Mets Game 92: Win Over Cardinals


Mets 3 Cardinals 1

(18 innings)

Well, at least now you’ve experienced what it’s like for me to watch or play cricket.

If you don’t know English county or test cricket, it’s a form of mental torture where you watch people foolishly play with a bat and ball for six hours at a time. This is also known as the Mets-Cards game on the 19th July 2015.

Because it’s English, cricket has strange quirks. After the first two hours, you have a forty minute break for lunch. These are usually sandwiches but, if you’re lucky, sometimes you get strawberries and cake. Then, after another two hours, you have a twenty minute break for a cup of tea. I’m not kidding. By this stage, my teammates would know the cola in my bottle was laced with something 40% not-cola. Something to think about in future 7th and 14th innings stretches…

I learned how to maximise my patience playing cricket after spending years watching the game. Cricket, like this offensively inept game between the Mets and Cards, is gruelling if you watch it in the wrong way.

First off, have a book handy. I got through a good fifty pages of a Willy Vlautin novel while half-watching Jon Niese pitch well and Murph and Flores (he’s still so much better at second) turn three double plays on Yadier Molina. For the final one, with a runner on third in the eleventh, Molina even turned on the afterburners and broke into a quick jog.

By this stage the score was still 0-0. Time for a brief snack (some nice quesadillas) and a glass of Polish beer to accompany sudden action in the 13th. A frisky Granderson (he joined the game late… probably had a cup of tea beforehand) doubled and Kevin Plawecki came to the plate. Plawecki had done an impressive job of extending the game earlier. He struck out with the bases loaded in the 6th. He later grounded out with runners of 2nd and 3rd and then – even later! – he grounded out with runners on 1st and 2nd. But he was a hero for a few moments in the 13th, poking a drive past first and second. He later got stranded at third for three outs, but surely the win was already secured…

Luckily, Jeurys Familia didn’t tempt us for too long. On his second pitch, Kolton Wong plopped a fly ball just over Grandy’s head. And so the game grinded well into it fourth hour. I had a shave with headphones on in the 14th and started to wonder about Sean Gilmartin. And not just that he looks a cross between that guy who plays Ant-Man and that guy (sorry, Guy) from Memento.

Gilmartin has done a classy job this year, but one almost completely under the radar. Gilmartin is a Blevins-light, with a similar sweeping curve that garnered four strikeouts in a row, including making Jason Heyward look daft wafting at three low ones in the 14th with Kosma in scoring position. He also struck out Peralta on a great change-up, and Grichuk on three pitches. Impressive.

Gilmartin is proving to be a savvy Rule 5 pick, and when he hangs around for the whole season he’ll give Jerry Blevins some able lefty support. Those Hollywood looks won’t hurt sales either, drawing in bachelorettes who don’t go for Matt Harvey’s rugged New Jersey plumber vibe.

Even with Gilmartin getting his first ML hit in the 16th (a little looper over third base) the game rolled into its fifth hour. Keith and Gary noted the crowd seemed a fraction of the 40,000 at the start. Many had died of natural causes and if you listened hard there were fleets of ambulances caring for those who had slipped into comas. Keith was struggling too, audibly sighing and also annoyed he’d missed his first plane. Welcome to cricket, Keith. Have a strawberry.

Luckily, the Cards blinked (or fell asleep) first. Cards’ pitcher Carlos Martinez fumbled Plawecki’s sac bunt with the wheel in motion, leaving the bases loaded. Ruben Tejeda then hit a deep cover drive for a sac fly and Campbell executed the suicide squeeze to plate Grandy. Ignore that Soup shouldn’t have looked back because it cost him a bunt hit. Given the Mets are now 3 for 62 with runners in scoring position (that’s so far below the Mendoza line they can see little devils with pitchforks) you have to get runs where you can.

Mercifully, Carlos Torres polished off the game with relative ease so we were saved from Alex Torres pitching. Be grateful for small mercies.

