Mets Game 6: Loss to Phillies

Phillies 5 Mets 2

Early on, it appeared as though the Mets would cruise to an Opening Day victory, having scored two runs in the first four innings and Oliver Perez looking great on the mound. However, it was not to be, as the Phillies beat the Mets for the ninth straight time (going back to 2007).

Ollie pitched well through five, and got two quick outs in the sixth against the Phils’ top hitters, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. Perez then got 2-2 to Pat Burrell before unraveling.

First, he lost Burrell and walked him. Then, he threw three straight balls to Jayson Werth, then balked on an attempted pickoff with the count 3-0. He threw a fourth straight ball to Werth, but crossed up Brian Schneider and the ball bounced off Schneider’s mitt, allowing Burrell to get to third (it was ruled a passed ball, not really fair but it almost always is if the ball doesn’t hit the dirt). Willie Randolph quickly removed Perez before he completely imploded, replacing him with Joe Smith. Smith walked Pedro Feliz to load the bases but induced a harmless grounder from Carlos Ruiz to end the threat.

Unfortunately, while Perez avoided an implode, the bullpen did not.

Randolph replaced Smith with Scott Schoeneweis to start the seventh. The Show retired So Taguchi to start the inning, then gave up a blistering single to Jimmy Rollins. Shane Victorino worked the count full before ripping a single up the middle, and then Schoeneweis hit Chase Utley to load the bases. In Show’s defense, Utley leaned into the pitch, and in fact the ball was only about 4 inches off the plate when it hit Utley’s right shoulder — but the umps allow him to stand there. Ryan Howard then hit a grounder to Delgado, and Carlos threw second for the force out, but the throw hit Utley in the back and rolled away, allowing two runs to score. It was a tough play for Delgado, as Utley was running to the outfield side of second and Reyes was set up to receive the ball in the same area. Looking at the angle on instant replay, it would have been very difficult for Delgado to throw to the inside (home plate side) of the bag. Even if he did, I doubt they would have turned a DP, so at least one run would have scored anyway.

Show was then removed for Jorge Sosa, who got a flyout from Pat Burrell, but then gave up a single to Jayson Werth on an 0-2 slider that drove in Utley with the go-ahead run. As Ron Darling noted, hitters have an easy time protecting against that pitch against Sosa, because all he throws are sliders off the plate. Batters can lean over and into the plate and hit the ball to right, as Werth did, since Sosa never goes inside with a hard fastball to move them off the plate or “get their feet moving”.

Aaron Heilman gave up runs four and five in the eighth, while LOOGY Pedro Feliciano never got warmed up. If there’s something physically wrong with Pedro Lite, we must wonder why in the world the Mets promoted Carlos Muniz and not Ricardo Rincon.

Newly promoted Carlos Muniz pitched a hitless ninth to preserve a save situation for Tom Gordon.


Notes

Aaron Heilman, Jorge Sosa, and Scott Schoeneweis are all on pace to appear in 108 games each this season.

Kind of fun to see Carlos Muniz face Carlos Ruiz in the ninth inning.

Red-hot Carlos Delgado hit his first homer of the year, a prestigious blast over the rightfield fence.

Speaking of Delgado, interesting to see the Phils run the “Delgado Shift” on Brian Schneider. From what I’ve seen of Schneider — both in ST and in this early season — he’s a dead pull hitter who rarely, if ever, hits the ball to the left of the pitcher’s mound. He and Jose Reyes should be working on going the opposite way in BP, IMHO.

Carlos Beltran remains hot, as he hit his seventh double of the season. He’s on pace to hit 189 this year.

The “Flyin’ Hawaiian” Shane Victorino stole a few potential extra-base hits — and prevented at least two runs from scoring — by snaring long drives off the bats of David Wright and Carlos Beltran. So far, it doesn’t look like the Phillies will miss Aaron Rowand, at least in the field.

Get the Frog Out of Your Glove

BTW, while Victorino saved two runs for the Phils, defensive specialist Brian Schneider had two passed balls that led to runs scoring. So much for winning more games by having better defense behind the plate and in the outfield.

Holy S!

Ron Darling slipped during the SNY broadcast, and no one was quick enough to hit the sneeze button. Right after Scott Schoeneweis plugged Chase Utley, Darling stated, “Peterson is gonna come out here and kind of settle the shit down because obviously Schoeneweis is shaken up a bit here …” I think his mind was thinking “the Show” when he said “the shit”. (See the seashells by the seashore … )

Kong Speaks?

Keith Hernandez mentioned that Dave Kingman was at Shea to watch the game, and that the two had a lengthy conversation. Hmm … first, I can’t imagine Kingman having a lengthy conversation with anyone, and I can’t think of anything that Keith and Kong could possibly talk about for more than 20 seconds. Perhaps what Keith meant to say was, “Kingman listened to me speak for a lengthy amount of time”.


Next Game

Mets host the Phils again tomorrow in a 7:10 PM start. Mike Pelfrey takes the mound against Kyle Kendrick.

