Mets Game 122: Loss To Nationals

Nationals 4 Mets 1

In case you hadn’t already heard, the Nationals have beat the Mets in Citi Field 11 straight times.

Mets Game Notes

I wonder if Swiffer will ever have the marketing smarts to sponsor a series like this, and, one day, instead of calling it a “sweep,” it will be referred to as a “Swiff”? These are the silly things that run through my mind sometimes. Hey, I never thought that college bowl games and sports stadiums would be branded — aren’t sports references next to be monetized?

Anyway …

I admit to not seeing too much of this game. I caught bits and pieces live, then watched a few innings later on the DVR. What it looked like to me was that Dillon Gee was not sharp, and if he’s not sharp against a good-hitting team, he gets beat.

Thank goodness the Phillies stink, or the Mets might be sitting in the cellar right now. Is it really possible that the Padres — who looked like the worst team in baseball just a few weeks ago, and traded away a few of their better players prior to the deadline — have hopped over the Mets in the Wild Card standings? Did that really happen? Remarkable.

Great insight by Keith Hernandez during the fourth inning on when and why to stretch a little extra or get off the bag as a first basemen when receiving wide throws from infielders. In short, he explained that when the throw is from the second baseman, you’re more inclined to make the stretch, because you know the catcher is backing up behind you and has plenty of time to get to a wild throw. As the ball moves further and further away from the second baseman and the second base bag, the angle gets tougher and tougher and

I hope Daniel Murphy took out the official scorer for a steak dinner after this game. First, Murphy was awarded a hit on what could have been charged as an error on Ian Desmond in the fourth (which was what the above paragraph referenced). Then, Murphy was awarded a stolen base instead of a caught stealing when the PERFECT throw from catcher Jose Lobaton kicked off the heel of Anthony Rendon‘s glove. Seriously? Seriously? Seriously? Yes, I’m going to ask one more time — SERIOUSLY???? The ball beat Murphy by at least ten feet. The ball hit leather. It was a really bad move — a stupid move, in fact, by Murphy. But instead of being ethical, the official scorer gave Murphy the stolen base, and to add insult to injury, Murphy’s absolutely stupid baserunning was rewarded when he scored on a sac fly to give the Mets their only run. Murphy’s Law, and we’ve been seeing it for years. I would be really curious to know if there is any other MLBer who has come out of so many dumb decisions smelling like a rose. Murphy is like the Inspector Clouseau of MLB. Can you tell this sort of thing irritates me?

As an aside … There was a comment in one of the game recaps that pointed to David Wright‘s underperformance this year as a major reason for the Mets’ inability to be a .500 club or better. Well, sure, I guess. But consider this: the Nationals were without Jayson Werth and Ryan Zimmerman, and they still swept the Mets. Imagine if the Mets were without Wright and, say, Daniel Murphy or Curtis Granderson or Lucas Duda (or, heck, pick any other man considered one of the Mets “top” offensive threats) — would the Mets even look like a AAA club? Sometimes it’s good to step back and take a truly realistic perspective on this Mets team. As has been the case for several years, there is absolutely no depth, and as a result, they have a tremendously slim margin for error and similarly slim margin for loss of assets. Anyone who is of the theory that the Mets are “just one bat away” from playoff contention, think again — this game is as much about depth as it is about high-level talent.

How many more times is Keith going to describe Bryce Harper‘s swing as “unconventional”? Or maybe the question is, how many more booming homeruns does Harper have to hit before Keith stops describing his swing that way? By the way, if you have ever seen the swing of Sadaharu Oh, you might see some resemblance to Harper’s. Just sayin’.

Not that it matters, but it was nice to hear GKR express their strong support for pitchers hitting / no DH, and their lamenting interleague play. Unfortunately, BeelzeBud Selig has been paving the way for universal DH for several years now, and it’s inevitable; I give it five years. When it happens, no worries, I’ll still be blogging, but it will be about Vintage Baseball.

Next Mets Game

The Mets host the Cubs in Flushing on Friday night at 7:10 PM. Zack Wheeler faces Travis Wood.

