Mets Game 133: Loss to Phillies

Phillies 8 Mets 7

Quick: how long does it take to overcome a seven-run deficit?

Sorry, that’s a loaded question … what I meant to ask was, how long does it take to overcome a seven-run lead when you are the Philadelphia Phillies? We already know the question doesn’t apply to the Mets, who don’t know how to score once the halfway point of the game has passed.

The Mets blew an early seven-zip lead, letting the “fightin’ Phils” chip away without response. While the Mets bats went to sleep after the fourth frame, the Phillies were just waking up.

Chris Coste delivered the game-winning blow off Scott Schoeneweis with a bases-loaded single in the 13th. Coste had entered the game in the 8th, and from that point on went 4-for-4. Unbelievable.

Notes

zippo_lighter.jpgDon’t blame the bullpen for this one. Pedro Martinez allowed five of the eight runs, and the offense did nothing after the fourth. The offense, in fact, seemed to be promoting Zippo lighters with their anemic response to the Phils’ comeback.

Interesting, isn’t it, that the Phillies’ starter went only three innings, the Mets had Aaron Heilman pitch three innings of relief, yet by the end of the game, it was clear that of the two Manuels, Charlie did a much better job of bullpen management.

Speaking of, I am SOOOO tired of the fair-weather Mets fans, radio jocks, and others who love to jump on top of Aaron Heilman’s neck when he’s lying flat on the ground. We’ll hear none of these shortsighted nincompoops talk about Aaron’s HUGE performance for three innings of relief, not to mention his fantastic finish in the top of the 13th, striking out both Chase Utley and Ryan Howard and getting a weak popup from Pat Burrell. No, we won’t hear from the Heilman-haters until he blows another game. Funny, though, how Aaron seems always to be put into situations set up for failure. We need to do some statistical research and see how many times he’s been put “on the spot” compared to other relievers — we rarely see him come in with a three-run lead, for example, yet I’d guess that 90% of his appearances are in either tie or one-run situations.

The Mets caught a tremendous break in the third inning, when Fernando Tatis’ ground ball pelted Carlos Beltran in the backside in fair territory as Beltran retreated to third base. The umpires ruled it a foul ball, which it wasn’t, and Tatis eventually delivered a three-run homer. Beltran should have been ruled out, Tatis a single, and who knows what might have happened from there.

Damion Easley — a.k.a., my favorite Met — went 4-for-5 with 3 runs and 2 RBI, and was a double short of the cycle.

Ryan Church was the only met to go 0-for-6. Everyone else in the starting lineup reached base safely at least once.

Ramon Castro left the game in the fifth with a sprained quad. This is his third leg injury this year … what the heck?

Next Game

The Mets will try to make it a harmless split by beating the Phillies on Wednesday night. Game time once again is 7:05 pm. Johan Santana goes against Kyle Kendrick. I’m liking our chances … though we may need a full nine from Johan.

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. Toushea August 27, 2008 at 2:00 am
    Am I crazy for thinking tonight’s outing by Heilman was a pretty good interview for a spot in a starting rotation? I have a feeling I’ll be laughed out of the room if I said that out loud, but I think you’d have a pretty good take on this. Completely gutsy performance, either way.
  2. isuzudude August 27, 2008 at 6:14 am
    The Mets owned a 7-6 lead heading to the bottom of the 9th, and to show how much confidence I have in the Met bullpen, I turned off the game. Not because I thought a Mets victory was all but assured, but because I knew the bullpen would blow it and I wanted to avoid the devastation. And boy do I hate being right sometimes. Ok, so the bullpen only gave up 3 runs in 7 innings, and the onus should be placed on the offense for doing absolutely nothing after the 4th, despite loading the bases in the 6th and getting 2 on with 1 out in the 8th. I don’t even want to discect this game. I’m afraid I might break my keyboard thinking about how this team loses the same way time and time again.

