Mets Game 9: Loss to the Padres

John Maine didnt have it (Photo from

John Maine didn't have it (Photo from

Hey gang – I’ll be filling in for Joe while he spends the weekend studying abroad.

The Mets dropped the first series at their new ballpark with a painful 6-5 loss to the Padres. At times, it seemed like starting pitchers Jake Peavy and John Maine were trying to see who could get fewer outs on more pitches. Each starter had an inning where they threw over 40 pitches and each went five innings before handing it over to the bullpen. It was, at times, excruciating to watch.

Turning Point: The Mets were leading 3-2 in the 3rd inning, with two on and two out and Adrian Gonzalez coming to the plate. Although Gonzalez had struck out in his only prior at-bat, Mets manager Jerry Manuel elected to walk him to face Headley. It should be noted that Headley was the only Padre in the first two innings who had a hit and he looked like he had Maine figured out from the get-go. Predictably, Headly got the hit and the Mets trailed 4-3.

Although Duaner Sanchez did his best to hand the game to the Mets in the eighth inning, it was not to be. Heath Bell closed it out for his second save of the series… The Mets have now dropped 5 of their last 7.

To get the conversation started, here are my game notes (after the jump):

  • Can someone in MLB please get Adrian Gonzalez to wear a normal hat in the field? Didn’t MLB fine Derek Bell for wearing baggy pants? Ugh…
  • SNY once again screwed up the “Due Up” graphic during tonight’s game. I’ve seen it three times already this season. Outstanding work, guys…
  • The way Jake Peavy tries to strike every hitter out at the cost of dozens of extra pitches per inning is scary. He really is doing himself a disservice – unless, of course, Jake Peavy has himself on his fantasy team. Those K’s are gold in a 5×5 league…
  • Does anyone else hold their breath every single time David Wright throws to first base?
  • Ryan Church had an excellent deek of Henry Blanco. Blanco went back and tagged up when Church had no chance of catching the fly ball… Good stuff.
  • I can’t look at Henry Blanco without thinking of Tuco in the criminally underrated TV show “Breaking Bad”
  • Brian Giles should not be batting third… Even in the Padres lineup. Dude is done…
  • The bullpen may have the worst seats in Citi Field. Talk about an obstructed view – the camera shots look like it’s behind barbed wire in Guantanemo Bay…

Comment away. And let me know if anyone is interested in an Open Thread for Friday’s game. I’m here to please.

John Fitzgerald is an independent film/TV producer. In 2007, he followed former Mets 2B Wally Backman and his minor league team for the TV show, "Playing for Peanuts." Click here for DVD ordering information NOTE: $5 from each sale goes to maintenance costs of
  1. sincekindergarten April 17, 2009 at 4:44 am
    I went to bed in the sixth. Missed Duaner’s serving up the 2-run shot to Ramon Castro.

    This team seems to have this “ennui” which is rather troubling. It’s as if they really don’t want to win these games outright. Sure, Delgado’s 3-run shot in the first got them out of the gate, but they seemed to lay down and say, “We’ve got this covered,” after that. There seems to be a lack of killer instinct there. They need to understand that they need to have that instinct the whole year.

  2. isuzudude April 17, 2009 at 8:24 am
    Ah, SK, soon you will transition from believing the team lacks killer instinct into believing the team just lacks talent and common sense, as I have. I know it’s super early in the season, but losing 2 out of 3 in NY to the Padres, who very well could end up with the worst record in the NL this season??? No team destined for greatness in the postseason loses like this.

    John Maine is essentially the right handed version of Oliver Perez. Their stuff may be different, but the results are eerily similar. One start they could be mowing hitters down like an ace, then the next start they can’t get out of the 4th inning. They show flashes of brilliance and haplessness in the same game, sometimes even in the same inning, sometimes even during the same atbat. They walk way too many, and usually the BBs come back to hurt them. They are prone to giving up the big inning, prone to needing 100 pitches to get 12 outs, and prone to making the bullpen clean up a lot of their messes. And when the season is said and done, their OPP AVG and high strikeout numbers will make you believe they have the makings of a #2 or #3 caliber starting pitcher, but in reality their inconsistency and propensity to give up too many walks and throw too many pitches make them constant injury threats and question marks on the mound.

    By the way: “Does anyone else hold their breath every single time David Wright throws to first base?” I have my hand raised. I’m also turning blue every time a pitcher throws him a down-and-away offspeed pitch, as he seems to be doing his fair share of fishing so far in 2009.

  3. NRosenberg April 17, 2009 at 8:55 am
    Citi Field Opening Night, behind the scenes, on the field, player/fan interviews VIDEO
  4. John Fitzgerald April 17, 2009 at 12:05 pm
    SK – I have to agree about the lack of killer instinct. This is exactly what happened last year – take an early lead and watch it disappear. Game 1 at CitiField was a new version of that method – coming back from 5-1 down to tie it, only to let it slip away.

    You can find the same pattern as far back as ’06 – the only difference is the National League has gotten better every year. The Mets are still one of the better teams in the league, but they rely on the opposition rolling over for them. The Padres only rolled over in the middle game of the series…

  5. John Fitzgerald April 17, 2009 at 12:09 pm
    IsuzuDude… If you think low and away is David Wright’s problem, wait until someone figures out that he can’t hit the high/inside strike.

    Wright has good power on middle/low and low/away pitches. I can’t remember him ever doing anything with a high/inside pitch, other than driving it foul or missing it altogether. If he can make that adjustment, he could be capable of Pujolsian numbers.

    Pujolsian… A new word. Haha.