Gut Reaction: Braves 12, Mets 4 (4/19/18)

On a night with a lot to prove, Matt Harvey showed Mets management and fans something that they didn’t want to see. In the first three innings, Harvey was dreadful, allowing six earned runs to the Atlanta Braves, as the Mets fell to them 12-4.

Harvey appeared flat when he was on the mound, and a lot of his pitches didn’t have much on them. This lead to him getting shelled by the Braves, as every hit they struck off of him seemed to grow in intensity. With the bullpen needing rest however, Harvey had to remain in the game and eat some innings for the team. In a game that will help determine whether Harvey or Zack Wheeler will keep a spot in the rotation, my Gut Reaction is that Harvey certainly made the case for Wheeler to stay.

The lack of energy that Harvey displayed translated over to the bats for the Mets as well. Matt Wisler had complete control over the Mets. He held the Mets to two hits, including a solo home run to Todd Frazier. The other hit was a single by Asdrubal Cabrera.

Watching this game, one couldn’t help but think about the days when Harvey was a sensation on the mound. His starts were what Mets fans had to look forward to during the week, even becoming known as “Harvey Day.” One can then look a little further down the bench, and see Jose Reyes. Reyes, who is primarily a bench play, yet again failed to secure his first hit of the season during his two at bats. It is sad to see two once great Mets players now being lambasted for their inefficiency on the field.

The Mets were able to put up a small rally in the eighth inning, as they plated three of their four runs. It started with an Adrian Gonzales solo shot to left center field. After a Lobaton walk, Rosario single, and a Conforto walk, another Brandon Nimmo walk plated another run. Cabrera then hit a sac fly to plate the Mets fourth and final run.

Out of the bullpen, Jerry Blevins struggled. Brought in to face the lefties, he was hung out to dry against the righties as well in the Braves lineup. His final line came to four earned runs over two thirds of an inning. Rookie Gerson Bautista allowed two runs over an inning and a third.

The Mets will try to get back on track tomorrow, as Noah Syndergaard will take on Sean Newcomb and the Braves at 7:35 pm.

9 comments for “Gut Reaction: Braves 12, Mets 4 (4/19/18)

  1. Chris F
    April 19, 2018 at 10:59 pm

    Now watch the overcompensation begin. Syndergaard throwing 120 mph, Droobs and Ces hitting 12 run HR, Rosario throwing out 4 runners at the same time…pressing…and it wont be good. Now we see what Mickey, and this team, is made of.

  2. TexasGusCC
    April 20, 2018 at 12:45 am

    It’s only one loss, and an understandable one coming off the highs of playing the Nationals then flying in to Atlanta while all of us were sleeping. I have no doubt the Mets will win at least two of the next three, but the conversation for the next four days will be Matt Harvey.

    – An interview yesterday with SNY, Dave Eiland said that Harvey is still thinking like a power pitcher, but he isn’t anymore. Eiland said Harvey is still throwing fastballs and sliders a vast majority and won’t be successful if he can’t embrace that he needs to mix in more curves and off-speed pitches.

    – Tonight in the post game reactions, Callaway would not commit to another start for Matt Harvey. However, he did say that Harvey was trying to mix in his off-speed stuff more than usual, but “he just didn’t have it”.

    – Harvey’s take was that he was effective in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, and to that he sees some success. Also, when asked if he would accept a trip to AAA, he said he doesn’t have an answer to that right now.

    – As the reporters play “he said, then he said”, we hear that Dave Eiland said that the game doesn’t start in the fourth inning and the pitcher needs to be ready and effective from the first inning.

    Wow, not pretty. But, why stick up for Reyes 0-Season so far and tell us that he doesn’t like playing third (even though that’s his job), but hold the accountability treatment to Harvey in such a strict way?

