Mets Game 102: Loss To Brewers

Brewers 9 Mets 1

The Mets were one game away from another winning streak. All good things must come to an end.

Mets Game Notes

Not a good night for Dillon Gee. In fact, a bad night for the righthander, who was pummeled by the Brew Crew. He didn’t necessarily have the wrong idea — he was clearly trying to entice the aggressive Milwaukee lineup to chase pitches out of the zone to fall behind on the count, but they weren’t biting on his pitches that were just a few inches off the edges. As a result, he fell behind nearly every batter, had to come back with pitches that got too much plate, and the Brewers teed off. It happens.

As it turned out, the Brewers didn’t have anything personal against Dillon Gee — they pounded Daisuke Matsuzaka similarly. Seven of Milwaukee’s ten hits in the game were for extra bases.

Hmmm … were the Brewers “hunting for strikes”?

Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

While the Brewers hitters were crushing the ball, the Mets were doing the opposite. They had exactly two hits, walked twice, and sent only 28 batters to the plate, one over the absolute minimum. On the bright side, they were only 0-for-1 with RISP.

One of those two hits was another massive homerun by Lucas Duda — a prodigious blast well over the fence in dead-center, that came after the Mets were down 7-0. His homeruns are beginning to remind me of Mike Cameron‘s 30 homers in 2004. As a friend once commented to me: “That was the lightest 30-HR season I ever saw.” Hey, hitting a 420-foot+ homer in MLB is impressive regardless of the situation. But how many of Duda’s dingers have come when they were truly needed? In the words of Warner Wolf, “let’s go to the videotape!” Duda hit a couple big ones early in the season, he had one that turned out to be important against the Rangers, and another against the Mariners a few days ago that turned out to be big … but it seems like his homer total is padded a bit by circumstances. Maybe all players’ homerun total are similarly padded. Maybe my opinion is clouded by still not being sold on him as an everyday first baseman. Though, I’m pleased to see he’s finally taking steps forward after years and years of unfulfilled hype and an obvious lack of confidence. Part of it, too, is that people in the Mets organization have gushed about Duda like he would be another Adam Dunn, and he’s yet to come near that expectation.

I’m not being fair to Duda, I know. Cameron’s ’04 season was ridiculous. He hit 30 taters and drove in only 76 runs. That’s hard to do. In contrast, this year Duda is driving in runs with his non-homers, and if he were to reach 30 homers I imagine he’d have at least 90 RBI. In fact, there’s a decent outside chance he drives in 90 anyway. Though, rib-eye steaks don’t mean anything any more, right? Their importance has gone the way of wins by starting pitchers, I understand. Runs, wins … what silly things to count! Thank goodness we have much more complex and informative data such as VORP, WAR, wOBA, BABIP, and FIP … I’m not sure what drivel we’d babble about at the bar over beers if not for these advanced metrics!

Next Mets Game

Mets and Brewers do it again at 8:10 PM on Friday night. Zack Wheeler faces Yovani Gallardo, who has struggled mightily in three of his last four starts — maybe the Mets are facing him at just the right time.

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. Wohjr July 25, 2014 at 12:10 am
    One thing I noticed and I’ll throw it out to the commentariat: David looked so lost in those at bats against garza…. Fishing for all sorts of non strikes. By contrast against the lefty reliever gorzellany he looked confident, took some close pitches and purposeful hacks and eventually drew a walk… Night and day. It’s 50% physical and 99% mental
  2. Walnutz15 July 25, 2014 at 8:16 am
    Haha – tip o’ the cap for the ’04 Cameron reference.

    Hmmm……

    – high power potential,
    – supposed “excellent” defense in the outfield, that underwhelmed, upon seeing him every day,
    – “solid athlete” tag
    – good baseball build
    – wanted to continue playing CF, even though there were better CF’ers on the roster (Beltran, the next winter) – post-acquisition

    …….making $7MM a year?

    Sounds a bit like……….Chris Young?

    While I hated the financial commitment to CY this past winter, my most optimistic Met hope was that we’d see something to the like of Cameron, best case scenario.

    Only question I have now is: Why haven’t the Mets cut him yet? But, we all know that answer……and it involves actually eating some $$$.

    • Walnutz15 July 25, 2014 at 8:20 am
      P.S. – Joe…..by now, you should know, full well, that “Run Differential” is everything…..and should tell you exactly what your team “should be”, evaluating their “true record”.

      ::: crickets :::

      I mean, just look at the Yankees, in contrast to ou…..errr……never mind.

      ::: crickets :::

      • Joe Janish July 25, 2014 at 11:03 am
        Oy! Forgot about Run Differential! Thanks for reminding me.

        It appears the Mets have the worst won-loss record among teams with a positive run-differential. Hmmmm …

        If that pace continues — a plus-RD and losing record — then I’m betting Sandy Alderson will point to that as an “indicator” of future success / excuse to keep Terry Collins / reason for fans to believe / etc. / etc. / etc.

