Mets Game 141: Loss to Phillies

Phillies 3 Mets 0

Fred Willard as Mike LaFontaine of Wha Happened?
Wha’ happened?

If it was going to be a 3-0 outcome, it should have been the Mets on the winning end, no? After all, the Phillies bats were ice cold, and hitting in pitcher-friendly Shea Stadium, and the Mets with their scrappy offense and Mike Pelfrey on the mound were poised to win a low-run ballgame. Right?

Somehow, though, neither the Phillies nor the Mets followed the script, and the Sheasters wound up on the wrong end — despite another fantastic performance by Pelfrey, who spun seven stellar innings of four-hit ball, allowing only two earned runs. Unfortunately, one run was all the Phils needed, because the Mets could muster only three hits (two of which were doubles by Daniel Murphy) off starter and winner Brett Myers. The Mets fanned ten times in the process, and were no more effective against closer Brad Lidge — though they made it interesting by putting runners on the corners before the final out was made.


Other than Big Pelf, Murphy was the only bright spot on a dismal night, going 2-for-4. Strangely enough, the Mets managed four doubles but only one single the entire night — and that didn’t come until the ninth against Lidge.

Brian Stokes pitched another impressive, and perfect, inning of relief.

Ricardo Rincon finally threw his first pitch as a Met, and in fact fulfilled his purpose on the planet as a LOOGY (though, I guess technically it would be LTOGY, though it doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as nicely) by retiring both Chase Utley and Ryan Howard. I thought Rincon deserved a spot on the 25-man roster out of spring training …. well, better late than never.

Next Game

Wily old craftsmen Pedro Martinez and Jamie Moyer go head to head on Saturday at 3:55 pm (FOX game, darn), though this angry, blustery chick named Hannah might intervene.

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 September 6, 2008 at 7:41 am
    This is a loss where you just gotta tip your hat to Myers and the Phillies. They pressed the issue in the first and manufactured a run with Victorino’s speed (no thanks to Reyes for not attempting to stop the ball from going into CF), and then used Brett Myers’ incredible curveball (along with a pretty generous strikezone for most of the night) to shut us down. I don’t even think the ’86 Mets would have mustered much against Myers last night – he was just too damn good. Really though, the Mets were one throwing error and one spectacular catch from Ryan Church away from sending the game into a 0-0 extra inning tie.

    And what a game from Luis Castillo! Wow, I can really see why he needs to be retained during the offseason. That 0-for-3, 3 K performance was exactly what the Mets needed. CASTILLO IS A BUM!!!!!!!!!! HELLO!!!!! He looks like he’s deathly afraid to swing the bat, praying to work out a walk every time he’s up. And then when he swings, oh it’s a ground ball to third base everytime because all he can do from the left side of the plate is slap the ball down the line. Granted, Jerry batting Castillo 7th makes absolutely no sense in the world, but don’t expect to hear any of his media adorers to point that out. Still, Joe, your argument for wanting to keep Castillo around in 2009 gets shakier and shakier every game. Especially when Dan Murphy continues to look like the real deal.

    It’s looking like today’s game will be rained-out (which is good for me because I have a prior obligation and can’t watch it). So it looks like a DH on Sunday. I wonder which team that favors?

  2. joe September 6, 2008 at 5:17 pm
    Well Jose Reyes went 0-for-4, which is one worse than Luis, so maybe we need to dump him, too. LOL

    Actually, this was the first game where Luis didn’t look so great, so not sure about the “shakier and shakier” thing. And as much as I like Dan Murphy, we don’t know at this point if a) he’ll be able to handle 2B or b) he’ll keep hitting like Wade Boggs. I hope he does both, but there are no guarantees.

    But hey, if you can find some other team idiotic enough to take Castillo and his ridiculous contract off the Mets hands, be my guest. I have no special love for him, but simply accept him for what he is at this point, and what the alternatives are.

