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Time to Step Up

Mike SteffanosWednesday, August 8, 2007
By Mike Steffanos

Braves 7 - Mets 3
Played Tuesday, August 7, 2007

I could tell in the first inning that Oliver Perez was in for a long night. His slider wasn't really biting and his fastball wasn't popping. As Ron Darling pointed out later on, he just wasn't getting the swing and misses that he usually does.

For Perez this is 3 pretty bad starts in a row, and he'll need to find his way through it. For the Mets, it now means they are behind the eight ball in yet another series against the Braves.

Oliver Perez (Last 5 Starts)
Season (20 Games)125604610512447173.311.2211-9

View Oliver Perez' Full Season Stats

There wasn't a single Mets hitter who had a game to write home about yesterday. Moises Alou endeared himself to the faithful with the two double plays he grounded into, but David Wright was also once again conspicuously absent in a game against the Braves. Most of the other games were played during his early season funk, but he's been hot lately. Not last night.

Feel free to vent any of your frustrations at the scapegoat of your choice. As I've said, there are many to choose from. Simply put, it's time for this club to put up or shut up against the Braves. The oft-heard refrain about being in first place becomes moot if they keep dropping these important inter-division games. Why the Mets have struggled so much to beat the Braves this season hardly matters. They simply must figure out how to win some of these games.

Box Score

About Mike: I was the original writer on this web site, actually its only writer for the first 15 months of existence. Although I am grateful for the excellent contributions of my fellow writers here, I have no plans of stepping back into strictly an editorial role. I started this thing in the first place because I love to write and I love the Mets, and blogging here keeps me somewhat sane. If you haven't had enough already, more bio info can be found here.

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Comments (2)

Ollie P. just did not make an adjustment once he saw the Braves mashing and dinging his fastball. Throwing a first pitch fastball (even though the location was not that bad) to Diaz was just a poor choice of pitching. The guy is a free swinger and you just need to throw soft stuff down and in, make him(Diaz)make the adjustment. Like you said after that, it was a long night even the crowd became subdued. Mets had opportunities to score but failed, double plays and lack of execution. It was nice to see Newhan smack that triple, but other than Milledge's double, they seemed to have no urgency and for the first time in many games since the break, they had poor plate appearances. I give credit to the Braves, Francour has made the adjustment and will serve a pitch to right, Ollie threw one that was probably a ball and he knocked it down the line for a double. The Braves seem like they want it and for some reason the Mets seem to be sleep walking when they play each other. Buddy Carlyle worked them over with average stuff, so we'll have to see what comes these next two nights. They have to take these two, and do it with big numbers. Got to get to Smoltz early and don't let him settle in. I can't get the Mets game announcers during these games because they blackout the MLB telecasts here in ATL so the local networks call the games and they are so irritating. They go on and on about the Braves during the game, so I need the Mets to shut them up with a dose of "humble pie". A nice 10 to 2 drubbing is in order tonight, so Lets Go Mets!

In fairness, he didn't have the sharp down-breaking slider, either. They were fouling them off instead of missing them. Someday he'll be able to win when he doesn't have good stuff, but that's a tall order for a kid who was so lost a year ago.

Agree with you on the lack of a sense of urgency. Last year's club played with a chip on their shoulder. This year's Mets seem so complacent by comparison, and it's the Braves that clearly have the chip on their shoulder. Hope that changes, at least from the Mets' point of view.

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