Mets Game 70: Loss To Braves

Braves 6 Mets 4

Can’t blame Wilmer for this one. But you can definitely put some blame on defense and fundies — again.

Mets Game Notes

How did the Mets lose this game? Let me count the ways.

1. No one covering second base on a steal (apparently, it was supposed to be Dilson Herrera). What made it most disturbing and unbelievable was that neither Ruben Tejada nor Herrera MADE A MOVE toward the bag with the runner in motion. Even if you’re not covering, once the ball hits the catcher’s glove (i.e., the ball has not been hit), you’re moving toward second base to back up. I can’t remember the last time I saw that in a MLB game. I didn’t see it ever in the last three years I coached a team of 9-12-year-olds. I may have seen it during a high school game 30 years ago. Not since. Yes, I’ve seen players not cover on occasion, but not seen two players with their feet stuck in cement with the runner in motion. Surely, it’s happened at the MLB level, but it’s rare. Stunning.

2. With all the time in the world to set his feet below a shallow fly ball and make a strong, accurate throw home to prevent the tying run from scoring, Michael Cuddyer made a strong, inaccurate throw that not only allowed a very slow runner (A.J. Pierzynski) to score, but, to add injury to insult, put Travis d’Arnaud into a hazardous position that resulted in a hyperextended elbow.

3. With the bases loaded, less than two out, tie ballgame, the third baseman tagging third base instead of throwing home on a ground ball. Eric Campbell had a decent if not good shot at preventing Andrelton Simmons from scoring with the go-ahead run. Instead, vapor lock set in.

4. Pitching with plenty of velocity but not enough command to efficiently retire MLB hitters. Noah Syndergaard showed (again) why he might need more seasoning in AAA, as he threw 88 pitches in 4 innings of mediocre work.

5. Being out-classed on defense, the basepaths, and in clutch situations by the opponent. For the second straight night, the Braves used their gloves to shut down Mets rallies, their legs and well-placed bunts to extend their own rallies, and got big hits (4-8 in RISP) when they needed them.

There were a few other issues, but those were the biggies. What did you see?

On the bright side, the loss of Jeurys Familia wasn’t felt, since there wasn’t a lead to protect in the ninth. Though, I have to wonder if Terry Collins might have considered bringing in Familia in another useless situation in the 7th or 8th.

Next Mets Game

Mets try to avoid a sweep by sending Matt Harvey to the mound against Julio Teheran at 5:05 PM. Teheran has been awful this year, and progressively worse over his past few starts; I have to wonder if there is an injury issue he’s hiding.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!

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. Bat June 21, 2015 at 8:14 pm
    Of course Joe starts posting every day as soon as the Mets are on a losing streak and therefore are experiencing a downward trend in their season.

    Where was Joe when the Mets were winning?

    Not posting, because it’s difficult to be negative and criticize everything and everyone in the midst of a winning streak.

    I’ll focus on the positive, which is rarely the case on this blog:

    Mets still only 1.5 games out of first place even after this recent spate poor play. Teams go through ups and downs during every season and I believe the Mets will rebound. They’ll make some changes to the team – via the addition of certain minor leaguers rather than trades in all likelihood – and the Mets will rise again.

    • Bat June 21, 2015 at 8:17 pm
      One of the reinforcements will surely be Conforto if he hits even moderately well in AAA.

      I predicted one month or so ago that Conforto will get promoted to AAA in early July or at the absolute latest in mid July, and he’ll spend 4-6 weeks in AAA before joining the ML roster around mid to late August.

      A lot will depend on how he hits after being promoted to AAA, but I think he’ll be playing left field regularly in Citi by the end of August.

      • DaveSchneck June 21, 2015 at 10:02 pm
        I’m all for the glass half-full, and I’m all for the patience with the ebbs and flows of the 162 game season, but just sit back and digest this week and weekend for the next day, since Monday is an off day.

        The Mets sent deGrom, Syndergaard, and Harvey to the mound against a sub .500 Braves team missing Freddie Freeman, and the got swept.

        The Mets are 10-24 on the road. Only the Phillies have a worse road record. They have been swept by the Cubs, Pirates, Blue Jays, and Braves already.

        The Mets have a negative run differential. Through 71 games, almost half the season, the Mets rank near the bottom of MLB in most meaningful offensive statistics.

        The Mets continue to be one of the worst defensive teams in baseball.

        The Mets haven’t fielded a winning team in many years.

        The problems that plague them this season have plagued them for many recent seasons.

