Mets Game 61: Loss to Padres
Padres 2 Mets 1
This is what’s called “playing down to your competition”.
I know about this first-hand, having played on a college team that would play “up” and to nationally ranked Seton Hall — who had Mo Vaughn, Craig Biggio, and John Valentin in the lineup (we lost 6-5) — but then play “down” to a D-3 school such as Bloomfield College (we lost 4-3).
Not sure about you, but this game “felt” like a losing cause from the third inning — I sincerely felt like I was waiting for the Mets to lose. Watching the body language of the dead Mets, it seemed only a matter of time before they lost the game. The only question was when would the frail-hitting Padres be able to plate a runner.
After a glorious homestand of intelligent at-bats, putting the bat on the ball, and overall excellent offensive execution, the Mets mirror the punchless Padres, scoring all of three runs in three games. What makes this most frustrating is that the Padres have sent neither Jake Peavy nor Chris Young to the mound — both aces are on the DL. Instead, the Mets have been handcuffed by remarkably mediocre no-names such as Josh Banks, Justin Hampson, Randy Wolf, Cha Seung Baek, Brian Corey, and Mike Adams. Meantime, the NL East-leading Phillies light up the scoreboard against everyone — the well-knowns, the unknowns, and everyone in between. But I digress …
Oliver Perez had an acceptable outing, pitching five and a third and allowing one run on four hits and two walks, striking out five. I was surprised that Willie Randolph let him hit in the top of the sixth with two outs and runners on first and second — to me, it was time for a pinch-hitter, with the best hitters on the Padres due up and getting their third look of the day on Ollie. However, Perez hit for himself, grounded out, and then put two runners on before yielding to Joe Smith, who did an outstanding job of shutting down San Diego.
Ollie made only one mistake, which turned into a homerun by Michael Barrett. The Mets’ only score came on a sac fly by Endy Chavez in the second. That second inning was especially sickening, as the Mets had the bases loaded, no outs, and a 3-0 count on Endy — and in the end, were able to score only one run. Why? Because the Padres were bright enough to intentionally walk Brian Schneider with one out, to get the easy out on Perez and then face Reyes with two dead. That right there was the turning point of the ballgame.
How bad is Carlos Delgado? In a game where he already collected three hits, the opposing team didn’t think twice about pitching to him with the winning run on second in the 10th inning and the pitcher’s spot on deck. Really wonderful of Carlos to get those three hits, but a huge red flag seeing the Padres have no fear of him doing damage in a key spot.
Yes, the Mets’ offensive ineptness is in part due to the absences of Moises Alou and Ryan Church. But, who expected a) Alou to play in more than 90 games and b) Church to be as good as he was in April and May? What baffles me to no end is that those two big bats are unavailable, yet you fill out the roster with the likes of Robinson Cancel, Raul Casanova, and Abraham Nunez. Are you kidding me????? Get Val Pascucci, Chris Aguila, or Mike Carp up here, let’s see what they can do. Bring back Jose Valentin. Sign Scott Hatteberg. Trade for Kevin Millar. Ask Mike Piazza to come out of retirement. ANYTHING other than filling out the roster with guys swinging bats made of balsa wood.
I really hope my prophecy doesn’t hold true — the one where I suggested the Mets would get swept — but at this point, who really cares? The Mets certainly don’t, and the way the fire-and-brimstone Phillies are playing lately, it’s clear who WANTS to win the NL East. But I suppose our favorite team will try to do something interesting in their 4:05 pm EST contest. Pedro Martinez goes against another no-name, Wilfredo Ledezma.
May I remind everyone that the Mets are playing the LAST-PLACE Padres?
A desperate, major change to this team is absolutely essential at this point in time, if the Wilpons are interested in filling Citi Field next year. Please don’t bother messing with Willie — the problem is in the personnel. Make a move, Omar, if you want to be here for the ribbon-cutting ceremonies next April.