Mets Game 120: Loss To Nationals

Nationals 7 Mets 1

A solid five frames by Rafael Montero. Let’s leave it at that.

Mets Game Notes

Nice job by Rafael Montero to keep his sinking fastball at the knees and maybe an inch or two below, on both sides of the plate. If there’s a criticism, it’s that, in two-strike counts, he picked outside the corners looking for batters to chase at strike three, instead of going after them. Trying to strike out every single hitter leads to high pitch counts and too many walks; the better pitchers throw strikes in locations that make hitting them squarely more difficult based on how the hitter was set up in a particular at-bat. Montero’s velocity — if we can trust the SNY radar readings — was higher than I expected. He was regularly in the 92-93 MPH range, and I thought he was more 90-91. Maybe it was adrenaline?

I’d rather not get into the bad stuff that happened to Montero and the Mets in this game. Let’s pretend that rain ended the game after five frames and the Mets lost 2-0 … mmmmmmkay?

Doug Fister is a pretty decent athlete, and has a good swing — he looks more like a position player than a pitcher at the plate (for whatever that’s worth). I’m mildly surprised he has only two hits this year, but I guess part of it is that he’s never hit against MLB pitching on a regular basis before.

Next Mets Game

Mets and National do it again at 7:10 PM on Wednesday night. Bartolo Colon faces Jordan Zimmerman.

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. crozier August 13, 2014 at 9:15 am
    This month will seal the deal – as if it needed sealing – that the Mets do well enough against like-talented/worse teams (imagine where they’d be without the Phillies), and can’t compete with the big boys yet.

    Much has been made of the Mets’ positive run differential and their bad luck in one-run games, but in fact they’ve been excellent in such contests in the second half (they’re now 18-23, way up from 10-21 or whatever it was), yet they remain well under .500.

    Well, their run differential is negative now, and the key difference is that, in the first half, the Mets had a huge run advantage in games decided by 6 runs or more (at one point it was +30 runs). They’re in the minus columns in blowout contests with this latest loss.

    And what this all boils down to is? They need two more bats, duh. If David Wright is one of them next year, great. He hasn’t been one this year.

  2. Dan B August 13, 2014 at 9:43 am
    That the Mets need more bats is undebatable. What I am more interested in is what type of bat. I have heard a lot of people propose 30/100 types. Not only do I think this type doesn’t play well in Citi Field but the price for this type of player is high. I’d like the Mets find better top of the order types, guys who can go first to third on a single. Load the bases and run. It is sinful that in this large outfield the Mets have only ten triples.
  3. Bat August 13, 2014 at 12:39 pm
    Probably the most worrisome thing about Montero thus far is the homeruns: Adam Rubin indicated on his Twitter feed that Montero has given up eight homeruns in 25 major league innings?

    If true, that extrapolates to 32 homeruns in 100 innings…and 64 homeruns in 200 innings. Obviously no ML team would pitch him 200 innings at that homerun rate because that performance isn’t tenable.

    Hopefully he can sort these issues out, specifically the problems with the long ball.

    • Joe Janish August 13, 2014 at 12:55 pm
      Two of the homeruns came on breaking pitches (sliders? looked kind of like slurves) located inside to righthanded hitters. And they were blasted. TC suggested that perhaps Montero was telegraphing it. Maybe? Or maybe the pitches were poorly located.

      There’s been talk that Montero projects as a middle reliever, but I don’t think you want a reliever who gives up a ton of homeruns. Then again, if his exposure is limited to an inning or two, he can focus on honing two pitches and make them really good to great, rather than having four mediocre-to-good pitches as a starter.

      It’s only been a few games, and the way he locates his fastball he could be effective if he can come up with one really good secondary pitch. But isn’t that the case with most young pitchers?

  4. mckeeganson August 13, 2014 at 3:12 pm
    Montero’s lack of a put away pitch is certainly problematic, but I don’t see why he shouldn’t continue to get starts down the stretch. 8 or so more starts is a decent sample size to see if he could be our number 5 starter next year. 2 more hits for flores, who is starting to look comfortable at the plate. Torres seems, lost out there, and, only Collins can be blamed. He was so blatantly overused earlier in the season, that Collins felt the need to barely use him since, and he’s looked rusty every time out there.