Zack Wheeler owns the Braves, Wilmer Flores RBI guy, Byrd soars

Zack WheelerLast year the Mets’ SP had a terrible time against the Braves but this year has been a different story. One of the biggest reasons for that has been the success of rookie Zack Wheeler, who has squared off against Atlanta three times and has a 3-0 record. While Wheeler has been the beneficiary of some strong offense this year, he’s also pitched very well against the Braves, as he sports a 2.89 ERA and a 1.286 WHIP against the team running away with things this year in the NL East.

The Mets still have one series left with the Braves this year, so Wheeler may get one more shot against the team that has owned the Mets in recent years. If he does pitch against Atlanta and gets a win, he’ll become the first pitcher to go 4-0 against the Braves since Danny Jackson and Orel Hershiser both accomplished the feat back in 1988, with Hershiser winning five games. Of course the Braves went 54-106 back in 1988, so it was a little bit different than to do it in 2013 when they are playing at a .611 winning clip.

The last Mets pitcher to go undefeated with at least three decisions in a year against Atlanta is Al Leiter, who did it in 2003. For his career with the Mets, Leiter was 9-8 against the Braves. The 2003 season was the only year during his time in Queens that he was above .500 against their division rival. Before Leiter, the last Mets pitcher to go undefeated against Atlanta with at least three decisions was David Cone back in 1988.

FLORES TAKES ADVANTAGE – If there’s a silver lining to David Wright’s injury it’s that it allowed the Mets to take an extended look at top prospect Wilmer Flores. For his part, Flores has looked comfortable playing third base and he’s displayed a knack for delivering timely hits. In 50 PA with the Mets, Flores has 11 RBIs. He has a 19.61 OBI%, the 12th-best mark in the majors among hitters who’ve come to the plate with at least 50 runners on base. It’s the top mark on the Mets, comfortably ahead of Marlon Byrd’s 17.44% rate.

BYRD SOARS IN LAST 10 GAMES – After scuffling while chasing his 100th career homer, Byrd has done extremely well here recently. In his last 45 PA, covering 10 games, Byrd has a .364 AVG and a 1.105 OPS with 4 HR and 10 RBIs. Eight of his 16 hits have gone for extra-bases in this span. Byrd leads the Mets with 70 RBIs and has a good chance to beat his career-high of 89, which he accomplished back in 2009 with the Rangers. Byrd has an outside shot of finishing with 100 RBIs and he would be the first Met since Wright turned the trick in 2010.

GERMEN MAKES CASE FOR 2014 SPOT – Few expected much from Gonzalez Germen when he was promoted in mid-July. But the 25 year old has proven to be a nice addition to the pen. In 20 IP, he has a 2.70 ERA and a 1.300 WHIP. With a 10 mph difference between his fastball and his changeup, Germen has given opposing hitters fits. His 12.7 swinging strike percentage is tied with Matt Harvey for the second-best rate on the team. The only issue with Germen has been his control. He’s issued 11 BB for a 4.95 BB/9. If Germen can sharpen his control, he could develop into an excellent set-up man.

SATIN ENJOYS HOME COOKING – Even after moving in the fences at Citi Field, most Mets hitters fare better on the road than they do at home. The team as a whole posts an OPS 44 points higher in away games than at their home field. But Josh Satin has raked when given the chance in front of the home folks. Satin has a .333/.433/.544 line in 67 PA at Citi Field. His .977 OPSat home is the highest mark for a Mets hitter, 72 points ahead of runner-up Wright.

FORGOTTEN MET STILL ONE OF THE MOST PRODUCTIVE – Early this year, Lucas Duda combined walks and power to post a 123 OPS+ and fans didn’t think his offense was anything special. Now Ike Davis combines walks and a BABIP 100 points above his career average and everyone thinks he’s tremendous. Davis sits with a .657 OPS (87 OPS+) and is considered a core player. Duda’s .791 OPS is the fourth-best mark on the club among those with at least 100 PA this season. Davis ranks ninth.

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19 comments for “Zack Wheeler owns the Braves, Wilmer Flores RBI guy, Byrd soars

  1. amazin
    August 23, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    I’m in the minority I know but I take Duda over Ike.

    • za
      August 23, 2013 at 2:20 pm

      Ike has the higher ceiling but Duda has the higher floor.

      • David Groveman
        August 23, 2013 at 3:37 pm

        Let Duda really hit in AAA before we worry about him vs. Davis.

