Mets Game 38: Loss to Dodgers

Dodgers 3 Mets 2

A comedy of errors.

The Mets and Dodgers locked horns for 10 innings, tied up at two apiece, until Angel Pagan drove a ball deep to the outfield wall to drive home Ryan Church with the go-ahead run.

Except, Church missed third base. And everyone saw it.

The Dodgers appealed the play, Church was punched out, and the top of the 11th was over, with the game remaining tied.

In the bottom of the inning, the Dodgers quickly put runners on second and third with none out, thanks to a walk and a missed fly ball by Carlos Beltran in centerfield. The Mets then intentionally loaded the bases and brought Beltran in to play short-field. Brian Stokes induced a short flyout to left from Rafael Furcal, then got a grounder to first base from Orlando Hudson — but Jeremy Reed threw the ball way wide of Omir Santos, allowing the winning run to score.

All in all, the Mets committed five errors in the field, a few more on the basepaths, and wasted a strong effort by Tim Redding.

After a rough start, Redding settled down to pitch surprisingly well in his 2009 debut. After allowing two runs in the first frame, he didn’t allow another as he cruised through the sixth, expending 92 pitches. However, Randy Wolf hung just as tough, allowing only the Mets two runs through 7 2/3 and 96 pitches. Despite their impressive performances, neither pitcher was still around when the winning run crossed the plate.


Redding held the NL’s top-hitting team to only two hits in his six innings of work.

In the starting lineup as the leadoff hitter, Angel Pagan responded as well as one could hope, going 4-for-6 with a run scored and almost the game-winning hit.

David Wright remains unconscious. He was 2-for-3 with two doubles and two walks and a run scored.

As usual, some strange things from the Mets side. For example, Luis Castillo attempting to bunt Pagan to third base with none out in the 8th and the Mets down by one. It appeared as though it was Castillo’s idea. Whosever it was, it was a bad one. What made it worse was that Castillo popped up back to the pitcher. Pagan eventually scored, but nonetheless the out was given away.

Yet again, a Met did not slide when he should have. Ryan Church did not slide back into first on a pickoff attempt by Russell Martin, and was tagged out. Luckily for the Mets, the umpire missed it and called him safe. Still, no excuse for not sliding. Is Charlie Samuels on the players’ cases for getting their uniforms dirty?

Luis Castillo saved the game by stopping an errant throw to first by Sean Green in the bottom of the ninth, holding Juan Pierre at third base. Had Castillo not been backing up, the ball would’ve rolled into right field and Pierre would’ve scored the winning run easily. And Mets fans would’ve had another big reason to call for Green’s head on talk radio on Tuesday.

I can’t believe Fernando Tatis is 3-for-24 with RISP this year.

Reed was looking pretty good with the glove at first base, until that bad throw. Can you expect him to make a good throw in that situation, with a grand total of 16 professional innings at the position under his belt? I doubt he’s had much time to practice such a play — most likely he’s spent most of his time with footwork around the bag, fielding grounders, and digging out low throws. There are only so many hours in the day.

Church seemed to be hobbling after the non-score / missing third base in the 11th. Just what the Mets need — another injury.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Dodgers face each other again on Tuesday night at 10:10 PM EST. John Maine faces Chad Billingsley.

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. alexSVK May 19, 2009 at 3:14 am
    I guess I’m in minority here, but I really enjoyed the Mets in this game. Yes, they made (at least) 5 errors, but it was great to see that the pitchers were able to deal with it pretty well. I also counted 5 innings in which the Mets got a 2-out bases empty hit (or walk), so they were not giving in easily. Of course, the last play was just brutal. Btw, was it entirely Reed’s fault? How about Castro, was he playing it right? Personally, I would expect him to stand firmly on home plate just as first basemen do.

    Still, given all the injuries and `slumping’ Tatis, Castillo and Beltran (who are all bound to hit better than today), this was a pretty good game. As long as Reyes is healthy, the Mets should be fine.

  2. Walnutz15 May 19, 2009 at 7:12 am
    Definitely in the minority, alex.

    I also had the “pleasure” of staying up to watch that….sitting at my desk now, since 6:45am.

    I just laughed when Church missed 3rd, and had an even bigger fit of hilarity when the bottom of the inning ensued.

    You knew they were losing instantaneously when that play happened, it was just a matter of how…and how quickly.

    I would have hoped for a mercy-killing, in the form of a 1st pitch walk-off..but no, no, no….they kill ya slowly and more embarrassingly.

