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.
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.