Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Game #11: Braves 9, Mets 3

The Mets' Johan Santana reacted after giving up a run against the Atlanta Braves in the second inning. (
The Mets were praying for the rain tonight, but the only rain that came was a flurry of Braves runs.

Johan Santana was blasted by Atlanta hits and New York errors, resulting in the shortest start of his career and the Mets' first loss to the Braves, 9-3.

The Bad Stuff
  • Before tonight, the shortest outing of Johan Santana's stellar career was 3 innings. He wouldn't even make it through half that before getting the hook. Santana went just 1.1 innings and allowed 6 runs (4 earned) on 4 hits and a walk. Perhaps it was ghosts of Turner Field past (this was the place he blew his shoulder out at in 2010), but whatever it was he didn't have his stuff tonight. I suppose it's to be expected with the nature of his recovery, but to see a former 2-time Cy Young winner knocked out by a mediocre offense after managing just 4 outs is still a jarring sight.
  • It didn't help either that the Met fielders were jarred from making good plays. Jason Bay's error on the first Atlanta batter of the game led to the unearned run in the 1st, and Ike Davis's throwing error on a sac bunt in the 2nd let another run cross.
  • The reverberations from Santana's rocking must have shaken through the New York bats as well. The Mets hit 3-11 with RISP and left 10 men on base. Ruben Tejada, Davis, and Lucas Duda were hit the hardest, each going 0-4.
  • While the offense wasn't particularly helpful, the bullpen wasn't much better in keeping the damage down to a reachable level. New York got 1.2 scoreless innings out of Miguel Batista, but Ramon Ramirez let in 2 runs in his 2 innings and Manny Acosta let one more through in his 3.
The Good Stuff
  • Despite 2 strikeouts, David Wright continued his hot start; the league's leading hitter went 2-5, which actually lowered his average to "only" .517. This makes it 8 straight games for David that he got on base at least twice, a phenomenal streak to start the year.
  • Daniel Murphy also did well at the plate, going 2-5 with an RBI. The other runs were driven in by Josh Thole and pinch-hitting Mike Baxter.
  • Kirk Nieuwenhuis also went 2-4 and Jason Bay had the team's only extra-base hit of the night, a double in the 4th that led to a run.
Final Analysis:
Whereas everything went right for the New York Mets last night, everything went wrong tonight. That's alright, though. Baseball is a funny game: even the very best teams only win about 60% of the time; even the best teams have nights like these. The question for the 7-4 Mets is whether tonight's result is closer to the norm of what the team will be or just a hiccup in the road. Only time will tell.


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