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. sincekindergarten April 8, 2008 at 3:26 pm
    As much as I hate to say this, the game’s not over as I post. But, Tom GorGordon just struck out Brian Schneider for the first out in the bottom of the ninth.
  2. sincekindergarten April 8, 2008 at 3:30 pm
    Now, they’ve lost. The bullpen blew it.
  3. Micalpalyn April 8, 2008 at 4:38 pm
    My 2 cents:

    1. Carlos del is clearly not going to be the weakest link.
    2. Ollie is off to a better start this yr than last
    3. Carlos Muniz.
    4. interesting that Matt at metsblog had endy bunting (not) who then lines into a BP. Same scenario in the Phils inning…man on, bunt situation, but (as opposed to the Mets) they DO bunt and the next hitter drives the run in….is that a reflection on the managers?

  4. joe April 8, 2008 at 4:55 pm
    1. disagree. Delgado’s dinger was against a 78-MPH fastball. His current hot streak is hiding his slow bat.

    2. agree, Ollie looks good

    3. let’s hope Willie gives Muniz a chance in tighter situations … would be nice to find another reliable arm

    4. with Jose Reyes on deck, I’d probably bunt also. But let’s face it, do we really expect Endy to hit into a DP, with his speed?

  5. sincekindergarten April 8, 2008 at 5:37 pm
    My “two small official portraits of Abe Lincoln” worth to Mic’s points . . .

    1. I haven’t seen him bat enough times to determine what the answer is.

    2. Make it three opinions that way. But, he’s in his contract year.

    3. While it would be nice if Muniz was a good stopgap for the pen, Willie will find a way to screw it up.

    4. No, we don’t expect Endy to hit into a DP . . . but Willie doesn’t seem to want to ever deviate from what’s in his head, so why bother?

  6. isuzudude April 8, 2008 at 5:46 pm
    Deja vu, anyone?

    There was not one difference between this game and all the other games the Mets played at the end of last year, especially against the Phillies. Hmm, let’s see what we had…

    1. Starting pitcher doesn’t last long enough in a game. Keeping track of the game at work I kinda thought Willie might of had a quick hook with Ollie…afterall, the guy was still working on a shutout in the 6th inning. But the consensus seems to be that Ollie was pretty much toast at that point, so I guess no beef with Willie there. Still, 5.2 innings out of the starter is not good enough.

    2. Willie uses the wrong relievers at the wrong time. Up 2 in the 7th, where the hell is Feliciano? Instead, we get the Show, and it’s the same old show as last year. The rerun is getting old. It’s time to end this infatuation, Willie.

    3. Bullpen blows a lead.

    4. Jose Reyes isn’t getting on base enough. So far, just 1 walk in 26 at-bats…2 hits in the last 3 games…no stolen bases yet this season…hitting a measley .231.

    5. Defensive breakouts at the worst moments.

    6. Another loss to the Phillies.

    So now that we got this one last spasm out of our systems, can we please turn the page and start anew in 2008? Let us finally put this nightmare behind us. Let the Phillies bullpen flaws finally be exposed. Let the Mets’ bats finally come to life against a rotation filled with junk after Cole Hamels. Let every decision Willie makes be the right one, no matter how nonsensical it seems at the time. Let Jimmy Rollins’ sprained ankle keep him out the entire season. And last, but not least, LET THE METS FREAKIN WIN A GAME OVER THIS FREAKING TEAM!

  7. RockStar78 April 8, 2008 at 8:34 pm
    This series could possibly set the tone for the whole season. Imagine if they get swept? That would be devastating to their psyche. With Pelfrey going tomorrow, there is a realisic chance Maine could be pitching to avoid a sweep. And against Adam Eaton, well, we know how that’ll probably go. 1-1 until the 7th when both pitchers leave and the bullpen blows it.
  8. Walnutz15 April 9, 2008 at 6:56 am
    Putting aside every other negative facet of yesterday’s game — I simply CANNOT believe there’s been little to no talk about Willie’s inexplicable removal of the sacrifice bunt with Chavez at the plate.

    1st pitch: failed attempt

    2nd pitch: it’s off? — 2 seconds later, Endy gets doubled up…..and I begin hurling expletives at Shea.

    The fact that no one found anything wrong with this was appalling. Yet, the “very knowledgeable” Opening Day baseball fans in Loge Box at Shea thought Schoeneweis did a good job “because he got a double play ball”……did you not watch the 3 batters that preceded that very tough play?

    What a day at Shea — nuthin’ doin’…..and the Rick Astley sing-a-long “Punk’d” prank was an added kick in the nutz. Fark.com punk’d the Mets good, and got a TON of write-in votes to play that prank on the Mets. Best part, they actually played the song.

    This organization can be such a joke sometimes.

  9. Micalpalyn April 9, 2008 at 10:40 am
    Joe:

    I am going to relay a couple of thoughts here;
    a: Willie screwed this game up…and that seems the concensus.
    b. Back to Endy- to bunt or not to bunt….while down one run against a rookie pitcher Wtf! when Endy is MORE likely to beat out a bunt than get a single.
    c. I am betting here and now if the Mets do start getting back on track in the BP it will be due to Joe smith and Carlos Muniz.