Mets Game 18: Loss to Nationals

Nationals 8 Mets 1

So much for the sweep.

Oliver Hyde gave up 7 earned runs on 9 hits and 3 walks, including 2 HR, in just 4 1/3 innings.

Whether it mattered, though, is up for discussion, as the Mets’ bats were quieted by rookie Justin Zimmerman, who struck out 5 and walked 2 in 5 1/3, allowing just one earned run. The lone Met run came via a triple off the bat of Carlos Delgado in the first inning.

Game Notes

The Mets collected a hit in each of the first six innings, but no more than one hit in any of them. They did not get a hit after the sixth.

In the third, Carlos Beltran did not slide on a steal attempt in which he was thrown out by several feet. I hope that was because he has a leg injury, and not because he quit on the play. I’d rather have an injured Beltran than one who plays the game in a manner it was NOT meant to be played.

The only thing I can think of is that there was a hit-and-run on, or Beltran thought that such a play was on, and then became disgusted when the batter (David Wright) didn’t swing. It didn’t look like Beltran got a great jump and it appeared as though he was looking in to the plate as if it were a hit and run play.

Strangely enough, the non-slide wasn’t addressed by the SNY booth in the following inning (the caught stealing was the third out of the third inning). There was some discussion about it on WFAN, with Howie Rose sternly criticizing Beltran. I thought for sure Keith Hernandez would similarly jump all over Beltran for that.

David Wright wore the golden sombrero this afternoon, striking out three times. He has been doing a lot of swining and missing lately, and Jerry Manuel suggested that his upper body is moving forward when he swings. It looks to me like Wright is swinging too early on most pitches, doing a lot of reaching — pretty much the same issue he has every early spring. As soon as he starts waiting back and letting the ball get deep, and sending the ball to right field, he’ll be fine. My guess is he’s pressing a bit with all the talk of the Mets’ lack of production with RISP.

Funny, the SNY announcers said that Manuel “likes the way Omir Santos frames pitches”. I hate the way Santos “frames” pitches — half the time he jerks his glove so much that close strikes are called balls. In fact his method of “framing” is similar to Ramon Castro’s. That type of glove movement might work in some little leagues, but in the bigs it simply annoys the heck out of umpires, who want a good view of the pitch.

Next Mets Game

The Mets open a three-game series against the Marlins beginning at 7:10 PM on Monday night. John Maine goes against Anibal Sanchez. The first place Fish were just swept by the Phillies — they dropped the first two games in heartbreaking fashion in the late innings, then were absolutely thrashed 13-2 this afternoon. They’re either really down or really ticked.

UPDATE (6:30pm): David Lennon of Newsday is reporting that Casey Fossum has been DFA’dThanks to mic for pointing this out in the comments section. In other news, the sun will come up tomorrow and every single one of us will eventually die… And Omar will probably DFA about six more long/middle/bad relievers before the All-Star break.

Also, Ted Berg of MetsBlog is reporting that Carlos Beltran didn’t slide because he thought he heard the sound of bat on the ball. That is either the worst excuse in the world or Beltran has forgotten what it sounds like when somebody gets a hit when he is on base. Carlos – you get paid enough to hire an undergrad journalism or film student to write better excuses for you.

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. isuzudude April 26, 2009 at 4:44 pm
    Yet another fine example of why the Mets should have gone the extra $24-million and signed Derek Lowe this offseason. Perez appears to be perfectly content collecting his big paycheck and letting his on-field performance go whichever which way it pleases. After today’s start I wouldn’t be shocked in the least if he gets sent down to the minors and is replaced by Figueroa or Garcia for the indefinite future.

    It’s also the 2nd time inside a week Beltran has failed to play physical and slide into a base (recall the play at the plate in St Louis). He’ll get a pass because he catches everything in CF and is leading the league in hitting, but there’s no doubt Beltran is soft. Maybe it’s due to repressed feelings of fear stemming from his collision in 2005 with Mike Cameron, or because of what Church went through last year playing a physical style of baseball, but Beltran is no Pete Rose and is another in a long line of Met players who’d rather look pretty and get paid than risk the body and get dirty. The New York Nanceys is a nice way of putting it.

