Mets Game 70: Loss to Angels

Angels 6 Mets 1

It is simply implausible that the Mets lost this game to the Angels.

After all, they have championship talent on their roster, which had been impinged for the last 170 games by the follies of Willie Randolph. Now that Willie “Roadblock” Randolph has been removed, this team should be beating the bejesus out of everyone. The Flushing Juggernauts should be stampeding through the rest of the inferior teams that make up MLB, no?

Apparently, not. In fact, not even when the Mets have the best pitcher in baseball on the mound.

Within four pitches, there was controversy, as Jose Reyes strained a leg muscle and then threw a temper tantrum when new manager Jerry Manuel removed him from the game. Reyes slammed his helmet to the ground in disgust and headed for the clubhouse, with Manuel following him after the top of the inning ended. I imagine Jerry gave Jose some stern words and good spanking for that infantile display. No doubt Reyes will bat .375 for the rest of the year, and we’ll look back at this incident as the turning point in Jose’s season.

Or perhaps not. But I have to come up with some kind of story, don’t I? Going into the game I was completely apathetic in regard to the outcome, and as a result the final score meant zip to my numbness. Hopefully this feeling will blow over soon; I’d have to have to start knitting or engaging in papercraft activities to fill my evenings.


I watched Luis Castillo pull up halfway down the first base line and jog the rest of the way after hitting a grounder to second base to end the eighth inning. He remained in the game. I notice these “little” things, because as a former player and coach, I know they separate winners from losers. New manager, same tough talk, same half-assed effort from the players. Go ahead and let me know that Castillo has to be easy on his bad knees. What in the world was the off-season surgery for, then? The way I see it, there’s only one speed to play this game — full speed — and if you can’t physically handle that, you shouldn’t be playing.

Santana was awful, allowing 5 runs (4 earned) on 8 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings.

On the other hand, Aaron Heilman pitched another perfect inning — this time coming in to start the frame and with the bases empty.

The Mets collected only six hits, with the only run scoring on a double play grounder by David Wright in the initial inning. They managed one walk, and were retired on 130 pitches. I guess Jerry Manuel didn’t have any magic bat speed dust for these championship-caliber hitters.

In all fairness to Manuel, the players likely were in no condition — mentally nor emotionally — to play a baseball game after this firing fiasco. Good luck to you, Jerry — you have your hands full.

Next Game

The rubber match will be played again at 10:05 pm EST (what do these Left Coast folks have against afternoon games?), with Oliver Perez pitching against Jon Garland.

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 18, 2008 at 6:09 am
    Surely you jest, Joe. You mean to tell me that getting rid of Willie WASN’T the final solution to turning the Mets around? I don’t believe it. And I think you came to your senses, too, when you give the team an excuse…er, I mean a justifiable reason…for not showing up because of the “emotional trauma” they had to endure over the previous 24 hours.

    All you had to see was the 1st inning to know things aren’t going to change. Jose Reyes gets taken out of the game for precautionary reasons and proceeds to act like a 6 year old during recess when the bell rings to go back to class. And then in the bottom of the 1st you had Delgado booting a grounder hit right to him, Damian Easley falling asleep at SS and not covering 2B on a pickoff attempt that would have had the runner nailed, and Johan Santana throwing meatball change ups over the plate to start atbats (and as keenly pointed out by Ron Darling, if a batter hasn’t seen your fastball, what are you “changing up” from?) Looks like LACK OF FOCUS was once again on the menu last night for the Mets, yet Willie Randolph has been relieved of his cooking duties. So how can it be explained that the Mets continue to go through the motions on the field when the ball and chain of the team has been dismissed?

    Wait, wait…let me provide the excuse for all you Willie haters. Jerry Manuel just hasn’t had enough time to exorcise the demons left over from Willie’s term as manager, and we should expect to see some residual aftereffects for at least a few weeks before the new administration can put the kabosh on the situation. Well, it’s either that or the Mets failed to hire Wally Backman, who was the only academic choice to replace Willie, regardless of his availability or personal baggage. And since Backman isn’t the manager, Omar and the Wilpons deserve the next round of blame fame for failing to hire him, and should most likely be fired because of that glaring mistake within the week. There – I just saved a lot of people some unneccesary strokes on the keyboard. Use your new found time wisely and EDUCATE YOURSELVES to the real situation, in which the players are the real culprits here and that continuing to breathe life into the firing squad does nothing but fuel the drama that we are so desperately trying to eradicate from our systems.

  2. David W. June 18, 2008 at 7:05 am
    I think we turned the corner last night: we had twice as many hits as errors! That’s a two to one advantage. We need a new statistic for these Mets: Doing the little things right / doing the little things right + messing up the fundamentals. Add in Castillo’s lousy baserunning and we played ,600 level baseball last night. Is that the ,600 you were talking about for making the playoffs?
  3. joe June 18, 2008 at 9:36 am
    well, now the team has to play .608 ball the rest of the way. and counting.
  4. isuzudude June 18, 2008 at 10:21 am
    more the reason to toss in the towel and trade perez, heilman, etc while they still have value and get the pieces back needed for us to compete at a high level again in 2009 and beyond. 1B, LF, and SP stand out in my mind.
  5. Micalpalyn June 18, 2008 at 1:32 pm
    I saw several things i liked GREATLY last night…santana’s pitching not one of them.

    Its hard to frame my thoughts on this but here goes. Its like the marriage has failed and the divorce is inevitable. finally it happens and the parting is over..there is a complete emotional letdown for a moment, or two or three before you can really pick up and get fired up again.

    The Mets may or may not have thrown in the towel, but definately the letdown after the dramatics was on display.

    Isuzu: trading Perez, even Del may well happen. but may have nothing to do with contending this yr. Perez and Del are FA. Heck I’d add Moises and El duke if healthy. fact is the team minus those 4 are just as capable of making a run at the WC/Nl east as with.