Mets Game 31: Win Over Phillies
Mets 7 Phillies 4
Both the Mets and Phillies looked pretty in pink on Breast Cancer Awareness Day. I think it’s a very cool idea. If there are people out there who haven’t been touched by cancer, you’re darn lucky.
The SNY team also gave us a story about Wilmer Flores’ mum getting on the bus with him to all of his games and it was all rather sweet. Maybe I’m just a sap, but I think this kind of thing from a major organization is valuable.
The game itself was a good one. Given how lousy the Phillies are likely to be this year, they were hardly dominated by the Metsies. The 7-4 scoreline flattered the Mets and guys like Chase Utley will eventually turn things around. Even Ryan Howard is starting to warm up… well, he was until he grounded out to Alex Torres (why swing at a first pitch from Torres?) with the bases loaded in the 7th. And, boy, the appearance of Jeff Francoeur on a roster immediately signals a team is in deep trouble. Mets’ fans should know Jeff’s arm is not enough to cover his shortcomings.
The best aspects of the game came on defense. Just in the 9th alone, Kirk made a nice sliding grab in foul territory, and Ruben Tejada made a cute little flip to first to get Revere by a step. Revere had previously stolen a bloop hit from Curtis Granderson with a dive in the 8th.
I also continue to be impressed Lucas Duda at first base. He made a nice stab on a strikeout that got away, he stretched well throughout the game, and he always gets his body behind the ball. As with Granderson, I know Duda’s not the greatest player in the world but I like watching him play. He’s like a robot gradually assimilating how to play ideal defense. The Dude will get there.
The Grandyman hit another home run, which was the turning point in the game. His slugging percentage is now .371, which is hardly inspiring. And he sorta messed up going back on Utley’s double at the wall.
But, hey, I like Curtis too and it’s fascinating to watch his approach to batting. Firstly, you can see exactly why he pulls the ball. He crouches too low (will he get into Jeff Bagwell territory?) and his head is sometimes leaning over. Wilmer Flores – who got a couple of strong hits – is his polar opposite, standing to attention in the box and swinging from the waist up.
Johnny Monell looks like he’s somewhere in-between those guys, which is a good sign. Johnny from the Bronx crushed a pitch to drive in a couple. He’s got a flat low swing with a slight crouch, and the double raced past Ben Revere.
If you need a little laugh during games, keep an eye on Ben Revere. Just watch him throw. I can throw better. You can throw better. Your grandparents can throw better. Can you teach throwing? The guy is speedy and athletic and yet there’s no power. I’m baffled.
Two days before we’re treated to Thor, the Incredible Hulk (alter ego: Bartolo Colon) had a standard outing. Colon had 6 strikeouts in 6+ innings but also plenty of meatballs that were taken for eight hard hits… but his pitching numbers this season are staggering.
One walk in seven starts. One walk?
I joked in my first recap that Colon is playing chicken with hitters, repeatedly throwing strikes. Well, he isn’t stopping. He played chicken with famed hitter Chad Billingsley in the third and Chad promptly hit a home run. That’s the sixth off Bartolo this year, the same amount as his wins. Dan Warthen could be replaced by a Dictaphone repeating: “Just throw strikes, kid.” I wish Alex Torres would listen.
The Mets continue to be fun to watch. It’s more than the wins, they’re an interesting mix of characters and personalities. They all have readily apparent flaws but also great points. I like it.
I watched Colon reaching up with his arm between pitches (when’s it going to explode?) and Jeurys Familia is being used almost daily (when is his arm going to fall off?). But let’s not worry about the future. The Nationals are on their anticipated rush (8-2 in the last ten games) and there will be dark times.
But it’s sunny today. Pop a pink hat on… and take care everyone.
I am really concerned about TC’s use of Familia.
TC has to lean less on Familia and the Torrez brothers and probably Carlyle, and more on Robles, Gilmartin, and Goeddel (in no particular order).
Baseball is such a long season and it’s important to use your entire ‘pen rather than just relying on the best 3-4 guys.
My issue is that I don’t rate Goeddel (despite his 0.00 ERA, the eyeball test doesn’t look great) and Robles (more positive, but he doesn’t control his pitches). Gilmartin is ok and could be used more. Carlyle seems to skip around danger, somehow.
I wonder whether Collins thinks exactly the same, which is why he’s wearing out three guys. He’s a serial offender with this sort of thing. I’d be crushed if Familia blows out his arm. He puts amazing amounts of side spin on the ball, and it’s fun to watch him pitch. But every day? Come on….
(1) TC relies on Goeddel, Gilmartin, and Robles, even if they don’t pass the “eyeball test” for him (as well as you), and he basically see what happens when he pitches these guys;
(2) TC tells Alderson that Goeddel, Gilmartin, and Robles are not major league caliber pitchers, and Alderson replaces the three of them with other major league caliber pitchers. For example, we know that the Mets have a relatively highly regarded system and Alderson decides to trade some of the pieces in the system for relievers that are better than Goeddel, Gilmartin, and Robles.
But here’s the thing: TC isn’t choosing (1) or (2) but rather just electing to use Familia, Alex Torres, and Carlos Torres over and over again, and this isn’t a realistic, practical, or healthy option. What is going to happen is that come August or September these guys are going to be tired or worse hurt, and then TC will have to use the relatively unproven relievers he didn’t want to use at all in the highest leverage moments of the season.
You could argue that TC wants (2), above, and Alderson won’t help him out in that regard, but if that’s the case TC can’t simply keep going to the Familia and Torrez brothers over and over again and he must – by necessity – employ approach (1).
I do not think Goeddel is a major league pitcher right now. He works purely on one axis – up and down. Gilmartin at least has an interesting arm slot. Robles is scary to watch… he’s going to plunk a lot of batters.
Just trading for one good reliever (and maybe this is where Murphy comes in, as already well expressed by Joe) will really help this team. At least when Blevins was around, TC used four relief pitchers repeatedly instead of three.