Mets and Braves Play to 10 Inning Tie in Spring Debut

The New York Mets and Atlanta Braves are both undefeated after their Grapefruit League debut. The score was tied 5-5 after 10, and the game was left there.

Jenrry Mejia started on the hill at Tradition field Saturday afternoon struck out three, and allowed 1 unearned run in 2 innings pitched. The unearned run did though, stem from his own wild pitch, which allowed Atlanta’s young first basemen Freddie Freeman to score the first run of the game. Mejia walked only one, but threw two wild pitches in his spring debut. Mejia has late break on both is fastball and his curve, making it not only tough to hit, but also tough to keep in the strikezone and even block in the dirt. At least one of Mejia’s two wild pitches, could have been blocked by second year catcher Josh Thole.

Pedro Beato pitched next for the Amazin’s,  giving up 3 hits, including 1 home run courtesy of Atlanta’s Eric Hinske. Beato also went two innings, but his first inning of work was a 1-2-3 inning. Beato will most likely be a reliever, maybe he can only be effective for a limit of one inning, that is something I am sure they will test throughout spring. One thing I was very impressed with was how fast he got to first base on a Nate McClouth ground ball to end the third inning. He did not need to be over there, as Ike would have most likely beaten McClouth to the bag, however it showed both that his head was in the game and that he hustled, that he was over there so fast.

Taylor Buchholz pitched well also going two innings giving up just two hits, and striking out three. Non roster invitee RHP John Lujan pitched a perfect seventh inning, striking out one. Lujan (26) was drafted by the Rangers in the 15th round in 2004. Between double and triple A last season with the Mets he combined to go 2-4 with a 4.50 ERA in 62 innings pitched. He looked good against Atlanta, but at that time, no Major League guys were still on the field for either team.

Former Brave Manny Acosta walked two, gave up three hits and one run in 2 innings pitched. Acosta appeared in 41 games for the Mets last season and had a 2.95 ERA in 39 innings.

Armando Rodriguez pitched the tenth for the Mets, striking out two, but also allowing two earned runs. Rodriguez now has an 18.0 spring ERA. At single-A Savannah last season Rodriguez went 8-9 in 27 starts with just a 3.08 ERA.

Met’s right fielder Fernando Martinez (F-Mart) tied the game up at 2 with a two run shot in the bottom of the fifth. Martinez really needed the home run, to cover up the missed cutoff in the second inning that allowed Freddie Freeman’s double turn into a triple. F-Mart also looked awkward on a fly ball to right that took him towards the right field wall. He looked nervous as if he was going to run into the wall, he slowed down, the ball hit off his glove and landed in fair territory before bouncing into the seats for a ground rule double. He did come up limping, but then looked fine running off the field. Martinez has not played one full season of pro baseball without injuring since signing with the Mets six years ago.

Infielder Jordany Valdespin tied the game at three with an RBI double in the 9th inning. Valdespin has impressed Manager Terry Collins thus far in camp. He hit .232 last year in 112 at bats at Double-A Binghamton last season.

Mets outfielder Willie Harris tied the game for good with a two run homer in the bottom of the tenth to drive in Nick Evans. Harris who got into a car crash last night, was not scheduled to play today. He had a sore arm, thought to be unrelated to the crash. Harris also homered in the inter squad game yesterday. Although he is trying to focus on hitting for a higher average and keeping the ball on the ground, he has showed power early this spring. He feels though that he was a teamate of Adam Dunn last year in Washington, who convinced him he could hit more homeruns, and he did (10) last year, but he sacrificed his average which to a low .183.

The Mets have spilt squad games tomorrow, with Chris Young starting against the Braves at 1:05 tomorrow in Disney World, and Dillon Gee facing The University of Michigan at 12:10 at Digital Domain Park in Port St. Lucie.

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