This was always going to be a game with a little extra energy with Bartolo Colon coming back to the Citi Field mound. This time to face the Mets instead of wear their uniform. It had to be weird for Colon as well, as he started Wednesday’s game deviating from his normal modus operandi. He was throwing a little harder, and he was also throwing a lot of off speed stuff … at least for him.
Although it was some early nerves and it was just a slight swerve off the road for Colon, the Mets failed to take sufficient advantage at the time. But Jay Bruce did smack a line drive home run in the fifth to give the Mets a 1-0 lead and blur Bartolo’s fairy tale for a bit.
(Then Jacob deGrom threw him a slider because there was no way Bartolo was getting a hit off him.)
deGrom and Colon had oddly similar lines: Six innings, six strikeouts, two hits and one walk each. The Bruce home run was the only ding off either pitcher. Then Adonis Garcia, who is a close second to Freddie F. Freeman on my list of “Braves I Never Want to See at the Plate”, tied the game with an RBI double in the seventh off Hansel Robles and the game slogged on to extras. The Mets had a rally in the tenth, but Travis d’Arnaud took strike three down the middle and Ty Kelly had a similarly terrible at-bat against Jose Ramirez to end the threat.
When Rafael Montero got out of an 11th inning jam by getting Garcia to ground into a double play, I really thought that was the ballgame and that the Mets would pull it out. But Jim Johnson sent the Mets down 1-2-3, and then Montero couldn’t get out of a second jam as he served up an inside fastball to Matt Kemp with the bases loaded and two outs, which Kemp drove to left just over Jose Reyes for a two run double to give the Braves a 3-1 lead. Johnson then worked around a Bruce hit (told you he’d be good in April) to end the game. You may remember that I helped write a publication called “Re-Assembling The Avengers” (available on your Amazon Kindle), and in it I wrote who I thought the key players on the Braves would be this season:
Key Players: Kemp and Jim Johnson. Kemp came to Atlanta and recovered from a malaise in San Diego, where he was expected to be a savior. His OPS with the Braves was the highest it had been since 2012. A full season of an .855 OPS would really help the Braves. As for Johnson, with a potentially more reliable starting rotation than last year, Johnson will get more save opportunities. And he was very good for Atlanta over the past two seasons, but with Los Angeles in ‘15 and with Oakland and Detroit in 2014, he was a severe liability with a WHIP near 2. Atlanta needs Johnson, entering his age 34 season, to remain a viable option in the ninth.
Yeah. Those two players kicked the Mets’ butts on Wednesday. I hate being right.
Today’s Hate List
- Matt Kemp
- Jim Johnson
- Adonis Garcia
- Freddie Freeman
- Freddy Garcia