Mets Game 147: Loss To Nationals

Nationals 6 Mets 2

Mets play a team that doesn’t stink.

Mets Game Notes

There was a brief discussion by GKR about open and closed stances, and Gary Cohen asked why closed stances were so common back in the day, while today we see more open stances. Keith Hernandez‘s theory was that people are more cognizant of getting their dominant eye facing the pitcher, and also that open stances tend to promote pulling the ball, ergo, more homeruns. I agree with Keith re: the dominant-eye issue being part of it. However, I also feel that stances today aren’t so much “open” as they are “even,” and that’s a function of what we’ve been able to learn about the most efficient swing over the past 30 years, thanks in part to slow-motion video technology. Further, the reason we saw so many closed stances in the old days is because it was a way for batters to protect themselves — remember, ear-flap helmets didn’t become required standard issue until 1983, and helmets of any kind weren’t popular until the late 1960s / early 1970s. Back in those days of flapless helmets, hitters learned — at a very young age — how to get out of the way of the baseball. The safest, most efficient technique is to turn the head back toward the catcher and squat down, if there’s time. Pitchers threw inside MUCH more often prior to about 1990, so needing to get out of the way of pitches was as much a skill as knowing how to bunt or hit and run. With an open stance, it’s harder to make that turn back to the catcher. With a closed stance, you’re already halfway there.

Speaking of hit batters, considering the way the game is run today per the instruction of BeelzeBud Selig, I didn’t see a problem with Bartolo Colon getting ejected for plunking Jayson Werth — mainly because Colon ALSO plunked Ian Desmond (which looked to me like it was intentional) in the first inning immediately after Adam LaRoche‘s two-run homer. Further, home plate umpire John Tumpane made Terry Collins‘ job easy by tossing Colon — he was not pitching effectively, and likely was leaving the game soon, anyway. Instead of thanking Tumpane, Collins had himself ejected, to show that he was standing up for his pitcher.

Does Anthony Recker hit a home run every single time he starts? He reminds me of Todd Pratt in that way.

Dario Alvarez reminds me of Pedro Feliciano, circa 2004. I could see him hanging around as a LOOGY if he throws a slider every single pitch.

In other baseball news happening in New York, former Met Chris Young broke up a no-hitter and hit a walkoff, three-run homer to push the Yankees over the Rays. Of course he did.

Do we need to discuss much else? I’m tired.

Next Mets Game

Mets and Nationals do it again at 7:10 PM on Friday night. Dillon Gee faces Gio Gonzalez.

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. david September 12, 2014 at 9:02 am
    I hope the Yankees are dumb enough to give CY a roster spot next year. He has power, but he is done. I have no angst about his heroics in the Bronx.

    Likewise, I have no objection to Colon drilling the Nats after banging 2 more HRs. Plainly they are too comfortable in the box at Cit Field so why not let ’em know they need to think twice before swinging from their heels? Admittedly I did not see the game so I can’t judge if it was on purpose or not, and the same goes for Murphy who apparently came off worst.

    This 4 game series is big for Terry. If they get pumped, again, it makes the ice a little thinner around his cleats. Even so, I would prefer to see the Mets win a couple against the Top Dogs in the NL East and not play the fire hydrant every time they roll into Flushing.

    Recker is fine as a back up. I don’t agree with those screaming we need to hold Plawecki in case TDA gets hurt. You’ve got to give to get, and we need. If Sandy thinks the good big man is better than the good smaller man, then trade TDA for Kershaw or Felix or some other Cy Young award winner. Murph, Plawecki and Montero (for example) should net you a pretty big fish.

  2. Bat September 12, 2014 at 12:49 pm
    When did the Atlanta Braves change their name to the Washington Nationals?

    Wow, these last couple years of the Nationals being at the top of the division and beating the piss out of the Mets reminds me of the 90s / 2000s where the Mets, no matter how good, would consistently get annihilated by the Braves.

