Mets Game 110: Win Over Giants
Mets 4 Giants 2
Note to Bud Selig: more offense is not necessarily what makes baseball so “exciting.” All the offense in the world is not nearly as exciting as the prospect of a double no-hitter. And I’m not jaking. Er, joking.
Mets Game Notes
Jacob deGrom and Jake Peavy kept a double no-hitter going through six frames, with Peavy keeping it perfect while deGrom allowed only a walk to Brandon Belt. In the end, it was deGrom still standing as the victor.
Between the two pitchers, I thought it was more fun and interesting to watch deGrom pitch, as he was using a wider repertoire of pitches to succeed. His curveball was snapping perfectly, going from waist to knees, his slider was nasty, the change-up was disappearing, and he was spotting a 94-MPH fastball at the knees on both sides of the plate. Additionally, deGrom changed speed and location on every single pitch, playing into the Giants’ uber-aggressivenes. I don’t think deGrom threw one fastball for a strike above the knees, and he had great run moving into righthanders / away from the lefthanders. The only times I saw a fastball above the knees was on two-strike counts, when he was aiming up and out (on both sides of the plate) and looking for chase swings. He was masterful.
Peavy, on the other hand, relied primarily on a running fastball and wicked slider.
Both no-hitters were broken up in the seventh inning. Pablo Sandoval ripped a double into the left-center alley to end deGrom’s no-hitter, and then Peavy’s perfect game was destroyed by a routine fly ball off the bat of Daniel Murphy misplayed by left fielder Mike Morse. Morse then compounded the situation by letting a jam-shot blooper fall in front of him, to put runners on the corners. Peavy then hit Lucas Duda to load the bases with one out, so in the space of about 3 minutes Peavy went from a perfect game to a very tight situation — almost entirely because of awful defending in left field. Moments later, Travis d’Arnaud lifted a sacrifice fly to right field to drive in the first run of the game. A single by Juan Lagares made it two-zip, a double by Wilmer Flores made it four-nothing, and that was the ballgame.
Before the roof fell in on Peavy, Sandoval ran into the wall beyond the third base line chasing a popup that wound up in the stands. He delayed the game several minutes getting a cut on his leg dressed, much to the chagrin of Peavy, who didn’t make any warmup pitches during the delay. The next pitch thrown by Peavy was blasted to very deep center by Curtis Granderson for a long out, and then the Morse misplays and series of hits followed. Keith Hernandez pointed to the Sandoval delay at the time, and afterward, as something that could have affected Peavy’s concentration. I agree — he was in a groove, and the delay may have messed with his psyche. It’s no excuse, not by any stretch, because a pro pitcher should be able to regain focus. But, it’s a possible explanation for Peavy’s sudden loss of effectiveness. #littlethings
Had Morse been even an average left fielder, Peavy might have continued working on a perfect game, because those two flies could’ve been outs. Instead, he was saddled with a loss. #littlethings
The Giants had .208-hitting Joe Panik batting seventh and .154-hitting Juan Perez batting ahead of the pitcher. Ouch. That’s like a 1968 lineup. Meanwhile, the Mets batted pitcher deGrom — who’s hitting .226 — eighth, just ahead of .228-hitting Eric Young, Jr.
I agree with Keith Hernandez — the lack of offense, and better pitching performance, equals “beautiful baseball.” I have absolutely no problem with pitching duels and 2-hour ballgames. It makes the offensive performance all the more appreciated — not unlike goals scored in soccer. Why do people lose their mind and scream when a goal is scored? Because it’s a big deal, it’s a release of great tension. Scoring runs, and homeruns, in particular, used to have that kind of feeling. Maybe they will again.
I think I probably ask this every year, but how the heck does Hunter Pence consistently put up above-average numbers? Does he simply destroy bad pitchers? Because he looks like the most imbalanced, nonathletic stumblebum against any pitcher who is remotely decent; he didn’t have a chance against the clever deGrom. Is it any surprise that Pence once accidentally blasted through a sliding glass door? Of course not — you probably envision him doing that all the time.
Peavy loses his 11th consecutive decision — the most ever for a former Cy Young Award winner.