Mets Game 22: Win Over Phillies

Mets 7 Phillies 4

If the Mets didn’t pulverize Chan Ho Park and take this game, I would have posted the panic button.

The Mets started pounding Park in the first frame, and kept on pounding.

It began with a Danny Murphy two-run homer, and continued with another two scores in the second, another in the third, and another pair in the fifth. Three of those five runs came on sacrifice flies, and two of them were driven in by Mike Pelfrey, of all people.

Pelfrey protected his big lead well enough on the mound, allowing 7 hits, 4 walks, and 3 runs in 5 1/3, striking out none and throwing 104 pitches.

This was a game the Mets HAD to have, and they got it.

Game Notes

Joe Torre really must be a genius, because he squeezed remarkable efficiency out of Park last year in a long relief role.

When Mike Pelfrey is hitting you, you know it’s time to hang them up. Even when Pelfrey made outs against Park, they were hard-hit balls. Yikes, Chan-Ho.

Big Pelf was slightly disappointing in that he nearly allowed the Phillies to get back in the game, big lead and all. With a five-run lead in the third, he walked two batters and threw the ball away on an attempted pickoff at first. Dude, when you’re up five, forget the runner at first, and throw that four-seamer over the plate!

Pelfrey’s inefficiency in the third and subsequent innings unnecessarily ran up his pitch count. He was up to 95 after five frames.

The Met escaped disaster in the sixth, when with one out and runners on first and second, Jose Reyes fielded a ground ball and threw the ball away trying to force Chris Coste at third base. Coste could have scored, but held up, and the following runner Greg Dobbs kept going to third. Coste had no recourse but to race for home and was thrown out easily. Had that baserunning snafu not occurred, it might have been a long sixth.

Keith Hernandez analyzed David Wright’s slump, and was so darn close to identifying Wright’s problem but just fell short. As Keith mentioned, it does have to do with Wright’s over-rotation as the pitch is coming in. But the problem is not that he’s too slow to bring them back around. Rather, it is simple physics: “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”. In other words, when you over-rotate one way, you’ll over-rotate the other way as a natural progression. Wright is not too slow, he is too quick … well, at least, his hips are too quick to open. It’s actually the same exact issue that John Maine (and often, Ollie Perez) struggles with on the mound.

“But why should I listen to you and not Keith Hernandez? You’re a dumb blogger and Keith was a career .300 hitter and borderline Hall of Famer!”

It’s not my theory, it’s a law laid down by Sir Isaac Newton, who is in the Hall of Fame of the human race.

Over-rotation or not, Wright had two hits on the day, as did Fernando Tatis.

In his first at-bat since June 13, 2006, Pedro Feliciano drew a 4-pitch walk. Not one of the pitches was even close. Charlie Manuel must have gone through four rolls of Rolaids.

Feliciano threw 18 pitches in his 1 2/3 inning stint. Frankie Rodriguez threw 24 en route to his fifth save.

Rodriguez is on pace to save 29 games in the month of May.

Next Mets Game

Mets and Phillies go at it again at 3:40 PM. Oliver Perez goes against Jamie Moyer. The game will be shown on FOX. Yee ha. Let’s hope the mute button still works.

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. John Fitzgerald May 1, 2009 at 10:49 pm
    Big win tonight. Gotta load up on the weak NL East pitching.

    Re: Wright’s slump. You’re missing the disease and focusing on the symptom. It’s very simple. His bat is way too long and it is magnifying all of his problems (long swing, over-rotation, taking his head off the ball. It looks to my eye like he’s using a 35 inch bat (possible 36, but that would be insane). He needs to shorten up an inch. If it’s 35, move to a 34. It will force a shortening of his swing and he’ll be driving the ball the other way in no time.

  2. sincekindergarten May 2, 2009 at 4:13 am
    Well, Chan-Ho Parking Lot sorta lived up to his nickname. And if Big Pelf had been a tad quicker on the ball that he drove to the left-center field wall, . . . how nig of a blow would that have been? As it was, driving Ibanez to the wall was enough, as it was a sac fly. And Big Pelf’s single a couple of innings later was nice. Now the heat’s on John Maine–who actually does have a home run in his Mets career–to not be shown up by Big Pelf at the plate.

    The heat’s also on Ollie, but for a different reason. Ollie will respond as Dr. Ollie Jeckyl, and limit the Phillthies to one run over seven IP. The pen will hold it.

  3. sincekindergarten May 2, 2009 at 4:15 am
    Whoa–the third line should read, ” . . . how big a blow would that have been,” not what it reads.
  4. CatchDog May 2, 2009 at 6:15 am
    29 saves this month huh? That’s classic!

    If Reyes and Church would just start hitting, the Mets would have put 15 on the board. Jerry has to find a way to keep Tatis in the lineup. With Moyer on the hill tonight, it’s a no brainer. Keep that stick in there.

  5. sincekindergarten May 2, 2009 at 8:02 am
    I think that Tatis plays 1B again, and Gary Sheffield shows up in RF. He should be able to catch up to Moyer’s early-Reagan-era fastball.
  6. isuzudude May 2, 2009 at 10:29 am
    I’m not surprised of Chan-Ho’s poor start with the Phillies. In fact, I strongly criticized their move to sign him as a free agent this winter, and LOL’ed when they opted to give him the 5th spot in the rotoation over Happ, Kendrick, and Carrasco. Park is a pronounced fly-ball pitcher, which is great if he plays his home games in LA or SD, but not Philly. This was evidenced as early as last year, in which he had a 2.18 ERA, .234 opp avg, and struck out over a batter per inning at home, but was 4.50/.289/.66 strikeouts per inning on the road. His career numbers also suggest he is only good as a member of the Dodgers (84-58, 3.77 ERA as a Dodger; 33-35, 5.74 ERA with everyone else). I thought and still think his signing by the Phillies was one of the worst of the offseason, and I’m glad he’s not proving me wrong.

    Is it me, or does it look like the Mets play looser and easier on the road than at home? It looks like when you take the pressure of trying to satisfy the fans off this team, they finally play up to potential. I think instead of having the CHARGE music and chant at Citi they should play some ocean waves and print the word RELAX on the scoreboard. Maybe that’ll help.

    I liked seeing Beltran finally slide into a base last night. He’d probably be out at home otherwise. Nice to see Murphy get through a game without embarrasing himself, and nice to see the backups (Tatis & Cora) continue to pace the offense. If I were to nitpick, I think I would have left Pelf in to face Rollins and Victorino in the 6th. Because in hindsight, Jerry’s move to bring in Feliciano forced Pedro into an 1.2 inning stint, which makes his effectiveness in today’s game questionable. I also agree with CatchDog – Tatis should remain in today’s starting lineup, whether in RF, LF, 1B, or 2B. Find him a spot cuz he’s hot (and is 4-for-8 with a HR careerwise vs. Moyer, and 9-for-17 [.529] careerwise at CBP w/2HR).

  7. The Mets’ Edge : Mets Today May 2, 2009 at 11:47 am
    […] Minaya says no. Then he says yes. Jerry Manuel said yes, but that was immediately after beating Chan Ho Park. Would they still have an “edge” if a healthy Cole Hamels was on the mound […]