Meet the Mets

The Braves and I make our first visit to Shea this season.

Game #1 is not the exciting preview I had hoped. Instead it was a 7-3 drubbing of the Mets, and it wasn’t even that close. Tim Hudson pitched 8 innings of shutout ball and Chipper Jones does what Chipper Jones does and hit yet another homer at his favorite road stadium. Ambiorox Burgos walked in a run and allowed another to score on a wild pitch and then walked another batter and for some reason Willie continues to show extreme forbearance with Burgos. Even David Wright’s Met-record hitting streak came to an end. If there are any positives in this game it is that the Mets were able to score three runs in the ninth showing that the Braves’ bullpen still has weaknesses that may be exploited to better advantage in a close game. And if that’s not true then there’s always the humorous image of Andruw (sic) Jones flopping on his belly as a Carlos Beltran bloop drops to the ground a few yards away. We take what little joy we can find in such things. Otherwise, there are many worrying things such as the Braves taking over first place and the fact that Mets can’t seem to beat them.

Or maybe the Braves just can’t beat the Mets, especially when Oliver Perez is on the mound. Watching from the Upper Deck, I enjoyed seeing the count repeatedly go to 0-2 on Braves batters (and several times 0-3 as well) including a stretch where Perez threw 20 straight strikes. Whatever made the Braves bats go to sleep did not affect the Mets on a sunny Saturday afternoon as they slapped the ball silly off Chuck James and a pair of relievers. Carlos Beltran was a homer short of hitting for the cycle, as was Jose Reyes who only missed a triple for this game. And thus, all was well in MetsWorld again.

Until Sunday. Back in 1998 I attended one game of a Mets-Brave series over Labor Day weekend. Sadly, the one game I saw was the one game in that series the Mets lost, mainly due to the dominance of John Smoltz in 3-hit complete game shutout. Since then I’ve always liked Smoltz, my favorite Brave as far as one can like the enemy. He’s old school, especially with that beard. Put him in a kepi and a gray uniform and he would look like a general from the Civil War. Smoltz pitched Sunday’s game as well and while not nearly as successful on the mound, his team walked off the field with the win at the end of the day. Tom Glavine (the Manchurian Brave) has won 11 games for the Braves over the past five seasons, which is really rotten since he’s been on the Mets roster all that time. Yesterday he faced Smoltz and pitched relatively better than his old teammate in a game that looked pretty ugly for those of us who appreciate an old fashioned pitching duel.

And thus the Mets are looking up at the Braves in the standings again. Yuck!

Players of the game (I award up to ten points, maximum of 6 points to one player, distributed among the Mets players who had the biggest impact in the game):

20 April 2007
Braves 7, Mets 3

  • Alou 2
  • Beltran 2
  • Chavez .50
  • Green 3.5
  • Schoeneweis 1
  • Smith 1

21 April 2007
Braves 2, Mets 7

  • Beltran 2
  • Castro .50
  • Easley 1
  • Perez 3
  • Reyes 3
  • Smith .50

22 April 2007
Braves 9, Mets 6

  • Alou .50
  • Delgado 1
  • Glavine 2.5
  • Green 2.5
  • Reyes 2.5
  • Valentin 1

As much as I like writing about the Mets and the idea that I can look back over these posts at the end of the season, I’m finding it hard to post about the Mets so often without getting boring. So I’m going to start doing a “Mets week in review” type of post on Sunday night/Monday morning instead where I can post my thoughts on the past week of games and my player of the game scores. I still may set aside a special post for important games and Met events, but overall I think this will help restore some balance to Panorama of the Mountains.