Mets Game 65: Loss to Diamondbacks

Diamondbacks 5 Mets 4

For the second consecutive day, the Mets wasted an outstanding effort by their starting pitcher.

Johan Santana pitched seven shutout innings, allowing only three hits and three walks, striking out ten in a 115-pitch effort. The only thing Santana did wrong was not pitch the final two frames.

Instead, the “setup” relief crew allowed Arizona to score two runs in the eighth, then closer Billy Wagner blew his third straight save opportunity by allowing another deuce in the ninth.

The Mets had a golden opportunity to salvage the game in the bottom of the ninth, as Jose Reyes led off with an infield single and was sacrificed to second by Endy Chavez. David Wright then ripped the game-winning hit down the third base line, but Augie Ojeda made a diving stab, holding Reyes at second and getting Wright out at first. Carlos Beltran was intentionally walked, and Carlos Delgado drew a walk himself to load the bases, and then Damion Easley smacked a grounder into the hole between shortstop and third to drive in the winning run for the second time of the inning. EXCEPT, shortstop Stephen Drew made a sparkling play of his own to stop the ball and make the throw to nab Delgado before he could slide into second.

    Aaron Heilman entered in the tenth and gave up a leadoff double to Justin Upton to start the inning. Upton was sacrificed to third, though it looked like batter-runner Jeff Salazar beat Heilman’s throw to first. Heilman then struck out Miguel Montero on a great 0-2, inside fastball for the second out with Justin Upton on third base, but the home plate umpire missed the call. Maybe it was payback for the out call on first base? In any case, Montero sent the next pitch into right field, deep enough to score Upton with the winning run.

    The Mets were so relieved that the Diamondbacks scored early in extras, they make three quick outs to make it easy for them to get to the airport.

    Notes

    What else is there to say? The Mets were incidental winners last night, and followed it up with another emotionally devastating loss. The morale can’t be any worse, the team can’t sink any lower. My only hope is that Willie Randolph isn’t made the scapegoat, because he’s putting the players into position to win — but they’re not executing. It’s a matter of personnel, and the first guy who deserves to go — Carlos Delgado — happens to be on a hot streak and has been caught hustling a few times in the last few days.

    The Mets have entered a rut where they’re waiting to lose, rather than going hard after a win.

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 June 12, 2008 at 3:58 pm
    Is it time to throw in the towel on 2008 now? NOTHING is going the Mets’ way, and I don’t suspect things are going to change anytime soon. The quicker we turn our attention to fixing the team for 2009, the less each painstaking loss of 2008 will be.
  2. JIMMYJ723 June 12, 2008 at 5:41 pm
    I’m definitely not ready to throw in the towel. I might be alone on this one, but I feel like we have all the talent we NEED. Yes, it would be nice to have someone who plays 1B/OF to step in when Alou is out or when Delgado is struggling. But that’s a luxury, not a necessity.

    One day we lose because of a starter. The next day we lose because we didn’t hit. The next day we lose because of our bullpen. Then we lose because of a bad break. It never ends. This team doesn’t find a way to win, it finds a way to lose.

    At the beginning of the season, everyone was excited and just about everyone thought we had enough talent to win it all. What’s changed? A few injuries? Big deal. So we lose Alou, Martinez and El Duque. Is that unexpected? Not to anyone who’s been watching this team for more than half a season. Those are injuries we should have eaisly overcome.

    I maintain there is only one major problem with this team and that’s the manager. I’m not saying today’s loss was his fault but I am saying the reason this team plays with no passion is his falult. I don’t think anyone on this team believes in Willie, other than maybe David Wright, because he’s a naive kid who would never say a bad word about his manager. The sooner we get a new manager, the sooner this season turns around. I’m not giving up on this team yet.

  3. Micalpalyn June 12, 2008 at 6:16 pm
    Thanks Jimmy. at least I am not alone.

    Outside of the sweep in Atlanta the team has played extremely well this past month. ala 2005- the closer, the bullpen and some misplaced luck are making themselves obstacles.

    Agree jimmy. I am convinced the residual kharma of the 1993 team is following Willie around. Its not Willie per se; omar went out and got THE most expensive closer, the best starter and the best OF. santana and Pel deserved wins these past 2 days.

  4. julie June 13, 2008 at 4:03 am
    Don’t you think the first one to go should be Alou. He can’t even manage to play. This is a wasted roster spot, at least Delgado is fighting for a contract next year. Get Nady. NOTHING has been right since we traded Nady. (snicker) 😉
  5. sincekindergarten June 13, 2008 at 10:55 am
    Julie, Nady will cost too much. The league knows that the Mets need someone, and that someone, whoever he is, is going to cost a lot.

    Mic and Jimmy, I’m with you guys. As much as I’m supporting the “Free Willie” movement, I’m not . . . I really don’t know what I want to happen, other than pull for a team that can win. I was reading “5 questions for . . .” in the New York Post today, and they interviewed John Kruk. The third question: “Q: Are the Mets in trouble? A: The Phillies could win this division by 10 games. You let that powerful offense stay around and they will come back and win games. And I don’t see that with the Mets at all. You talk to players around the NL and they seem to think if you get ahead of the Mets then you’ve got them. There won’t be much fight left in them.” Harsh, but utterly true. They seem to turn over and die when they’re down.

    Sad. 🙁