Mets Game 145: Win Over Rockies

Mets 2 Rockies 0

Mets win another heart-stopper against the Rockies as they move to within 5.5 games of a Wild Card berth. Ya Gotta Believe!

Mets Game Notes

Jacob deGrom was again awesome. In my book, he’s the ace and he’s the guy who gets the ball in the one-game elimination on October 1.

However, I might move Jeurys Familia — or maybe Zack Wheeler — into the closer’s role for that Wild Card, all-hands-on-deck contest.

Why didn’t deGrom remain in the game to the end, by the way? I agree with Keith and Ron, in that when a pitcher dominates a team through 7-8 innings, it doesn’t matter who is brought in — the opposing club is thrilled to see someone different, and their confidence perks up.

One of the discussions in the booth by GKR was whether Terry Collins / the Mets might push Jacob deGrom a bit past their arbitrary (and illogical) innings limit if it will help his chance to be voted Rookie of the Year. Keith Hernandez‘s stance was that you want deGrom to be a healthy contributor for 8-10 years. Gary Cohen brought up the fact that in today’s game, most teams are “protecting” their young arms by limiting innings. Ron Darling‘s take was much the opposite — he would like to see deGrom keep pitching as long as he remains in a groove, and let him finish out the year.

So my opinion is in line with Darling’s — let the kid pitch, let him finish the year. Why not? Is there ANY valid, proven evidence, anywhere — as in, from the scientific community, rather than unofficial “studies” and theories by lay people — that suggest limiting innings somehow keeps a pitcher safe? If such research exists, please point me to it. Jacob deGrom is going to blow out his arm at some point, probably sooner rather than later, and it has very little to do with his pitch counts or his innings load. He’ll injure his arm because he has a flaw in his mechanics that was never corrected after he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2010, and because MLB imposes upon starting pitchers a dangerous routine of throwing off a mound within 48 hours after a 90+ pitch start. This idea that a pitcher has “only so many bullets” is nonsense if/when pitchers are properly trained, watched, corrected, and maintained, but it is a self-fulfilling prophecy when rules and proven scientific research are completely ignored. I know there are skeptics out there who poo-poo my incessant diatribes on using science to keep pitchers healthy, but guess what? What MLB is doing now ain’t working, and all the “right things” that are applied and considered are NOT based in science but rather are a patchwork of theories from people who are mostly unqualified to speak on the subject of human kinetics and position-specific strength and conditioning.

Because in baseball there is a complete misunderstanding and hardheaded blindness to the facts, the Mets are damned if they do, damned if they don’t in regard to deGrom and all of their young pitchers, for that matter. If deGrom is shut down after some arbitrary innings level is reached, they’ll be criticized for not giving him the chance to get the Rookie of the Year. And if they push him to get to 10 wins or whatever magic number earns him RoY votes, and he blows out his UCL in 2015, people will point to the decision to push him. It’s not unlike the Johan Santana no-hitter argument — one which I admittedly have a different opinion than I did two years ago, thanks to keeping my mind open and having an eagerness to learn. The notion that pushing Santana through a 130+ pitch effort was the reason he blew out his shoulder for a second time was completely unfounded. The thing about that performance that was detrimental to his shoulder was that his “extra rest” came at the wrong end of the rest period — it should have happened in the first 96 hours after his start, not 24 hours prior to his next. You can’t let the body’s healing process start, and then put it on hold until you’re ready to rest it later — which is essentially what MLB pitchers do by taking a day off after a start and then throwing a bullpen on day 2 and/or day 3. Once the healing is interrupted, the healing stops. This is basic anatomical / muscle tissue stuff that is completely ignored by everyone in MLB.

So, I’ve gone a little off course … but in my opinion, sure, let deGrom pitch as long as he’s not showing fatigue. It makes little difference toward what happens in the future.

Another discussion by GKR was in regard to Wilmer Flores at shortstop. The general consensus was that Flores’ defense was “acceptable” on an everyday basis IF he could be “an offensive-mined shortstop,” with Jhonny Peralta provided as an admittedly not-great example. Hmm … is it me, or was this a talking point devised by the Mets front office and sent down as a directive to the SNY producer? This discussion came off the heels of Sandy Alderson’s warning that the Mets were unlikely to spend big bucks on a big-name free agent in the coming winter — so you see why I’m suspicious, and developing a conspiracy theory. But then, my profession is in public relations, my job is to spin stories — the same as Alderson — so I look at news and actions much differently than the average bear. Can’t you just see SNY and the Mets selling Flores as a legit everyday shortstop through the final weeks of September, and using it as a “viable” excuse not to go after free-agent Hanley Ramirez or trade for Troy Tulowitzki? We’ll keep an eye on whether this story develops and compare to the messages we hear in December and January.

