Mets Game 104: Loss To Brewers
Brewers 5 Mets 2
This time, K-Rod gets the job done.
Mets Game Notes
Tough break for Jonathon Niese, who pitched well through the first four frames and two outs in the fifth before the wheels came off. With a two-zip lead going into the fifth, Jean Segura reached on a on almost-double play, stole second, took third on a wild pitch, and scored on a two-out, two-strike single by Carlos Gomez — after Niese started Gomez 0-2. Then Niese lost control of the ballgame, as Jonathon Lucroy followed with a double to score Gomez (also on two strikes, and also after falling behind 0-2), and then Lucroy scored on a Ryan Braun single to give the Brew Crew a 3-2 lead. Niese was removed from the game for a pinch-hitter in the top of the sixth when the Mets mounted a mild two-out rally. Niese was in the #8 spot of the lineup, by the way; had he been batting ninth, he might have remained in the ballgame. Not that it mattered, since the Mets didn’t score again.
Speaking of, does anyone know the Mets’ record this year when batting the pitcher eighth? I’m curious.
Chris Young erupted with two doubles to keep the tease going. However, because he was not Juan Lagares in center field, the Brewers scored at least two runs. That said, his offense didn’t quite make up for his less-than-outstanding defense.
And while I’ve brought up Lagares … did I really hear a discussion in the SNY booth suggesting that Ruben Tejada might be a better consideration to lead off the 9th inning as a pinch-hitter? Does anyone remember when we were discussing Lagares as a bonafide one-through-three hitter in the lineup, and on the verge of stardom because his bat was coming around in a very big way? That was as recent as June 1, just prior to his injury. How quickly and massively he’s fallen since, and we can only hope it’s somehow due to a correctable bad habit somewhere in his swing that may have resulted from his rib injury. Sure, on paper, Ruben Tejada has a nice OBP (that seems to be at least slightly padded by batting in front of the pitcher), but it’s astonishing to realize that Lagares has dropped that much in such a short period of time. Things move fast, and can change very quickly, in MLB.
Carlos Torres threw 46 pitches in relief in this game, so let’s hope he gets the prescribed two days off a mound that are required after a game stint of 45 or more pitches. Two days off, by the way, is not the same as one day off followed by facing one batter and throwing five pitches on the second day because the Mets really need to get a righthanded hitter out, and then giving him two extra days of rest after that.
Lucas Duda remains hot — he drove in the Mets’ first run with a sharp single to center in the third inning.
The rest of the Mets were not so hot. Duda’s single was the only hit they had with a runner in scoring position, as the team went 1-for-11 with RISP.
Gary Cohen pointed out that the Mets as a team have only 8 triples this year, the lowest total in MLB (they’re tied with the Orioles, who also have only 8). Shocking, considering that the Mets’ home park is made for triples. Yasiel Puig hit three triples in one game, for comparison. Also for comparison — 21 other clubs have at least twice as many triples so far this year, and 24 clubs have at least 15. For what it’s worth, 5 of the Mets’ 8 triples have come in Flushing.
There were a bunch of called third strikes in this ballgame, against both clubs. I just don’t get that, especially with so many coming with RISP. Yes, it’s indicative of a home plate umpire with a large strike zone, but whatever happened to swinging at pitches that are “too close to take” with two strikes? You can’t drive in a runner from second or third by taking pitches, unless the bases are loaded. The ultimate goal of an offensive inning is to score runs, and when a batter has two strikes, he can’t be too picky in general, and certainly can’t be picky when there’s an ump who is ringing up guy on called third strikes. If there are two strikes, a runner in scoring position, and you can reach it, swing the gosh-darned bat!