Sunday, April 20, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Mets 4, Braves 3
By Danny Knobler | Special to ESPNNewYork.com
NEW YORK -- Finally, Curtis Granderson has a New York Mets moment.
Does it change everything?
No, of course not, but Granderson's sacrifice fly in the 14th inning did give the Mets a 4-3 win over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday. It gave Granderson something positive on his Mets ledger.
And it brought the Mets back to .500 after an eventful and mostly negative weekend.
One win doesn't change everything. Granderson, the Mets' $60 million free-agent signing, is still struggling, even after being moved out of the cleanup spot. The Mets are on their third closer of the season, after manager Terry Collins named Kyle Farnsworth to replace Jose Valverde.
And that home record, now 3-6, still isn't close to acceptable.
Even so, things could be worse. Around the Mets, things often seem worse.
Right now, .500 isn't that bad.
The new bullpen works, sort of: Before Saturday, Daisuke Matsuzaka had never really been a major league relief pitcher (his one bullpen appearance was in a long extra-inning game). Now he has pitched on back-to-back days, and he saved the Mets on Sunday with three hitless innings out of the pen.
Collins then turned to Valverde, who got through the 14th inning (despite allowing a hit to pitcher Gus Schlosser) and got credit for the win.
Another not-so-Grand day: Granderson's struggles continue, and Collins' decision to move him out of the cleanup spot didn't help, at least not right away. Granderson went 0-for-6 before the game-winning sacrifice fly in the 14th. He also committed an error on an amazingly bad throw that somehow ended up in the Braves' third-base dugout and cost the Mets a run.
Granderson is hitless in his last 16 at-bats, dropping his batting average to .127.
Not bad for Zack: Zack Wheeler had just one bad inning, but it cost him a chance for a win. Wheeler allowed the Braves six hits in six innings. Three of them, though, were back-to-back-to-back doubles in the fifth, giving the Braves three runs.
Wheeler departed with the game tied 3-3. He remains 1-2 on the season, with a 4.63 ERA.
Helpful Braves: It was a tough defensive day for the Braves, and their mistakes kept the Mets in the game. Justin Upton dropped a first-inning fly ball, leading to a run. Second baseman Dan Uggla committed two errors, one helping the Mets score a run in the second and the other on what should have been an inning-ending double play in the sixth. Instead, the Mets scored the game-tying run.
Abreu coming? The Mets have a decision upcoming on Bobby Abreu, and it would hardly be a surprise if they brought him to the big leagues soon. Joel Sherman of the Post said Sunday on Twitter that the Mets believe Abreu could provide a needed experienced bat off the bench, especially with Ike Davis now gone. Abreu entered play Sunday batting .412 at Triple-A Las Vegas, and Sunday he hit his first home run. His contract with the Mets allows him to become a free agent if they don't bring him to the big leagues by the end of this month.
What's next: The Mets open a four-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals with a 7:10 p.m. ET game Monday night at Citi Field. Jenrry Mejia, who left his last start with a blister, starts for the Mets. Left-hander Tyler Lyons, 2-0 with a 3.32 ERA at Triple-A Memphis, will be called up to start for the Cardinals.