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. thgeneralfamily August 15, 2014 at 1:58 am
    Not much to say about the game, other than at least with the sweep don’t have to “worry” about being teased for another couple weeks before the tanking starts. It’s front and center now.

    Anyway, glad you brought up the DH conversation. I can never get over the inherent unfairness that, on the most simple of levels, an AL team should theoretically always be at an advantage against an NL team because the former’s roster (should be) constructed to have 9 everyday hitters, whereas the latter’s is obviously constructed to have just 8. (The not-even-close-to-sufficiently-offsetting advantage the NL team will have in its own ballpark is that its pitchers should be a little better when they have to hit based on practice and game reps). To rectify the situation, of course they should play under the same set of rules all year round.

    Here’s my proposition: allow (or possibly require, though I’m not convinced requiring is better than simply allowing here) a DH in both leagues, but the DH can only be used for a position player. I really don’t see a negative here – you’re allowing the David Ortiz’s and Edgar Martinez’s to still have a place in baseball, and on the flipside, Brendan Ryans and (young) Ozzie Smiths will be able to show up on web gems night after night (you’d have to imagine there have been at least a couple would-be all-time fielders over the years who we’ve been deprived of watching because they couldn’t hit and thus couldn’t make the Big Show). The strategic element that AL game currently lacks (which, all else being equal is why I prefer NL to AL) would be present. Plus, can we all agree it’s far more interesting to watch guys like CC or Bartolo hit than guys like Zack Cozart?

    I’ve never heard this anywhere, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Sure it’s unconventional, but it has the ability to allow one-sided players with superb skills to showcase their talents without removing the purity that is DH-less baseball.

  2. DaveSchneck August 15, 2014 at 8:15 am
    Joe,
    Inspector Clouseau, that’s just perfect for Murph.

    I commented on DW being the biggest drag on the offense but I agree 100% it is about depth. It would have been more accurate to say the #3 hitter is the biggest drag on the Met offense given the OPS compared to other teams’ #3 OPS.

    Once again Collins is damage controlling a lost season, and if they win 7 of 8 they’ll be back jn it. He may as well say 25 of 28, which is Washington’s run vs Mets in Citifield. Mets are still light years from the real teams, no matter what they say publicly. The offense is dreadful, invisible against quality pitching, as evidenced in recent 10 games vs playoff caliber teams. 2-8 vs Giants and Nats is all we need to know.

    Alderson will make a move this winter and claim again he expects to compete, but one move, even if it is Stanton, will need all the stars to align to propel them into the NL elite.

    Lastly, nice suggestion above regarding the DH, but that is still adulterated baseball. No thank you. Baseball is all nine fielders hitting, and if the pitchers took it more seriously they would be less inept and some would actually be serviceable.

    • thegeneralfamily August 15, 2014 at 11:03 am
      Sure it’s still not “pure” baseball, but do you realistically see the DH going away all together? I can’t fathom that happening, and, as mentioned on the forecast, the contrary is more likely to be the case one of these days. Hence, the proposition is a compromise that would, in my opinion, better the game in the long run without making too many people unhappy..
      • DaveSchneck August 15, 2014 at 10:11 pm
        I think your suggestion is interesting, and I am not knocking your effort to find some type of compromise. I do agree with Joe in that the most likely outcome is the DH in both leagues. I consider that a big mistake, and once the NL goes DH, it will unfortunately be here for good. I do think there is a slim chance that the AL goes back to real baseball, but that would require a very creative economic solution combined with an upswing in offense. Both are unfortunately unlikely. I do think that Collins would go with your proposal, at least when deGrom pitches.
  3. Bat August 15, 2014 at 8:45 am
    Three points I would like to note:

    (I) Hopefully getting swept by the Nationals and going back further the loss of 3 out of 4 to the Giants to start August and then losing 2 of 3 to the Nationals during the August 5 to 7 period finally – once and for all – dispells any notion that the Mets are a wild card contender. The Mets were never a realistic playoff contender from my vantage point; Alderson has more work to do in order to get this team to the playoffs. In my opinion, that work includes finding a new manager.

