Another series, another series win. I think this team is starting to spoil us. The Braves have now won exactly 2/3 in each of their last 5 series, and have a 14-1-3 record in their past 18 series. That is some serious consistency. They enter the All-Star break 4 games ahead of the Mets (and 4.5 ahead of the Phillies). The Braves are also a game ahead of the Padres for the best record in the NL.
Who would have thought any of those statements would be possible after the 9-game losing streak? It's been a remarkable turnaround. Just look at the two series the Braves have played at Citi Field. In the first, they were swept in a series in which everything seemed to go wrong (including rain at unfortunate times). In the second, they came within a Johan Santana of sweeping the Mets. This is just a different team than the one we watched in late April, despite very few actual personnel changes.
The last series of the first half was a low-scoring one, which makes sense given that it was a matchup of two teams with good pitching and several key injuries to hitters. Only 13 runs were scored in the entire series, and the last two games were shutouts. Despite this, there were a couple fantastic offensive performances in the series, led by Omar Infante's 9 hits and Angel Pagan's 8 hits. Here are the links to the Talking Chop recaps and FanGraphs pages for each game, in case you missed them:
Despite not getting the sweep, Braves fans have to be happy with a series win on the road against a division rival. It was a good way to end the first half of the season. Hopefully, the second half of the season goes as well as the past two months have gone.
Series Awards after the jump.
Braves' Pitching MVP
Tim Hudson-- 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K, 12/20 ground balls (60%), and a 0.315 WPA
Braves' Clutch Play
Melky Cabrera hitting a go-ahead solo homer in game 1 (0.226 WPA)
Mets' Pitching MVP
Johan Santana-- 7 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K, 14/20 fly balls (70%), and a 0.428 WPA
Mets' Hitting MVPs
Angel Pagan-- 8/14, 2B, 3B, R, 3 SB, 3 K, 0.220 WPA (I can't believe he only scored 1 run... He was always on base.)
R.A. Dickey-- 2/2, 2 R, 0.098 WPA (I know, it was just 2 at-bats... but no other Met scored twice!)
Ike Davis-- 3/10, 2 BB, HR, 2B, R, RBI, 3 K, GIDP, 0.010 WPA
Mets' Clutch Play
Jose Reyes doubling to tie game 1 (0.163 WPA)
Braves' Pitching LVP
Nobody. Tommy Hanson had the only negative WPA for the series, and it was -0.014. Plus, he actually pitched pretty well. It's funny, it seems like whenever I cover a series, the Braves never have any good pitching LVP candidates... That's a sign of how well we've been pitching lately.
Braves' Hitting LVP
Martin Prado-- 0/12, 2 BB, 4 K, GIDP, -0.397 WPA (That is seriously ugly... but everyone has a bad series now and then.)
Braves' Unclutch Play
Martin Prado grounding into a bases-loaded 1-2-3 double play in game 2 (-0.184 WPA)
Mets' Pitching LVP
Mike Pelfrey-- 4 IP, 12 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 2 K, -0.165 WPA
Mets' Hitting LVPs
Jeff Francoeur-- 1/11, 2B, 2 K, -0.233 WPA
Rod Barajas-- 1/7, sac bunt, GIDP, -0.178 WPA
Jason Bay-- 0/6, BB, HBP, 2 K, GIDP, -0.156 WPA
Alex Cora-- 1/9, RBI, GIDP, -0.137 WPA
Ruben Tejada-- 1/6, BB, SB, -0.069 WPA
Mets' Unclutch Play
No terrible plays, but Rod Barajas grounding into a double play in game 3 (-0.090 WPA) was probably the worst.