Mets Game 62: Win Over Orioles

Mets 6 Orioles 4

For once, the Mets did what they were supposed to do.

Mike Pelfrey pitched a solid game, the defense was sharp, and the offense stayed within itself and took advantage of their opponent’s miscues to come away with a legitimate, if unspectacular, victory. (And I mean no disrespect by saying “unspectacular” — this is the way this team needs to win going forward, by grinding it out.)

Pelfrey pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowed 2 runs, 5 hits, walked 3, and struck out two. The only scores off of him came on a Nick Markakis two-run homer.

The Mets collected eleven hits, but only one for extra bases, scoring four times in the fourth and twice in the sixth.

Bobby Parnell was brought in to finish out the game but he walked allowed singles to the first two batters he faced, creating a save situation for Francisco Rodriguez. K-Rod made things interesting, walking two and allowing two runners to score (both charged to Parnell), but he eventually saved the day for the seventeenth time this season.

Notes

Alex Cora stroked three singles and scored a run in five trips to the plate.

Brian Schneider belted the only extra-base hit, a double that neither drove in a run nor led to one. He did, however, drive in his sixth run of the season with a single in the fourth frame.

K-Rod threw 25 pitches, but it felt like twice that many.

Next Mets Game

Mets and Orioles go live at 7:05 PM on Wednesday night. Tim Redding faces Koji Uehara (pronounced WAY-a-hah-rah).

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. Walnutz15 June 17, 2009 at 7:16 am
    “Bobby Parnell was brought in to finish out the game but he walked the first two batters he faced” — I know you know it was actually 2 more singles given up by Mr. Fastball.

    Just sayin’….before someone else does.

    I like Parnell, but he’s going to need to start making some adjustments.

    Opposing hitters are now 32 for 101 (.317) against him — and they’re getting good wood on him, regardless of his velocity.

    Glad to see them hold-on last night…but is an extra base hit SO hard to come by these days, that seemingly no one in the lineup does it?

    No excuse NOT to take this series. Now do it.

  2. CatchDog June 17, 2009 at 8:14 am
    It was weird watching a team that actually played worse defense than the Mets. Kinda made me feel guilty when we scored and eventually won the game because of it.

    It appears that Brian Roberts has packed his season in already. Time for a change of scenery for the talented switch hitting All Star.

  3. isuzudude June 17, 2009 at 8:23 am
    That someone would have been me, ‘nutz.

    Parnell is starting to concern me. Moreover than just his overall BA against, Parnell has now gone 3 straight outings giving up at least 1 run, in June hitters are a cool .400 against him, and he’s struck out only 2 over his last 7 appearances. I don’t know if it’s a case of the league catching up to him, or him slowing down. I may be opting for the latter, as it seemed like he was maxing out at 95 last night, when it wasn’t long ago up in Boston he was touching 100. Now, 95 ain’t bad, but when you’re getting behind in the count, and the only pitch you trust to get over is the fastball, and those fastballs are as straight as an arrow, suddenly 95 looks awfully pedestrian. We’ve all witnessed Bobby throw a good slider, and I think it would do him a world of good to start throwing that earlier in counts, even if it’s just to keep the batter guessing and off-balance.

    And ‘nutz, there may be no excuse not to take the series, but rest assured the Mets will find one.

    By the way, tisk tisk on David Wright for getting caught doggin’ it TWICE on the basepaths last night – the most memorable being on Huff’s dropped pop-up in which Wright definitely should have been on 2nd if he hadn’t jogged out of the batter’s box and watched the play instead of putting his head down and just running hard. So for all the criticism FMart and Beltran justly deserve, so does this other “leader” on the Mets.