    (II) The Cubs have a lot of position player prospects and the Mets have a lot of pitching prospects. If the class of position prospects were equal to the class of pitching prospects (which they are not – this is totally an arbitrary discussion point) and you had to choose one system or another, you would choose the Cubs every time b/c of the high risk of pitcher injuries vis-a-vis position player injuries. That is, undoubtedly some of the Cubs prospects will flame out, but pitching is even more difficult to rely on due to injuries. Let’s take a 20 second look at some of the pitching depth that the Mets have compiled:

    (1) Harvey – Tommy John Surgery (TJS)
    (2) Parnell – TJS
    (3) Niese – I agree with Joe and something appears to be very wrong physically
    (4) DeGrom – shoulder tendinitis. Hopefully not a big deal.
    (5) Mejia – hernia, and stupidly given clearance by the Mets trainers to pitch when the games are meaningless. I could see him favoring a part of his body or landing differently b/c of discomfort and hurting his elbow or shoulder.
    (6) Hefner – likely 5th starter / long reliever candidate, and he’s now out for probably all of 2015.
    (7) Montero – has struggled with an oblique injury this year.
    (8) Synderbloock – pronator / flexor tightness which may be nothing (he is back to pitching now) but is sometimes a precursor to TJS.

    (III) On a collateral note in respect of position player injuries, Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies, like Tulo, is now done for the year with season-ending knee surgery. I’m not a huge fan of his – if you check the advanced stats he is not that spectacular – and do not favor trading a ton of prospects for him. But the problem is that if you look at the free agent market for position players, unless I am missing something I don’t see anyone who is a fit for the Mets? But I checked for one minute online so hopefully I am missing something.

    • Joe Janish August 15, 2014 at 10:05 am
      Good points, Bat.

      You hit on something huge re: Tulo/CarGo that some Mets fans are not grasping yet — no, of course you don’t want the Mets to part with their precious prospects for injury-prone players who are heading into their 30s, but what is the alternative? Free agency almost certainly isn’t going to provide the star player(s) the Mets need — and even if it could, the Mets likely couldn’t afford the cost and/or wouldn’t be willing to make the necessary long-term commitment. So the trade route must be taken. But what team wants to trade a perfectly healthy, affordable, under-control star in his mid-20s? It ain’t happening. The Marlins aren’t going to hand over Stanton for anything less than an obnoxious mix of top prospects AND MLB-ready guys. Who else is out there on the trading block, then? OPP — other people’s problems. Big contracts. Injury prone players. Under-performers. “Change of scenery” guys. And to grab one of those who are potential difference-makers — the Tulos, CarGos, Kemps, etc. — it’s going to cost something. Again, I point out what the Mets were able to get from the Pirates for Ike Davis. They didn’t get two warm bodies because Sandy Alderson is necessarily shrewd, it’s because who else was out there for the Bucs to get, who had a 30-HR season on his resume?

      You have to give up something to get something. There aren’t many options in the “get something” pool. It’s the reality.

  4. Bat August 15, 2014 at 11:38 am
    Joe, we are kind of saying the same thing, but I think my point which is related / a bit of a counter to your point is that I do not object to giving up something for something, but I’m not sure what’s out there.

    Post-steroid era hitters available hitters seem to be few and far between, but also teams are locking up young players more and more frequently. Again maybe I missed something but there seems to be almost no good hitters available via 2014 / 2015 free agency so either you (1) chase Tulo or CarGo or someone else via trade or (2) wait until your young hitters like Conforto, Dom Smith, Plawecki, etc. mature. But many of these guys are still some distance away (Conforto and Dom Smith) and others like Plaw won’t help the Mets (unless by way of a trade) if TDA is for real.

    On an ancillary note, what happened to Puello this year? He doesn’t even play much in AAA which leads me to believe that he has a bad attitude or is not in playing shape. That is, it is not that he is playing every day and playing poorly, but rather that he is sitting most of the time. Last year pre-Biogenesis suspension I actually thought he might be a LF solution by end of this year / beginning of next year, but that isn’t the case and to say he had a lost year this year is a massive understatement.

  5. Fernando Martinez August 15, 2014 at 1:41 pm
    Oye, Chico. You no aska’no questions about mi hermano Cesar Puello….uhkay?

    I’m at the gym w’him rah now.