Mets Game 34: Loss To Reds

mebeliReds 7 Mets 1

It was a close game — a one-run game, in fact — until the eighth inning.

Mike Pelfrey struggled in the first and the fourth, but kept the Mets in the game through six full innings, holding the Reds to just two runs. However, the Mets couldn’t do anything against Bronson Arroyo (the Mets’ last baserunner came in the fourth inning). and the Reds reached for another two runs against Duaner Sanchez — then turned the game ugly with the help of two Mets errors in the ninth.


Loving Keith Hernandez and Gary Cohen with the lollipops during pregame.

Duaner’s fastball did not have the usual velocity — it was only in the mid-80s, topping out at 87. What was worse, Duaner knew it and you could see on his face and in his body language that he didn’t have his best stuff — he looked concerned and borderline scared.

In the bottom of the third, Carlos Beltran chased David Wright around the bases with an extra-base hit, but Wright was out by about three feet on a good relay throw and good block of the plate by catcher Paul Bako. However, twenty years ago, a player like Wright would have plowed over Bako in an attempt to knock the ball loose. As Keith Hernandez noted, “they don’t do that today.”. Strange, isn’t it? In the old days, when ballplayers made less than a hundred grand, and were subject to team-renewable one-year contracts, and couldn’t afford to suffer major injuries, runners crashed into catchers all the time. Nowadays, with guaranteed contracts in the tens of millions of dollars, players are very careful about physical contact — presumably for fear of injury. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to see D-Wright getting injured in a collision. But at the same time, if that was Ray Knight stampeding home, Bako’s clock is cleaned. A different game indeed.

Aaron Heilman pitched twice in the day, and in his second appearance had a very a low arm angle — which even a Little League coach would recognize as a red flag sign of fatigue. Heilman did pitch a 1-2-3 seventh, but am I the only person on the planet who notices when he’s fatigued and shouldn’t be pitching? And just why, exactly, is Willie putting ANYONE on the mound twice in the same day? (Jorge Sosa pitched twice as well.)

Oh, and since Duaner gave up a few runs and Aaron didn’t, do all the shortsighted numnuts now think the two pitchers should swap roles again? Speaking of, what’s with the morons at Shea booing Sanchez during his outing? I wish all these arse-hole “fans” would return to the Bronx and boo the Yankees.

By the way if you are a Heilman hater maybe his postcard to his mom will warm your heart a bit.

While we’re on the subject of the bullpen, Billy Wagner finally gave up some runs, but they were unearned. However, he did not pitch all that well. A bit of a head-scratcher as to why Wags was in the game at all — and why he remained in after his 20th pitch?

Gold Glover David Wright committed his eighth error of the season. He’s on pace to make 28 miscues in 162 games. Yikes.

Jeff Keppinger five-for-five in the game. That guy’s name is REALLY familiar … where have I heard it before? Oh, that’s right, he was the guy who the Mets had no use for two years ago, when they were in dire need of a second baseman (or was he trying to date Willie Randolph’s daughter?) Funny how he had the best game of his life against his old team, eh?

FYI the SNY TV team will be broadcasting from the upper deck behind home plate for that contest. It was the brainchild of Gary Cohen, who used to watch games from up in the nosebleeds as a kid growing up going to Shea. Tickets up there were once $1.30 (general admission). Did I mention it’s a different game?

Speaking of the SNY broadcasters, Keith Hernandez mentioned that he logs on to MetsBlog “every morning” to “get the scoop”. He also said “that is an excellent blog I must say”. Is it any coincidence that the SNY crew began effusively pronouncing their love for Matt Cerrone and MetsBlog immediately after I started providing commentary there? (OK, maybe it’s a coincidence.)

Next Game

The Mets and Reds play the rubber match at Shea at 1:10 pm. Oliver Perez faces Johnny Cueto. The game will be on CW11.

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. isuzudude May 12, 2008 at 9:51 am
    I know I’m late to join the discussion, but I was away from internet access all weekend and am just getting a chance to catch up on everything now.

    Like yourself, Joe, I would have handled the bullpen much differently than Willie did. When Johan came out of the game after the 6th inning in game 1, the Mets were leading 10-3. My plan would have been to insert Jorge Sosa into the game and let him pitch the remaining 3 innings. He likely would have given up some runs during that type of stint, but I think odds were on my side than he could get 9 outs before giving up 7 runs. And if the game got too close, you could always summon Wagner and let him get the save. After throwing the 3 innings, which would have saved the bullpen for game 2, I would have designated Sosa for assignment, and activated Wise off the DL, thus giving me a full compliment of relievers at my disposal for the 2nd game, all of whom had not pitched in over 48 hours. After all, what the heck is Wise doing wasting away on the bench? If he’s healthy, get him in some games. instead, Willie protects a 7-run lead like it’s a 2-run lead, bringing in Heilman and Feliciano to pitch an inning apiece. His decisions didn’t really make a lot of sense to me, so this is one of the few times this year I’m getting on his back about poor management.

    I am glad, however, that he took my advice (yeah, right) about keeping Castillo batting 2nd and moving Delgado down to 7th. When clicking, that is a very dangerous lineup. And it looks as though the lineup is just beginning to click.