Maybe it’s time to make room in the booth for Mike Shannon. Michael Cuddyer made an impressive diving catch in right field early in the game, and it was barely described with a yawn. Gold Glove Candidate Juan Lagares makes an equally impressive running catch in the eighth, and the GKR gushing flows. Hey, I was impressed with both catches, and not annoyed with the Lagares gushing — more annoyed with the lack of recognition for Cuddyer’s effort. Every day the SNY booth gets more and more annoyingly “homer.” Sorry, it’s a turn-off for me.

On another note, David Wright is out for the season. Does this affect the Mets’ playoff hopes? I don’t think so.

Next Mets Game

Mets look to complete the sweep of the Rox beginning at 7:10 PM on Wednesday night. Rafael Montero takes the mound against Tyler Matzek.

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. Yeats September 9, 2014 at 11:23 pm
    I agree with keeping deGrom in the game. At the time, I wondered if Collins was trying to get Mejia to 30 saves or something like that.

    Wasn’t Kevin B. making a report when Cuddyer made that great catch?

    And I, too, have noticed this year that GKR – especially G&K – have been extra homerish.

  2. Mick September 10, 2014 at 12:24 am
    I’ll mention this about the “homerism” — Keith caught himself doing it a few weeks ago (saying “we” have to do this — meaning the Mets) and corrected himself. In my view, the announcers are getting excited at seeing a number of good young players mature before their eyes and it has caused them to lapse from their normal professionalism. After several years of hapless performances, they are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel and have been affected by it. They’re human just like the rest of us.
    • Joe Janish September 10, 2014 at 11:07 am
      I don’t have a problem with being enthusiastic about the home team. It’s when it turns into the Mike Shannon style of not acknowledging and/or being not-so-enthusiastic when excitement is generated by the opposition.

      But, I’m more sensitive to this than most, as I’m not a “fan” of any particular team and rather a fan of the game.

      • Jim Lawlor September 10, 2014 at 5:52 pm
        Having listened to many announcers when I travel, the level of SNY homerism is very low by comparison. I think the 3 of them do give props to the opponents when deserved. But there clearly has been an uptick in selling the product–whether by design or accident.
  3. DaveSchneck September 10, 2014 at 6:50 am
    I can buy the Wilmer at SS only if he carries a big stick. So far he has not shown that in the bigs. Alderson needs to add a bigger bat somewhere regardless of this BS.
  4. Walnutz15 September 10, 2014 at 10:47 am
    I guess we’re putting 100% stock into the Mets “being prudent with the arms” down the stretch – as Collins’ decision to pull deGrom after 8 innings of shutout ball, having retired 14 consecutive hitters – at a whopping 100 pitches, is befuddling at best.

    In the postgame, he said he needs to be very careful with the young pitchers, and that a couple of months ago – he would have let deGrom attempt to close out the contest.

    Only thing that remotely flips the switch in his favor here is that deGrom was battling some tendinitis recently. Otherwise, I see nothing about the Rockies’ lineup that would have had him battling much more than he already would have, through 8 innings pitched.

    Unsurprisingly, we got treated to the Met-trend of seeing Collins 2 more times in the 9th — as he took the ball from Mejia and Edgin, giving way to Familia —– using 3 pitchers to get the final 3 outs of the ballgame.

    Let’s see how the ‘pen looks tonight, with Montero taking the ball.

    It’s going to be very scary to head into 2015 – knowing that Collins holds the keys to utilizing:

    – Vic Black (neck symptoms, not unlike what Parnell ultimately experienced before his TJ surgery)
    – Jeurys Familia (coming off surgery to a full workload this year)
    – Jenrry Mejia (littany of past problems + first full season between rotation/pen)
    – Bobby Parnell (provided he actually returns to form – post TJ Surgery)

    ……….along with all the young arms, attempting to get accustomed to extended Major League use.

    Not something I’m going to want to entrust to a 66 year old man, who doesn’t always speak about aches and pains with players —— see: not having a clue about Wright’s shoulder, when asked about it.

    Get rid of this idiot. Re-assign him, and you don’t even have to “fire” him.

