Mets Game 75: Loss to Brewers

Brewers 10 Mets 6

What’s that about self-fulfilling prophecy?

The Mets continue to play down to their manager’s (lackluster) expectations, this time getting pummeled by a Brewers team that on paper isn’t really THAT dominating.

The Brew Crew — or was it the ghosts of Harvey’s Wallbangers? — pounded out 19 hits and 10 runs in completely demolishing the Mets. The scary thing is, the Brewers were only a single or two away from another 3-4 runs, but the Mets wiggled their way out of a few tight situations.

Fernandomania is over — for the moment at least — as Mr. Nieve was pulled from the game with one out in the fourth inning after surrendering 11 hits and 3 runs. But at least the Mets were still in the game at the time of his exit. The bullpen went on to allow seven scores over the next five and two-thirds.


J.J. Hardy’s batting average coming into this contest: .220. Against the Mets on this night: 1.000. Feeling among Mets fans: priceless.

The Mets mounted a mini-rally in the top of the ninth, scoring three runs against Carlos Villanueva, who was throwing 89-MPH meatballs over the middle of the plate. Trevor Hoffman came in and threw one pitch to induce a double play from Brian Schneider to end the game.

Bright spots: Ryan Church was 4-for-5. Gary Sheffield had three hits, including his tenth homer of the year, which was a monstrous mash to dead center in the top of the ninth.

Father-in-law’s quote of the night:

I can’t even watch this … this is like … TORTURE. It’s painful, it’s really painful. This is the last Mets game I’m watching with you, I’m sorry.

In the sixth inning, Fernando Martinez hit a two-out, mile-high infield popup that was dropped by third baseman Casey McGehee. Ryan Church, who had been on first base, raced all the way to third, but F-Mart only made it to first base. Now, we don’t know for sure whether Martinez busted it out of the box, or watched his popup initially, because Bill “Wizard” Webb didn’t have any camera angles that showed Martinez on the play. The one somewhat telling camera shot showed an overview of the middle of the diamond, with Church about 25 feet from third and no one within 50 feet of second base. Considering how high the ball was hit, and how fast Martinez is, it’s hard to believe F-Mart couldn’t make it to second. Now, please don’t misconstrue — I don’t “have it out” for the youngster. Rather, I condemn the organization’s philosophy in regard to effort and their refusal to properly discipline young players for not hustling. Also, not hearing a peep out of the SNY booth in regard to F-Mart’s effort (or non-effort?) on that play was glaring.

As it was, Brian Schneider hit a booming double to score both runners moments later, so the situation was buried immediately. But it doesn’t erase what may or may not have occurred. And for all the people who continue to say “he already learned his lesson”, I don’t doubt it — I only wonder if what F-Mart “learned” has actually been applied.

And again, I’m not looking to taint F-Mart’s character. The kid DOES hustle — most of the time. Unfortunately, no one has taught him that hustling is not something you make a decision to do depending on the situation (which by the way is something Jose Reyes was never taught, either) — it’s simply something you ALWAYS do. Ask Mark Teixeira.

Next Mets Game

Mets and Brewers do it again on Tuesday night at 8:05 PM. Johan Santana faces Mike Burns.

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. murph June 30, 2009 at 12:03 am
    Some random thoughts:

    It was good to see the Mets mount a late rally, with 5 straight hits. Don’t give up, fellas!

    The radio announcer today (Howie Rose maybe?) made a good point: Who is teaching the young Mets about “baseball smarts”?

    I know it’s still June, but at what point do the Mets decide either:
    1 – we have what it takes to make the playoffs this year, and we are going to add players to put us over the top, or
    2 – we will be sellers at this year’s trading deadline, and try to pick up young talent for the future.
    How close do they have to be at the trading deadline to “go for it” vs. “build for the future”?

