Mets Game 150: Loss to Nationals

Nationals 1 Mets 0

Mike Pelfrey had one bad inning, the fifth. He walked two and allowed two doubles in that frame, and gave up one run. Otherwise, he was outstanding, pitching seven innings of one-run ball, allowing seven hits, four walks, and striking out four.

Unfortunately for Big Pelf, Odalis Perez was slightly better, shutting out the Mets through 7 1/3 and allowing only four hits, walking none and striking out six. But then, he IS the Nationals “ace” and was their Opening Day starter. Sheesh.

Not much else to say about the ballgame. I think I heard Aerosmith’s “Same Old Song and Dance” playing in the background …. or was it in my head?


Fernando Tatis left the game with a shoulder separation, suffered while diving for a fly ball. I’m going out on a “limb” (pardon the pun) and guess we won’t see him again in ’08. Tough break for a guy who was delivering a wonderful comeback story. The Mets will miss his all-out hustle and team-first attitude as much as his bat.

Joel Hanrahan spent 11 pitches to strike out David Wright leading off the ninth, finishing him with a 97-MPH fastball. Wright was the only non-catcher to collect a hit — the other three Mets hits came off the bats of Brian Schneider, Ramon Castro, and Robinson Cancel.

Carlos Delgado struck out on a breaking pitch in the dirt to end the game, but didn’t run to first when the ball got away from the Nats catcher. He wouldn’t have made it, but it would have been nice to see him force the throw — you never know.

Something I haven’t touched on, and must. Mike Pelfrey has done a wonderful job of not only pitching, but developing his entire game. This time last year, he was horrendous at holding runners, fielding bunts, and hitting. Now, he’s actually very good at keeping runners close and preventing them from getting good jumps, he’s much better as a fielder, and he’s adequate at sacrifice bunts and hitting in general. Kudos to Mike for putting it all together — because those parts of the game have nothing to do with god-given talent, and everything to do with hard work and repetition.

During the top of the third inning, Gary Cohen pointed out that, like last season, Jose Reyes is slumping in September — though, “the eyes don’t show it, the numbers do.” Ron Darling piped in with the comment, “… last year there was a lot of non-hustling …” REALLY? No, Ron, really? What games were YOU watching last September? From game 1 through 162, Reyes was the one guy on the club who played all-out, all the time. The one time he didn’t “hustle” was on a ball he thought was going foul — similar to Brian Schneider’s snafu the other day. I’m really tired of this “non-hustling” label that Reyes has undeservedly been slapped with — it’s completely off base.

Jerry Manuel held a closed-door meeting prior to the game. Didn’t appear to help anything. There’s that deja vu feeling again …

The Mets have lost three in a row, can do no better than a split, and are facing the very real possibility of being swept by the worst team in the MLB. The worst team in MLB, if you didn’t read it right the first time. If the Mets can’t beat the worst team in MLB at this point of the year, I’m not sure they deserve to reach the postseason.

Next Game

Another 7:10 pm start on Wednesday. Brandon Knight goes to the mound against Shairon Martis (who?). Could be a slugfest.

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 11:49 pm
    The Mets must figure out a way to avoid the “here we go again” feeling that can paralyze a team and thus become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  2. isuzudude September 17, 2008 at 6:10 am
    I fear it’s too late, murph. Momentum is huge this time of year, and it takes a while for it to shift in opposite directions. And right now, the Mets have none and the Phillies have a ton. While the Mets are banking on Brandon Knight for a big start, and are facing the rest of the season without Tatis, Wagner, and Maine, and are watching their 3-4-5 hitters take an early vacation, the Phillies are getting MVP production from Howard, and are starting their staff on 3 days rest with incredible results, and are staging comeback wins like it’s a can o’ corn. This is way too familiar to last year’s demise to be a fluke. The Mets are chokers and the Phillies are clutch. If we haven’t learned that by now then we deserve to keep getting our hearts broken by this team. The Mets have plenty of excuses to point at for their late-season meltdown again – most namingly injuries – while the Phillies, with the exception of Jenkins and Gordon, are 100% healthy. But that still isn’t going to explain why Wright, Beltran, and Delgado suddenly can’t buy a clutch hit, or why the bullpen can’t be relied on to secure any type of lead, or why it seems like the Phillies actually give a shit about winning while the Mets appear content to let the season end on September 29th.

    All along we wondered how long this fairy tale would last. I guess we’re getting our answer 2 weeks too soon.

  3. Micalpalyn September 17, 2008 at 10:30 am
    I did something as i watched the game channel yesterday…..looked at the stats/splits. The phils are getting a line share of offense from burrel and Howard…duh. but realise they are hitting .244 and .256. utley and Rollins are around .280. the difference is pitching…possibly the leadership of Moyer who is wat we HOPED Glavine would be a 45 yr old stopper.

    Isuzu makes a great point ..the Met offense is streaky and this is not the time to get cold…That and Lidge…a guy Wags told Omar to get is THE CY young winner in the NL.

    Yes the Mets HAVE excuses…but they also have a few things on their side too…its not over, we have Murphy’s law.

  4. joe September 17, 2008 at 10:58 am
    No worries about the Mets offense. They simply ran into two really good pitchers — you have to tip your cap to them (where have I heard that one before?). Odalis Perez and John Lannan have historically been big-game pitchers, haven’t they?

    And not to worry, the Mets aren’t “flat”, they simply look that way because they’re not hitting. Oh wait, I thought … hmm … getting confused here ….