    • Dan42 September 10, 2014 at 11:42 am
      Age doesn’t have much to do with it, unless as it appears with Collins experience is simply repetition without learning. Allegedly trying to protect a cruising deGrom and a two run lead with an injured, injury prone and recently inconsistent Mejia makes less than zero sense, and absolutely should be sufficient reason to replace him for this team to have any hope going forward.
      • Walnutz15 September 10, 2014 at 12:55 pm
        Oh, no doubt. I’m just commenting upon how unlikely it would be for this leopard to change his spots – at an advancing age. It’s not like we’re talking about a guy who’s on the cusp of anything….but potential mediocrity, anyway.
  5. DanB September 10, 2014 at 12:33 pm
    I know I said this a few weeks ago about Wright but it is worth repeating now that it is official that he has been playing hurt. A lot of fans have blamed him for the Mets poor showing this year. I think his play has been heroic. He played hurt which not only risked further injuries, but damaged his stats and his position as a top level player. The reason he played hurt is because his team needed him. As bad as he was, who was going to replace him at third? The Mets had no backup plan for third. His meager stats this year were better then whoever would of replaced him. Also, and maybe more important for the financially strapped Mets, they needed his name in the lineup to keep whatever fans they have left interested. I am sure his jersey still out sells all other Mets. If you don’t think this is important you are not paying attention to the Wilpon business plan. Should he had been moved out of the three spot? Probally however who would of replaced him there?
    • Walnutz15 September 10, 2014 at 1:02 pm
      Mark me down as one of the guys who’s in opposition to your viewpoint – simply because you explained it all within the content of your post.

      Heroically “risked further injury” – while hurting the lineup in the process?

      ……………I’ll pass on that, in favor of getting yourself better — considering you’re signed through 2020 at the highest salary on our payroll.

      Overall, we just have to cross our fingers and hope everything turns out, best case w/Wright…….which is scary, given this organization’s track record with monitoring/having a finger to the pulse of stuff like this.

      Maybe Wright can start hitting again in the cages for 150 swings – after 2 weeks – then rip off his shirt to reveal a Superman “S” — and tell us “EVERYTHING’S FINE!!” – as a result, have the organization gleefully announce that he’ll play the final game of the year/how we should buy tickets to come support his comeback. >=o ]

      Give it a rest, Fiver. Like, honestly —– give it an actual rest, and worry about 2015 when you report back to camp in February. Just keep yourself in shape, cardio-wise.

      Hopefully, this year told him the value of “gutting it out” vs. “playing injured” —- and knowing the difference between the two, especially in attempting to ride out a contract that extends through the 2020 season.

      24 Major League 3rd Basemen, of qualifiers, and Wright ranks 20th out of ’em in OPS (.698) this season.

      http://espn.go.com/mlb/stats/batting/_/position/3b/sort/OPS/qualified/true

      Think we could have done a better job of handling this one, leading up to now – quite honestly. Wright’s a guy who’s worthy of everyone’s respect……but you’ve also got to be realistic about when you’re not contributing a lick, either.

      During this time, Murphy (or Flores) could have been playing 3B – potentially getting some other “What are these guys?” players some longer-lasting reps, or exposure for them to potentially be included in deals this winter.

      Wright and Granderson, the 2 most established Major League players – provided the most in 2014………toward holding us back.

      • DanB September 10, 2014 at 1:44 pm
        walnutz, I forgot a very important detail — I agree that Wright should of been put on the DL. 2014 was never going to be “the year” and we knew that since spring training. What I meant was I beleive the Mets asked him to not go on the DL, mostly for financual reasons, and he not only agreed but never made an excuse. But I still believe there was nobody in the Met organization who would of replaced him and improve on his meager year. But when you have only a $85 million payroll, a lot of positions are not fully covered.
    • DaveSchneck September 10, 2014 at 1:44 pm
      Dan,
      I have to agree more with Nutz on this one. Not so much to blame DW. He manned up, which is admirable, but if he and Grandy came close to WAR expectations this year the teem would be around 76 wins and un the thick of the WC race it happens. Each are vets with good makeup and hopefully able to bounce back in 2015 despite their ages trending out of oeak performance years. What Alderson needs to do is to add some more offensive choices that can hit in the top three spots. This will mitigate some risk as the lack of a backup plan in 2014 was a bigger problem in regards to a #3 hitter than it was from a 3B persoective.
      • Yeats September 10, 2014 at 3:57 pm
        Not sure what you are expecting from Granderson… he’s been trending downward for 3 years now. I was against his signing to begin with. Next year will probably be similar to this year, although maybe a few more HR’s if the Citifield fence is moved in. If Granderson decides that he will not be a pull-maniac next year, he might be productive.

        Wright is different. If he can stay healthy, he should be very good. His OPS+ last year was the highest of his career, and his OPS+ in 2012 was his 3th highest.