Braves Walk Off Against Overly Taxed, Struggling Mets Pen

Well, with the way the bullpen has been blowing games, and the Mets poor defense, you can understand why the Mets starters are going to have finger issues.

Those finger issues manifested themselves first with Noah Syndergaard landing on the disabled list with a strained ligament in his pitching finger.

Then, during tonight’s game, when the Mets so desperately needed some length from Steven Matz, he departed after three scoreless innings due to his own finger injury.

Long term this further complicates matters with Jason Vargas starting on three days rest tomorrow with Seth Lugo being limited to 50 pitches in a start the following day.

Short term, the Mets had a ballgame to win.

Fortunately, by the time Matz departed, the Mets already had a 4-0 lead due to the Mets roughing up Anibal Sanchez in his first start coming off the disabled list.

The scoring began courtesy of Brandon Nimmo acting like a true leadoff hitter. He led off the game with a hit by pitch, stole a base, and he scored on a Jose Bautista double.

Nimmo would start the next rally with a one out base hit putting him in base before Asdrubal Cabrera‘s first homer of the game giving the Mets a 3-0 lead.

The less grew to 4-0 in the fourth after an Adrian Gonzalez solo shot. If you’re keeping score at home, the Braves paid for Bautista and Gonzalez to help beat them today.

With Matz’s injury, Paul Sewald had as many pitches as he needed before starting the fourth. You can never be too sure how well a pitcher warms in those situations, and you question it with how Sewald struggled in the fourth.

Charlie Culberson hit an RBI single playing Tyler Flowers, who led off the inning with a double. On the play, Nimmo made a very poor throw to the plate. It was about the only black mark on another wise terrific season.

A Dansby Swanson double set up second and third with one out, and with Devin Mesoraco whiffing on a pitch, Culbertson scored making it 4-2 Mets.

Sewald was really struggling to find the zone and was fighting it. Somehow, he made it through the rest of the inning unscathed, and he followed with a scoreless fifth.

After that, the Mets got some much needed insurance runs off Matt Wisler. First, Cabrera hit his second homer of the game in the fifth.

Then, in the sixth, Nimmo doubled home Amed Rosario from first. On the play, Rosario flew around the bases and slid in just ahead of Flowers’ tag.

Unfortunately, that 6-2 lead did not stand.

In Jerry Blevins second inning of work, all he needed to do was get through the Braves two best left-handed hitters, the job for which he is paid, to get out of the inning.

Instead, Freddie Freeman continued his dominance of Blevins with a single, and he would score on an ensuing Nick Markakis double.

Jacob Rhame came on to bail Blevins out of the seventh, but with a depleted bullpen, no one was on hand to bail him out in the eighth.

After a run had already scored on a Preston Tucker RBI groundout, Ender Inciarte hit a two RBI triple Michael Conforto couldn’t get but took a bad route to the ball.

Rhame rallied to strike out Ozzie Albies, and after intentionally walking Freeman, he got Markakis to pop out to end the inning.

The game was tied at 6-6 heading into the ninth, and the Mets would squander a golden opportunity against Dan Winkler.

Rosario led off the inning with a single, and Nimmo was hit by a pitch. What ensued was a Cabrera strikeout, Luis Guillorme pinch hit fielder’s choice, and a Conforto strikeout.

This put the game in Gerson Bautista‘s hands. This is a pitcher with all of 22.0 innings above Single-A. With the bullpen already taxed before this game, Mickey Callaway really had little choice.

That not having little other choice led to Johan Camargo ending the game with a walk off homer to give the Braves a 7-6 win.

This marks the second time in this series the Braves walked one off against the Mets. With the way the bullpen is pitching of late, it may not be the last.

Game Notes: For some reason Jose Reyes started. Predictably, he was 0-4 with a strikeout.

8 thoughts on “Braves Walk Off Against Overly Taxed, Struggling Mets Pen”

  1. Five Tool Ownership says:

    yepp, the ninth was a rare opportunity against Winkler who has a WHIP near an unbelievable .7!

    But Conforto has been striking out in the Mets last ABAT prior to tonight and the Mets are not recently necessarily hitting extra base hits, HRs or grinding out may runs in the ninth inning of tied or one run games.

    There is not a 2012-2015 Daniel Murphy here who rises to the occasion against almost anyone…

    It is the bats!!

    This is not about the pitching.

    Conforto dropped to the Mets at #10 in the 2015 amatuer first round draft.
    He was supposedly tne best hitter but not a speedster if I remember the NY Post.
    Odell Beckham had at his draft scouting reports that said he drops passes in big games at LSU.

    Conforto is now 25 and I am starting to wonder about his games as a Beaver…

    Braves bullpen at this time had a great revord for not giving up the HR and for stranding runners.

    Maybe Winkler was bored not pumped up against the Mets in the ninth?
    But at nearly 14 Ks per nine innings he did K Conforto to end the threat.

    RISP – BRAVES 3/13 — METS 1/11

    Enough about the pen?

    1. metsdaddy says:

      Hard to say it’s the bats when they scored six runs, and the bullpen blew leads of 4-0 and 6-2.