This was an important win before the Mets blearily stagger on to face the Nats and their three most important games so far. The Metsies have their three young guns lined up but, after a long sleep, be worried. In cricket, England’s test matches last up to five days. Not only is each day’s play six hours long, but they traditionally lose at the end of all that… usually to Australia. Now guess who has their Embassy in Washington, D.C. If you see anyone called Bruce or Sheila dressed in yellow and green, run. The misery is only just beginning.

Steve Hussy has been a Mets fan since 1984. An insomniac as a kid, he watched baseball highlights at 4 AM on British TV. He credits Darryl Strawberry's long homers as the first cause of his obsession with the Mets. Now he gets to watch Mets games that finish at 3 AM and teach bleary-eyed lessons to his film students the next day. He also gets to shell out hundreds of pounds to fly over to New York and watch the Mets occasionally win. Steve Hussy's other job is as a writer and editor for Murder Slim Press, which specialises in confessional and crime literature. You can find out more about him on Just no threats, please.
  1. Extragooey July 20, 2015 at 1:25 pm
    I was asking myself at what point does watching this Mets offense constitute self inflicted cruel and unusual punishment? We may have crossed the threshold long ago.

    The Mets could have won 2 of 3 and could also have been swept in this series with a bit of luck or bad luck. Such is the story of low scoring contests.

    I don’t really have much to add to Sunday’s marathon. You summed it up well as always. You should do more of these recaps as I enjoy reading them. The only thing I will add is that I agreed with Kieth in the top of the 16th. I’m usually not a big fan of the sac bunt, but in that situation, I believe the better play would have been to bunt Flores. I also don’t have much to say about Saturday’s game. Colon got hit, the offense didn’t as usual, ’nuff said. My beef is with Friday’s game as I think the Mets could have done a couple of things differently to win that game.

    First, sending Mayberry up was a mistake period. What exactly was the reasoning? He got an infield hit against Rosenthal earlier in the year for a game winner against a drawn in infield so he may do it again? Is the idea to catch lightning in a bottle twice? Mayberry was brought here to hit against lefties. No matter how crappy your offense is, there no reason to give Mayberry more at bats against righties. If there are lefties on the bench, use them. I don’t care if they are replacement level players, I will take either of them over Mayberry’s .220/.289/.359 career line against righties. Mayberry’s veteran status doesn’t automatically add 50 points to his batting average at that moment. And there was no need for power. A base hit ties it and a double may give you the lead.

    Then, there’s Legares. If Legares is not going to catch ball he gets to and give us the gold glove caliber defense of last year, I’m not sure why he’s in the game. No damage came from the Heyward triple, but he’s missed a few of these balls he gets to all year. It’s troubling.

    While that Heyward drive to center didn’t hurt the Mets, the Bourjos double in the 8th did. Everyone is talking about Legares playing too shallow in general. I actually have no problems with him playing shallow. If he’s more comfortable playing shallow, so be it. With this pitching staff, there’s probably more bloops than drives anyway, so I’m okay with it. However, in that particular situation in the bottom of the 8th with a runner on first, it should have been a no doubles defense in play. A double probably scores the insurance run, but a single doesn’t. You gotta play to the situation I think.

    More torture in store with the Nationals. Tonight, it’s against a Gio Gonzalez back to form. I’m still hoping for a miracle Conforto promotion with Cuddyer probably heading to the DL. I can always dream.

    • argonbunnies July 21, 2015 at 1:43 pm
      Completely agreed on the bunt (Flores has taken some terrible ABs; not a guy you don’t want to “waste” by bunting), Friday’s winnable game, and Lagares’ decline.

      As for Mayberry, I think platoon match-ups are often over-rated, and I wouldn’t go with just any lefty over just any righty. Kirk would have been 3 heaters and done, for instance — can’t handle the high fastball, Rosenthal’s go-to pitch. Monell, on the other hand, CAN hit a high fastball, and would have been a better choice than a guy with Mayberry’s career line against righties. On the plus side, by battling Rosenthal as long as he did, Mayberry may have helped keep Trevor out of Sunday’s game…

      Conforto can’t be worse than Cuddyer, but I really don’t want to infect Conforto with the failure virus that has our lineup in a death grip. Let him make his eventual MLB debut in a lineup that isn’t providing the worst example possible. Now, if you want to promote an entire replacement lineup, and Conforto’s part of that, then I’d be down…

      • Extragooey July 21, 2015 at 4:20 pm
        I think we already promoted an entire replacement lineup, that’s why we are where we are with the Mets offense.