    I have a meaningful question, though. If the Mets bullpen is breaking down because of overusage, why the hell is the Philly bullpen shutting us down for 10 innings when they are just as overworked? Why is it that the rules of fatigue seem only to apply to the Mets cast of clowns and not to anybody else? Joe, I read the post where you broke down the NL bullpens and the Phillies were right up there in overuse with the Mets. Still, their bullpen keeps putting up zeros while the Mets bullpen can’t go 2 games without blowing a save.

    I’m not jumping off the bridge with this statement, but let’s be realistic here. With this bullpen, the Mets are not making the playoffs. And even if by some stroke of luck they did, would it really be worthwhile? I mean, come on. Can you envision Duaner Sanchez getting a key out against Alfonso Soriano? Or how about Feliciano retiring Prince Fielder? Our bullpen can’t even get Eric Bruntlett out!

    In regards to Heilman, Joe I’ll give you that he pitched very well last night despite allowing 5 baserunners and needing 60 pitches to get through 3 innings. But the guy’s got an ERA of 5.15, and anybody who knows the slightest amount about baseball can tell you that’s not good. He has 7 losses and, what?-4 or 5 blown saves. So that’s a minimum of 11 games this year he’s prevented the Mets from winning by himself, and that’s not counting all the other games he allowed the opposition to extend their lead or allowed inherited runners to score. He’s had as bad a season as Guillermo Mota had last year, and Mota was the first guy we wanted kicked off last year’s team. Heilman may always be injected into the game in spots he’s destined to fail, but he proved he can handle that responsibility with his fantastic 2006 & 2007 seasons. But 2008 is a different story, and for every nice game he has, there are 3 in which he has disappointed.

    Still excited over Luis Castillo? He’s so good he can’t even get into a 13 inning game. And the guy he’s supposed to be so much better than, Damion Easley, just had a 4 hit game with some unbelievable plays in the field. When was the last time we were able to say Castillo had a 4 hit game?

  3. RockStar78 August 27, 2008 at 7:24 am
    I’ve come to accept the fact that this is just how this team loses games, that’s all. They blow late inning leads. It’s just their style. They usually come back and win the next day anyway, so don’t look at it as a bad loss. They are used to it by now, so to them, it is normal.
  4. murph August 27, 2008 at 8:33 am
    Once again, it was a game the Phillies were playing to win, and the Mets were playing “not to lose”.

    With his blown save, Ayala is now officially a member of the Mets pen.

  5. joe August 27, 2008 at 11:21 am
    Toushea – interesting angle … with Maine out, I wonder if the Mets would finally consider putting Heilman into the rotation? But, if Jerry Manuel sticks to his philosophy of “playing the hot hand” out of the bullpen, that means Heilman is the next closer …. I think?

    Isuzudude, step away from the ledge, you’re teetering. As for why the Phillies relievers aren’t burned out and the Mets’ are, #1 I do believe the Phils’ bullpen WILL burn out in September. #2, it’s the contrasting personnel. Duaner Sanchez should NEVER have been expected to pitch in more than 45-50 games this year, and Joe Smith hit a wall last year at 45 games. Those are two key individuals being asked to do more than they likely are not physically capable of doing. I may get into this in more detail with an article.

    Also I don’t watch all the Phillies games so I don’t know for sure if they do like the Mets and have every single reliever warming up every single game.

    Rockstar – glad you are far from the ledge and seeing things clearly.

    Murph – funny one!

  6. harveybee August 27, 2008 at 12:38 pm
    key loss or not, these guys are exhausting to watch. is there another franchise in baseball that loses games in such an epic, awe-inspiring fashion?

    today will be a better day. johan is poised to prove himself further, and as a fan, this is a situation that i live for: a pennant-race sitiuation in which your ace is on the mound. and judging by what happened last night, i hope he comes out angry.

  7. Taylor August 27, 2008 at 1:26 pm
    Its not one or the other. The bullpen continues to not come through and the offense continues to fail to produce after the 4th inning. Why? I don’t know. I guess they must relax a little bit after getting a lead. Perhaps they lose their sense of urgency. That’s just a guess. It may just be noise in the random distribution of runs scored.