        How the heck are the Yankees in second place and only 3 games out of first in the AL Beast? Girardi remains the most underrated manager in baseball.

  3. DaveSchneck July 25, 2014 at 8:42 am
    Memo to Met hitters from MLB offices – All Star break ended Friday July 18.

    Perhaps one more ofer and C Young will be gone, The money doesn’t matter at this point, most of it has been paid. It is likely just Alderson’s ego. I’d like to see den Dekker back, he has done everything they can ask for at AAA- fewer Ks, more BBs, better vs. LHP. Kirk can join in Sept. Mets will need to decide which of these two stays to be the 4th OF next year. Also, the best not plant Wilmer back on the bench after one start. Play the guy every day. If Tejada is ok give Murphy a blow for cripes sake. We need to see his bat in MLB playing daily for the balance of the season.

    • Walnutz15 July 25, 2014 at 9:36 am
      While I’d like to believe that, Dave – it’s still a line we’re hearing in the Bartolo Colon stories.

      …….that the Mets won’t eat money to get a prospect back, or that they’d be open to letting him pass through waivers, not to be on the hook for his 2015 commitment.

      Same ol’ story, from a financial perspective. And until it changes, I’ll always take it with some kind of truth behind it.

      Completely with you, though on:

      – the Murphy/”beaten like a rented mule” angle (though, resting him now, leading into the deadline would already be too late, IMHO). Happens every year, and whether or not it contributes to his slumpage……the slumpage is due, and underway.

      – Flores needing to get a stretch of consistent plate appearances and playing time – regardless of the infield position. There’s absolutely nothing left to prove at Triple-A; and

      – That I would have figured Young to have been cut by now, and that Nieuwenhuis would have punched his ticket at least through the rest of the season….without being optioned back down.

      Never an easy assessment with this front office and ownership team. It’s never the obvious play.

    • Walnutz15 July 25, 2014 at 1:04 pm
      FWIW – and keep in mind, I don’t really love using Martino as a “source” for anything:

      Andy Martino of the New York Daily News reports that the Mets are willing to eat about $2 million of what remains on Bartolo Colon’s two-year, $20 million contract.
      Colon is making $9 million this season and is owed $11 million next year. Martino adds that it’s “been clear for weeks” that the Mets would like to trade Colon, who has posted a 4.03 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 100/19 K/BB ratio in 134 innings this season. He might wind up being a fallback option for contenders that lose out on the bigger names on the market.

      (NYDN, by way of Rotoworld)

  4. argonbunnies July 25, 2014 at 7:41 pm
    Two interesting developments:

    1) It’s gone public that the Mets want to be in on Tulo and CarGo. Tulo is an injury-prone guy entering his 30s with a huge contract. The Rox will want a ton of talent back for him to sate fans that a deal isn’t just a salary dump. All of these are reasons to pass. On the other hand, when healthy, he’s one of the most valuable players in the game, at a position of need for the Mets. Pretty much the ONLY way the Mets make the postseason in 2015 is with someone like Tulowitzki anchoring them.

    I think the Mets HAVE to deal for a SS, so what they should do is assess the price for Baez and Castro, compare to the price for Tulo (I’m talking talent, here, not dollars), and go for whichever deal is best. Baez is a huge risk with huge upside, while Castro is safest but also underwhelming.

    2) The Alderson regime has been filled with spin and misdirection, but not a whole lot of the outright incompetence from the GM chair that made Minaya look bad. Well, that may have just changed. Tonight’s lineup has been posted with Bobby Abreu in LF, Ruben Tejada at SS, and Wilmer Flores on the bench. The Mets wasted options on both Flores and Nieuwenhuis just to avoid ONE GAME of Eric Campbell playing SS, and will now hurt the team and organization in multiple ways (Abreu’s D, Flores’ development) as fallout. This from a GM who claims to have his eye on the big picture. Unless a Daniel Murphy trade is nearly complete, opening 2B for Flores, then this is simply incompetence in action.

    There also seems to be a failure of communication — Sandy just dumped Flores in Collins’ lap, leading the manager to utter an exasperated “I’ll do what I can” when asked about the rookie’s playing time in light of earlier “it’s not doing him any good to sit on the bench” comments.

  5. Dave July 28, 2014 at 11:26 am
    Sorry, I’m a bit late here because, life, and obviously Duda had himself a pretty good weekend since this was written, but I was curious about the comment concerning the timeliness of Duda’s home runs. Looking back through the logs of his first 16 home runs (AKA through this game) 10 of the 16 home runs came when the score was within 2 runs which would seem like they’re pretty important. 5 of those 10 home runs gave the Mets the lead when they were tied or trailing. That means roughly one third of his home runs are of the go-ahead variety and two thirds came in close games. Regardless of his RBI stats, I’d say that’s a pretty timely hitter.