        Just read that they may be rethinking the Conforto promotion and/or trading for an outfielder. I don’t think they want to rent Upton and I don’t think they can get Gomez without giving up too much. Parra is another name, I’d rather have Conforto up than him.

        I think Rosenthal was done for the next 2 games even before the Mayberry at bat. Rosenthal was fighting himself as much as the Mets in that outing. He looked like a pitcher hiding/nursing an injury. He did request not to pitch in the All Star game due to soreness.

        • Steve Hussy July 21, 2015 at 6:02 pm
          Even Keith said: “I rarely disagree with Terry about anything…” and then disagreed on the bunt. It was a strange move, made worse by Wilmer hitting yet another pop up off the first pitch, which looked like a breaking ball down.
          I think my problem is Mayberry can’t hit anything. And he can’t field much either. He seems like a nice guy and all but at least Conforto has a bigger upside. Even if the Mets catch lightning in a bottle from him for a week, just to shake up the order a little, that’s something in these key games.
        • Extragooey July 21, 2015 at 10:49 pm
          The case for bringing up Conforto isn’t that we need someone to carry the team to the playoffs. The team won’t make the playoffs off the back of one player. And frankly, Conforto just isn’t that caliber of a player. He’s not Trout or Harper. To make the playoffs, this offense needs to improve as a whole and part of that equation is improving left field. With Cuddyer not producing and the injured knee, the best option is Conforto at that position. Other than getting a more impact player via a trade, which doesn’t look like will happen, I’d rather have Conforto up than someone like Parra.
  2. david July 21, 2015 at 6:26 am
    Good comp Steve, except this was more akin to a one day international (ODI for the newbies) than test cricket. 3 of these in a row, then we are on to test cricket.

    News flash – teams that are not fundamentally well skilled don’t hit well with RISP. Why? Because they have not been trained properly to know hot to approach the at bat with runners in scoring position.

    Likewise with bunting. Not that it matters, of course.

    Agree with Goo about Conforto. He can only improve the offense, which is hard to watch these days.

    • Steve Hussy July 21, 2015 at 5:52 pm
      Thanks, David. I wish Mets games were more like 20/20 games than either ODIs or Tests.
      I also agree with Gooey on Conforto. Firstly, the Mets need to take some kind of risk. And Conforto at least has some plate discipline. I’m sick of watching Mets players swing their bats wildly at every breaking ball. They’re not even good swings… might as well just take the pitch.
  3. DBS July 21, 2015 at 7:28 am
    Good post. What happened to England in the 2d test?
    • Steve Hussy July 21, 2015 at 5:55 pm
      Thanks. England lost, unsurprisingly, and flopped badly on the fourth day. Now it’s 1-1 in the Ashes. Nothing like duking it out for five tests for a little urn… but, along with baseball, cricket relaxes me as much as it can frustrate.
  4. argonbunnies July 21, 2015 at 12:33 pm
    Given Kevin Long’s reputation and the Mets’ results, can we officially declare hitting coaches irrelevant?
    • argonbunnies July 21, 2015 at 1:31 pm
      I mean, seriously, name ANY aspect of hitting you think a hitting coach can help with. The Mets have been terrible at it. Most people agree that there are things a hitting coach CAN’T fix, so it’s not Long’s fault if the Mets hitters can’t read breaking ball spin or hit the ball very far or whatever. But if he was supposed to get them confident, or relaxed, or patient, or ready to crush mistakes, or using the whole field, or minimizing slumps, or battling with two strikes, or ANY version of “good hitting”, we have seen nothing less than a total failure.
      • Extragooey July 21, 2015 at 4:26 pm
        Coaches tend to get too much credit and that includes managers. Ultimately it’s the players performing or not performing. But if people are inclined to give credit when things go right, then they should also pile on the criticism when things don’t go well. So yah, give him credit for the good Yankee years, but he was there in 2014 with the bad Yankees offense, and he’s here in 2015 with the Mets. Remember Rick “I can fix Zambrano’s control problems in 10 minutes” Peterson?
        • argonbunnies July 22, 2015 at 2:37 pm
          I think some coaches are more hands-on than others. I haven’t gotten a sense of Long in that department yet. Some coaches seem to agree with Ron and Keith, that “a guy’s swing/motion is what it is, and you can’t change that at the big league level”, while others are happy to meddle.

