Mets Game 149: Loss to Nationals

Nationals 7 Mets 2

The only positive in this evening was the fact the Phillies had the night off.

Still, the Mets lost not only the game but another half game from their NL East Division lead.

Pedro Martinez was OK — not great, but not bad either — but it didn’t really matter since the offense was paralyzed by Nats starter and winner John Lannan. Lannan allowed only one hit and one run through seven stellar innings, striking out seven. Meantime, Pedro gave up four runs on eight hits and four walks in his six innings of work — a decent enough outing for an explosive offensive team, but certainly not what we hope to get from Pedro Martinez. His fastball occasionally hit the low 90s, but his command was inconsistent. He’s become a fifth starter on a team that needs him to be a #4.

The Mets might have had a chance in this game, but Duaner Sanchez obliterated it by serving up a three-run homer to Elijah Dukes in the seventh. After Ricardo Rincon retired the two batters he faced, Mets manager Jerry Manuel saw fit to bring in Sanchez to face the righthanded batters. Duaner responded by allowing a walk, a single, and a wild pitch before the dinger.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Mets scared up a rally sparked by a Luis Castillo (!) double and scored a run, but David Wright killed the threat by bouncing into an inning-ending double play.

Notes

Bobby Parnell finally made his Major League debut, after pulling splinters from his keister the last few weeks. Parnell faced three batters and retired them all, lighting up the radar gun with a 95-MPH heater. Al Reyes was also spotted warming up in the bullpen, but did not get into the game.

Castillo and Ryan Church were the only Mets to reach base more than once in the contest.

The Mets have lost three of their last four and five of their last nine.


Next Game

The Mets and Nats do it again at 7:10 pm in DC, with Mike Pelfrey facing Odalis Perez.

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 September 16, 2008 at 12:15 am
    So the Mets lose another one. Don’t get me wrong, if they make the playoffs, that will be great I will be very happy. But if they don’t, I will not be as disappointed as I was last year. The 2007 Mets kind of ruined it for me. I will never care about a baseball team as much ever again.

    Welcome to the Mets, Mr. Parnell.
    On TV they threw up a graphic that said: major league service: 15 days, even though it was his first big league appearance. They should have played “Money for nothing” as his entrance music. It’s not his fault, though. Orlando Hernandez & Matt Wise…now that is money for nothing.

  2. isuzudude September 16, 2008 at 6:11 am
    I agree, Murph. If the Mets fail to play into October this year, the sting will be much less painful compared to 2007. Partially because it’s hard to put your stock into a team that just a year earlier crumbled to the ground like a pile of toothpicks, but also because in 2007 the Mets were expected to win. They held the NL East lead all year and were coming off a 2006 campaign that saw them get within 1 game of the world series. But this year, they’ve had to piece together a make-shift LF, they were without their starting RF for half the season, Pedro’s been hurt, Maine’s been hurt, Wagner’s out for the year, Heilman’s been awful, the bullpen as a whole has been just as unreliable, the manager got fired…and yet here they are on Sept 16 still hanging in there by the skin of their teeth. So whereas last year it was expected to win, this year it’s just a pleasant surprise. That’s my opinion anyway. Say all you want that Johan should have put this team over the top when he was acquired, but that was considering Alou, El Duque, Wise, Wagner, Pedro, and Maine would have stayed healthy. When you lose that many players to lenghty injury, it kind of takes your “favorite” label away.

    Don’t we want to be the underdogs, anyway? Let the Phillies pass us in the standings, that’s fine. Maybe this team is better suited being the wild card and catching everyone off-guard once again.

  3. Micalpalyn September 16, 2008 at 9:48 am
    In the overall context …ditto. i’ll be happy too. but to my credit 🙂 i had a feeling that the WC would still be up for grabs….it always is. Now a hurrican of all things has helped.

    1. The Mets and phils are tied/1 gm …so are most races at this point. The LA duds are all of 4 games over .500 but have a 4 gm division lead….on a team that has Randy johnson, dan Haren, Brandon webb, steve drew, connor jackson adam dunn,…..so dont feel dejected.

    2. silver lining: The Mets are beat up- Dirty’s arm needs to be shut down, heilman’s knees are shot, Feliciano has pitched too much. Wags IS down. The BP right now is really ayala, Sho, Joe smith, Rincon and really Parnall. Of those I’d say joe is the set up man, Ayala (and stokes closing) and everybody ese is a ROOGY/LOOGY.

    Maine IS down, Pedro cant be considered OK either. our top 3 are santana, Pel and Ollie…then there is niese…of the 2 games experience.

    Jerry: the JM of the last 2 weeks needs to talk to willie.
    a- throw out the BP “philosophy” and go back to JM’s hot hand approach.

    b- “right now I need my experienced guys”….but Jerry its the Rooks that got u here. Rotate in murph and have Tatis spot in RF. Also Argennis might sport a .255 but HE got you here. also I think nick evans could warrant a spot start at 1st/3rd.

    c- Optimism. Parnall could be as I said 2 weeks ago lightning in a bottle. Paired with stokes and Rincon, we might just have enough band aids to compete down the stretch. BUT we cant sit Murph.

  4. joe September 16, 2008 at 11:20 am
    If we need to rely on Scho and Stokes as major parts of the bullpen, we may as well mail it in now. Stokes’ 7 ERA last year was not a fluke, his string of strong outings this year was. He throws a high 95-MPH fastball that is straight as an arrow and is only effective when his inconsistent breaking pitch is working. Scho is the king of clearing the bases.

    Mic, I believe JM’s philosophy IS the “hot hand”. He applies it game to game, inning to inning, and batter to batter.

    We can’t undo what was done from April to August. The bullpen is completely shot and exhausted, just like last year. Poor planning, for the second year in a row. That said I agree JM should try Parnell and Rincon and see what happens — at least they are relatively fresh.

    Todd Coffey would’ve been a decent pickup, had the Brewers not gotten to him first.

  5. Micalpalyn September 16, 2008 at 1:29 pm
    Matt/Metsblogs version………’Jerry Manuel may need to start pushing the envelope a bit more, running Jose Reyes more, using more motion, get Daniel Murphy back in the lineup, consider sitting Ryan Church, and ditch Luis Castillo, among other things.

    Because this team’s hitters have got to start scoring runs, or else the bullpen will continually be put in a position to fail’