Scout’s Eye: April Showers in Queens Probably Won’t Yield May Mets Flowers

The past two games at Citi Field were not too pretty for Mets fan. It started with the Metropolitans down by five runs on Wednesday night before they even came to bat. Oh, did I mention they were playing the last place Atlanta Braves, who are going through the pains of rebuilding their club?

Robert Gsellman and Travis d’Arnaud obviously were not on the same page. Maybe they could have figured it out as the game progressed. That is, if they could have gotten out of that disaster of a first inning. Maybe the fielding could of been better. Three errors in the big leagues, usually brings a loss with it. And when a pitcher tosses 36 pitches in any inning, his rhythm is thrown way off kilter. Some can recover and some are so confused, that they begin to put more pressure on themselves, making matters worse. And worse it got, for the young 23 year-old rookie right hander.

The Braves third base coach Ron Washington was windmilling his arm so much, as runner after runner rounded third, he probably had to get his arm iced after the first inning. The Braves used a game plan that the “Mutts” don’t like to use. They played the hit and run twice. They went the opposite way with pitches on the outside part of the plate instead of trying to pull everything and they ran the bases like big leaguers are supposed to do.

They were well prepared and looked like they studied the reports by their clubs advance scouts on the Mets. Washington at third knew who he could send and who he would hold. What outfielder had an average arm. What the cut off guys tendencies were when they got the ball and he never made a mistake in judgement.

Julio Teheran continued to frustrate the boys from Queens with his under powering 88 to 92 fastballs and a series of equally slow 67 to 81 mph sliders, curves and changes. His adding, subtracting, and overall command of all his pitches was again too much for the Met hitters. They didn’t get a hit until the fourth inning and could only get four off Teheran all night. They need to have a plan like the Braves and stop trying to hit home runs with multiple men in scoring position. There is no effort to try situational hitting. Something the Braves work on from rookie ball.

And then there was today: The total collapse. As if they were yelling “Man Overboard” in the middle of the ocean. First. it was a who’s on first, what’s on second mess with the rotation as poor Matt Harvey learned this morning he was pitching today, when he was deep into his preparation for his start on Friday in D.C. Seems like ace Noah Syndergaard had a boo boo in his right bicep and was scratched. I am so tired of talking medical instead of baseball. The brilliant baseball minds with their pitch counts, innings limits, and all the other amazing ‘new’ ways to pitch have allowed us to learn all these medical terms, as there seems to be more arm problems now, more than ever, in baseball.

Now let me talk about the game today. I’ll make it quick so there is less pain. R.A. Dickey had the Mets cross-eyed with his butterfly dancing knuckleballs and the Braves looked like they were in for a long tough day with Harvey as he threw 10 pitches in the first inning, all fastballs 93 to 95 for a 1-2-3 inning. Then after that, his pitch selection changed, his velocity dropped and then, a hit here, a double steal there, a three run homer by catcher Kurt Suzuki who is hitting .179 and poof, “A one way ticket to Palookaville” and a trip to the basement of the NL East as they head to D.C. to face the first place Nats. Did I forget to mention Yoenis Céspedes pulling up lame after he ripped a double in the fourth inning. See you sometime in May cowboy.

This is a bad team right now and we will see just what they are made of soon. I keep hearing, “It’s only April, the season is long, talk to me in June about pushing the panic button”. Well they also say “April showers bring May flowers.” Tuesday’s rain out was an omen. We all know that a good storm can wipe out a flower garden and the Braves came in like a hurricane. Time to think about rotating your crops boys.

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