It’s impossible to tell how much of the bad start that Taijuan Walker had was due to ineffectiveness, how much of it was due to him catching a spike in the first inning, which seemingly affected his hip as the trainers had to come out, and how much of it was due to the fact that the Braves are a still a damn good hitting club, “all or nothing” as they may be. Walker would never say that it was injury related if it was, and Buck Showalter said that he had struggled with command before that (he had already given up a double to Matt Olson before the pitch), but the plain fact of the matter is that it wasn’t Taijuan’s night as he gave up eight runs (two home runs) in an inning and change, and unfortunate that it happened against the Braves.
Ian Anderson had also struggled with command all night on the other side too. And in the second inning with the Braves up 8-0, Anderson loaded the bases after two were out and nobody was on. He gave up a single to Tyler Naquin, walked Luis Guillorme on four pitches, and walked Tomas Nido, which seems impossible. Then came the sequence of the game. Brandon Nimmo singled to center which scored Naquin. Joey Cora, who has been excellent all season, sent Guillorme home down by seven runs, and Michael Harris threw him out at the plate by plenty.
Again, Cora has been excellent all year, and in that sequence, I think Cora is thinking about the play in a vacuum. “Can Guillorme score?” “How good is Harris’ arm?” “Where did Nimmo hit the ball?” But what he seemed not to take into account was who was coming up next, and more importantly, how much Anderson was struggling at that point. Coaches send runners, runners get thrown out. It happens. But I’m sure if Cora thought more about bigger picture, having Marte face Anderson with the bases loaded and the crowd getting back into it, I’m sure he would have made another decision. It was, as far as I can tell, Cora’s first mistake of the year. Considering that at this point last year, Gary DiSarcina had made 7,398 mistakes along with setting three fires and making two awkward comments about furries in front of the wives of the rest of the coaching staff, it’s been such a huge and underrated improvement on this team. But sending Guillorme was unfortunate.
The Mets clawed back in the fifth on a single by Jeff McNeil, a two run double by Darin Ruf, and a single by Eduardo Escobar to make it 8-5, (preceded by a single by Pete Alonso after Anderson almost ended his life with an up and in fastball) and they didn’t lay down the rest of the night either. But they didn’t have enough to overcome Walker’s bad start in the end, losing 9-6 in the second of a five game set. If you’re looking for a silver lining, the Braves had to use Rasiel Iglesias and Kenley Jansen in a game where they led 8-0 after an inning and a half, the night before a day/night doubleheader, due to the Mets offense not giving up as per usual modus operandi. The Mets pitching staff, meanwhile, had the likes of Trevor Williams and Tommy Hunter carry the load the rest of the way, and even Joely Rodriguez and Mychal Givens threw scoreless innings. This has gotta put the Mets in good shape at least for the first game tomorrow with David Peterson starting.
Today’s Hate List
- Michael Harris
- Jake Odorizzi
- Max Fried
- Joc Pederson
- Tommy Pham