  4. gary s June 17, 2009 at 9:30 am
    dude, i’m a d wright fan, but i agree that his lack of hustle getting out of batters box is lame.of course his closest buddy on the team is delgado, so i guess he’s just following his leadership.no excuses no matter what.i don’t understand why manuel doesn’t fine and than sit these guys for a game till it stops.how could it not help but reverse these bad habits..your thoughts on a fine and bench system??
  5. Wendy June 17, 2009 at 10:14 am
    At the risk of getting blasted as an apologist, and just speaking of the dropped pop up at bat, Wright fouled several pitches off during that at bat off an already bruised up leg so he probably had a bit of a hard time getting out of the box and was probably more concerned about a possible collision. We were in Shea Stadium in Sept 06 when Wright hit a similar pop up that Nick Johnson of the Nats collided with a teammate and broke his leg, Wright was a wreck, so i think on similar plays, he must have flashbacks of something.
  6. Walnutz15 June 17, 2009 at 10:23 am
    I’ve heard it all now.

    Wright should be busting it out of the box, and not even looking at how close in proximity the fielders might be in relation to one another.

    The Met lack of focus is an epidemic that has infiltrated this clubhouse — much like the Swine Flu that dropped-by, not even a month ago.

    Hopefully, both of these “bugs” are fumigated.

    I’m not expecting Wright to think “extra base” out of the box on a pop-up — but I’m not expecting him to literally “skip” his way up the line, watching the flight of the ball, either.

    This, after getting on Pelfrey to go right at his opponents….everyone needs to take a look at themselves and decide: how is this year gonna play out.

    Right now, I find it hard to take any of them seriously in what they say or do.

    But a win’s a win.

  7. isuzudude June 17, 2009 at 10:34 am
    I don’t think fining players will do much of anything, unless you make the fine something exorbitant like $500 grand per offense. Otherwise, a fine is just a slap on the wrist to these millionaires. Benching seems like a punishment that fits the crime, but the tough part of that is now finding the offense to make up for the loss of a .350 hitter on a team that struggles for offense to begin with, during a pennant race. And even if Wright or any perpetrator gets benched, it doesn’t automatically mean they won’t dog it the next time they have the chance – i.e., they haven’t learned from their mistakes.

    I tend to believe every player, from Pujols to Pagan, dogs it from time to time. It’s just that the space in between the time-to-time is longer for some players and shorter for others. And I think, when a player inevitably dogs it, they need to be stearnly reminded not to do that. That should be all that is needed for a professional athlete to get the message. If it’s found that a certain player continues to dog it despite efforts of correction by management, that player hasn’t earned the right to be a major leaguer, in my opinion. However, in the case of the Mets, that would pretty much mean half the team would be sent to the minors or traded because dogging it has become so rampant. But, because the crime has become so widespread, I’m less inclined to incriminate the players and more inclined to place blame on management for failing to get the correct message across. If you care for an analogy, it would be like letting people get away with drunk driving because the government has no law forbidding that act. We all know it’s wrong, but if there’s no punishment for the crime, people are going to be much more inclined to try and get away with it. But then don’t blame the people if the fatality rate goes up; instead, blame the government for failing to enact the right laws to prevent it from happening.

    To me, it’s more about the message than the discipline. The atmosphere on the Mets, under Jerry, is that it’s tolerable not to give 100%, and lapses in effort and hustle are acceptable as long as the team wins the majority of the time. But what that equals is a perenial 2nd place finish and a team notorious for giving away games and lack of heart. I think instead of finding ways to punish players who don’t play 100%, the correct plan of action should be rescinding the mentality of accepting half-ass play and instilling the values of proper fundamentals. But, I’m afriad to say, under the leadership of Omar “let’s win just enough to make money” Minaya and Jerry “making excuses for the lack of hustle to save my butt” Manuel, that’s just not going to happen.

    Meantime, you can get a sense of just how clueless Wright is of his own lack of hustle by listening to his interview on MLB network last night. It can be heard at http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2009_06_16_nynmlb_balmlb_1&mode=wrap and is the last video in the highlights section. There, he talks about how he “showed leadership” by pep-talking Pelfrey, and is “setting the example” other Mets should try and follow. Well, the other example he’s setting is to not run hard on a pop fly with 2 outs, which he seems to be totally oblivious to doing. With leadership like this in place, it’s no wonder the Mets are leading the league in “shooting ourselves in the foot” losses.

