Mets Game 99: Loss To Mariners

Mariners 5 Mets 2

Mets pitchers were much more efficient than Seattle’s (123 pitches to 164), and the Mets offense collected at least one hit in every single inning. However, the final score numbers are the ones that matter most.

Mets Game Notes

Jon Niese did not pitch well, and, his line would’ve looked a lot uglier had it not been for a few excellent defensive plays behind him, combined with some aggressiveness by the Mariners hitters. Niese’s command was far off — to be expected from a pitcher who was out for over two weeks — and his velocity was startlingly low, as he struggled to keep his fastball in the 87-88 MPH range; I think he might’ve touched 89 once or twice. Wait, wasn’t the time off supposed to rejuvenate Niese, and help him to regain his strength — like the DL stint last year did? Huh, strange it didn’t work out that way. Niese looked like he was running on fumes.

Oh, what a can of worms we have there … if it weren’t beyond 1 AM and me working on 5 hours’ sleep, I’d be ripping the Mets a new one on the Niese DL debacle. Perhaps another day …

Just one thing, first: does anyone on the planet agree with me that it is incredibly alarming that Niese, at age 27, should be in the very best condition of his life and experiencing an INCREASE in velocity, rather than a marked decrease? Is no one else concerned by this development? Does no one else see this as a bright red flag? Is everyone else completely blinded by his excellent numbers, and/or buying into the “he’s learned how to dial it back to pitch more effectively” BS? Because it IS bovine defecation, to the highest degree. A 27-year-old who previously touched 93-94 and regularly hung around 91, should at the very least be maintaining that level.

I love Travis d’Arnaud‘s body language and confidence since his return from Las Vegas. He’s swinging the bat well and was robbed of a homerun in this game by Dustin Ackley, who made a remarkable catch over the wall to steal the dinger away from d’Arnaud. Ackley also went 3-for-4, and was in a run with Kyle Seager and Willie Bloomquist for the game ball.

I don’t love Daniel Murphy‘s body language. As mentioned in the previous post, he looks exhausted. But as has been pointed out in the comments, the Mets don’t have a legit backup middle infielder (other than starting shortstop Ruben Tejada) — which is mind-boggling. At the very least, can the Mets coax Mike Phillips or Tim Bogar out of retirement? (I’m not even sure Bogar ever officially retired, so the paperwork could be easy in that case.)

Mariners starter Roenis Elias pitched well enough until leaving the game with a “forearm cramp,” which Ron Darling jokingly derided. I hope no young pitcher took Darling’s joke seriously, because ANY kind of cramping, strain, pain, or other discomfort in the forearm is an immediate red flag that could very quickly lead to elbow problem. Quickly as in, the very next pitch, and knowing that, I was astonished that the Mariners medical staff allowed Elias to finish pitching to Lucas Duda. Forearm issues should ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS be taken seriously, and treated with extreme caution. Don’t be surprised to see Elias go down with a UCL injury before the end of this season.

The Mariners have posted losing seasons in 8 of their past 10 seasons. Right now, they’re 6 games over .500. The front office, coaching staff, scouting department, and roster are littered with former Mets personnel. Are they good this year because they were bad for six straight years? Are they good because of Robinson Cano? Can you see any comparison or contrast between the Mariners and the Mets over the past several years? Hmmmm …

It’s kind of funny that Chris Young is still a Met, isn’t it? And now whatever leg injury took him out of the game will likely land him on the DL, which means there’s no chance of him getting suddenly hot and becoming trade bait for a 19-year-old middle reliever toiling in the low minors.

Next Mets Game

Mets and Mariners do it again starting at the ungodly hour of 10:10 PM Right Coast Time. Jacob deGrom faces Erasmo Ramirez.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. meticated July 22, 2014 at 5:33 am
    So, we went 8-2 and everyone’s wearing blinking red noses, blowing noisemakers and drinking “the Mets are contenders” kool-aid whilst rocking the bubble gum on the brims inside out hats…we are more desperate than I shudder to believe…it’s like we haven’t gotten laid in a decade and suddenly we copped a feel…yeh, I want a little sumthin’ sumthin to break off too…but gimme a break…keep it zipped, and wipe up the drool
  2. david July 22, 2014 at 10:44 am
    Nice to see you back Joe. Niese is a worry, but hey – he is our worry.