        The Mets continue to have one of the lowest payrolls in baseball.

        The Mets are not currently out of playoff positions by 1.5 games in the division and 3 in the wild card race, They currently have the 7th best record in the National League.

        Their highest paid player, who they owe $100 million, is out indefinitely and nowhere to be found.

        The Wilpons still maintain majority ownership of the franchise.

        I personally can’t blame Joe or the others on this site for any of the above facts.

        Still, I say, let’s go Mets, but looking to 2016 and a new regime is very very close. Very close.

        • P2H June 22, 2015 at 7:10 am
          Succinct and to the point. THis team stinks and the owner stinks worse. I have a friend who is an NFL coach. He has been with a number of teams but once was with the Arizona Cardinals. I asked about there hapless year after year on field displays. His response: THe owner doesnt care. I wont spend the money. THis is a hobby for him. Enter the wilpons and one of the lowest payrolls in baseball in the biggest market in the league.

          I will always route for the Mets have since 1966. But this is pathetic. You are right its always wait till next year. ALl these people charged up about conforto, while other teams wet charged up about ames coming up like Bryant, Correa, etc.

        • Bat June 23, 2015 at 12:50 am
          Dave, I give you credit for the losing record (and associated facts re other teams) and the run differential – I didn’t know about that.

          I definitely don’t think a new management team is on the horizon.

          I think Alderson & Co. has done fairly well with the payroll constraints. I note this comment in the following article:

          And if you listen closely around the Citi Field offices, you will hear officials grumbling that Sandy Alderson has had less money to work with than he ever expected, when he agreed to take the job in 2010.

          I think this is a fair counterpoint to the “Alderson has done a bad job” crowd.

          What other team in a large metropolitan city or region has a payroll ranked 21 out of 30 teams? Meaning: the Mets are ranked at the top of the bottom third of payroll.

          Alderson has done a pretty good job of drafting and developing players – looking at the pitching in the majors, but then look at the hitting flourishing in the minors: Conforto, Nimmo, Cecchini, Dom Smith, Reynolds and Becerra come to mind (also Plaw and Herrera, youngins promoted this year), and I’m sure there are others but I’m not researching this point right now.

          Sure, Alderson pissed the bed – or seems to have pissed the bed for those that have yet to be finally written – on Frank Francisco, the Angel Pagan trade, and (unfortunately) Cuddyer. Granderson was an overpay that seemed to be at the time to be more of a publicity move (“Hey, we signed someone, and not only did we sign him for $60 million but he’s a star from our cross-town rivals” Umm, not so much on that “star” part.). Because I think it was publicity-driven, I have to wonder if that Granderson move was engineered more by Fred and Jeff than Alderson & Co.

          But I digress.

          With respect to the current major league offense, I think TDA is blooming into an above average hitter, and the loss of Wright has really hurt. Flores isn’t hitting, and since his hitting isn’t overcoming the fielding problems, he may have to be sat down soon.

          Duda is a good hitter, but there’s not much protection other than TDA.

          All of these other guys – Cuddyer, Granderson, Flores, Murphy, Tejada, Lagares – are suspect with the bat.

          I reserve comment on Herrera at this juncture – it’s too early to comment.

    • nat June 22, 2015 at 7:51 am
      Oh well, Bat says the Mets wil be saved by more minor league players. Sure bat, more guys not ready for prime time more guys who have no idea about fundies, more guys hating their arms ripped out by horrid managerial and coaching,Soon when Liarson signals the end of the year, youand all the other defenders of losing wil blame the injuries once more, ignoring the fact that DC has been decimated yet will run away from the Mets again because they have no excuses and make real moves to solidify their team. And when you spew out who could we get to help, and ignore the tons of trades spiraling through the game we will laugh at the puppetmanster once again having his puppets to spit out his old worn out propoganda.
      • Bat June 23, 2015 at 1:02 am
        Nat, in all fairness you have no idea whether the Mets next batch of minor league players have problems with “fundies”.

        I don’t know they are fundamentally sound, of course, but to assume they are NOT fundamentally sound is a mistake.

        Guys like Murphy and Flores who are not fundamentally sound is a direct result of the Mets mismanagement of the development of the players: those guys are playing different positions in the majors than they were trained to play in the minors. See also Duda in LF for an example of this not working.

        I don’t think any of these up and coming minor league players are playing out of position.