  8. Wendy June 17, 2009 at 10:43 am
    dude, you’re entitled to your opinions, i knew you would blast me to the next zip code and i accept that, but i do not take back what i say at all. If Wright does not realize that he is showing lack of hustle, then someone needs to tell him, coach, manager, more established veteran (there are enough around).

    I don’t think he is intentionally setting a bad example, contrary to popular belief these days.

  9. Wendy June 17, 2009 at 10:45 am
    sorry i meant walnutz15, and yes a win is a win, we should be thankful for the positives that did come out of the game instead of blasting players for non-intentional dogging.
  10. Walnutz15 June 17, 2009 at 11:06 am
    I come from the school of: “No Excuses, Just Results” — seeing the same things, over and over again, are what we like to call “recurring issues”…regardless of whether the team wins a ballgame, or not.

    Like it or not, the Mets are pretty consistent with their bad habits: at the plate, in the field, on the basepaths…..they don’t segregate.

    Just so happens that some are more apt to turn a blind eye to them, in favor of praising a win.

    To me, seeing the same crap over and over again is unacceptable. Especially when you’re playing short-handed, and know that 1-2 runs ultimately decide a ballgame.

    Focus, hustle, make the routine plays, give it 100%….the bare-minimum.

    We don’t always see that from this team.

  11. isuzudude June 17, 2009 at 11:28 am
    A few exerpts from Wendy:
    “If Wright does not realize that he is showing lack of hustle, then someone needs to tell him, coach, manager, more established veteran.”
    Yeah, that’s pretty much my point. Players have become entirely too complacent due to management’s lack of diligence pertaining to fundamentals. Wright deserves criticism, but Wright’s far from being the only player guilty of not hustling on this team. That’s on management.

    “I don’t think he is intentionally setting a bad example, contrary to popular belief these days.”
    No one thinks Wright, or anyone on the Mets, is INTENTIONALLY trying to mess up or play half-ass. It’s all a mental thing…and management has failed to provide the team with the proper mentality to prevent all the blunders and miscues from occurring, and re-occuring, and re-occuring. Again, if this was a problem exclusive to one or two players on the team, those players should be taken care of. But if it’s the whole team exhibiting a phobia of hustling, then that tells me there’s something wrong with the person in control rather than the individual pieces.

    “We should be thankful for the positives that did come out of the game instead of blasting players for non-intentional dogging.”
    This goes back to your comment a while back about wanting to talk about more important things than bad defense when the Mets left 16 runners on base in a game. But both issues were important then, and both issues (of being thankful for the positives AND blasting players for dogging it) are important now. The lack of hustle is an epidemic on this team, so just because it didn’t cost them the game last night doesn’t mean it won’t cost them a game in the future. We all know it’s cost them games in the past, and yet they continue to obliviously dog it. That is a problem and one that needs to be discussed because it is not a good thing to have on a team, regardless if they’re winning or losing. Otherwise, you’re picking and choosing when it’s okay for the Mets not to hustle, which is exactly the reason why Jerry has gotten into hot water here before. Is that really the mentality you want this team to possess?

  12. Wendy June 17, 2009 at 11:46 am
    dude, way to throw me under the bus, thanks for that, its pointless to post anything on here, this will be the last you hear from me.
  13. gary s June 17, 2009 at 12:28 pm
    dude, spot on analysis.omar(i’ve improved the brand) minaya and jerry(gangsta) manuel have proved thet are B List gm’s and managers by tolerating the lack of hustle and effort which indeed translates to out of the playoff finishes.as a fan, i and many other posters on this blog and others continually post about the problem on this and many other blogs.till it bothers the wilpons as much as it bothers the fans, we will continue to miss the playoffs imho..
  14. Stephen Greene June 17, 2009 at 1:54 pm
    So is Joe a better manger than Jerry?
    I mean their first baseman Mark gives 100% all of the time I see him. If that was a Met runing
    he would have been left on 3rd base!
  15. isuzudude June 17, 2009 at 2:32 pm
    Wendy, instead of taking your ball and going home, why don’t you continue in the debate and try defending yourself. That’s what a blog with active participants is all about. If you just want a place to vent and whine without being questioned, may I suggest the wall in your bathroom or your dog.

    gary, you and I are in the same boat, and the more this BS goes on with the Mets the more populated our boat will become.