          Peterson was about as intrusive as they come, and probably deserves lots of credit and lots of blame for the Mets pitchers under his watch. Peterson arguably saved Oliver Perez’s career (setting up tunnels which forced him to move straight toward the plate instead of spinning) and nearly ruined Heath Bell’s (extending his stride and making it easier for hitters to time him). He wisely encouraged John Maine to throw the high fastball, but foolishly discouraged Santana from doing the same. He helped stabilize Jorge Julio to the point where we could get something for him in trade, and got 2 more productive years out of Roberto Hernandez who’d previously looked done. With the exception of Pedro trying to pitch through injuries, Mets pitchers generally stayed healthy under Peterson. I do think guys eventually got tired of his verbose lectures, though, and Ollie backslid pretty hard in 2008.

          As for the Zambrano quote, it’s a non-issue for me. Management, not coaches, makes trades, and doctors, not coaches, signed off on Zambrano’s health. Peterson is very far down the list of people to blame, and I think it’s a shame that anyone would remember his Mets career for that.

        • Extragooey July 22, 2015 at 4:18 pm
          Well, I think it’s rather a black and white perspective to take and think that coaches/managers have no input on trade decisions. Also was Zambrano’s ineffectiveness strickly due to his health? Maybe he wasn’t healthy to begin with, or ever looking at his Tampa numbers, but I doubt the Met doctors came up with the initial idea to trade for him.

          Whether or not any of what Peterson did helped or hindered the pitchers he coached is mostly speculation at best right? I mean what evidence do you have any of the things he did affected the effectiveness of those pitchers you listed? I can certainly make a case that Heath Bell’s peripherals indicated that he was the same pitcher with the Mets that he became with the Padres. All he needed was a larger sample size for his effectiveness to show, instead of being optioned to AAA every time he gave up a seeing eye single and blew a lead. This happened too many times as I remembered. I couldn’t believe the Mets kept sending down their best reliever. I’m not saying coaches have no affect at all. It’s just I think they’re given way too much credit and way too much blame. They are not miracle workers in general either, as in the case of Zambrano.

        • argonbunnies July 22, 2015 at 11:25 pm
          Every word ever written about changes in sports performance is speculation. Some of it is pretty well-informed, though. If Ollie spins off the mound and can’t throw a strike, and then a coach forces him to stride between some wickets so he can’t spin, and he then starts throwing strikes, then I’m perfectly comfortable guessing that the coach helped.

          Agreed on all your points about Bell, but in addition to what you mention, his line drive, hard-hit ball, and HR/fly percentages all went through the roof in 2006 when Peterson had him lengthen his stride. In 2007 the Padres let him return to his short stride, and now hitters weren’t so comfortable timing him and ready to crush the ball every time he made a mistake. Fewer hard hits, fewer line drives, fewer homers. There’s also the subjective/mental dimension, where Bell had more confidence “throwing like himself” (in his words).

          If you want to dismiss all that analysis by calling it speculation, feel free, but you’re not going to find much better out there in baseball chat land.

          As for the impact of coaches and managers on trade decisions, I assume it depends on the organization. I don’t doubt that Duquette listened to Peterson about Zambrano and Kazmir. Still, as I said, he’s hardly the first to blame (there’s clearly no trade without Duquette’s feeble attempt to “win now”), and it’s ridiculous to judge Rick’s Mets time by a quote which might not have even mattered (“I can fix Zambrano” says nothing about the wisdom of trading Kazmir).

