, I’m not buying it either. However, losing this series puts us either eight or 10 games back, so you kinda wanna at least split this series.

  4. Rivian just received a $1.5 billion tax incentive to build a plant in Georgia. Good for Rivian and good for Georgia.

  5. What a treat–I got to read two excellent recaps in one sitting.

    Nick, I don’t know what the problem is on Sunday. I do note that they are 4-0 on my Fridays.
    There may or may not be a causal relationship between wins and recapper; just sayin’. BTW, agree completely about Muller’s comments. I’m not sure it’s a good sign that he thinks he was “around the plate” on Sunday. He was around the plate in the same way that I’m “around 50 years old.” That would be less inaccurate than saying I’m “around 40,” but neither would actually be accurate.

    Bravo, Alex. I’m looking forward to the Masterpiece Theatre serial of your recap to be watched on PBS on Sunday nights.

  6. Braves pitchers should not be allowed to throw back foot breaking balls. I mean, we seriously hit a ton of batters with those with 2 strikes in particular

  7. Sweet… the shift again costing us runs. How many more times? With two strikes it kills us.

  8. Charlie Morton is reaching permission-to-walk-the-dog territory when he starts. He’s washed.

  9. @9 He was doing great in spring training, I don’t know what’s gone wrong.

    I still feel he will get better…. soonish?

  10. @9, 10 I think it’s the lack of swing and miss that is most concerning. He just isn’t commanding the breaking ball well enough

  11. Seems to me Morton has worse control and walking more people than I’d like, but he’s getting punished more often for it because of hits on soft contact. He needs to improve but he’s not pitched quite as badly as his results.

  12. Our defense is as bad as our offense. From positioning to execution…it’s terrible.

    Case in point…Ozzie makes a bad play by not taking the out at first and it cost us at least two runs

  13. If Father Time has gotten Charlie’s number, then we’re in bigger trouble than a sluggish April.

  14. Well, if Morton is at all responsible for Kyle Wrights resurgence, then the contract was still worth it.

    Though right now, ozzie and the shifts killed this game.

  15. @16 true story. Like Nathan said, he has been a bit snake bit and his defense hasn’t helped him. He needs to work out that breaking ball though.

  16. Ozuna is a waste .. he swings at more bad pitches .. weak outs .. bout over him …and we stuck with him a couple more years.

  17. Our outfield is hot garbage. None of those dudes can hit (including Ozuna)

  18. @3 – No worries, Ryan. @6 – Thanks for the kind words, tfloyd.

    I guess this qualifies as encouraging from Charlie?

  19. The Braves have won four straight series openers. They’re 1-6 in the other series games in that span.

  20. Still early. Good one day, stink the next.
    Major Leagues is really 3AAA+. Don’t fool yourself. It’s like lite(diet) beer. Not real beer by any means. But look how it sells. Just like 3AAA+ sells. We are willing to settle for a water downed products
    Such a shame.

  21. We can’t afford for Demeritte to start turning into a pumpkin, especially with the way the rest of the lineup is producing

  22. Ozuna and Albies back to back ?? I cant stomach 2 such hitters who swing at anything thrown .. no plate discipline whatsoever .. getting old fast ..

  23. For Wright’s worst start of the year, when he clearly did not have his best stuff, I will take that performance every time.

  24. Braves high level ranks:
    OPS 13th
    Starter ERA 25th (yikes!)
    Reliever ERA (11th)

    Mediocre offense and bad starting pitching means playing from behind a lot and pressing. Pretty much sums up this doubleheader.

  25. It’s early, but I’m starting to become alarmed. There are some serious problems with this offense.

  26. @36 … yes .. its called no discipline .. swing for HR or nothing .. we have no guys to just put ball in play .. they don’t swing at strikes .. Ozuna and Albies are so frustrating to watch .. Duval just can’t hit a ball solid .. missing leadership .. most are prina donas and won’t listen to constructive criticism .. Mets look to be better team .. hitting .. pitching .. we are not hungry .. last year ruined our want too and drive

  27. Has nobody realized that we’re missing one vital piece from 2021, the person who was only around in the only year so far this century that the Braves won the WS? Where has our favorite Florida journalist/Russian bot gone?

