Braves Lose to the Mets – But Why?

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The Braves offense beat up on Dillon Gee so why did they Lose to the Mets?

Jun 14, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher

Mike Foltynewicz

(48) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

How to Lose to the Mets (or anyone really)

The young Braves offense with assists from a couple of old timers struck early and often against Gee. By the fifth inning Jace Peterson had a single, a three run homer, a double and a stolen base. He wasn’t alone.

Nick Markakis was 2-4 with an RBI and 2 runs scored,Kelly Johnson was 3-4 with a walk 2 RBI and a run scored. Juan Uribe was 3-5 with an RBI and Freddie Freeman was 1-4 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored. That’s 12 hits and 7 runs from 5 hitters. The rest of the lineup got only two hits – one from Cameron Maybin and a hit and an RBI from Christian Bethancourt. Still, eight runs should win a game if you catch the ball and the pitching is good. We caught the ball pretty well – the only exception was Bethancourt, more on him later – but the pitching. . .

Mike Foltynewicz features steady, easy gas in the high 90s but he occasionally – most of the time lately – has trouble locating it. That was the case today and to make matters worse he was wild in the zone with everything. His line when he trudged from the mound was 4 1/3 IP, 9 hits including two homers, 6 runs – 5 earned, a walk and three strikeouts.

Pitchers who throw 97 mph should not leave a game with 3 Ks in 5 innings. Folty seemed lost and was so bad that Fredi Gonzalez went to an over taxed and under performing bullpen in the fifth inning after only 75 pitches.The bullpen wasn’t good either but that’s not really a surprise. Except for the start of Perez they went about 4 innings a game. That’s too much to ask particularly from Brandon Cunniff who pitched one-third of an inning, an inning and two innings twice including being on the bump Tuesday Wednesday and Thursday.

Starter IP BF Pen IP BF
Alex Wood 5 24 3 4 50
Shelby Miller 7 27 5 4 17
Foltynewicz 5 2/3 29 5 3 1/3 15
Williams Perez 7 28 2 2 6
Julio Teheran 7 28 6 4 19
Wood 6 1/3 28 2 1 2/3 6
Miller 6 1/3 29 6 4 2/3 16

Starters have to get into the seventh and when they do Gonzalez has to use his bullpen more effectively. Thursday nights game in particular was a disgrace in terms of bullpen management; back to today.

The Pen

First out was Cunniff. I understand that, Gonzalez likes the way he pitches and generally he’s pitched well when rested.  He went two thirds of an inning and gave up a ruin on a homer.  Luis Avilan was next and today wasn’t his day In his IP he gave up three runs on three hits including a homer and rightfully ends up tagged for the loss.

The good news was the new guys – David Aardsma and Dana Eveland – worked clean innings.

There was much moaning about the good old days of O’Ventrbral but those guys were the 7-8-9 guys and you have to get to them and preferably start an inning with them. Of that trio Jonny Venters hasn’t pitched since 2012, Eris O’Flaherty had TJ surgery in 2013 and came back to have a good 2014 with the A’s but this season has only appeared ion 10 games and has a 9.35 ERA, 2.192 WHIP in 8 2/3 IP. The message is that even the good arms fail if consistently used to often.

The other moan was “why did we trade Craig KImbrel?” Without that trade there’s no Maybin and we still have one too many Upton’s.

The other common request was to go get bullpen arms. John Hart did that last week. Aardsma and Eveland have been just as expected let’s not shoot them yet, okay?

Coming into today Avilan has a 2.96 ERA and 1.151 WHIP with 18 Ks and seven walks with only 3 of 24 inherited runners scoring. Although today was bad he’s been good this year.

Cunniff needs rest between outings, maybe sending him down allows him to recuperate but the best answer if for the starters to go deeper but his WHIP was 1.110 before today and only one of 21 inherited runners scored

Even Nick Masset had only two really bad outings – Dodgers and Padres – without those his ERA is 1.14 and his WHIP 1.016 and only one inherited runner scored.

I understand the cries for a better performing pen but the bad actors have been replaced and the best way to keep a bullpen sharp is not to run them all out there everyday.

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