      1. Gothamist says:

        They did do squat once again in innings 7-9. Agree?
        Some would say they could have hit Sanchez much harder. Agree?
        Teams do score ten runs?
        Teams do get more runs when their starter is out after three?
        If their pen is taxed? Conlon lasted how many yesterday?
        Noah will miss a turn, Mstz with an unknown injury…
        Gettie up time?
        Two rookies in the pen, one who throws 99 down Broadway?
        They were 1-11 RISP, so I agree there also.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          Mets could have scored more, but leads of 4-0 and 6-2 are sufficiently large enough leads for a bullpen to protect.

  2. Gothamist says:

    Questions for Ron Darling:

    Sewald has to keep his 79mph slider on the outside of the plate?
    Never get five to six inches near the center?

    He got two beautiful strikes (one called a ball) to Flowers, well placed on the inside of the plate and at 87 fine for inside corner middle down about five inches below the belt, then another. It seems it is a cold zone for Flowers so he will take these pitches.

    With two strikes (actually 1-1) Sewald wastes a 80 mph slider down and away.
    He already established inside, was Flowers keeyed on pitch three as a juicy slider?

    Flowers feet were at least five inches from the inner chaulk of the box and on the slider Flowers does not swing but as the ball hits the catcher’s glove Flowers is crotched and looking down and away.

    Sewald then goes back to the inside, knowledgeable about a pitch called a ball so instead he might have lifted it ten inches or five inches above the belt and there, 89 mph Flowers nearly hits the ball out.

    Keith said that pitch was meant up and away for a strike.
    Well we disagree.

    Assume I am right, flatter me Ron.

    What were his choices?

    Go for the slider for a strike instead of wasting it on 1-1?

    He just threw two inside low fast balls?

    What about a waste alternative, a high fast ball off the plate at 1-1, going low on two pitches then high?

    That way if he goes inside and back outside Flowers has to be ready for either a high FB or a low slider?

    Hey Ron, should Sewald believe that if he has location, command of two pitches a 88-89 fastball with down movement and a sweeping slider at 78-80 mph should Sewald:

    Keep on throwing the pitch in exact place and not give in to an umpire calling strikes as balls?

    Do playoff caliber pitchers ever give in at all?

    Even eventually Umps will call even a ball a strike if it is close enough?

    Complaining does help certain clubs, pitchers and or catchers?

    Do not give in?

    Pitch number four at 89 mph, his pitch was a fastball, inside up to appease the ump, he already was close on two inside low fastballs, he was way off on the third pitch slider and Flowers was looking inside?

    Why chance it, he is looking inside to hit, he already looks cold on inside low strikes. He must hit inside middle and inside up quite well.

    Why chance it?


    Should Sewald go in and out with FBs and sliders?

    Should Sewald not ever give in to an umpire?

    Should Sewald change the hitter’s eye level?

    Should Sewald pitch way inside to protect the outside slider?

    Should Sewald have gone back to the slider on pitch four?

    1. Gothamist says:

      Rhame does have to get his slider on the corner much more but he is close.
      He has to get the middle low strike on the border of the strike zone and not 25% up above it.

      The hit by Charlie Culberson was a 2-1 count and went exactly where the catcher wanted it.

      We did not see the first pitch from Rhame against the first two hitters.

      Great slider for strike two on Swanson especially after the fastball.

      Why not up snd inside for the waste pitch?

      88 mph slider pitch four well placed for the bloop single?

      So Rhame hits spot for the second single and on third, fortuitous for Swanson or via the scouting almost expected?

      Tucker? – Did he need the K? What about Cabrera’s pivot?

      Enciarte ? That pitch was sweet and it had to be in his hot zone. Seems that the catcher wanted middle in, not dead central.

      It was Rhame’s 17th pitch a second change up in a row, but it was over two innings and with nine extra warm up pitches in the 8th.

      Albies, by far the best hitter was pitched middle down, then middle up. K

      Markakis – High, outside 95 FB just off the plate, then 85 change middle down for a strike and then inside up heat at 95 for the inning ending pop up.

      Mr. Rhame, they are keying on hour first pitch FB, please stat on the fringe….

      Congrats you have arrived….

      1. metsdaddy says:

        I’m not sure what Rhame’s issue was. Could have been going a second inning or even talent.

  3. Patrick OHara says:

    Honestly, enough is enough. Vargas is garbage. Matz is missing “a start”. Thor is missing time as well.
    If matz is going to be incapable of being a starter without injury, at what point is he viewed as something else?
    Further, lugo and gsellman have actually proven themselves of bolstering, and carrying, a rotation. Qualities matz has never proven. All matz has is a wonderful start at citifield (with his grandfather dancing on TV at his results) and…???? Anyone????
    The rotation is a mess. In the past, they relied on the 2 guys no one has questioned in the entire stable (outside degrom and thor). And the only roster availabilities are the 2 guys that helped us to the WS and have done well in everything they’ve asked.
    Enough BS. Get lugo and/or gsellman in the rotation. At least 80% of the time we will see the pen lose the game instead of 60% of the games being over before the 5th and unwatchable.

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