    Jason Vargas threw an intra-squad game and was going to throw at least one rehab, so I’m not seeing the need for reporters to start bringing this up and Harvey’s bosses to speak in such disappointed tones. However, it’s very probably he get at least another start, albeit with a gorilla on his back in terms of pressure.

    My gut reaction is Harvey needs to learn to get MLB hitters out in the majors. With Swarzak gone for a while more, Bautista’s role is really one of last resort. I’d give that spot to Harvey and give him some longer outings – three innings – to simulate short starts and give him a chance to fix his problems and find his consistency in the majors.

    I don’t see Vegas fixing Harvey because while with Wheeler it was arm slot and mechanics, with Harvey it is retraining the mind to get MLB hitters out, and Vegas can’t help him with. He has command; the mechanics are there; however, his craft has not been fine tuned yet and he has problems making perfect pitches at times. Will Vegas fix that? Doubtful, because those aren’t MLB hitters to take advantage of mistakes and force Harvey to focus harder. So, why waste time? Give him one more start and if he needs to go to the bullpen, let the guy keep trying without the embarrassment associated with demotion. Does anybody really believe Bautista is ready, anyway?

    • Mike Walczak
      April 20, 2018 at 7:21 am

      Harvey needs a psychiatrist. He is stamping his feet saying “I am a starting pitcher”. OK Matt, why don’t you say, “I really have sucked and I am open to doing what it takes to help the team”.

      It’s all about Matt. That’s a bad mindset.

      • TexasGusCC
        April 20, 2018 at 10:04 am

        You’re right Mike. The mindset is because he’s a free agent. He’s scared because he needs to succeed. He probably saw a sports psychiatrist already because he has remaned calm and spoke positively in spite of some inflammatory questions from reporters since Spring Training. He was never this positive before.

        All winter he was at Boras Academy getting prepped for the year.

    • April 20, 2018 at 7:58 am

      I agree with Eiland that Harvey and the rest of the pitchers have to know that the game starts in the first inning. Too often it seems like they’re not ready to go at the start.

      Ron Darling pointed out during the game that the Braves big hits were coming against his changeup. If the new staff wants him to throw his change and he’s getting beat on his change – maybe they can come up with a new game plan.

      That said, there was an awful lot of loud contact in the third inning. To me, that was more troubling than what happened in the first inning.

  3. TexasGusCC
    April 20, 2018 at 12:57 am

    P.S.: Jerry Blevins needs to be stretched out again to survive a whole inning.

    • Michael B
      April 20, 2018 at 9:39 am

      Jerry Blevins needs to take a cut in salary. Good Lord, what an easy job. Comes into a game to face one batter 90% of the time and gets paid what? So far he hasn’t been successful in getting that one batter out or being extended.

  4. Eraff
    April 20, 2018 at 10:10 am

    I believe that both his mix/mindset and his execution are off. The Changeups are up and they are covering most of the plate…. even a fooled hitter can recover and drive those.

    Fastballs are not well located…. does he want to pitch Like a Young John Lackey, or will he insist on Pitching like a young Matt Harvey?

  5. Pete In Iowa
    April 20, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    Blevins was not “hung out to dry against righties” last night. He faced a total of six batters, five of whom were left handed. He walked the only right hander he faced, Kurt Suzuki. Bottom line is, Blevins was a horror show last night giving up three hits in five AB to lefties, putting what was a 6-1 game completely out of reach. One of the outs (Inciarte) was a bullet to left.
    Harvey is a complete mess at this point. He just doesn’t seem to realize he simply can’t overpower hitters anymore, like Syndergaard and deGrom can. The longer he still thinks he can, the longer he will continue to hurt the team. The sooner he figures this out, the better off he’s going to be, not only for the club, but himself as well. At this point, he’s headed to a minor league deal next winter.
    Who ever would have thought that in 2013 or 2015?? I think management has been pretty wise in not locking up these pitchers too soon to a long-term, big money deal. Perhaps they lock up deGrom this winter if he keeps performing and then Syndergaard the year after.

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