    I saw this lineup and had to scratch my head. Makes sense to play Campbell at 1st base against the lefty but why on earth DH Duda? And bat him 5th?

    CY in left, not EY, was also debatable When we struggle we need EY’s spark. CY is not worthy of a start at this point, IMO. Sorry Chris, just the way it is.

    As the Mets got hot the lineup flow was great. Duda to TDA especially and of course DW being DW. Today’s was not well thought out or Terry would realize you rest Duda and put him in when they go the pen, late in the game, if you really want to make sure he gets ABs. Making Duda bat after Campbell is just silly when he has finally established himself as the clean up guy (admittedly to my surprise), but so is playing a lefty as your DH against a lefty. Surely this is not one of those Mgr missed the memos, is it?

    Looking for the unheralded rookie to give us a shot tomorrow. Mets could use something.

  3. DanB July 22, 2014 at 11:13 am
    Hey Joe, sorry to go off topic, but I was thinking about how you complain about pitching coaches and managers not utilizing kinetics and computer modeling of pitchers. Do you think any of those coaches would turn down a chance to have their golf swing studied in the same way?
    • Joe Janish July 22, 2014 at 12:32 pm
      Wow. You make an EXCELLENT point. I may steal that for my next podcast with Angel — do you mind?

      Well done.

      BTW I don’t necessarily advocate computer modeling. It doesn’t need to be that extreme and complicated. Many teams are already doing “biomechanical analysis” and getting these complex reports that do absolutely nothing because no one has any idea how to interpret them. All MLB needs is to follow guidelines discovered by science and to bring in qualitative scientists who can make the proper adjustments on-the-fly.

  4. DanB July 22, 2014 at 1:23 pm
    Not only can you use it, but Angel could offer golf lessons to the coaches, convert tnem, and they discuss using the same approach to fix pitchers.
    • Joe Janish July 22, 2014 at 2:13 pm
      I think you’re on to something here, DanB …
  5. Craig July 22, 2014 at 4:00 pm
    Welcome back Joe………

    I am beginning to think Niese is going to have perpetual arm issues, perhaps it would be wise to trade him [if he can put together a couple of good starts] for what they can get in return. Mets have a surplus of quality pitchers developing to put into the rotation. I like Niese, but the signs are there.

    What has happened to the player confidence and hitting?

    • Joe Janish July 23, 2014 at 9:53 am
      I don’t think an opposing team will be so quick to give up a worthwhile package for Niese, now that he’s experienced shoulder issues in two consecutive seasons.

      The time to sell high on Niese was the first half of last year. Window closed.

  6. DaveSchneck July 22, 2014 at 5:02 pm
    Joe,
    Agreed on Niese. Agreed on TDA. Agreed on Murphy. doubly-agreed on the handling of the Seattle pitcher. Also agreed that DanB makes a great point. It’s not much fun to agree on everything, but that requires you to write some disagreeable content, at 1AM no less.
  7. argonbunnies July 23, 2014 at 3:56 am
    Not that leaving an injured pitcher in to finish an AB isn’t the sort of thing MLB teams do all the time, but, in the M’s defense, it looked Elias’ cramp was in the underside of the forearm, not the top where all the important stuff connects. I’d say he was risking his wrist, not his elbow.

    I really hope we trade Murphy. It’s fun to watch him spray line drives around when he’s hot, but everything else has become a downer. When was the last time you saw him dive for a ball or take an extra base? Keep the guys fresh, Terry — Campbell can’t be much worse out at 2B than Murph.

    • Joe Janish July 23, 2014 at 9:58 am
      It doesn’t matter which side of the forearm was cramping, because there’s “important stuff” connecting all over the arm. Discomfort ANYWHERE in the forearm can lead to elbow damage.

      Good point on Murphy, though my guess is that the return the Mets would get would not be close to what Mets fans might expect — on a pennant-contender he’s probably a super-sub or a platoon guy, not an everyday player. But now may be the time to sell high on him.

      • argonbunnies July 24, 2014 at 3:48 am
        Dearth of good second basemen + Murph’s impressive counting stats = overpay? I can dream, right?

        Honestly, I do think that from afar, Murphy looks like an above-average 2B, not a platoon guy or sub. Some pennant contenders are fielding awful players at 2B and might be excited about that upgrade.