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Fat But Good: Mets 4, Braves 3

When a team struggles early on as the Mets have, you take your victories -- both literally and figuratively -- where you can. A few days have come and gone since the Mets decided -- for better or worse -- not to trade David Wright, and they've put together a decent string of games, taking three-of-four from the Phillies and Braves. Johan Santana didn't start any of those games, either, so it's especially encouraging to see the rest of the rotation making meaningful contributions to the cause.

As for this game, the Mets' shitty defense tried to give the game away at the end but they just had too much collective grit and passion -- grission, I call it -- to let this one slip through their leaden hands. I try not to overreact when players eff up defensively, because until my dream of watching two squads of automatons duke it out for baseball supremacy is eventually realized, we have to make do with fallable human players who make mistakes. Tonight, Luis Castillo botched a pedestrian groundball in the eighth inning that wound up not mattering much, and Carlos Delgado dropped a routine popup to prolong the ninth inning, ultimately allowing two unearned runs to score and the tying run to reach third with Chipper Jones at the bat. I was actually kind of astonished that, following this defensive fustercluck, Ryan Church didn't use two hands to catch Jones's game-ending flyout to right. I understand that catching one-handed is the way he does things, but I thought that this situation called for a touch of protective overindulgence. Maybe I just needed it.

Ramon Castro picked up three hits and is now slashing .286/.348/.476, so if he is ever pinch-hit for by Omir Santos again I'll feel sorry for anyone sitting within punching distance of me.

It's good to see Wright coming around with the bat, but it's too bad that Church and Delgado are no longer hitting (Delgado's two hits tonight notwithstanding). Delgado has just 13 OPS points on Castillo right now, and Church is trailing slappy by almost 60 points. Both trail Castillo in wOBA by healthy margins. Delgado is the bigger concern because he might be injured all year and the Mets were actually counting on him to provide a big bat in the middle of the lineup. If they felt otherwise they might have paid a little more attention to someone like Adam Dunn over the Winter (currently rocking a splendiferous .449 wOBA). But you can't put crap back in the donkey, so the Mets are stuck with Delgado, pain and all. I am by no means closing the book on him; he could very well regain his early-season stroke and have a solid year before all is said. We'll certainly hope so.

Swag contest results can be found here and the next game's swag form already available. You can read more about the swag contest here.

SB Nation Coverage

* Boxscore
* Amazin' Avenue Gamethread
* Talking Chop Gamethread

Win Probability Added

(image by Sam)

Big winners: Livan Hernandez, +29.3% WPA, J.J. Putz, +14.6% WPA
Big losers: Ryan Church, -9.7% WPA, Carlos Delgado, -2.0% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Larry flyout to end the game, +20.6% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Prado RBI double in seventh, -17.4% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +52.3% WPA
Total batter WPA: -2.3% WPA
GWRBI!: Carlos Delgado

Game Thread Roll Call

Nice job by future; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.

Num Name # of Posts
1 future 237
2 JohnPeterson 91
3 Catsmeat Potter-Pirbright 91
4 squid92 74
5 pingel 61
6 jasondg 53
7 All Shook Down 47
9 GenJackRipper 44
10 Prince 36