Mets Game 113: Loss to Padres

Padres 4 Mets 2

Pedro Martinez made a valiant effort, but the Mets’ bats couldn’t support it.

The Mets bats were shut down by Cha Seung Baek, he of the 5.03 ERA and the same man who allowed 9 runs in the 9 2/3 innings he threw in his last two starts. But hand it to the Mets to be completely baffled by a no-name, never-saw’em-before hurler.

Pedro “Real” fought his way into the seventh before yielding to Pedro “Lite”. The final line for Martinez: 6 1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 3 K, 2 ER, 2 HR, 101 pitches. Certainly, a strong enough performance to win.

Unfortunately, the Mets could manage only two runs, despite a 3-for-5 day by rookie Daniel Murphy, who was hitting in the two-hole. The first three batters in the lineup reached base six times in the game, but hitters 4 and 5 — the two Carloses — were hitless. Hard to win games when you don’t push runners home.


Despite the relative success of his outing, I do NOT like the way Pedro looks. His arm angle is way too low on release, not unlike Aaron Heilman’s problem when he’s fatigued. Before the shoulder injury, Martinez had a low three-quarter release, but his fingers stayed on top of the baseball at release. In his last two starts, his elbow has dropped below shoulder level, making it almost impossible to keep his fingers on top of the ball at release. If the fingers are at the side, then movement tends to be side-to-side. More importantly, the fingers can easily get under the ball at release, which causes the ball to be up in the zone, with no downward movement whatsoever. That explains the gopher balls. Simple physics and biomechanics — when the fingers are on top of the ball, and the release point is out in front of the head, you get downward movement. Pedro is often off to the side or under the ball, and releasing a little early / behind the head.

Eddie Kunz gave up the first homerun of his professional career, and first since his freshman year at Oregon State, at age 19, in 2005. That worries me a bit — as a reliever, one needs to be unflappable, and be able to recover from adversity. Kunz hasn’t seen much adversity in his baseball career, and WILL see it at the MLB level.

Was David Wright on drugs during this game? Or perhaps he needs some (greenies) ? Wright made a critical error in the seventh to allow the Padres to score the go-ahead run, and an inning before was blazing around the bases thinking there were two outs on a pop fly (there was one). I vaguely remember Jerry “Jenius” Manuel talking about how all of his starters would be getting regular rest under his regime. Wright was given a day off on June 24th and had two homers the next day. Since then? No rest for the weary. Not for Wright, nor Reyes (who hasn’t rested since April 13th). Carlos Beltran has had one day off — July 3rd.

Wright must have gotten a cup of joe from the “special” pot between innings, because he made a great diving stab of a liner in the eighth to rob Luis Rodriguez of a hit.

Next Game

The Mets and Padres finish the series in an early afternoon game at Shea. First pitch will be thrown at 12:10 pm, with Johan Santana scheduled to face Josh Banks.

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. murph August 6, 2008 at 11:20 pm
    Looks like Kunz is going to fit right in with this pen.
    Just kidding, Eddie, welcome to New York! I hope you stay for a long time.

    Nice job by Daniel Murphy. My wife can’t wait to buy Murphy jerseys for the whole family. Speaking of Murphy family, I am going to the game on Thursday with my dad. It will be the first Mets game I have gone to with my father since I was a kid in the 70s. I am looking forward to it.

  2. isuzudude August 7, 2008 at 5:59 am
    Have fun, murph. Hopefully Johan and company make your trip worthwhile.

    Joe: regarding the days off, that’s a good point I’ve pretty much completely forgotten about. It’s easy to get caught up in the pennant race and think that you have to throw your best horses out there every game to give yourself the best chance to win. However, I think the “days off” philosophy will come in to play this month when the Mets play something like 24 days in a row. Somewhere along the line everyone is going to need to sit at least one game out during that stretch, whether they want to or not. As for right now, the Mets have had 2 days off within the span of a week, so I would hope everyone is rested enough to see game action. However, well rested or not, I might be inclined to make Beltran ride some pine, as he has only 1 extra base hit since July 18th and 1 HR in his last 90 ABs. The way he’s swinging, the Mets might have a better chance of winning without him in the lineup. I’d say start by giving him the afternoon off today.

    And to clairify – actually the Mets have seen Baek before…in San Diego earlier this year. And the linescores are eerily similar. 1st start: 6 IP, 1 ER; 2nd start: 6.1 IP, 2 ER. Maybe the Mets should think about acquiring him just to keep him from embarassing them.

  3. sincekindergarten August 7, 2008 at 6:59 am
    I couldn’t figure out what the Carlos Squared guys were doing last night. Also, in one of the early innings, two on (Schneider was on 1st, can’t remember who was on second), I seem to remember Mr. Jose Reyes swinging at the first pitch, and popping it up for the third out. Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot!

    One of the guys in the booth–Ron Darling, I think–gave a pretty good explanation (sp?) for Eddie Kunz leaving the sinker up in the zone, and watching it go 400 or so feet. Kunz was in his first game at Shea, and he was hyped up. Overthrowing. When a sinkerballer overthrows, he leaves the sinker up in the zone . . .

  4. joe August 7, 2008 at 7:47 am
    Murph, enjoy the game!

    ‘dude, as for Baek, I don’t remember him. Are you referring to a four-game series on the West Coast that has been erased from my mind for reasons of sanity?

    SK, good point on the sinker up in the zone. The way the ‘pen has been, I imagine Kunz will be getting daily work, which should keep his sinker sinking.