  28. @37

    Even if you’re right, we won the World Series last year, so I don’t think “ruined” is the word I would use. Unless you think it’s much better to not win the World Series so as not to spoil the pursuit of a World Series title, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

  29. This season feels like 2006 after the run was over. That team was 79-83. I could see that with this team.

  30. This feels exactly like last year, which worked out fine.

  31. Well, yesterday in Flushing wasn’t nearly as fun as Monday night.

    Not a lotta folks there, believe it or not, but plenty of Braves fans rocking their championship gear. (When you win, it’s funny how that happens.) So, even after the last out was made, it made me grin a bit to see all that stuff on the 7 train — oh, yeah… champs.

    A little weather in the area today… hopefully, we’re able to secure the split.

  32. Congrats to Dusty on his 2,000th win. A genuine Hall of Famer.

    Ububba, you are not a fairweather fan! How’d Kyle look in person?

  33. I don’t want to ascribe any malice or negative psychology to the guys, I think they’re just going through a tough stretch, but there are some concerning trends with the offense. The problem is, the Mets are recharged and are on pace for 112 wins and the Braves for 69.

  34. Prediction: Ozzie goes down with a bum ankle before the All-Star break. Anthopoulos trades for three second basemen to fill the void. All three go on tears. Charlie Morton gives up a total of 1 ER the whole month of September.

    Braves win the Wild Card. Beat the Mets in the NLCS. Lose to the Yankees in the World Series thanks to the heroics of Josh Donaldson.

  35. AA to fans: “Hey y’all, watch me pull a rabbit outta my hat…………. oops, wrong hat”

    If Demeritte goes to the IL, maybe we can see Waters now. If Waters plays well, then we can release Heredia when Demeritte comes back. Waters could not possibly be worse than Heredia at this point.

  36. @ 37 – Do you have anything to back up your claim that most are prima donas and won’t listen to criticism? I haven’t seen that, but please share if you have information.

  37. @39 I agree ruined not the best word .. we seem complacent this year .. missing leadership .. and Snit gotta tinker with lineup more .. looks like today ..same basic lineup … Ozuna 4th , Albies 5th .. id move D’Arnaud up to 4th .. bump Ozuna down to 6th .. teams gonna pitch around Riley ..cause Ozuna swings at everything …

    Swanson, ss
    Olson, 1b
    d’Arnaud, c
    Ozuna, dh
    Waters , lf
    Duval, cf

    Try it !!! what can it hurt !!!!

  38. @37 .. you dont think its been suggested to Albies or Ozuna … make them throw you a strike .. hot your pitch than trying to hit the pitchers pitch .. you think the hitting coach may have had those convos ?? of course .. you see any change ??NO ..these guys do what they want ….

  39. @50 – Just asking the question. Pregame just had a piece that talked about how hard they are working on defense. Sometimes it takes a while to make adjustments on offense. If there’s an uncoachable attitude, that is alarming. We have a lot of insiders on this blog. Maybe they can provide insight.

  40. Good start Acuna ..swing at 3 out of the zone … it just keeps getting better … good dicipline there guy ..

  41. #44
    Well, I’m a bit fair-weather today… JonF is holding down the Flushing fort this afternoon.

    Wright looked good. From looking at the replays, the 2 big hits (Smith & Alonso) seemed to be out of the zone a bit. We just couldn’t drive in a run to save our lives.

    I had a good seat by the Braves dugout — Wright’s a big dude, and so is Olson.

    Behind the backstop, the Latin contingent was hazing Ozuna pretty hard every time he got into the on-deck circle. Of course, I had no idea what they were yelling, much to my chagrin. I really should’ve taken Spanish instead of French in school…

  42. I will say that I have always liked Showalter as a manager. The Mets look like they’re playing better fundamental baseball. I’m afraid that we won’t be able to count on them totally imploding in the 2nd half like they did last year.

  43. Id like to see a stat of how many swings were made on pitches out of the zone compared to the Mets .. 1st inning an example … Braves swung at numerous out of zone pitches ..Mets maybe one the whole inning ..alot more diciplined at bats on the Mets and thats why they are in 1st .. period .

