By Mike Steffanos
Braves 4 - Mets 1
I feel more comfortable than I have all spring. If we have some of our new players emerge we can make a real run at this division. --Tom Glavine
Okay, I understand these are spring training games, but is anyone else out there tired of hearing Glavine and Trachsel talk about how good they felt after a bad outing? I'd like to see Glavine throwing more strikes at this point of the season. Today's stat line featured 4 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 2 K. Glavine walked 4 in 5 innings in his last outing against the Cardinals. That's 7 walks in his last 9 innings pitched. He's not going to get away with that once the season starts.
Yusaku Iriki followed Glavine and had his first good outing in quite a while, holding the Braves scoreless over 2 innings, allowing 0 hits and 1 walk while striking out 2. Pedro Feliciano, the leading candidate for lefty specialist, pitched the final 2 innings, giving up 2 ER on 2 hits and a walk. He had a pair of strikeouts.
Tim Hudson and 5 of Atlanta's awful bullpen crew limited the Mets "B" team to 1 run on 6 singles. Chris Woodward went 2-4 and drove in the only run.
The Mets travel to Jupiter (not the planet) to face the Cardinals tomorrow afternoon.
Baseball Prospectus (Subscription Required): Projecting The Standings
Nate Silver uses BP's PECOTA projections to forecast the upcoming season, and sees the Mets finishing ahead of the Phillies and Braves in the NL East this year. He had some interesting thoughts on both the Mets and the Braves:
The Mets have probably bought their way to a division title. I don't mean for that to come across as jaded: this is a franchise that identified exactly what its most pressing needs were, that stood to gain a great deal from fulfilling these needs, and went ahead and closed the loop. That is exactly what big market revenues are supposed to allow you to do, and the Mets did it, while teams like the Cubs flunked the exam.
That said, this division is going to be an arms race until late in the season. The Edgar Renteria for Andy Marte swap is the sort of move that could make or break John Schuerholz' reputation, and while I can't personally see it turning out well for him, I've been wrong on that score in the past. But the more immediate issue is that the Braves appear to have done a shoddy job of compiling a bullpen. Based on the version of the depth charts that I'm working from, the Braves' relievers project to combine for a brutal 4.99 ERA. That ought to be an easy problem to correct, especially with Schuerholz at the helm, but this team may cause a lot of heartache in the first half of the season.
I find it hard to believe that Atlanta's bullpen, even as it stands right now, will perform that badly. As for Renteria, I suspect he is on the sharp downside of his career. I was surprised the Braves would trade a prospect like Marte for someone like Renteria. It will be interesting to see how that plays out.
More Mets Stories: