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!

Next Mets Game

Mets hope to even it out on Sunday afternoon at 4:10 PM ET. Jacob deGrom goes to the hill against Jimmy Nelson.

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. Gabriel July 27, 2014 at 8:55 am
    Hey Joe. The lead writer of is wondering what’s wrong with Niese, why the drop in velocity, if he has a chronic issue, among other questions…I guess he doesn’t read Metstoday. Do the Mets?

    Question…if you were Alderson who would you trade Colon or Gee or both? Gee is big part of the current staff and could be for the future rotation but by trading Gee the Mets would get better return. What do you thinl?

    • Joe Janish July 28, 2014 at 12:57 am
      Considering that we have no idea how Harvey will be when he returns — particularly since the Mets are holding back his rehab and therefore putting him at risk — and considering that there’s a good chance Jon Niese will completely blow out his shoulder between now and next April, I would be hesitant to trade ANY starting pitchers. And if the Mets are serious about being a “90 win team” in 2015, they will want to go into spring training with at least 6 or 7 solid starting pitcher candidates — knowing they’re likely to lose at least one if not two at some point during the season.

      At the same time, if another team makes an offer that fills a need, and it involves Colon or Gee, then it has to be considered. I get the feeling that Colon is not going to fetch much in a trade, and may be worth more to the Mets than anyone else.

  2. norme July 27, 2014 at 6:20 pm
    Regarding triples, in 181 games with Toronto, Jose. Reyes has three.
    • Joe Janish July 28, 2014 at 12:59 am
      Interesting. Could it have something to do with playing in smaller Adulterated League parks? He’s had some hamstring and other injury issues these past two years, right?
      • norme July 28, 2014 at 6:42 am
        He’s definitely not the same dynamic player we fondly fantasize about. Toronto is certainly not getting the bang for their bucks.
        • DaveSchneck July 28, 2014 at 11:41 am
          Agreed. I am as big a Jose fan as anyone, and felt the Mets should have retained him. However, the time to do that was prior to his final season with the Mets, where his price would have been more in line with what he would offer (5 yrs/$75 mil). Wilpon finances made that impossible. Jose has always been a little overrated defensively, but $15 mil/year would be (and still is) a fair price, as he can certainly be a 3-win player at a premium position through the age of 33, and is still a good leadoff hitter that the Mets haven’t had since his departure.