Gut Reaction: Braves 3 Mets 1 (12 innings) (4/5/17)

Sometimes how the Gut Reacts depends on the season. If this game were played in late September and was fraught with divisional implications, I’d be upset. Since it’s the second game of the season? Meh…

The contest began as advertised, a fun pitching matchup between the Braves’ Bartolo Colon — and how funny does that sound? — and Jacob deGrom. For six innings the two former teammates matched each other stride-for-stride and pitch-for-pitch. Colon made one mistake, a down-and-in changeup that Jay Bruce skittered off the right field fence in the fifth for his — and the Mets’ — first home run of the season. Colon had a vintage Colon night: six innings, two hits, one walk, six strikeouts. deGrom had a vintage deGrom night: six innings, two hits, one walk, six strikeouts. Unfortunately, Hansel Robles wasn’t nearly as effective as he’d been in Monday’s opener.

Robles came on in the seventh and got leadoff hitter Matt Kemp on a bizarre dribbler in front of the plate for the first out. That was his last bit of good news. He then proceeded to give up a triple to Nick Markakis, a walk to Brandon Phillips and a double to Adonis Garcia just past Bruce’s glove for the tie. He was removed after hitting Kurt Suzuki in the hip with a fastball. In came Jerry Blevins, who heroically got the last two outs, striking out pinch hitter Emilio Bonifacio and getting Ender Inciarte on a grounder to first.

So it was the battle of the bullpens, and you’d think “advantage: Mets,” right? Wrong. This wasn’t Monday anymore. The Braves relievers were staunch, surrendering a mere three hits and two walks — one of them “intentional” — over the span of six innings. The Mets’ ‘pen was also up to the task…until it wasn’t. After Blevins, Fernando Salas survived an error by Jose Reyes at third base in the eighth, inducing a double play by the ever dangerous Freddie Freeman in the process. Addison Reed pitched a clean ninth, Josh Edgin pitched a clean tenth. The next-to-last man up was the beleaguered Rafael Montero. He gave up a walk to Kemp leading off the eleventh and looping single to Phillips to put runners at first and third with one out, but got Garcia to chop into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. In the twelfth, Montero lost all his steam. Suzuki led off with a base hit. Travis d’Ardaud’s big brother Chase pinch ran. After Jace Peterson struck out failing to get a bunt down, Inciarte drew a walk. After Dansby Swanson grounded out to first, Freeman got one of those “intentional walks.” Kemp then sent a rocket barely over the glove of a leaping Reyes and the Braves had a two-run lead. In the bottom of the twelfth, Curtis Granderson grounded out meekly to second, Neil Walker scalded a ball down the third base linbe, but Peterson did what Reyes couldn’t: jump up and snagged the liner. Bruce sent a sharp single into right, stirring hope briefly, but Lucas Duda fanned on a Jim Johnson sinker and that was that.

Hang with ’em. Go take the rubber game tomorrow night.

8 comments for “Gut Reaction: Braves 3 Mets 1 (12 innings) (4/5/17)

  1. TexasGusCC
    April 6, 2017 at 12:51 am

    Would like to see Conforto and Flores in the lineup tomorrow. I know Collins only uses his bench as pinch hitters, but they need to play and too many starters aren’t producing right now.

    Before anyone says that it’s only the second game or they weren’t going to go 162-0, I’m saying don’t throw games away waiting for players to breakout but rather rest them one at a time and get some more people involved.

  2. Jimmy P
    April 6, 2017 at 5:58 am

    Mets face three LHP in a row. Will be interesting to see how TC plays it. Wish Lagares was healthy.

    Bruce had great day at the plate, seems like a liability in RF.

    Worried about Reyes vs. RHP. An out at the top of the order could be a big problem.

    Braves have some arms in that pen.

    Robles just had nothing, disappointing.

    And Montero, sigh. Tough call on IBB to Freeman, who is a great player having a horrendous day at the plate. In the end, I don’t think Montero is a pitcher who can thrive w/ bases loaded. (Maybe I should have stopped that sentence after the word pitcher?)

    Blevins, spectacular.

    Last night was one of the many, many reasons I think the RISP think is way overblown. To me, it’s an effect, not a cause. And last night was a non-factor.

    Huge day for Matt Harvey and the Mets today. He’s one of the keys to the season. One bad game won’t be disasterous, but a great game would be very encouraging.

    I will always remember Matt enjoying a near Cy Young season and coming away with only 9 wins due to none support.

    If only they’d used O’Flaherty.

  3. Metsense
    April 6, 2017 at 7:40 am

    With Montero it is nibble, nibble but last night was a Shakespearean Tragedy, “double , double , toil and trouble”.
    When Lagares goes in for defense will Granderson’s weak arm go to right to increase the range?
    It would have been nice if TDA came through in the 10th against a tough pitcher just to set the tone for the season. A hit would have helped his confidence.
    Syndergaard and DeGrom are some one, two punch. I hope Harvey makes it a trifecta.

  4. Jimmy P
    April 6, 2017 at 8:22 am

    TDA had three nice ABs and then, with the game on the line, had a very poor one. Disappointing. He took a hellacious rip when all they needed was a single. Then he watched a 2-strike fastball down the pipe. Vapor lock.

    Oh well.

    It’s not an easy game.

    I hope this won’t be the season of poor outfield defense and wasted pitching performances.

  5. Chris F
    April 6, 2017 at 9:03 am

    One game = no big deal.

    But things to keep an eye on.
    1. Reyes. Playing cavalierly at 3B, like he’s in abull fighting ring…ole!
    2. Reyes batting.
    3. The team watching a tone of first strike fastballs. Even Chip Caray noticed it.
    4. Offense, what offense?

    • Chris F
      April 6, 2017 at 12:24 pm

      5. Montero, yuk. Thanks for mentioning Eraff. I hit post comment before finishing my thought. He us d-u-n done.

  6. Eraff
    April 6, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Montero walked Matt Kemp, falling into a hitter’s count quickly, to start the 11th.

    He then walks Inciarte, in the 12th, to put a run in scoring position…..Inciarte was 0-for 2017 at the time, with a bunch of k’s.

    I don’t believe in Montero at this point—and I think He agrees with Me!!!!! I don;t want to bury the guy, but this is how he’s buried himself. I realize it’s one outing…but it looks like all of crappy ones that he’s rolled out over 3 years.

    Change Something!!!!!

    • Chris B
      April 6, 2017 at 5:40 pm

      I’m amazed that management fell victim to his Spring Training performance. How has the last two years of ML exposure not been enough to prove that this guy cannot cut it?

      He wasn’t able to perform on the big stage and he wasn’t able to perform in Vegas last year (7.20 ERA). I think he needs a change or scenary, another pitching guru to take a crack at resurrecting his career.

      If it’s at all possible to trade him to the AL then it should be done, otherwise waive him and clear a 40 man spot.

      It’s hard to imagine that he’s the next man up right now if a spot start is needed.

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