Mets Game 56: Loss to Giants

Giants 10 Mets 2

Oliver Perez received a standing ovation from the AT&T Park crowd in San Francisco when he exited the game. Unfortunately, he managed only one out and left a 6-0 deficit behind him as he walked into the dugout in the first inning.

While I have been very pleased with the spirit, energy, and play of our Mets recently, and I have newfound confidence in their ability to come back before “calling it in” … falling behind by six runs in the first inning is an awfully tough mountain to climb.

Let’s just scratch this one off and move on to Tuesday.

Notes

Is Carlos Delgado injured? I’m serious. Is it possible he has an artificial leg? I’m only half-serious. He ripped a ball to the wall in right leading off the second, which Randy Winn didn’t even react to because he thought it was going over the fence. A good five seconds later, Winn entered the TV camera’s line of vision, and Delgado was barely halfway to second base. I didn’t expect him to get a triple, but a morning-jog pace is a little ridiculous there. Later in the inning, Jose Reyes smoked a ball down the leftfield line for a double, and you could have timed Delgado from second to home with a sun dial. I was seriously concerned that Delgado might not reach home plate before passing out — he was going even slower than the morning jog pace; it was more like, “Sunday stroll”. With two outs, and crazy Reyes zipping around the bases, a runner HAS TO HUSTLE and make sure his foot touches home plate as soon as possible, in case Jose (or any runner) overslides a bag or gets caught trying to take an extra base. If Delgado is not nursing an injury, then maybe his pants are too heavy.

Speaking of slow-poke, he’s right back to his first-pitch swinging. He did it in the third with men on first and second, which is acceptable if he thought he could put the ball over the fence (he popped up to shortstop). However, he did it again leading off the eighth, against Billy Sadler — a pitcher he’d never faced before — with the score 10-2. Again, he popped up to shortstop. Please, someone tell me, what exactly was Delgado’s plan in that at-bat? To pad his stats with a solo homer? Did someone tell him a ball in McCovey Cove was worth two grand slams? Is he that selfish, or just plain dumb? It may seem a small, meaningless detail in a game long lost, but it is these little things that when left alone can fester and infiltrate an entire team. Willie, please sit this guy before he starts re-spreading the poison!

In the very next inning, Jose Reyes followed Delgado’s “lead”, hacking at the first pitch offered by Sadler and sending it into the leftfielder’s glove. Again, I know the game was lost a long time before the ninth, but that doesn’t mean you stop playing correctly. Playing smart, fundamental baseball is not something you turn on and off — it is a habit, and something you do all the time, regardless of the score.

Claudio Vargas did an outstanding job after taking the ball with one out in the first. He pitched four and two-thirds scoreless innings, allowing only three hits, no walks, and striking out four.

On the other hand, Carlos Muniz pitched not so outstanding, constantly falling behind hitters and allowing four runs in his one and two-thirds. It has to be difficult going from AAA, one-inning closer to MLB mop-up guy.

Next Game

The Mets will regroup and try again at 10:10 pm EST. Pedro Martinez makes his long-awaited return to the mound against Barry “Big Bust” Zito.

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. JIMMYJ723 June 3, 2008 at 12:03 am
    Being a Mets fan is like being in an abusive relationship. Just when you think the one you love has changed. They turn around and smack you with a 10-2 loss to the Giants. I’m going to cry myself to sleep now… sigh…
  2. wohjr June 3, 2008 at 2:26 am
    I’ll ask again… WHERE IS VAL PASCUCCI?!
  3. Coop June 3, 2008 at 6:13 am
    I am really P’d off at Oh Pea right now – well, i’ve been since arb, but willing to give him the benny, since he’s been such a pimp. But Joe maybe you or one of your readers knows – hasn’t Pea been historically bad at AT&T? I mean, not 6 runs in 1/3 of an inning bad. But he has never performed there, not that I remember last year anyway. Thoughts? I think this could be an aberration but since we’ve seen Ollie Hyde more than Dr Perez this year, I’m thinking not…
  4. joe June 3, 2008 at 7:48 am
    Coop, I believe Ollie has had only one other start at AT&T in the last three years, though he may have had problems there before then when it was Pac Bell.

    My best guess is OPea has begun to think, or he’s injured. Or maybe he’s on drugs, who knows (oh wait, it’s not the 1980s, so it can’t be that).