          As for Mets doctors, they aren’t supposed to propose trades, they’re supposed to perform physicals on new players to finalize trades.

          It’s impossible to find the full truth about Zambrano, but the history goes:
          – showed fantastic stuff and no command with Rays for a while
          – suffered some sort of arm pain with the Rays which affected him somehow
          – arrived at the Mets with same poor command but no fantastic stuff
          – lowered his walk rate while with the Mets, but never achieved excellent command nor regained fantastic stuff
          – it eventually came out that the Mets had considered filing a grievance against the Rays over the undisclosed condition of Zambrano’s arm, but didn’t

          Make of that what you will. Maybe Peterson was wrong about the fix, or maybe he was right and it didn’t matter.

          I agree that coaches are often given too much credit and blame, but I don’t think that’s universally disproportionate across all coaches. I’d say that Peterson probably impacted his charges more than Dave Hudgens did, as all the fuss around the Mets’ passivity in Hudgens’ final days wasn’t correlated with anything Hudgens himself actually did.

        • Extragooey July 23, 2015 at 1:18 am
          All right, I will concede that perhaps those examples of Peterson’s meddling affected real performance changes in players. However, I disagree that Peterson was “very far down the list of people to blame” for the Zambrano-Kazmir trade. I think he was instrumental in convincing management to make that trade. The trade was so bad at the time that it happened that there has to have been a cocky pitching coach whispering in Duquette’s ear. Zambrano had almost no track record of excellence to justify giving up your number 1 pitching prospect and one of the top prospects overall in baseball. The only glimpse of potential was Zambrano’s 1st year, limited to only 51 innings. He then had 430 innings (essentially 2 full seasons) of terrible pitching. The only way any GM would make that trade was due to an overrated pitching coach pounding his chest and making the claim he did. And as if to proclaim how lopsided that trade was and how much they came out on top, Tampa promoted Kazmir right away and then in 2005, Kazmir went on to have a better year than Zambrano. No, Peterson is at the top of the list to blame for that trade.

          Perhaps the Mets doctors missed something. However, medical exams aren’t always 100% accurate. Things are missed, sometimes the fault is not with the doctors. Or perhaps the injury happened after the trade. We have seen this with other trades as well with Pedro Feliciano and Michael Pineda.

          Your conclusion that Peterson was probably more impactful than say Hudgens may just be that Peterson was more proactive in his methods. This allows you to attribute a cause and affect. Who’s to say that Hudgen’s with his less meddlesome ways was not just as successful or detrimental with hitters? Also, Peterson had more to work with, as in hall of fame quality pitchers. Hudgen’s had very few of those.

        • argonbunnies July 23, 2015 at 2:14 pm
          Hmm. In an area where it’s hard to PROVE impact, and where you and I agree that coaches often have less impact than claimed, it seems counter-intuitive to me to guess that a less active coach could do more harm/good than a more proactive one. But I suppose anything is possible — gentle whispers rather than tailored drills might be just the thing for some players. From playing amateur sports, this seems off to me, but I’ve never played pro, so I don’t really know.

          As for Peterson, I really think his niche in a trade HAS to be small. All Rick can do is say “I like Zambrano better than Kazmir”. It’s still up to Duquette to weigh costs, years of team control, risk/reward, team needs, etc. If Duquette DIDN’T do that, and instead just went with Peterson’s player preference, that’s terrible GMing.

          As for Zamrbano’s performance, I agree that it was terrible, but hitters did walk away raving about his stuff (was it Jeter or Bernie who called him the nastiest in the league?), and Peterson wasn’t the only one who believed that he could be a force if he ever learned even average control (in 2003 he led the league in walks, hit batters, and wild pitches — and STILL had an ERA better than league average).

          Honestly, I was against this trade the whole time, so if Peterson did play a significant role in it, then I do count that against him. Ultimately, though, I think it’s MUCH more likely that (a) an interim GM was making a desperate move to contend in 2004 to impress his bosses than (b) Duquette got convinced against his better judgment to do something he wouldn’t have otherwise done, by one of his employees. Either way, shame on Jim.

