Mets Game 76: Loss to Mariners
Mariners 11 Mets 0
It was “one of those nights” for Oliver Perez. As in, Mr. Hyde showed up on the mound instead of Dr. Perez.
By the fifth inning, it was 6-zip, and the Mets offense showed no interest in working the count on knuckleballer R.A. Dickey — despite manager Jerry Manuel’s big proclamation a night earlier that the Mets would “… have a different plan of attack”.
Yeaaaaaah, riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight …. nice plan there. You’re facing a knuckleballer and can only manage two walks in seven innings.
In the bottom of the fourth, Carlos Beltran was ejected by home plate umpire Brian Runge for arguing balls and strikes. Mets manager Jerry Manuel was also tossed about two minutes before Beltran, in his failed attempt to protect his player. For the record, the pitch was a strike, and Beltran shouldn’t have argued it. However, Runge was completely in the wrong for baiting Beltran and should be reprimanded by MLB. We’ll see if that happens … don’t hold your breath.
This was the first time in three years I’ve seen any emotion from Beltran whatsoever. And contrary to what Keith Hernandez said, it was NOT the first time in three years I’ve seen a Mets manager get thrown out for protecting his player. I will be the first one to say that Willie Randolph needed to get out on the field more often — it was one of his glaring defects, in fact — but please don’t try to say that he was never out there. And also contrary to Keith, this was far from the first time in three years I’ve seen emotion exuded from the Mets as a team. Rewind to late last season, game 161, when Jose Reyes and Lastings Milledge were chided by the same Hernandez for an outburst of emotions.
In the fifth inning, Mariners third baseman Adrian Beltre threw his glove up after a line drive by Brian Schneider passed over his head. Technically, the umpire should have called a three-base error as per the MLB Rule Book. Why he didn’t, I’m not sure, because it was done in his full view and it was a complete bush league move. Had the umpire called the play properly, Schneider would have been given third base, baserunner Fernando Tatis would have scored, and Endy Chavez’s ground ball would have scored Schneider and made the score 6-2. Such a call would also likely have prevented Beltre from pulling such a classless move ever again.
Luis Castillo batted righthanded against knuckleballing righthander R.A. Dickey. As a result, he hit much harder outs than he would have from the left side. I think he feared not having enough strength to get the ball past the infield grass with 68-MPH flutterballs coming his way.
Brian Schneider and Fernando Tatis had three hits apiece in pulling up the bottom of the order. Marlon Anderson went 2-for-3 after taking over for the ejected Beltran. No one else hit safely.
All night, even after falling behind 5-0 (then 6-0, and 10-0), Mets batters were swinging at first pitches and swinging on 1-0 and 2-0 counts with nobody on base — against a knuckleball pitcher!!!!!!!!!!! Looks to me like it doesn’t matter what Manuel has to say on camera — it’s the same old, same old.
The answer Aflac Trivia question — who is the only former Mariner in the Hall of Fame — was Gaylord Perry (yes, I knew it within three seconds after the question was posed). Just for giggles, let me point out that in 1973, at age 34, Perry started 41 games (they had 4-man rotations back then), completed 29 of them, and tossed a total of 344 innings. Now THAT was an “innings eater”. And that was no fluke — he threw 342 frames the season before, and 322 the year after. In fact, as a 39-year-old in 1978, he logged 261 innings. And by the way, Perry never had arm problems. But hey, I completely agree with the modern idea to “protect” pitchers by limiting their pitch counts and innings. (NOT!) This has nothing to do with the Mets, but thought I’d throw it out there to chew on.
In the top of the ninth, Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez had a long conversation about their dogs. My wife quipped, “this is much more interesting than watching the Mets stink up the field”. I seconded the motion.
I have to take issue with Ron Darling’s postgame criticism of Luis Castillo taking pitches in the third inning. It was correct in that Castillo should have been more aggressive with two outs and a man on third. However, Darling should have done a better job of explaining the times it makes sense to do what Castillo did, and times it doesn’t. From his synopsis, you would think that the Mets need to be more aggressive at the plate — and that is certainly, positively NOT the case.
Oh, did we mention that the Mariners have the worst record in baseball? That they are second to last in runs scored? That they are 27th in ERA?
The Mets will do their damnedest to avoid a sweep against the Mariners in another 7:10 pm start. John Maine is slated to go against Miguel Batista. I’ll be sitting in SNY’s suite for the game, so if the Mets dog another one I should have access to plenty of painkillers in the mini-bar.