Saturday, September 17, 2011

Game #151: Mets 12, Braves 2

David Wright connects on one of his two home runs as the Mets rout the Braves 12-2 Friday. (
Twice now this season, the Mets have risen to the occasion the night after a meltdown from Terry Collins. The last time was in June, and the team responded with a 7-run comeback over a still-good Pirates team. The second time was tonight. Read on.

David Wright provided the power and the Mets pounded out 20 hits en route to a much-needed 12-2 victory over the Braves.

The Good Stuff:
  • It's been a long time since I've been able to start with this section. Where on Earth to begin? I suppose we'll just move down the box score:
    • Jose Reyes led off the game with a base hit and finished 3-5 with 2 runs, increasing his batting average to .334, 4 points ahead of Ryan Braun. He also stole his 36th base of the year, I believe the first time he's swiped a bag since his return from the DL. Really encouraging to see him stealing again, especially after hearing that he's still not all the way there yet with that leg.
    • Angel Pagan was back in the 2-hole and had a solid night, going 1-5 with a couple runs.
    • David Wright returned to the 3-hole and made an immediate splash, smashing a 1st inning changeup from Derek Lowe deep into the Turner Field stands and giving New York an early 2-0 lead. In the 4th, he provided the final nail in the Atlanta coffin, blasting a 3-run homer to make it a 9-2 affair. Wright finished the night 3-6 with those 2 HRs and 5 RBIs in his best effort to cleanse himself of that awful homestand. I'd say he's off to a good start.
    • Lucas Duda was back in the cleanup spot. How'd he do? Oh, "just" a 4-5, 3 run, 1 RBI night. His batting average is now up to a most impressive .290. Never would have guessed it earlier in the season. But it appears we've got a potential slugger who can do more than slug. Nice.
    • Jason Bay went "only" 1-5 with a couple runs, but he made his biggest splash with his glove. In the bottom of the 4th, the game was already out of reach, 10-2. But that didn't stop Bay from taking an actual home run away from Alex Gonzales. "Holy Endy Chavez!" was the cry from SNY's Gary Cohen. Indeed, Gary.
    • Nick Evans moved up in the order and did his best to make a splash, going 3-5 with a run and an RBI. His average, for the longest time stuck in the doldrums of the .100s, is now up to a respectable .267.
    • Josh Thole went 3-5 with 3 RBIs, bringing his average up to .265.
    • Ruben Tejada completed the Mets' 4-spot in the 1st with a bases-loaded 2-out single that scored two.
  • Oh yeah: not that we really needed it, but pitching was spot on tonight as well.
    • Chris Capuano picked up the win with a 5-inning, 6-hit, 2-run effort, walking 2 and striking out 6.
    • The bullpen took the wheel from there and landed the plane about as smooth as you can. Miguel Batista, Tim Byrdak, Josh Stinson, and Ryota Igarashi each combined for 4 hitless innings of relief, with the only baserunner coming on a Stinson walk in the 8th. Come *on* Josh, step it up!!
The Bad Stuff:
  • It would have been nice to spread some of those extra runs over the Washington series, maybe pick up a couple wins from that...oh well.
Final Analysis:
Terry Collins really knows how to motivate his guys. After a crushingly disappointing homestand, he instilled a fire in this team. A fire that ignited the offense, set the pitching arms ablaze, and left the Atlanta Braves a charred pile of ashes. Tonight, the team gave its fans at least one more great memory before the end of the year. The 2011 season only has 11 games left to go, but you know that with Terry Collins at the helm, this New York Mets team will do their very best in those final 11 games.


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