  2. nwaldrop June 30, 2009 at 8:33 am
    I think this team can go in two directions at this point.
    They can exceed expectations or fulfill expectations.
    Last year around this time (Late June to late August) was some of the most exciting baseball I had ever seen. This time last June was when Delgado had his 9 RBI game against the Yankees. The Bullpen was a mess. But guys like Tatis and Murphy were stepping up and Delgado and Beltran and Wright were having monster hits. It was great, great baseball.
    This past week, I’m seeing Washington Nationals baseball from the Mets. I live in VA so all we get on basic cable is Nationals and Orioles. I can’t watch the Orioles because Gary Thorne is the announcer and he puts me to sleep. In 2007 I had no access to any baseball besides basic cable so I watched a lot of Nationals games and I’m seeing some of the same things from the Mets that I saw from the Nationals.
    Jerry Manuel expects the team to lose going in. I expect the team to lose going in. It doesn’t matter who’s pitching it doesn’t matter who the opposing pitcher is- the Mets will lose.
    This is the attitude I’m seeing from Jerry Manuel.
    I saw it when K-Rod walked Mariano Rivera. I saw it when Tim Redding got a STANDING OVATION from Mets fans for 4 ER in 7 innings. This is the same behavior that Nationals fans indulge in. \Our starting pitcher only gave up 4 runs. He’s great.\
    This is the lowered expectations that Jerry Manuel has put into the minds of Mets fans and I think it’s a shame.
  3. isuzudude June 30, 2009 at 9:33 am
    You are dead right, ‘drop. Here I thought it was going to be Gary Sheffield’s cantakerous attitude that would spoil the atmosphere in the Mets’ clubhouse, but it turns out to be the manager as the wolf in sheep’s clothing. I understood and lamented with Jerry when he said that he simply wanted the team to ‘tread water’ and ‘play .500 baseball’ when the troops came back from the DL, which should have put the Mets in some sort of position to make a late season playoff push. However, I do question if that’s the something the manager of the team should be saying out loud. Nonetheless, the Mets have been playing far worse than a .500 team over the past few weeks (they are 9-17 in June, have won only one series, and have been swept twice) and Jerry seems to be undermining the team’s success – with his zany lineups, questionable pinch hitting decisions, and rampant overuse of the bullpen – so that he can use the excuse that the talent of the team blows and that blame for the bad record should go to Omar and not himself.

    I want Jerry fired immediately. I don’t care if Carrot Top replaces him, I want Jerry gone. I can no longer stand his attitude, his horrible managerial skills, his non-chalant media blurbs, his biased attraction towards certain players on the team, or his twisted reasoning for doing the things he does. The Mets had the talent and were in position to make the playoffs last year but it was Jerry who blatantly overused and overexposed the bullpen, and never gave a day off to any of the tiring core players down the stretch, which wound up costing us the season. And this year, all he wants to do his draw attention to his plight rather than concetrate on making the team he’s been given as good as they can be. FIRE JERRY NOW!

    Murph: to give my 2 cents on your thoughts, I don’t think the Mets should be buyers or sellers at the deadline. If the Mets are still within 8 or 9 games of a playoff spot on July 31st, it’s still going to be too early for me to decide whether to throw in the towel or go for it. And that’s mostly because Delgado, Putz, Wagner, and maybe even Maine, Reyes and Beltran may not be back until August or September. The Mets very well could go on a run when those players come back, so if they sell at the deadline they would have done themselves a diservice. However, a few of those players may never come back, or may come back a shell of their former selves, so to be a buyer at the deadline simply meant acquiring more overpriced veteran rentals for inexpensive prospects just to finish 5 games out of a playoff spot. So if I’m Omar, I do nothing, unless it’s a deal to obtain a solid player for next to nothing (I like Willie Harris in Washington, and think he can be had fairly cheap), or a trade in which the future is strongly considered. That’s far from the popular answer, but that’s what I would do.