    What an (excrement)-show.

    This team can’t afford to lost anyone else, and yet — there’s nothing remotely pointing to the idea that these guys are going to be 100% when they do return to the lineup.

    The built-in excuses they use as crutches are already being leaned on….they’d better show up to play some ball if they wanna go anywhere this year.

    (And in saying that, I’m really deluding myself. I don’t expect anything this year..)

    I refuse to believe that a game where the Mets committed 5 physical errors, and got a game-changing call over-turned on them because they’re stupid — is a pretty good one.

    This team is the most unfundamentally sound one I’ve watched in awhile.

  3. wally May 19, 2009 at 7:43 am
    This team has no heart. And it starts in centerfield.
  4. isuzudude May 19, 2009 at 10:34 am
    Right on cue, after droves of Met fans came running to the support of Carlos Beltran, he commits one of his biggest blunders of the season, stepping in front of Angel Pagan (who was CLEARLY calling for the ball) and then missing the catch altogether, allowing the Dodgers their chance to win in the 11th. And this is prototypical Carlos Beltran. He still maintains a sparkling .367 batting average, and is still going to be a shoo-in for the all-star game, and will likely win another gold glove based on merit, but he pretty much cost the Mets the game with his brain fart. If only Steve Phillips were doing last night’s game, he would have had a field day.

    Otherwise, even after racking up 13 wins in 16 games, this is a typical Met game. Finding ways to lose. With the baserunning gaffe by Church, and the comedy of errors in the bottom of the 11th, sometimes you have to wonder if the Mets are trying to lose. I admire the fight of this club – with disabled bodies multiplying ad nauseum and players playing out of position all over the field – it’s amazing they’re lasting as long as they are in some of these games. However, I would not be surprised if they went on to go 0-5 over the remainder of this road trip. I really get the sense the bottom is about to drop out from this team.

  5. joe May 19, 2009 at 10:51 am
    I’m finding it funny listening to talkradio callers and reading bloggers and fans who are criticizing Jeremy Reed for his awful throw.

    Yeah, it was terrible. Yeah, despite the fact he has only 16 innings of experience at the position, it looked like a pretty simple, 30-foot throw. But even if he made a perfect throw, and Santos tagged him out, that’s still only two outs. And let’s not forget it was someone else’s error who put the runners on second and third in the first place.

    And as Walnutz said, once Church missed third base, it was only a matter of time before the Mets found a way to lose. If not on that error by Reed, then some other way.

  6. Walnutz15 May 19, 2009 at 11:12 am
    Joe — I know I was up late, and might have been drifting to that point….but I believe Fatty was behind the plate.

    AKA — Sloth.

  7. isuzudude May 19, 2009 at 11:22 am
    In regards to the 11th inning, Joe, I was surprised Jerry still opted to keep Beltran playing in the infield when Furcal flew out for the 1st out. Correct me if I’m wrong, but with 1 out in the inning shouldn’t the Mets be in double-play depth and have all 3 outfielders in the outfield, playing shallow to gun down a runner at home tagging on a fly ball? Keeping the infield in there means the offense has a better chance at knocking a single into the OF and scoring the winning run. Looking back, if the infield were back, Reed still could have come home and gotten the runner out on a good throw, and maybe even stepped on 1st to get a DP. In my eyes it’s yet ANOTHER example of poor managing by Jerry.

    And now it also appears he’s losing grips in the clubhouse. Giving cold shoulders to Castillo (after his failed bunt) and Church (after missing 3rd base), and then tearing Church a new one after the game to the media, is not going to make for a happy home. Now, more than any other time, I truly feel like the Mets would be a better team with ANYONE ELSE as the manager. Jerry is getting in the way too much for this team to be as good as they can be.

  8. joe May 19, 2009 at 12:09 pm
    ‘nutz – I stand corrected. Every catcher the Mets have is sloppy looking, so I mix them up. I just assumed Jerry would have put his latest golden boy out there for defensive purposes.

    ‘dude – I don’t think anyone knew what to do with Beltran in the infield. Ramon Martinez seemed to have the best idea out there. Personally I would have had all the OFs in their normal positions, but really shallow — before and after the first out. That situation is difficult to defend no matter what you try to do.

    We’ve seen inklings of Manuel’s inability to properly communicate with the players in the past, but most people weren’t paying attention. His history in Chicago speaks for itself — ask Frank Thomas. It’s no coincidence the ChiSox became a better team after Guillen took over.