    Didn’t matter how well the Mets were playing going into the series or how bad the Braves were playing going into the series or whether the series was to be played in New York or Atlanta (okay The Ted was aptly referred to as the House of Horrors by Mets fans): the Mets got smoked by the Braves.

    And it seems like that new team that swats away the Mets as if they were a mosquito is the Nationals.

    Let’s hope the Mets can break away from this trend before it becomes a real monkey on their back.

  3. Dan B September 13, 2014 at 4:43 pm
    How can you not love baseball? Chris Young…8 games, 9 for 21, 3 homeruns, 3 doubles, 8 RBI. They say he shorten his swing. If I wasn’t crying I’d be laughing.
  4. Walnutz15 September 15, 2014 at 10:29 am
    ……………………..back to the usual Met “see-saw”-pattern. Hopefully, his confidence is genuine; and not just something to say to the media just to keep the story “optimistic”.

    Otherwise, I’m back to the initial concern-level. The parallel to Parnell so far is scary.

    NEW YORK — The Mets plan to have Vic Black examined by a team doctor Sunday at Citi Field after the reliever’s velocity sagged during Saturday’s relief appearance during a 10-3 loss to the Washington Nationals.

    Black’s four-seam fastball averaged 93.8 mph — about 2.5 mph off its customary level.

    He said his shoulder felt unresponsive.

    “It doesn’t hurt, but there’s just like an ache, and it feels weak,” Black said. “We’ll see. I felt like I was on the gas pedal and I couldn’t get anything out of it.”

    Black already has a herniated disk in his neck.

    Terry Collins had expressed alarm Monday, when Black had last been used, because the reliever’s velocity also sagged in that game. Collins said this time he noticed Black’s arm angle lower, too.

    “I’m not too concerned about it. It’s just frustrating, because I want to go out and compete and be able to keep us still in ballgames,” said Black, who allowed one run and also hit a batter in one inning. “When I can’t do that the way I want to, it’s frustrating.”

    Black resorted to throwing two-seam fastballs because the zip wasn’t there on his four-seamer.

    “I felt like I was on the throttle and there was just nothing there,” Black said. “… There’s going to be times you don’t have it. It shouldn’t be that low. It’s kind of surprising.”

    Vic Black will undergo an MRI exam on his achy right shoulder Monday, yet the hard-throwing reliever expressed confidence nothing is seriously wrong with his barking wing. Regardless, the right-hander sounded as if he has thrown his last competitive pitch for 2014.

    Following the Mets’ 3-0 loss to the Nationals at Citi Field on Sunday, Black said a team physician (he didn’t know which one) conducted a strength test on his shoulder.

    “He just thinks it’s fatigue,” Black said.

    Black, who recently finished a stint on the disabled list with a herniated disk in his neck, reported weakness in his shoulder Saturday night after throwing an inning in the Mets’ 10-3 loss to Washington and displaying reduced velocity.

    “We’re concerned about it, there’s no question,” said manager Terry Collins, who acknowledged Bobby Parnell first experienced neck problems and wound up needing Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. “This guy lives and dies with power stuff. Even though there’s nothing wrong with 93 [mph], that’s not Vic Black. So we’ve got to certainly be very careful with it.”

    • Joe Janish September 15, 2014 at 12:33 pm
      Maybe instead of throwing a baseball at the scoreboard as part of his daily long-toss routine, Black should have been throwing the ball completely outside of the stadium.

      Guess what takes the toll when the shoulder isn’t doing its job? Hint: it has an ulnar collateral ligament inside it.

      When the shoulder isn’t properly rotating, the elbow rotates faster to make up for the lack of help and keep velocity in the 90s. Combine that with the ludicrous long-toss routine as well as less-than-perfect mechanics and don’t be surprised to hear about a tight forearm after the MRI comes back clean and send him back out to the mound. Because you know the MRI for his shoulder is likely to come back fine, and he’ll be back in the bullpen. Why shut him down? The Mets still have a mathematical chance to win a Wild Card spot.