        • Extragooey July 23, 2015 at 3:32 pm
          Just because it is very hard to have a large impact on major league level players, doesn’t mean that the only way to be impactful is with proactive methodologies. If you believe that the offensive surge of Lucas Duda in the first two months of this year, in particular his hitting against lefties, was the result of a chat with Kieth Hernandez, then it’s not hard to believe subtle methods can bring about big changes. Of course, Duda is now back to hitting like his career numbers say and maybe even below that. So yes, maybe gentle whisper and letting the hitter figure it out himself, may be just as effective as some of the good changes Peterson did.

          Why did Peterson’s input had to be only restricted to “I like Zambrano better than Kazmir”? This was a guy coming over from Oakland after producing the “Big Three” and the big head that comes along with it. Even if it was just his reputation influencing the decision, it was a big influence. While the GM does make the final decision, they are influenced in many ways. How many trades had George Steinbrenner forced his GMs to make? How many have his sons blocked? Sure these were/are owners and probably should and do have big says in the process. But GMs are surrounded by assistants, scouts, coaches, etc… Why have them if you are not going to value their opinions. Also, Duquette was sort of a temporary GM, It never seemed like Duquette was gonna be retained past the 2004 season. A GM like that can probably be highly influenced one way or another.

          Teams make trades at deadlines for players ready to help them that year. This was a deadline trade by the Mets to help the 2004 team. There was no way Zambrano was going to do that sporting the numbers he did unless the Mets believe that he would miraculously pitch better. If your “Big Three” pitching coach claims that the control issues can be fixed immediately, all of a sudden those numbers don’t look as bad.

          I’ve never looked them up, but it was said at that time that Zambrano had excellent numbers against the Yankees, which led to speculations that the Mets acquired him strictly to win the Subway Series. If true, It was no surprised that the Yankee hitters would think highly of him.

          I actually enjoy Jim Duquette’s analysis on SNY, I don’t think he’s an idiot. Maybe he was a weak GM, but maybe it was more that he respected Peterson’s input. Or maybe his was the lone voice of reason and he was outvoted by the owners and the other baseball people around him. Whatever the reason, Peterson’s hand, in my opinion was all over this trade.

        • argonbunnies July 23, 2015 at 7:43 pm
          Well, Duquette was simply the guy who SHOULD have made the decision. If forces beyond his control (i.e. ownership) conspired against him, I’d be happy to give him a pass and blame the Wilpons. But in no way is it Peterson’s decision to make; Rick’s input needs to be taken for what it’s worth.

          I mean, if I were in the GM chair, I would ABSOLUTELY be listening to Peterson’s opinions on which pitchers were likely to get better, or get worse, or get hurt… but I would also be factoring in tons of other stuff like cost, years of team control, the pros if Peterson’s right vs the cons if he’s wrong, etc. Peterson was always confident in his own opinions, but he could never credibly claim to be a seer — like every coach, he had plenty of players who disappointed before the Mets ever hired him.

          As a fan, I understood “I can fix him in 10 minutes” as “I’ve spotted the sort of mechanical flaw which often effects control, and I can fix that in 10 minutes” — which is clearly more realistic. I would hope that an MLB team executive (whether Duquette or Fred or Jeff) would be as discriminating as a fan in such matters and realize that there are no guarantees.

          At least I’m being consistent here — when Joe and Dr. Borrelli talked about how “proper mechanics” are the cure for everything, I didn’t buy that Chris Young would be just as deceptive without the jerky shoulder action. Sure, he’d stay healthier, but with his stuff, he’d also be batting practice.

