Mets Game 13: Loss to Cardinals

Cardinals 6 Mets 4

Memories of 2008 refuse to fade.

Once again, the Mets scored early, then stopped scoring. Once again, they helped beat themselves with poor fundamentals and inattention to detail. Once again, a certain lefthander remains an enigma.

Oliver Perez shut out the Cardinals through four frames, then fell apart in the fifth, and the Mets never recovered.

Perez was handed a 4-0 lead thanks to RBI hits by Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, Danny Murphy, and David Wright, but gave it all back in the fifth inning, allowing four runs on four hits and two walks. Casey Fossum actually walked in the fourth run, which was charged to Perez.

Though they manhandled starter Todd Wellemeyer, the Mets didn’t collect a hit after the sixth against the St. Louis bullpen, and the score remained tied four-all until the bottom of the eighth. Brendan Ryan greeted reliever J.J. Putz with a line drive to left field that was misjudged by Danny Murphy, who fell flat on his back as the ball soared to the wall. Ryan eventually landed on third with a triple (though it probably should have been scored a three-base error), and was chased home on a double by Rick Ankiel. Ankiel took third on a fly ball by Albert Pujols and scored on a sac fly by Ryan Ludwick.

Game Notes

Carlos Beltran nearly scored the go-ahead run in the top of the 8th. Standing on second base with one out, Beltran tagged up and ran for third on a fly ball by Ramon Castro. Third baseman Joe Thurston tried to quickly catch the ball and slap the tag on Beltran, but in the process the ball flew toward the pitcher’s mound. Beltran alertly raced for home, and would have scored had he (a) slid; (b) barreled over Yadier Molina; or (c) not slowed down within the last 5-10 feet of the plate. Unfortunately, Beltran wasted a great head’s up, hustling effort by slowing down and standing up, and in a bang-bang play, Molina tagged him out as Beltran stepped on Molina’s foot instead of the plate.

Iona alum Jason Motte was credited with the win. He threw one pitch that resulted in two outs thanks to Beltran’s aggressive running.

Gary Sheffield ripped what should have been a single up the middle as a pinch-hitter in the ninth, but second baseman Brendan Ryan was positioned directly behind the bag and handled the sizzler easily.

It wasn’t a good night for Murphy, who in addition to the misplayed liner in the fateful 8th, also was picked off first by Yadier Molina and tagged out at home when he (also) failed to slide on a play at the plate.

Ankiel’s mustache is ridiculous. He reminds me of a player (pick one) from the early 80s. Jerry Martin? Mike Vail?

Next Mets Game

Mets try again at 8:15 PM in St. Louis tomorrow night. John Maine goes against Joel Pineiro. The game will be carried on TV by ESPN and also broadcast on WFAN and XM 187.

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. wohjr April 22, 2009 at 8:55 am
    I turned it off at 4-4. Somehow, I knew what was coming… New year, same problems
  2. isuzudude April 22, 2009 at 9:11 am
    “Memories of 2008 refuse to fade.” Amen, brother.

    If there’s one thing you can count on with these Mets, it’s their ability to consistently beat themselves. By all accounts, last night’s game was one they should have won. But a couple bases loaded walks here, and another Murphy blunder in LF here, and a bunch more of wasted opportunities on offense there, and you get the latest Met loss.

    How many games has Murphy’s defense in LF cost the Mets so far? At least two (last night, losing the ball in Florida…not to mention the wild throws against San Diego last week). So at this pace will he wind up costing the Mets around 15 games when the season is over thanks to his inept defense? Is having his bat in the lineup on an everyday basis really worth these defensive lapses? It’s a tough catch-22 situation because there really isn’t anywhere else on the diamond to put him, with Castillo and Delgado both swinging hot sticks as well. But this circus act in LF is getting old quick.

    By the way, Beltran deserves all the blame for going easy on Molina in the 8th and not scoring. However, even though you can’t presume anything from that point forward, I do take a little solace
    knowing that his run would have just made it a 6-5 final score instead of 6-4 (unless you want to argue that Murphy would have been removed in favor of Reed in the bottom of the 8th). But I do want to touch upon this subject: if this same set of circumstances had happened this time last year, I’m willing to bet my house that a large amount of fans would be blaming Willie for “not encouraging Beltran to slide at the plate,” “not instilling a fundamentally-sound, passion-to-succeed attitude,” and “not replacing Murphy with Reed in LF.” In other words, shifting blame from the rightful owners, the players, to the “complacent, mild-mannered” manager. Yet, fast forward to the Jerry Manuel era, and all the blame is put on the players. I just wonder why the same crap that plagued this team in the first half of 2008 is being tolerated this season without one peep of criticism for Jerry. If Willie was at fault for his team’s shortfalls last year, why does the same not apply to Jerry this year? Hypocracy, much?

  3. joe April 22, 2009 at 5:25 pm
    ‘dude, I’m with you on the blame game. Though I believe Manuel is at the tail end of his honeymoon … if the Mets finish April under .500, expect the “zen like” comments to suddenly be described as “blabbering doublespeak”.

    I know why Beltran didn’t barrel over Molina, but couldn’t figure out why he hustled his butt all the way from 2B, then slowed down just before reaching the plate. Beltran explained it for us though:

    “I didn’t realize how close I was from home plate, so that is why I didn’t slide … I was running and looking at the ball, and didn’t realize how close I was too home plate”

    Now the question is, why wasn’t he looking at home plate? Why in the world would he be looking at the ball, and if he was looking at the ball, how did he not know it was coming toward Molina’s glove?

    A mystery indeed.