    A day after Murphy makes a terrific sliding catch in the OF, he makes another blunder today, setting the stage for Flores’ 2-run homer. It’s feast or famine with him, I guess.

    And yet another instance today of Jerry Manuel being completely incompetent as a manager. Why, oh why, is he double switching Luis Castillo, the league’s 2nd leading hitter, OUT OF THE GAME in the 5th inning??? Maybe I could understand if the Mets were down by 10 at that point and Jerry wanted to give Castillo the rest of the day off. But when he brought Fossum into the game, it was merely a 5-1 contest, not insurmountable by any standards – even for these limp-as-dead-fish Mets. I know Castillo ain’t hitting any grand slams, but still, in a 4-run game you take out the guy with the #2 average in the league? Are you joking? The majority of Jerry’s management this season has been laughable, with the few instances of brilliance overshadowed by the team’s defensive lapses and inability to hit with runners on base – two areas that Jerry was supposed to have told the team to focus more on in 2009. I’m sorry – I know it’s early and I don’t have any replacements in mind and I know it’s not all his fault – but Jerry’s gotta go. I haven’t called for his firing, despite his gaffs, before now, but enough is enough. He is standing in this team’s way with his double-talk and reluctance to accept the obvious (Murphy is not an everyday player, Church should not be platooned, Castillo is not an 8th place hitter, Sheffield is not your best pinch-hitter on the bench, Feliciano cannot pitch in 162 games per season, etc, etc, etc).

    I say as long as Jerry is the manager of this team, the Mets are no better than a .500 team. And the sad part is, I know Jerry’s not going anywhere.

  2. mic April 26, 2009 at 5:03 pm
    Today Fossum got the DFA and apparently takashi will get a call.

    Ditto on the Double-speak. He laid down the law with the pitchers….lets see where this goes. Could Ollie be playing cards with dontrelle soon?

  3. joe April 26, 2009 at 8:57 pm
    um … yes Jerry “laid down the law” but he forgot to mention that big idea to Omar Minaya.

    Manuel was talking tough for the media, not for the team. Think about it — he CAN’T LOSE by saying what he said. If he says “perform or some changes gonna come” and the pitchers do well, he looks like a genius. If they continue to crap the bed, and Minaya doesn’t allow anyone to be demoted — because they’re making $12M a year for example — then Jerry plays the part of ‘woe is me, I’m stuck with this bunch of incompetents and my hands are tied’.

    Jerry’s ultimatums remind me of that Bugs Bunny cartoon … you know: “I dare you to cross THIS line!”

  4. mic April 26, 2009 at 10:45 pm
    I for one think he is right. Add to that he owns a 2 yr token contract??

    I am an Omar fan…but lets re-consider…He could have probably spun Niese for Huston Street at the break (at least that was reported), and he declined. Yet we can all see that that one move could have clinched a division.

    Manuel has defended his guys enough especially Murph….

    On that subject where would Murh be if Willie were still here? clue….Syracuse. We used to have a certain 2Baseman who raked but had trouble picking up the ball. I still think Murph is a 3rd baseman blocked by an all-star. Given that LF really belongs to F-Mart and everyone else is just a squatter, The Muph experiment is already doomed. As a 3rd baseman Murph will help someone right now.

    On Fossum: He did not do bad. But I think Omar is just creating roster flexibility.

  5. joe April 26, 2009 at 11:59 pm
    Mic, Murphy was a TERRIBLE fielding third baseman, both in college and in the minors. Terrible.

    If Willie were here, Murphy would be in exactly the same place he was in the second half of last year, and where he is right now. Do you really think Jerry Manuel was given the choice of whether or not to play Murphy? Murphy was INSTALLED by Tony Bernazard and Omar Minaya as a response to Baseball America’s indictment that the Mets’ farm system stunk.

    It’s amazing that Willie Randolph was originally hired in part because he was “good with young players”, but when the agenda changed (Pedro and Beltran were signed), he suddenly played the veterans.

    The orders come down from the top … the guys filling out the lineup cards are puppets.

    I’m looking around MLB rosters right now and trying to find one where Dan Murphy would fit as a 3B. Not finding any … though he’s probably a better temporary option than Cody Ransom.

    As for Fossum, I agree, the move was all about flexibility. We’ll see him back before long.