        • Extragooey July 24, 2015 at 12:35 am
          Just look at Zambrano’s stats and tell me why any team would trade for this guy in a trade deadline deal to improve for the playoffs? I don’t think Duquette is completely devoid of any baseball sense. I don’t see any other pro factors such as the other criteria that you listed that would make Zambrano a good target to get for a playoff run. It was a gamble, I’m sure. No trade is 100%, but it was highly influenced by Peterson. They took a shot, it didn’t work. If Peterson wasn’t with the organization. I highly doubt they make that trade. The “win now” attitude you alluded to, would have targeted someone else, definitely not Zambrano.
    • DanB July 22, 2015 at 9:05 pm
      I’d give Long credit for improving the hitting of the pitchers.
      • argonbunnies July 22, 2015 at 11:25 pm
        I believe that is explicitly assistant hitting coach Pat Roessler’s job.
  5. argonbunnies July 22, 2015 at 11:34 pm
    Rubber game against the Nats: it’s been a while since I felt the manager blew an important game that the team had in the bag, but today was one of those days. Terry was managing to Parnell’s ego, not to win. You can be sure Bochy would have brought in Familia to face Taylor with the tying runs on base and Bobby showing zero command out there.

    But no: Parnell “deserved the chance to finish the inning” because of what he’s done for the team previously. Gaaaggg. Everyone has an off night, and everyone needs to be okay with being yanked when they do, and not take it personally. I’m sure Bobby can handle it; Terry just needs to have the guts to do it. Or maybe he just saw Moore’s rocket to Kirk and thought “Bobby got an out, good job” rather than “Bobby’s getting torched”…?

    Okay, now I’m gonna go actually read Terry’s postgame quotes and see if I’m wrong about any of this.

    • argonbunnies July 22, 2015 at 11:42 pm
      Huh! Looks like, in retrospect, Terry agrees with me. Familia should have faced Taylor. Well, a manager who learns from his mistakes is certainly better than the alternative.
    • Extragooey July 23, 2015 at 1:38 am
      I think there’s a level of mystery and unknown with Parnell right now. He obviously doesn’t have the same stuff, but can he get the job done. He’s done it so far which I think led to Terry to stay with him. It was an unfortunate game to lose. With the lack of a big sample size with this Parnell, perhaps it’s best to consider Mejia for the setup role now that he’s back from the suspension.
      • argonbunnies July 23, 2015 at 1:44 pm
        What I’ve seen from Parnell is that he’s been getting some nice sink and good location with his fastball when he throws it 91-93. The two outings where’s he’s been consistently throwing harder than that (94-95 once previous, 94-97 last night), he’s been missing the glove by a mile and the ball’s been straighter.

        Personally, right now, I have a lot of confidence in Bobby as long as he doesn’t try to throw hard. He’s not the guy you bring in to strand runners with Ks, but he’s an excellent option to start a clean inning. My main worry is that he listens to this narrative about how he SHOULD be throwing harder as he gets farther removed from surgery. The only Collins quote that bugged me:

        “He threw 95 again today. He looked great.”

        Wrong. He threw 95 and looked terrible — no movement and location, and that’s why he didn’t get outs. This obsession with the radar gun is really counterproductive. Hopefully Bobby can tune out the fools and go back to what was working so well the first 10 times out.

        • argonbunnies July 23, 2015 at 1:52 pm
          This issue of the staff over-valuing velocity also applies to Robles. At times this year he was missing by two feet, but other guys got demoted because Hansel was lighting up the radar gun (I do like his usage more now, though).

          Speaking of demoted guys, Rubin just reported that Leathersich threw 57 pitches in his first game back in AAA last month and destroyed his elbow in the process. WTF??? I thought the minors were MORE fastidious about pitch counts than the majors. Did Wally and Viola fall asleep? Did someone upstairs get pissed at Jack and decide to sabotage his career? I’m not a great believer in applying a certain number of pitches to all pitchers equally, but letting anyone throw a full THREE TIMES the number of pitches they’re used to is patently insane.

