Mets Game 20: Loss to Nationals
Nationals 10 Mets 5
The Mets suck.
They can’t hit, they can’t pitch, they can’t field, and they give up after falling behind (same as last year) — against the worst team in baseball. Can’t wait to see what happens against the Braves this weekend.
David Wright made a spectacular play in the Nats’ three-run fifth on a sharp grounder by Ryan Zimmerman to save a run and get the third out.
As expected, Brady Clark was DFA’s to make room for catcher Gustavo Molina, while doctors figure out what’s going on with Brian Schneider’s infected thumb.
Home plate umpire Darryl Cousins was inconsistent with pitches on the right edge of the plate, which led to several strike-three lookings for both sides. For example, right before his RBI hit in the fourth, Ollie Perez appeared to have taken strike three on the inside corner — yet that same pitch was called strike three on Luis Castillo earlier and on David Wright later.
For those who were concerned about Luis Castillo — and Castillo’s presence in the two spot — you should have been happy to see him walking, hitting, driving in runs, stealing bases, and running wild.
The Mets finally retired a runner at third on a bunt back to the pitcher, in the sixth. Ollie jumped off the mound like a cat, D-Wright retreated to the bag, and Wily Mo Pena was retired easily.
Lastings Milledge was benched in favor of lefthanded-hitting Willie Harris against the lefthanded Perez. Strange. LMillz did appear in the game as a pinch-hitter in the sixth, to face righthander Aaron Heilman.
Speaking of, once again I’m baffled by Raul Casanova’s location choice with Heilman on the mound and two strikes on the batter. Heilman had gone to the outside part of the plate on every pitch to Milledge, went full count, and then — after not throwing any fastballs — went to the fastball on the outside part of the plate. Why??? The whole strategy of going with soft stuff on the outside against a hitter is to set him up for a fastball on the INSIDE. Heilman had not thrown a pitch faster than 87 to Milledge at that point, and had pounded the outside corner. His 3-2 fastball — again on the outside — was clocked at 96 MPH. Had that pitch been put on the INSIDE corner, Milledge would not have had a chance in hell of getting around on it — not after being lulled into soft stuff on the outside. As it was, Milledge walked, and the next batter Felipe Lopez blasted a grand slam on another 3-2 pitch. My opinion? Raul Casanova is clueless when it comes to calling a game — or, he’s getting really bad information from the bench (it’s possible the pitches are being called from the dugout).
Carlos Delgado has officially become an albatross. He has absolutely no idea what to do at the plate — he’s flailing weakly at first pitches with no plan whatsoever — and has become worse (yes, it’s possible) in the field. In the seventh, he allowed a slow grounder to slip under his glove (the official scorer should be shot — twice — for scoring it a hit), and then let another one get past him one batter later. The second one didn’t look as bad, until you watch the replay and see that the runner was only a few feet away from Delgado and was trying to get out of the way of the ball while Delgado didn’t even make an effort. In the eighth, umpire Angel Hernandez was so shocked that Carlos caught a line drive that he called “fair” before calling “out”. Carlos, I have the utmost respect for you, and it’s time to pack it in. Either make an effort to improve, or retire. Get out of the way.
The Mets face Atlanta, with Jackson Todd going for the Mets against Phil Niekro of the Braves. Skip Lockwood should be fresh and available out of the pen. Joel Youngblood might be starting at 2B in place of Doug Flynn to add a little more punch to the lineup.