  3. isuzudude September 7, 2008 at 7:40 am
    Joe, I’m really not sure how close attention you’ve been paying to Castillo since he returned from the DL. In 24 ABs, he’s hitting .208 (that’s 5-for-24) with no extra base hits and only 2 walks. And the real deal breaker for me is that he’s struck out 8 times! This is a guy who’s not supposed to strike out 8 times over the course of a month, let alone a week and a half. I know you’ll tell me that he’s trying to find his “groove” again after being out for so long, and that it’s nearly impossible to establish a good rhythm at the plate when Jerry keeps moving him around in the batting order. But let’s face it, Castillo had a lengthy rehab stint that actually expired because he was on it for so long, so he should have worked the rust off then. And he was still no better than a .260 hitter when he was “healthy” earlier in the season…but healthy for Castillo is healthy for an 80-year old. Everything hurts all the time and he’s limited in all his abilities.

    My argument is that the Mets can do so much better at 2B than this bum over the next 3 years. I only imagine his skills are going to keep regressing as father time takes his toll, so all I suggest is that the Mets at least try to find someone who can take Castillo off our hands and let someone who has a future play the position. To me, that’s a much better approach than just giving up on trying to deal him because of his contract or because you don’t see any better options. Murphy doesn’t have to continue to hit like Wade Boggs to be the better option. He’s going to be making next to nothing for the duration of Castillo’s contract, so why not work out something where the Mets pay another team to take Castillo off our hands, and let Murphy pretty much play for free. No one thought Murphy could handle LF, having never played that position before being called up, but I don’t think he’s embarassed himself. I know LF is no 2B, but it suggests the kid is open to change and able to handle new tasks.

    You say to “accept Castillo for what he is.” And what he is AT THIS STAGE OF HIS CAREER is a .260 hitter with diminshing bat speed, running ability and defensive range, who can’t hit for power and can’t stay healthy for more than 100 games a season. And if you take away his ability to play everyday, it appears as if you snap his rhythm at the plate and his focus on the game. His OBP may still hover around .340-.350, but at what cost? How many double plays will he hit into because of his suseptibility to hit ground balls? How many balls will he fail to get to in the field because of his gimpy legs? How many games will we be forced to play AAA-caliber players at 2B because Castillo is constantly on the DL? Castillo can certainly be dealt in the right deal, and I’d much prefer to see the Mets pay some other team to let him play out his contract, than keep him at 2B in NY while keeping young kids who over new hope and a fresh attitude on the sidelines. You have to at least try to trade him. To ignore the obvious problems he presents is awful.

  4. joe September 7, 2008 at 11:00 am
    First, the issue of Castillo at the plate. You’re exactly right in guessing at my explanation — he needs to find his groove and needs to get in to the lineup regularly to find it. A minor-league stint doesn’t always help with that, because kids in A-ball don’t throw like men in MLB. Did you notice that Ryan Church needed some time to get going? When Luis started back-to-back days, he went 4-for-9.

    He’s still hurt — his hip is not 100%. You may be right, he may be another El Duque / Moises Alou and never be healthy again. But I’m not arguing with you about the next three years, just this September-October and next spring. He’ll have zero value this winter, so it’s better to see if he can come back healthy in February and March. The Mets will give Murphy every chance to take the job from him, and if/when he does, then you dump Castillo — his value can’t get much lower, and has a chance to increase if he proves to be healthy.

  5. Micalpalyn September 7, 2008 at 12:35 pm
    Isuzu: Great arguement!!!
    1. game 143: I thought the mets blew it. murphy’s 1st inning double was followed by a BB to DW only for Del to hit into the DP. Bottomline missed execution. b)then CB hits a 2-bagger to lead off the 2nd again missed opp.

    2. castillo: I agree on both BUT with other expiring contracts i think Omar can be creative. PLUS A-Rey and easley are just fine so why mess with the chemistry. I think CPT hook, (JM) will dump castillo to the bench by end of week if he cant get it together. Another point…the 2B tng of Murphy basically sends the message anyway that Castillo is not viewed as a long term fixture.