        • Extragooey July 23, 2015 at 5:06 pm
          I want to agree with you. But velocity is a great means to a great end. ESPN showed a compilation last night of Greg Maddux’s performance a while ago. It was some special game he had. I believe the compilation showed all his strikes and man, were there a lot of off the plate in and out strikes called. I don’t think he can do that today. The strike zone has shrunk horizontally through the years, although sometimes the off the plate pitches are still being called egregiously like the 3rd strike to Nieuwenhuis yesterday. It was obviously a ball where the catcher caught it (we know that’s not how to call strikes but it’s done) and the slider movement had to have bent around the plate. Anyway, the zone today appears to be narrower and more down and I don’t think half the pitches Maddux got called strikes would have been today. I don’t doubt an artist like Maddux would have adjusted and perhaps would have had the same career. Today’s pitchers are dominating more than ever and it seems mostly from velocity. But I agree, sometimes it’s over-valued. Pre-Tommy Johns Parnell started to mature and pitch a lot better going from 99 to 95. It certainly can be over-valued on an individual perspective.
        • Extragooey July 23, 2015 at 5:09 pm
          Yeah, that Leathersich outing seems outrageous. That’s a lot of pitches for a non-long relief guy.
        • argonbunnies July 23, 2015 at 7:53 pm
          Yeah, it’s weird to look back and see all the calls Glavine and Maddux got. It’s like, “How are you supposed to hit that?” In their primes, though, the high strike was never called, so it was more an advantage for lowball guys like them and less an equal advantage for all pitchers.

          There was a study a few years back about which pitchers got the most balls called strikes, and it was mostly guys who had movement coming back toward the plate on pitches that never quite got there. Livan Hernandez was Exhibit A with his two-seamer inside to lefties which came back over the inside corner… a.k.a. the Greg Maddux pitch. So I bet Maddux got even more of those close calls than other pitchers of his day.

          Not to mention the impact of reputation. I’ll always remember Clemens getting calls a foot outside when his opponents pitched to a normal zone, and how Jose Lima was no John Smoltz. 🙂

          On the topic of umpiring, I thought Wegner’s zone was pretty awful on Wednesday.

        • Extragooey July 24, 2015 at 12:51 am
          It’s interesting to look back on how the strike zone has changed through these years. I think the Quest system narrowed the strike zone and that really was a good thing. Those 6-10 inches off the plate calls were ridiculous. Then there was a MLB edict for all umpires to start calling the high strike. That lasted what, a couple of years? And now it seems like the low below the knees ball is the popular strike to call. Is it the framing or something else?

          Kershaw got a call tonight for strike 3 on Recker with a ball below the knees and from Kershaw’s reaction, he himself knew that wasn’t a strike. The next inning Bartolo throws the same pitch and it was a ball.

      • DanB July 23, 2015 at 2:48 pm
        Isn’t Parnell a free agent next year? I could see the Mets trying to showcase him as a setup/backup closer in a trade.
  6. DanB July 23, 2015 at 2:45 pm
    I thought I read somewhere that it was Jeff Wilpon that pushed for the Zambrano trade. Or maybe it’s my dislike for Wilpon that clouds my memory.
    • DaveSchneck July 23, 2015 at 7:24 pm
      My recollection is that Glavine and Lieter pushed for the move because theey didn’t care for Kazmir’s attitude, and those two were tight with Jeffy.

      I believe Parnell is under control for 2016 so long as he is offered arbitration.

      • Extragooey July 24, 2015 at 12:19 am
        Nah, I’m pretty sure he’s a free agent
  7. argonbunnies July 23, 2015 at 7:17 pm
    After all my recent discontented writing, I’m gonna go be optimistic for a sec and predict that the Mets win tonight’s game. It seems like every time the Mets lose a “big” or “heartbreaking” game, 24 hours later I’m reading about their resilience in coming back (instead of spiraling into an abyss of despair — as if any team actually does that). So I’m predicting another one of those. 🙂
    • DaveSchneck July 23, 2015 at 7:27 pm
      Hopefully Bartolo brings his A+ game on the mound, at the plate, and on the basepaths. 3-4-5 of Flores-Mayberry-Campbell is not going to strike a lot of fear in Mr. Kershaw.
      • argonbunnies July 23, 2015 at 7:45 pm
        Yeah, I’m rooting for a lot of foul balls off Kershaw to drive up his pitch count, and then actually score some runs off the bullpen. 😛