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Sunday, April 25, 2010

More Woes And Weirdness Lead To Second Mets Win


Okay, now it's just getting silly.

Yunel Escobar made a key baserunning gaffe in the fifth inning with a scoreless tie and the Braves wasted another quality start from Jair Jurrjens with poor RISP batting, losing to the Mets 3-1.

The Braves left the bases loaded in the first inning and Chipper Jones, who turned 38 years old yesterday, appeared to hurt himself on his first swing. He tried to go back out in the third inning, but he couldn't extend himself and had to come out of the game. Martin Prado, who was getting the day off, took his place at third base the next inning. Chipper is day-to-day with a hip injury.

Matt Diaz and Melky Cabrera struck out with the bases loaded to end the third. Atlanta left men on second with two out in the second and third innings.

With one out in the fifth, Escobar walked. Prado then hit a double in his first at-bat, sending Escobar to third. Troy Glaus then flied out to right. Seemingly forgetting the situation, Escobar failed to tag up at third, while Martin Prado did tag up at second and ran to third on Francoeur's catch. By the time Escobar realized what was going on, it was too late. Prado tried to get in a rundown, but he was quickly tagged out before Escobar could score.

However, the Braves did take the lead off of of starter Jon Niese in the sixth. Cabrera hit a one-out double, his second of the year, and scored on David Ross's single to give the Braves the lead. The Mets then brought in former Brave Manny Acosta, who shut down his old teammates through 1 2/3 innings.

In the bottom of the sixth, Jose Reyes took a two-out walk and stole second base. He went to third on David Ross's poor throw, which skipped into the outfield. Jason Bay then drove Reyes home with a double.

Rookie first baseman Ike David led off the seventh with a walk. Jeff Francoeur then hit a high fastball (which is pretty much one of the only things he can hit) to the 415 sign in right-center, scoring Davis with a triple. He was brought home by Henry Blanco's sacrifice fly. Jurrjens got pinch-hitter Frank Catalaotto to ground out, but a walk to leadoff hitter Angel Pagan ended his day. Eric O'Flaherty got Alex Cora to ground out to end the inning.

The Braves got another man in scoring position off reliever Pedro Feliciano with Jason Heyward beating out a double play relay and moving to second on a walk to David Ross. Brian McCann then lined a pitch to shortstop that was tailing on Reyes, but he made a great diving catch to save a run.

Kris Medlen held the Mets scoreless in the ninth and Francisco Rodriguez had a much-less shaky ninth inning as he put the Braves away 1-2-3 for his third save of the year.

Jurrjens went 6 2/3 innings and allowed just one earned run on four hits and four walks. Mets starter Jon Niese similarly allowed just one earned run, but on five hits and five wlks in 5 1/3 innings.

Odds 'N Ends: So far in the series at Citi Field, the Braves are 3-17 with RISP, with six walks and 3 RBIs. Those three hits are only singles.

Batting Average With Balls In Play is designed to show how often the defense turns a player's batted ball into an out. Sometimes, it shows that a player is very unlucky and other times it shows that a player is playing at an unsustainable level.

As of this post, the league average is .296. Out of the Braves' nine regular players, only three of them have a BABIP above the league average:

    Martin Prado - .473 BABIP (.409 BA)
    Jason Heyward - .344 BABIP (.254 BA)
    Chipper Jones - .306 BABIP (.283 BA)
The rest of the Braves' starters have significantly lower BABIPs than average:

    Matt Diaz - .241 BABIP (.175 BA)
    Brian McCann - .238 BABIP (.258 BA)
    Yunel Escobar - .218 BABIP (.194 BA)
    Troy Glaus - .211 BABIP (.175 BA)
    Nate McLouth - .208 BABIP (.150 BA)
    Melky Cabrera - .174 BABIP (.143 BA)
McCann is especially unlucky because his average is higher than his BABIP.

The last time the Mets swept a three-game series from the Braves in New York was August 19-21, 2008.

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