  2. david June 22, 2015 at 9:47 am
    I have tried to think of something balanced to write but it is hard. Ultimately, I will try to explain the Mets season having just watched the ESPN doco on Matt Harvey, who lost today 1-0. He failed to double in the game winner today against the Braves, unlike in his last start, and hence was what the media will call a “tough luck loser.”

    Problem is he’s not a loser, he is a winner. His dad coached him and taught him to play the game the right way. To always compete and do his job. What about the rest of the Mets? Sure, they can play a crisp game as they did a week ago when they hung on and beat the Jays twice at Citi Field. But lately these ugly losses are beginning to pile up, and no amount of whining about Joe’s posts can mask the reality that the 2015 Mets have not looked like a first place team for the large majority of this season, even though the standings said otherwise.

    To me, the 11 game streak to start the season was a Matt Harvey sugar hit. The team was so happy to have their ace back and at full strength that they all lifted their game. MVPs can do that. Once that wore off, the injuries kicked in, the excuses began and here we are again with a 5 game jag and some real tough questions to answer.

    My biggest concern, however, is not watching another season circle the drain. It is knowing that the Mets – even with all this pitching talent – will not win unless and until they play sound fundamental baseball of the type Ed Harvey and many other coaches preach about endlessly on ball fields across America. And I cannot confidently predict when that will happen other than to say I do not think it will be in 2015.

    Frankly, it pains me to write this after the euphoria that marked the beginning of the season.

  3. Extragooey June 22, 2015 at 11:57 am
    Only thing I disagree on here is that Syndergaard may need more seasoning in AAA. I counted only 2 hard hit balls off him and they were both by Pierzynski; his triple and hard hit out to center. Everything else were bloops and tappers. Yeah, Syndergaard’s command on secondary pitches were off. But 9 UBBs in 44.2 innings with 48 Ks so far this year certainly does not scream more seasoning needed.
  4. Walnutz15 June 22, 2015 at 11:58 am
    Tying into #1 above – I think my favorite part of yesterday’s (Sunday’s) game was watching Cuddyer perfectly field a ball smoked off the top of the fence – and pump-fake to 2B – since NO ONE WAS THERE, w/Lavarnway (the Catcher) running.

    ………….he, of course, promptly scored the game’s only run – when our CF (who may or may not need TJ Surgery) opened up on a single up the middle.

    Just up and down, it’s like watching clownball. Who’s hurt, who “might need surgery” but is in CF, maybe not throwing to the extent he could if he gets the problem rested up/fixed altogether (will Lagares be walking off the field with his arm hanging as 10lb. dead-weight one day?) – who’s back for 5 minutes and is hurt again (d’Arnaud)?

    I’ll be curious to see how teams respond to the Met outfield these days. As I’m seeing it, teams can run all day, whether due to the state of the guys’ arms out there………..or since there rarely seems to be a truly-positioned cut-off man —- or guys covering the right bases, anyway.

    How Eric Campbell’s still in a position to be playing regularly, with the way he plays 3B is beyond my understanding. But this is all more than I want to be commenting upon this squad, anyway.

    “Still in first pla……….”

    • Extragooey June 22, 2015 at 12:40 pm
      No sure how Campbell’s defense is that egregious, especially compared to the rest. The only thing that I can say is that he plays back a bit too much. Doesn’t get to the short tappers and when he does get to them his throws are rather weak.

      Legares’ arm issue is probably more of a problem that should be talked about and looked at by the team. In fact, the Cuddyer throw home that injured d’Arnaud probably should haven been Legares’ ball. Cuddyer had to reset being a righty so the more natural angle and throw should have been Legares’. Sunday’s 1-0 loss came from the weak single to center that plated the lone run. Legares’ throw was off and it looked like a perfect throw would have gotten the runner. Did the injury affect the accuracy? Maybe…

      • Walnutz15 June 22, 2015 at 12:49 pm
        Thing is, they all suck to a certain degree. I guess I’m just still shaking my head at the “going foul by 15 feet” bunt last week – that forfeited another 90 feet to the opposition, during a late-inning contest that saw them lose by 1-run.

        ………….whether it’s something like that, or – again – yesterday where he had no shot of throwing Simmons out on a ball he was in no man’s land on… all adds up.

        Then again, maybe it’s just everyone who thinks they’re the most clever guy in the room calling him “Soup” has irked me from day 1. *shudders*

        Aside from all the rest, I still can’t believe Glass Joe T. d’Arnaud is injured again. I mean, I can absolutely – but so quickly after coming back?

        God help this organization.