    His mechanics look scary — all over the place as usual, no rhythm. Messy. It’s hard to put the ball where you want when you’re using a different set of movements and are not balanced.

    Maybe he and Rick Peterson should go on a sabbatical up in the hills of San Francisco and paint some pictures together.

  5. isuzudude June 3, 2008 at 8:34 am
    Coop – I’ll second Joe’s sentiments. Not only has Perez been wild and unreliably short in his outings, but his velocity is way down from just last year, which is the real red flag. Something’s rotten in denmark. And at this point in his career he doesn’t have the mental makeup to win without his best stuff – as Johan Santana has been doing thru the first 2 months of the season. As I’m sure many Met fans are going to start chiming in with, I’d be all for trading Perez before the deadline, but I doubt teams are going to give up anything of worth for an inconsistent, unreliable, soon-to-be free agent headcase like Perez. What’s more likely is that Perez will continue to struggle until he reveals he’s hurt, at which point the Mets will lose him for the rest of the season (as well as to free agency without getting anything in return). And then we’re left crossing our fingers AGAIN that El Duque will be able to step up and contribute when the season hangs in the balance – something he hasn’t been able to do for 2 years straight.

    Wohjr – I don’t think Pascucci is the franchise savior a lot of people of hyping him up to be. He’s not a top prospect, but instead a career minor leaguer who many teams before the Mets thought wasn’t good enough to contribute at the major league level. He’s really strictly a “swing for the fences” hitter who will strike out in about half of his plate appearances. Don’t be fooled by his power surge, either. Chris Aguila has 15 dingers for New Orleans this year, but he’s no Mark McGwire. Fernando Tatis also had 12 home runs in 120 at-bats (or 1 per every 10 ABs) for New Orleans before getting called up, but has hit just 1 in 36 ABs for the Mets. Not to mention, with Alou set to return to the team, and Church back in RF, where does Pascucci get his playing time? You can say at 1B spelling Delgado vs. LHP, but then what becomes of Fernando Tatis? It’s one or the other, not both. And Tatis, to this point, has earned the spot.

    Figuring Evans is the guy to go when Alou is activated, the Mets would have to demote Casanova to call up another position player. And although Casanova isn’t the world’s best pinch-hitter, it is nice to have a switch hitter available off the bench, as well as a 3rd catcher knowing the fragility of Schneider and Castro. But, if the Mets do decide to send Casanova down, I’d much prefer to see Valentin brought back to the team then another AAAA shot in the dark. Valentin’s clubhouse presence and leadership abilities are well documented, and I think the Mets need that more right now than a right-handed pinch-hitter. Additionally, Valentin is a switch-hitter who can play all over the diamond, which does nothing but increase his value.

  6. debmc June 3, 2008 at 10:11 am
    I don’t know, guys. I think we can still get something for Ollie, and especially if we package him properly. But I think the window of opportunity for a good trade involving Ollie is rapidly closing, and if we’re going to pull the plug, we need to do it fairly soon.
  7. sincekindergarten June 3, 2008 at 10:36 am
    As Ollie’s going now, he’d be lucky to get what he’s making in this year–an arbitration year–in a future contract. $cott Bora$ has to be livid at him. Ollie was a big-game pitcher. Not anymore. Every game has to be treated as a big game.

    Who needs pitching, and which need should Omar try to fill?

  8. debmc June 3, 2008 at 10:43 am
    EVERYBODY needs pitching, since…. everybody. That’s why I still believe Ollie is a fairly marketable commodity, if packaged properly. Of course, the Boras Shadow looming over Ollie and whomever might agree to take him off our hands is a large one, but I suspect not insurmountable. A lot of this is going to depend on Ollie’s next few performances….. I still believe there is little chance of re-signing him, and that a trade might be best for all concerned, especially the Mets.
  9. Micalpalyn June 3, 2008 at 9:58 pm
    I agree. Ollie can absolutely derail. I dont see why its so hard for him. the velocity is a statement of his confidence and his motion now is all a mess.

    with pedro back, santana, maine entrenched and Pelfrey and Vargas viable its hardly a done deal that he takes a regular turn.

    there will be takers no doubt heck, Meche and Pinero found work. if there is enuff $$$ coming back I’d peddle him for Zito. the G’s can always claim a pick if he is not resigned.

  10. isuzudude June 4, 2008 at 5:51 am
    if that’s the case, Mic, I’d rather a compensatory draft pick than barry zito.