It seemed no matter what Zack Wheeler could do, he had no room for error, as Ervin Santana (who follows me @ConvertedMetFan by the way…I have NO IDEA why…probably ’cause he follows a good amount back…anyway…), in his Atlanta Braves debut, pitched 8 innings of 3-hit ball, walking nobody and striking out 6. Why he wasn’t on the mound in the 9th inning I don’t know, but then again I guess I do; the complete game is rarer and rarer these days, and Ervin was coming back from a rehab start. Silly still, but that’s not specifically what we are here to talk about. We’re here to recap this 4-3 Mets loss to the Braves.
Apr 9, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcherErvin Santana
(30) pitches against the New York Mets during the fourth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Zack Wheeler was uneven, going 5 innings, giving up 4 runs on 8 hits, walking nobody and striking out 6. The scoring started when Jason Heyward led off the bottom of the 1st with a solo shot to right-center after an 11-pitch AB. Andrelton Simmons then singled for the Braves, leading to the highlight of the night for the Mets, when Juan Lagares made a fantastic running catch on the warning track off Freddie Freeman‘s hard-hit shot to center.
The Mets got out of the inning, but by the time they got to the bottom of the 5th, it was clear Zack probably shouldn’t give up any more runs. Well, Evan Gattis led off with a double to left, and though Jordan Schafer struck out swinging, Ervin Santana, a lifelong AL man, swung at the first pitch and singled to right field, though Gattis held at 3rd. With runners on the corners, Jason Heyward got his 3rd hit in 3 ABs off Wheeler, and the Braves went up 2-0. Andrelton Simmons then singled to load the bases, and Freeman got a 3-1 2-seamer that he planted into left for a single, scoring 2 to make it 4-0.
The Mets made it interesting in the 9th inning when Freddie Gonzalez decided not to extend Santana’s night. The Mets were certainly happy to see Ervin out of the game, and Jordan Walden walked Eric Young, Jr. to open the frame. Daniel Murphy struck out swinging, but David Wright singled to left field to end Mr. Walden’s night. With a save situation at hand, Craig Kimbrel entered the game and looked slightly hittable after 4 days off. He walked Curtis Granderson to load the bases and bring the tying run to the plate. Lucas Duda struck out swinging for the 2nd out of the inning, but Juan Lagares singled to drive in Young and Wright for the Mets first 2 runs. Travis d’Arnaud, finally looking comfortable away from Citi Field (like the rest of the team has done over the last few years…) singled to drive in Curtis at 3rd and make it 4-3. Ruben Tejada was the Mets last hope, but he unfortunately couldn’t come through, and struck out for the final out of the Mets 4-3 loss.
Zack Wheeler‘s line:
Jeurys Familia‘s Line:
John Lannan‘s line:
Gonzalez Germen‘s line:
One of these thing’s is not like the other…
David Wright, after going 2-24, went 2-4 when feeling under the weather on the day.
The only other hit before the 9th inning belonged to The Duda, who singled in the top of the 2nd.
So, the good news is that the bullpen, other than John Lannan, is settling in. Lannan probably needed and needs to get used to the bullpen elsewhere if that’s the direction we are going to go. He clearly is uncomfortable with the position currently and I don’t think that’s because he’s a bad pitcher; I think he just wasn’t even close to ready for the assignment.
And though it’s too bad the Mets couldn’t battle fully back in the 9th inning, still nice to see some of the young guys come through, especially Travis, who has desperately needed some Major League success in this early go of the 2014 season.
Oh, and can we PLEASE get some sense back into the way you handle starting pitchers? I’m glad to see Ervin Santana out of the game at that point, but please. That CLEARLY was his game to finish. He was too good, and sometimes it really is an insult to baseball, no matter whether it put the Mets into an interesting position of growth, despite the loss.
RHP Jenrry Mejia (1-0, 1.50 ERA) will face RHP David Hale (0-0, 0.00 ERA) at 7:30PM ET at Turner Field on getaway day, something the Mets are certainly not happy about when having to travel cross-country after the game.
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One of these thing’s is not like the other…