Thursday, June 20, 2013

Game #68: Braves 5, Mets 3

In a game closer than it should have been, New York barely missed out on stealing one from Atlanta.

Shaun Marcum gave up five runs in less than five innings and the Mets couldn't get enough offense going on their own, falling to the Braves 5-3.

The Bad Stuff:
  • Shaun Marcum didn't help his case to stay in the rotation after Zack Wheeler's full integration, allowing five runs on six hits and four walks in 4.2 innings, striking out six on 96 pitches. Every Brave run came with two outs (Chris Johnson's three-run homer in the 4th, a wild pitch and B.J. Upton double in the 5th).
  • The Mets managed one earned run and six hits off Kris Medlen in seven innings and failed to record a hit off Luis Avilan and Craig Kimbrel in the 8th and 9th. Overall, they had just three at-bats with RISP, collecting one hit and stranding two men on base.
The Good Stuff:
  • After falling behind 3-0 in the 4th, New York fought back to tie the game in the 5th. Marlon Byrd led off with a single and Lucas Duda was hit by the pitch. John Buck then grounded to the pitcher, but Medlen tossed it away from third base and eventually both Byrd and Duda scored. Buck went to second and was immediately driven in by Kirk Nieuwenhuis (who should have had two hits if not for a spectacular catch by Jordan Schafer in right on a line drive in the 3rd).
  • Carlos Torres tossed 2.1 scoreless innings in relief, keeping his ERA spotless in a couple appearances. David Aardsma and Scott Rice followed by combining for a scoreless 8th.
Final Analysis:
Shaun Marcum doesn't deserve the 0-9 record he's been dealt, but he certainly deserved the L tonight. After the six-man rotation plays out for the next few weeks, don't be surprised to see Marcum lose his job, especially with Dillon Gee and Jeremy Hefner each pitching so well.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis is finally making good, consistent contact with the ball after months of frustration. Definitely this is a good sign for a man who's had more hits in the past week than he had in the 18 major-league games before.

Tomorrow night the Mets finish up their long series in Atlanta looking to win the five-game series. Jonathon Niese will get the ball opposite Mike Minor; he will look to follow the great performances of Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and Dillon Gee (he was great for most of Monday night!) with a signature outing of his own.


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