Mets Game 2: Win Over Reds

Mets 9 Reds 7

This one was reminiscent of a 2008 ballgame: Mets jump ahead, Mike Pelfrey has control issues, loses the lead, gets it back, and barely gets through five, and the bullpen keeps us on the edge of our seat through the final out. If this were 2008, we’d expect the offense to go to sleep after the fifth. But this is 2009, and the offense did something that was rarely seen last year: they tacked on runs in the later innings.

Carlos Delgado gave the Mets a two-run lead with a prodigious blast in the top of the first, but Joey Votto did one better with a not-so-prodigious but more productive fly ball.

It took Pelfrey 43 pitches to get through the initial inning, an early signal that the bullpen would play a key role in the contest.

However the Mets came back with three runs in the fifth, when Delgado grounded out with the bases loaded and Carlos Beltran followed with a two-run single. Delgado added another run in the seventh, singling in David Wright. The two Carloses combined for 6 of the Mets’ 9 runs on the night.

Brian Schneider broke the game open in the seventh with a three-run double to make it easy on the bullpen, which was less than perfect.


Luis Castillo made several key defensive plays throughout the game, including a throw to home to cut down Joey Votto attempting to steal home on a pickoff attempt.

Big Pelf was falling behind with his sinker, which was running too hard and far in on the righties / away from the lefties. My guess is he was having trouble getting a good grip on the ball in the cold weather, and/or his thumb was a little too high and to the side of the ball at the release. When the thumb slides up, the ball will go flying in the opposite direction. Cold, slightly humid weather can make the ball feel slick and cause that to happen.

Bobby Parnell started off the sixth with two quick outs, then walked the next two batters. He was saved by Darnell McDonald, who showed why he spent 11 years in the minors by swinging at the first pitch (out of the strike zone) following a four-pitch walk. McDonald fell behind 0-2 and grounded out weakly to end the almost-rally. Parnell was hitting 94-95 MPH on the radar gun with his fastball, but was unable to spot the slider in the strike zone.

Pedro Feliciano and J.J. Putz gave up a run each in the 7th and 8th, which was OK since the Mets had a significant lead. However, Francisco “Don’t Call Me K-Rod” Rodriguez made things interesting in the ninth, giving up another run(wow it sure felt like he did) loading the bases with one out before retiring the side on a strikeout and a long fly ball to the warning track. Get used to this, Mets fans — Frankie was famous for these thrillers in Hollywood.

Nine walks by Mets pitchers in this game. That’s too many, for those who aren’t sure.

K-Rod threw 30 pitches; is he available to close on Thursday afternoon?

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Reds do it again in an early afternoon game tomorrow at 12:30 PM EST. Oliver Perez goes against Bronson Arroyo. Arroyo had been suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, but reportedly is OK after a cortisone shot. Too much guitar playing?

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 April 9, 2009 at 12:03 am
    “Don’t Call Me K-Rod”
  2. isuzudude April 9, 2009 at 5:57 am
    Reminiscent of 2008 indeed…all except the final outcome, of course. With the score 9-6 Mets at the conlcusion of the 7th inning, I’m thinking on my couch at home, “This one’s over. It’s a save situation and Putz and Krod are going to breeze through the final 2 innings.” At that moment, the theory of a 7-inning game hit me. Pelfrey stunk tonight, Feliciano not much better, but on the nights the Mets are able to put up a bunch of crooked numbers on the scoreboard, they are still going to win a ton of games with Putz and Krod being virtually automatic. And then the 8th and 9th innings happened and I realized how easy it is to poke holes through that theory. And if these type of outings are going to be more commonplace than sporadic, then it’s completely possible the Putz and Krod tandem will be no more effective than what Ayala and Heilman were in the 2nd half of last year.

