The Braves had a number of opportunities early in the game to get the eventual winning starting pitcher Carlos Torres out of the game. Instead, Jason Heyward was thrown out at home to end what looked to be a very promising top of the first inning, and the Braves stranded runners at second and third the following inning after a Kris Medlen ground out, Andrelton Simmons pop out to left, and a near three run homer by Heyward that was caught at the wall by Juan Lagares.
Things unraveled for the Braves in the bottom of the sixth inning, when Kris Medlen allowed three earned runs as he struggled against the middle of the Mets order the second time through the lineup. In the top half of the inning, Medlen hit with what was then the go-ahead runner on second. This was an opportunity to pinch hit for Medlen but Gonzalez opted to stick with Medlen, who is a good hitting pitcher, and the decision backfired in the bottom half as previously mentioned. During the blow up inning, Medlen gave up a big RBI double to Ike Davis. Gonzalez could have went to Luis Avilan in this situation but had faith in Medlen to get out of the jam.
The game itself seemed like a microcosm of the issues some, including me, have with Fredi Gonzalez. It is not that I think he is a bad manager, but as an outsider it seems like there are a few decisions that could have been made that would have altered the outcome of this game at least a bit. The first run came on a pitcher single in the bottom of the third inning with the infield drawn in. He made a similar decision in Chicago this past weekend. There is an inherent risk in moving the infield in, as while you have an ability to prevent a run, you are also allowing a much higher chance for an added baserunner and an even bigger inning.
While some of the blame can be put on Fredi for certain decisions backfiring, the bats simply did not do enough against a journeyman pitcher making just his second start of the season. Medlen also has to be more effective than he was that third time through the lineup, and with Brandon Beachy inching closer and closer to making his season debut, it is looking more and more like Medlen may be heading to the bullpen to make room for Beachy in the rotation. Reporting live from Citi Field for the first time, I'm out. See you guys tomorrow as Tim Hudson takes on Jeremy Hefner at 7:10 p.m. ET.