  44. Catch of the year from Heredia. That was incredible. I thought he was taking a token leap to make sure everyone knew he was trying.

  45. Good hitting and a 2.96 team ERA for the Mets make it pretty clear that they should be in first. I don’t think the pitching will stay this good throughout the year, but so far I will give them credit for playing good baseball.

  46. time to cut ties with our cheerleader Heredia … we got guys at Mississippi and Gwinnett who can hit .111

  47. @60 can they make that catch in right? Heredia is a bench player to make sure we can put elite defense in the OF late in games, and he won’t hit .111 all year.

  48. Question for those good with digging into stats/numbers:

    How many walks have Braves pitchers allowed vs. How many walks Braves batters have taken?

    You can throw in HBP and wild pitches if you want. Thanks.

  49. Today’s date is May 4… five more months & 135 games to go

    Yup, helluva catch by Heredia

    And Ian sure likes to nibble when he gets ahead.

  50. This offense is absurdly terrible. Yet another poor at bat by Ozzie. I guess he doesn’t just stink batting leadoff

    I agree though…Waters or Harris couldn’t hurt. The sword stuff is played out anyway

  51. Holy crap. None of those were even close. Ozuna struck out without seeing a strike.

  52. The second and third strikes called on Ozuna were each three inches off the zone.

  53. @67 MLB Umpires make calls like they are advocating for robot umps. They were bad and have gotten way worse

  54. Can we tie Albies hands behind his back for the 1st 2 pitches .. rhen untie him … he gets himself out so easy .. again swings at a ball out of the zone …. a pitcher is never gonna throw him a 1st pitch strike .. can he not get that thru his head ????

  55. surprise surprise .. we strike out on a pitch out of zone … way da go Acuna

  56. Heredia needs some at bats to get out of his funk. Unfortunately with no options, he isn’t going to get them as a seldom used defensive replacement and he hurts the team with his bat when he starts. I don’t think Waters or Harris are ready, although I would be tempted with Harris if Demeritte doesn’t pan out. For some reason I don’t think Waters’ 2.750 OPS will last at Gwinnett. If Waters or Harris are called up they do not need to be bench players, they need at bats everyday.

  57. For the most part, I like Ben and Joe.

    Radio Joe is ten times better than TV Joe.

    But listening to Joe on the shift is going to be the end of all of us.

  58. As Tennyson wrote, ’tis better to have played Phil Collins and not lost, than never to have played Phil Collins at all.

  59. @84 … can you say Waters time ????? or Harris time ??? or anybody at AA or AAA time ???

  60. @41 and 42–This is a pretty similar start to 2006 (and last year). Here is another comparison: 1992 immediately followed the best season in ATL Braves history. As you all know, the 1991 team went to the team’s first world series and came as close to winning it as possible without actually doing so. Expectations were high the next year. But the team got off to a slow start. 6-11 after 17 games; 15-18 after 33; 20-27 after 47 games. It sure felt like 1991 had been a flash in the pan, and that pennant would be like those in 1969 and 1982–a one shot time in contention, followed soon by dreadful teams. But the team turned it around: they got blazing hot in late May through June, and were 49-37 at the ASB. After the break they continued winning, including a 13 game winning streak. They went on to win 98 and won the division by 8.
    Will that happen again this year? I have no idea, and neither does anyone else. Anything can happen. I will say that I like our rotation (Fried, Wright, and Anderson have been great, and Charlie is likely to figure it out) and bullpen. The bats will come around. In fact, it seems to be happening as I’m typing this. Duvall! and Travis bases loaded walk!

  61. One more time… thanks, Adam O — he sure went from hero to zero in a hurry.

    Phil Collins, Cannibal Corpse… what’s the difference? Desperate times mean desperate measures

  62. Just think, if replay wasn’t a thing, we probably would not have gotten a single run after the bad call against Riley.

  63. @99 they’d played a pretty clean series, but walking in the go ahead run by putting in a tired reliever with a rested bullpen, is extremely Mets.

  64. Got to the school pick-up line just in time to put it in park and hear all 7 runs score. That was fun!

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