  16. Wendy June 17, 2009 at 3:09 pm
    dude, i am not going into my statements and defending them one by one, i am entitled to my opinion and its not about being questioned or defending myself.

    I may have jumped the gun by saying that you have heard the last from me, but it really pissed me off the way you listed the exerpts, like you were summarizing my statements as junk.

    We can agree to disagree on some issues, and that’s fine, i really don’t care if i am questioned or not so its not about me not being able to take my statements being questioned.

    This is an open and honest forum i get that, believe me.

    If i make a statement about why something did (errors) or did not happen (baserunning blunders) for whatever reason, i’m thrown under the bus for being an apologist, not true at all, just looking at the same thing from another angle and don’t need to be ridiculed.

  17. Wendy June 17, 2009 at 3:42 pm
    I obviously want the mets players to do their best, but we all have to keep in mind that this is a marathon of a season and not a sprint.

    Maybe i’m a bit too protective of Wright, but only because he is the one player i trust to play 160 games a season, regardless of pain, injury, etc.

    This is a concern, but something the average fan overlooks when everyone else is dropping like flies.

    He is stretched way too thin with leadership responsibilities now more than ever with the absences of Delgado and Reyes and last night he obviously had his hands full with Pelfrey.

    The shin guard shows that he is still nursing a bruised leg which could explain his lack of aggression and the fact that during that at bat which dropped he fouled at least three balls off that same leg, it had to be killing him.

    If he had stumbled on his way to second, busting it or not, people would have been all over him for running us out of a big inning.

    I was actually shocked when i read that he stole 2nd in the 9th, i watched 95% of the game, figures i miss that part.

    As far as his defense, he tries to do too much, and overthinks many times which can appear at times to not be thinking at all.

  18. isuzudude June 17, 2009 at 4:01 pm
    The best advice I can give to you, Wendy, is to not take criticism or disagreements personally here. Notice I didn’t call you any names nor did I dismiss or belittle any of your opinions. In fact, I actually agreed with your first quote I highlighted, so I don’t see how I’m throwing you under any bus. I’m simply putting you to task, and ask no less than to be treated the same way by everyone else. I love to debate and I love the back-and-forth discussions – just ask Mr Janish, who’s probably sick of my two cents by now. I’m not going to treat you differently, however, just because you don’t like defending yourself. But as long as you have a well-thought out opinion and use factual evidence to support all your claims, you’re not going to have any problems from me.

    I fully understand your feelings for Wright, although I’m not willing to excuse him from hustling because of who he is. However, I think you and I are closer to agreement on this issue than you think. You are deflecting blame from Wright for his lack of hustle, and I’m fine with that. Where we differ is that you think he has a bum leg, while I think he’s been getting the wrong message from management. “Hustle when you feel like it, as long as you hit for high average, pad your stats, and help us win most of the time.” Personally, I don’t think that’s good enough; especially if your goal is to win a world series and not to simply finish the season with a record over .500.

  19. Wendy June 17, 2009 at 4:17 pm
    dude, agreed. thanks for the advice- i do take things personally, and there’s no place for that on open forum blogs, but i do speak from the heart and mind and that should count for something.

    He does get mixed messages from management, no question at all, on various issues, not just hustling.

    As “captain” or “face of the franchise” you would think that his role would be more defined, but its not in my opinion.

    As far as stat padding, i disagree there, but that’s fine. I do agree that he is expected to do whatever it takes to win as many games as possible until everyone returns, mainly by driving in runs, one way or the other, but the high batting average is honestly a shocker to tell you the truth.

    I am not saying the bum leg thing(i only said bruised, not like its a hamstring or groin, but who knows with the secrets that the Mets medical staff seem to be keeping with everyone else these days has everything to do with not hustling the way we think he should, but it may be a component that is not being considered, all i’m saying.

    The first base coach is there for a reason, if he or anyone else is told to hold up for whatever reason, we have to live with that the same way we have to live with Razor Shines sending so many guys home when its obvious they don’t stand a chance of making it home safely.