Mets Game 129: Loss To Dodgers

Dodgers 6 Mets 2

Maybe the Mets were as tired, bored, and uninspired as I was in having to wait until after 10 PM Right Coast Time for the game to begin. Yawn! At least they outhit their errors.

Mets Game Notes

Jonathon Niese’s line wasn’t awful, but he didn’t exactly pass the eye test with flying colors, either. Kind of ordinary stuff, fairly hittable, and though Niese was victimized by some sloppy play behind him, he also threw too many hittable pitches and got away with a number of them; he may also have been helped just a pinch by a large strike zone (as was Dan Haren).

Not a great day in the field for Wilmer Flores. I’ll leave it at that, because he looks and seems like such a nice kid — wouldn’t you invite him to your table for Thanksgiving? I would. But he’s not an everyday Major League shortstop. Maybe if his bat progresses — which is very possible as he’s only 23 — he’ll have some kind of role on a MLB roster. Perhaps a utilityman. Maybe a left fielder. Maybe a first baseman. Probably not a shortstop, though. Still, we want to see him there through the final 30 or so games, to see what he can do with the bat. Bottom line is he has to hit to stay in the bigs, and he has 1 HR in over 150 PAs, with an insipid .550 OPS. (“Insipid” is a word we use in the wine industry for a watery white wine, like a cheap pinot grigio; compare it to “anemic.”)

Come to think of it, no one on the Mets had a particularly great night. Maybe they had too much rest, with the off day on Thursday. Errors all around, sloppy, uninspired play; they looked kind of like a San Diego Padres club, circa 1975 — just showing up, enjoying the fresh air and beautiful sunshine.

What kind of team do you have when Andre Ethier is just hanging around on the bench in the 8th inning, doing nothing but counting his $15.5M paycheck? And to think, the Dodgers have studly phenom Joc Pederson — who has hit 31 HR in 414 ABs and mashing a 1.009 OPS in AAA — chomping at the bit. This is the definition of “embarrassment of riches.” Whenever I hear some Mets fan talk about how their team is just “one or two bats away,” I have to wonder if they’ve noticed the ridiculous depth of clubs like the Dodgers. Remember when LA was trying to find playing time for Yasiel Puig? Their quantity and quality of talent is sick.

Absolutely stunning to see Don Mattingly call the squeeze with one out in the fifth, Justin Turner at third, and Dan Haren at the plate. Haren is an AWFUL bunter, bunted into a double play in his previous at-bat, and looked horrendous in a sacrifice attempt one pitch prior. Further, Haren is a pretty decent hitter for a pitcher, despite his 2014 average of .143. Haren completely missed the pitch (as he did in his sac attempt) and Turner was a dead duck. As it turned out, the Mets did a terrible job of putting out Turner — the rundown took three throws, and it should’ve taken one — and as a result, Erisbel Arruebarrena had time to advance from 1B all the way to 3B, and scored moments later on a Haren single. Another single and an error by Wilmer Flores loaded the bases before Adrian Gonzalez grounded out to end the inning, and I have to wonder how big that inning might’ve been had Mattingly let Haren swing away from the get-go. #littlethings

Curtis Granderson hit his first homerun in 94 at-bats. Wow. That’s quite a drought for a power hitter. But, Grandy tends to be streaky, so he may hit 6 or 7 in his next 50 ABs.

The Mets did not have a runner in scoring position until there were two outs in the 8th inning, when J.P. Howell couldn’t find the plate and walked pinch-hitter Eric Campbell.

Next Mets Game

Mets and Dodgers do it again at 9:10 PM Right Coast Time on Saturday night. Jacob deGrom faces Zack Greinke

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. Kanehl August 23, 2014 at 2:26 am
    I was at the game. The news reports fail to do justice to just how awful the Mets were. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen, in person, an MLB team look this bad. Defense: In addition to the three errors, there was the agonizingly long rundown that let the runner on first get to third. Murphy let two balls get by him that a real second baseman would have stopped; I love Murph, but he’s got a range of about 12 inches. Flores and Murphy in the middle are not much better than playing with only third and first basement in the IF. Offemse: The at bats were so paltry that Haren coasted through 7 with a pitch count that could have taken him deeper (I think he just left out of boredom). Den Dekker can’t hit a lick, and Campbell is sitting on the bench. Since I live in Los Angeles, I follow the team long distance, and was fully aware of the String of 4 hit games, the suspect defense, etc. but I figured thosw were growing pains for a young team. But I was shocked at how bad this team is. Yeah, we’ll have 8 or 9 quality starters next year, but unless we get a real SS, a corner OF who can hit with an .850 OPS, and a lead off hitter with an OBP above .350, along with infielders who can actually field the position they’re playing, it simply won’t matter. This is a wretched team, with a lineup and fielders who are, collectively, an embarrassing joke.
    • Joe Janish August 23, 2014 at 3:46 pm
      Kanehl, you must have missed Terry Collins’ postgame press conference, in which he explained that his team has been playing “well” and that this was simply an “off-night.”

      Oh, and though TC didn’t mention it, the current won-loss record — being 9 games below .500 — is just a minor aberration. Sit tight, relax, and be patient, as the Mets will turn this around soon — maybe even in this decade.

  2. Kanehl August 23, 2014 at 4:10 pm
    Joe, I’m not sure whether TC’s trying to keep up the morale of the young guys or just putting lipstick on the pig. But, of the guys I saw on the field last night, the only guys so could credibly start in their positions for a contender were Duda and D’Arnaud and Lagares (if a team has enough hitting, so the want his premium glove). I left off a Wright because his performance seems to clearly indicate he’s physically hobbled (I’d sit him for 2 or 3 weeks to see of he heals, and play Campbell there). Not only is the offense at the bottom of the majors, but the infield defense is laughable. Niese actually pitched well, but he had 2 or 3 critical innings where errors or inability to make routine plays extended him by several batters and led to runs. I’m going again tonight, so I hope deGrom puts on a show. But this team is so deficient on talent and execution, and so crushingly boring, that I don’t know how they get anyone to go to Citifield.