  2. Name
    August 23, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Despite their mediocre record against the Braves(8-8), the Mets have actually played really well vs the Braves. If you take the 2 heart breaking 2-1 losses the Mets have had, that turns the 8-8 into 10-6, which is remarkable for a team 27 games over .500

  3. Chris F
    August 23, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    I heard that Wheeler’s 3-0 against the Braves is the first time a rookie has done this since…
    The Franchise.

    Are we really still talking about Duda and/or Davis? Who the hell cares, they both suck.

    • Metsense
      August 23, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      Hey Chris F, have a Snickers bar buddy! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Chris F
        August 23, 2013 at 2:31 pm

        I wonder if I can get one infused with rum. 😉

        • David Groveman
          August 23, 2013 at 3:38 pm

          I hope I’m Betty White when I’m hungry. I’ve always wanted to be Betty White.

  4. Metsense
    August 23, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Wheeler looks better and better each start. I can see him eventually rouding into a top of the rotation starter. Currently of the 78 NL starting pitchers with 60+ innings he has an ERA ranked 31st so he is almost there.
    Flores has looked good for a rookie that is getting his feet wet but a .691 OPS doesn’t cut it. He has a whole month to build on it though.
    When I look at the non compensatory free agent outfielders, Byrd looks better and better to sign.
    The nice thing about Josh Satin is he solidifies the necessary platoon no matter if Davis or Duda is the other half. Davis is hopefully building up some trade value because another year of this inconsistent 1B would be maddening, especially at a 3.1+M price tag.

    • za
      August 23, 2013 at 3:40 pm

      Cut Flores some slack – his ceiling is higher than anybody else we have close to the Majors not named Travis. Wheeler is definitely improving, that’s for sure. His control has improved and he’s already a mid-rotation starter at this point.

    • Jerry Grote
      August 23, 2013 at 3:41 pm

      … what strikes me about Byrd has been his consistency in terms of his monthly production. Doesn’t he have three or four straight months of 900 ball?

      It’s really hard to know about Wheeler. When you look at the really young pitchers in the NL … well, there’s an awful lot of hype about ZW that he needs to deliver on. At his age or younger … Shelby Miller, Jose Fernandez, Madison Baumgardner, Gerritt Cole, Julio Teheran, Randall Delgado, Tyler Chatwood. I’m taking nearly every one of those names ahead of Wheeler as of what they’ve produced in the major leagues today.

      As good as ZW might be, both he and Harvey are going to have very difficult comps for the rest of their careers.

      • Chris F
        August 23, 2013 at 3:56 pm

        I agree JG. The good news is that when those expectations are shared across a whole staff, we will have the capacity to do very very well even if we dont have 3 numbers 1s.

        • Jerry Grote
          August 24, 2013 at 9:53 am

          Yup. This isn’t Maddox, Schmoltz and Glavine. It’s more like Maddox and five (or six!) number 2s …

          The great thing is that Meija could wind up as the second best pitcher on the staff. I have to say, I was completely wrong about that guy from what I’ve seen in the majors.

      • za
        August 23, 2013 at 7:16 pm

        Ike must have one of the strangest roller-coaster beginnings to a career of anyone. He’s hit 30 dingers and he’s played Gold Glove defense, and he’s batted .150 for two half seasons. His current line since the ASB is .310/.477/.536. Before it? .165/.255/.250. Maybe he should play some winter ball to stay locked in?

        • za
          August 23, 2013 at 7:20 pm

          Bizarre – that was supposed to be a reply to a different comment. The one to this one was supposed to be, “Tyler Chatwood? Really? Gimme a break, man.” Incidentally, none of those teams other than the Cards have a guy in the same league as Matt Harvey (Wainwright’s a stud) and only the Pirates have a pitching prospect comparable to Syndergaard (Taillon). Overall, Wheeler doesn’t have to be better than any of those guys although he has a shot at being just as good as any of them except perhaps José Fernández. Depth is key.

          • Jerry Grote
            August 24, 2013 at 9:49 am

            Depth is important for the team.

            I’m comparing this group of 22-23 year old pitchers, possibly the best group in the history of baseball back to the early 1900s when Mathewson, Bender, Johnson and Joss took the mound as kids. I suppose that’s arguable, maybe hyperbole.

            In the current group, Wheeler is clearly the least talented of them. Clearly, and it’s not even like it’s close. Give ME a break.

  5. Jim OMalley
    August 23, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    Does Byrd deserve a two year offer from the Mets?

    • Name
      August 24, 2013 at 1:31 am

      No, caught juiced players should be happy they’re still playing the game at all.

    • August 24, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      No. Not because of the PED thing (which I think I’ve become numb to at this point), but because the Mets (but not just the Mets) have a history of being burned by rewarding vets who have a solid year with a longer-term contract.

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