    No doubt Pelfrey needs to have better outings if the Mets expect him to be their #2. The offense (and the opposition’s defense, for that matter – thank you Jay Bruce for tripping over your shadow in RF) isn’t going to bail him out every game. However, I think I remember some people talking about how, when a sinker-ball pitcher gets more fatigued, his pitching actually improves. Something along the lines of when he’s feeling strong, his pitches have too much movement and sink too far out of the strikezone. Could be the same reason why sinkerball pitchers like Branden Webb and Chein Ming Wang struggled in their opening starts of the year as well. I fully expect Pelfrey to get better as the season wears on.

    Good call on the pitch count with Rodriguez, Joe. JJ Putz may be in line for his first save opp this afternoon. Also, you may be right that Sean Green may appear in 100 games this year. With the likelihood of facing only 1 batter in the 7th, Jerry decides to march Green back to the mound after a 4-out performance Tuesday instead of Darren O’Day, who I presumed was the bullpen’s ROOGY this year and would have been the ideal candidate to face Ramon Hernandez in that spot. Looks like Jerry’s already determined who his class pets are going to be. Get ready for Green to fizzle out somewhere around the allstar break, I guess.

    And actually, Krod didn’t allow a run in the 9th, but it sure did seem like he was intent on blowing the game. My heart skipped several beats when Laynce Nix skied his fly ball to the warning track to end the game. But I suppose things can be worse – just look at what the Braves bulpen did yesterday. Ouch!

  3. Walnutz15 April 9, 2009 at 7:06 am
    ‘Dude…..Speaking of Jay Bruce, I’m still marveling over the fact that his ball was scored a 3-run double for Mr. Schneider; and not an error! Hope both of them send gift baskets up to the official scorer (Volquez, on the other hand…..probably wants to strangle him.)

    Random notes:

    1) Great to see the Carloses swingin’ the good-sticks….obviously, Delgado’s scud-missile was the highlight of the evening, but seeing Beltran almost take Volquez’s leg off with a line-shot back through the box was encouraging, too.

    Hopefully, we get big-time years from both of these boys. We’re gonna need ’em.

    2) I like the look of Bobby Parnell….obviously, a flame-thrower isn’t something we’ve typically featured coming out of the middle innings in past-years — but if he’s pumping it at 94-95 right now in April; I can’t wait to see what he’s doing when he really gets loose in June/July.

    3) Angel Hernandez is just an atrocious umpire….whether it’s a game vs. the Mets, the Pirates, the Dodgers, The Reds, The Peacocks………no matter. It’s shameful at points, and definitely contributed to the 9 walks that the Mets ultimately issued.

    No one had control last night — However, it’s time for him to be sent to the Retirement Home for Jackarse Umpires.

    4) I figured that Putz would have to give up a run last night, strictly going on the basis that I was on the phone with my brother when he entered the game…..coupled with him telling me he took him on his Roto-squad.

    5) As far as Frankie is concerned….in having paid MUCHO attention to his track record, leading up to his eventual signing, I think we’ll see alot of “Franco”-saves from him. Around my way, Johnny Franco was known as “The King of the Agita-Save” — and last night wasn’t much different. We’ll see how it plays out as the year progresses. At least he has some guts, as opposed to Billy Wagner…….who I’m relatively certain would’ve folded like a cheap suit in the same situation.

    6) A bunch of breaks for us last night……and that’s a good sign.

    In addition to the non-error in RF, Jay Bruce also getting caught on the fake-pick — and gunning Votto down at the plate? Wasn’t expecting that, excellent execution.

    Gonzalez’s boot at short….allowing the inning to continue, and the Mets capitalizing.

    Ramon Hernandez’s laser to RCF off Sean Green….not making it out of the yard, coupled with Chubby not being fast enough to get past a single — and them getting out of the inning unscathed after that. There’s no way they get the guy at 1st when Reyes bobbles the ball to shortstop if Hernandez has a double there….force-out isn’t an option at that point.

    There were a few balls out to RCF that looked like blasts for the Reds; yet didn’t make it out….

    And that’s baseball.

    Nice victory; especially after Pelfrey threw them a 4-spot in the 1st.

  4. Walnutz15 April 9, 2009 at 10:10 am
    Additionally, awful news out of Angel-World: