Mets Game 118: Loss to Pirates

Pirates 7 Mets 5

The Mets had one in the bag, a gimme, and threw it away.

Pedro Martinez put forth an excellent effort, allowing three hits, four walks, and one run in six innings, leaving the game with a 5-1 lead.

The key part of that sentence is “leaving the game” — which is the bane of a Mets starting pitcher lately.

That’s because the bullpen once again blew it. Blame Aaron Heilman for blowing the save, but also blame the contingent of Joe Smith and Pedro Feliciano for allowing the Pirates to chip away. Smith and Pedro Lite were ineffective (to say the least), allowing three runs on two hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning. Duaner Sanchez nailed the final out of the seventh and threw a scoreless eighth, setting up the save opp for Heilman, who imploded immediately.

Heilman struck out leadoff batter Nate McClouth, but after that allowed a single, a walk, a double, a hit by pitch, and a run before giving the ball to Scott Schoeneweis. Why Schoeneweis was brought in to the game with the bases loaded is anyone’s guess, as he’s allowed about 50% of inherited runners to score. Somehow, I suppose, his lefty vs. lefty stats are supposed to overrule. Scho did manage to get a fielder’s choice from lefty Brandon Moss, but proceeded to allow a two-run single to righty Steve Pearce to untie the game.

I’d detail the Mets’ scoring summary, but what’s the point? The lineup scored five runs, which wasn’t enough today.

Notes

For everyone who hates Billy Wagner, or doesn’t think he’s such a great closer, how are you feeling about his absence right now? Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.

David Wright went 2-for-5 with 3 RBI. The other offensive star was Robinson Cancel, who also had two hits, including his first Major League homerun.

The two Carloses were a combined 2-for-8 with 2 walks, 1 run scored, and no RBI. I don’t mean to get on them, but, in a game against the worst-pitching team in the NL — and 29th overall in MLB — the middle of the order should be providing a bit more punch.

Daniel Murphy walked in a pinch-hitting appearance. Be sure to buy your Murphy Rules T-shirt today, while he’s still hot.

Next Game

The Mets travel to DC for a three-game set with the Nationals. Johan Santana will start the game for the Mets, but the real question is, who will finish? Odalis Perez begins the game for the Nats.

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. sincekindergarten August 11, 2008 at 5:18 pm
    It is a very good thing that I wasn’t near anything throwable when the Mets blew this one.

    Yo, if there’s anyone from the Mets’ FO who reads this–Why bring up the “closer of the future” in Eddie Kunz, if you’re not going to use him? Do the kid a favor and send him to either N’awlins or Binghamton, where he will actually get an effin’ chance to pitch. Or, do something novel, and use him to close!!!!!

  2. Micalpalyn August 11, 2008 at 5:58 pm
    SK: The answer is that THE VETERANS are to be held accountable. Why are Feliciano, Sho and Heilman ON the team? The only decent reeiver is Duaner and he could break for good given his workload. This was a humiliating loss on par with the Looper and Anthony Young Eras.

    Nick Evans reached 3x today, Murph is doing his share. CB was DREADFULL!!!! I’d bench him right now. He was THE rally killer today. U knew that having scored 3 with NO OUTS 3 more was a must. then again Heilman is at 2-7 with a mammoth ERA. A statement MUST be made.

  3. Micalpalyn August 11, 2008 at 6:21 pm
    Al Reyes is available, Joe borowski is still out of work(?). Jeremy Affeldt is another guy I’d do my best to get.
  4. isuzudude August 11, 2008 at 6:32 pm
    I hate to be the third body off the bridge here, but I agree. It’s time to tear this bullpen down and build it back up from scratch. Duaner got the job done today, but he’s been just as unreliable as the rest of this ragtag bunch over the past 2-3 weeks. Nobody is safe.

    Seriously, Heilman’s got to go. Demote him. Trade him. Release him. I don’t care, just get him off the 25-man roster. This dude cannot get outs consistantly to save his life. He is Guillermo Mota reincarnate…and the big knock against the Mets front office last year was that they didn’t have the balls to cut Mota because they kept praying he’d come back around. Well, it didn’t happen then, and it ain’t happening with Heilman now. I know I was one of Aaron’s biggest supporters this offseason and told everyone that the Mets would pay dearly if they shipped him off in a trade, but I was dead wrong. DEAD WRONG. And if I were you guys, I wouldn’t listen to anything I had to say anymore because of how wrong I was. Heilman is toast. I don’t care if he has nasty stuff, I don’t care if he throws 96, I don’t care that he looked filthy against the Marlins over the weekend. He is entirely too unreliable to give the ball to anymore in any situation. If he has any options left, please get him on the first plane to Louisiana and tell him he’ll be welcome back when he rediscovers his 2006 form. Otherwise, it was nice knowing you kid. Dump him or DL him and get it over with.

    Joe Smith also needs to be in AAA as of yesterday. His overall splits vs. righties look great, but recently he hasn’t been able to get even the weakest hitting righty out. His ERA since the all-star break is over 10. 10! He went through this same thing last year where he tired because of overuse and the Mets dropped him to AAA and let him rest up for the stretch run. Well, it’s time to envoke that plan again. I know the other relief options include names like Brian Stokes, Rudy Lugo, Nate Field, and Willie Collazo, but a 10 ERA is just about as bad as you can be. You really can’t get any worse. It’s high time Jerry dropped Willie’s cliffnotes and started using the young guns in big spots and let them develop a goddamn backbone instead of rotting in the bullpen. Let’s get Kunz in to close a game – hell, that’s what we drafted him for! Get Figueroa up here and let him be a 2 or 3 inning fireman like Ramiro Mendoza used to be for the Yankees. Try out a kid no one’s heard of (Ivan Maldonado, Tim McNab, Elvys Quezada, Eude Brito) and see if you strike gold. Because whatever you call up can not possibly be any worse than this crap we’re being force fed out of the bullpen now.

    It’s your move Omar. Your job is riding on it.

  5. joe August 12, 2008 at 1:04 am
    hey guys before you jump let’s step back from the situation and think about this.

    hmm …. every single game this season, the Mets use a minimum of 5 pitchers. This is also called “managing like it’s the 7th game of the World Series”. Not surprisingly, the bullpen has self-destructed 3/4 of the way through the season.

    it’s called “overuse”, “abuse”, and “stupidity”.

    but what’s done is done, and I agree it’s time to clean house and get some fresh arms in here for a while. Unfortunately, it won’t happen. Too bad there isn’t some way the entire bullpen can go on the DL until September.

    BTW, Borowski signed with Boston, Reyes is with Cleveland. There isn’t much left to choose from. Watch out for Omar making a numnut deal for the sake of making a deal — i.e., trading a warm body for Luis Ayala.

  6. Micalpalyn August 12, 2008 at 11:04 am
    The Bridge: No, its not bridge time….in fact i am REALLY optimistic. 118 games IS a requisite sample size and the data suggests this: The Mets have TWENTY blown saves!!!! Cut that in half and we are running away with the division.

    The subtle second line on that statement is OMAR HAS put together a credible offense, defense, starting rotation and bench!!! We worried about Pedro but he has been fine. Ollie has been Santana-esque, Santana has been Santana, And Pel hardly an achilles heel. With Castillo out, A-Rey and Easley have been GREAT. murph and Tatis in the OF is suffecient. Even Del has stepped up defensively.

    BULLPEN. The 16/21 streak masked the BP woes just long enuff to fool Omar into NOT making that kneejerk move at the deadline. AND RIGHTLY so. I for one am glad the festering sore is fully exposed so now surgery can be performed. Only Isuzu above has addressed correction. I was waiting on Jerry to speak up. So see Metsblog but also go here; http://www.metsminorleagueblog.com/

    As i said before, Omar i think is poised and happy with where the Mets are (given the achilles heel). I think he looks like a genius NOT do a 3 for one deal and giving away Parnall, Niese, Murph and Evans who are all contributing or about to. I mean if Murph, Evans, Parnall, Kunz were traded for Street nobody would have blinked. But Street is NOT lights out and has not been healthy. As it stands Parnall had a good debut last night. If you read Metsminorleague blog..he could be in the ML BP right now. Nieses could be in the rotation next week.

    On Kunz: I am reserved. In the minors he has had blatant control issues. As such I think Parnall needs to be considered. I’d like to see a veteran arm added. I think Cleveland would give up Al Reyes. But I would eject Heilman (AAA/trade to Cincy?), Sho (who needs a LOOGY), and send down Joe. I’d keep Feliciano (or Sho) as the LOOGy and Duaner only. Wags of course can close.