  4. gary s June 30, 2009 at 10:10 am
    dude, for jerry to be gone, omar would have to take some blame in giving him a contract and possibly jeopardizing his own position with the wilpons.i doubt it will happen unless they go oh for the roadtrip in which case jerry and omar should be fired.i think he stinks as a manager also but who would the wilpons hire who’s any better at this juncture of the season??give us your top 2 choices to hire.if u don’t have a guy or 2 to hire u are as guilty of speculation as everyone else u accuse of on this blog.
  5. nwaldrop June 30, 2009 at 10:21 am
    Make Alex Cora a player/manager. Seriously, why not? I think that would at least light a fire and cause some kind of excitement during what looks to be a long slog to mediocrity.
    But everyone will say Bobby V. or Wally Backman. Whether a manager can do anything with the team at this point is debatable but it will be something at least for the fans to show that someone cares about what’s happening to this team because it looks right now that no one cares. But the Wilpons play it too safe and Jerry is too sly with the media for any kind of pressure to build for his firing like what happened with Willie Randolph. Everyone has drank the Kool Aid that Jerry Manuel is serving: “nothing can be done. This team is a victim of fate. Don’t blame me.”
  6. Stephen Greene June 30, 2009 at 10:43 am
    With Carlos now gone for the year maybe its time
    to get rid of the whole Mets staff from Omar, Tony
    and Jerry. They had their best chance in 2006 and choked the last 2 years.

    How about Gary Carter or Wally Backman?
    At least players will learn how to play the game!

  7. joejanish June 30, 2009 at 10:56 am
    I don’t know that Omar gets blamed for the Manuel extension/hiring … after all, that was more a media-driven decision, and we know the Wilpons are more concerned with what people think (toward the end of increasing revenues) than what’s right.

    I second the motion of Backman and Carter, but it’ll never happen — not as long as Tony Bernazard has Jeff Wilpon’s ear. That said, the next candidates are Joey Cora (Alex’s brother and Tony B’s best bud) and Manny Acta, when and if the Nats ever fire him. (Note: neither of these men would be my choice.)

  8. Stephen Greene June 30, 2009 at 11:05 am
    Is not Tony Bernazard in charge of player developement?
    If so it is clear they do not know how to play the game. They all need to go. Make Bobby
    Valetine GM and either Gary Carter or Walley Backman manger.
  9. isuzudude June 30, 2009 at 12:03 pm
    Oh gary, how desperate you are to make me look the fool. I’m a Met fan – isn’t that enough evidence you need right there to get an idea about what type of IQ I possess?

    Seriously, I don’t scold or belittle anyone for speculating here, because speculating is what a blog is all about. Speculation creates issues to discuss, and that’s what I like. So speculate away, I don’t care. Just be sure to have some proof and solid facts when backing up your speculation.

    I spent some time yesterday, conveniently so, researching who the Mets could name as their next manager. For the duration of 2009, I really don’t care who takes over. As long as Jerry is gone I’ll feel better. Anyway, any long term solution is not currently available in the middle of a season, nor wants to take over this team so savagely raped by injuries. Also, a lot depends on who WANTS to be the manager of the Mets, not who I want. I could named 5 potential Jerry replacements, but all could turn the job down. I really have no idea who would accept the job. But if I were Omar, I’d definitely start with Bobby V. Gary Carter is an interesting choice. Bob Brenly had some great years with Arizona and is available. Bottom line is I want someone who stresses fundamentals and a NL-style of play that will benefit the team playing in the cavernous CitiField. I want to out-think, out-manaveur, out-hustle, and out-manufacture my opponents, and Jerry Manuel’s AL-style, laugh off a loss, play hunches until the cows come home ways get exposed and exploited in the NL.

    Omar is not perfect, but I’m confident that he’s a savvy and analytical GM who takes calculated chances and truly has the team’s best interests in mind when making any transaction. His teams, despite breaking our balls since 2006, have consistantly been only a player away from making the postseason or getting to the world series, and much of that can be blamed on bad luck and injuries. Nonetheless, his flaw is one that every other GM whose team didn’t make the playoffs possesses, as well, so to single Omar out as the problem isn’t looking at the big picture. However, I do not get that same sense with Jerry. And though it’s true that Omar gave Jerry his contract and is guilty through association, how could Omar not give Jerry an extension after Jerry was the manager when the Mets started playing up to potential? Jerry had solved what Willie couldn’t, and that was getting these lazy bums back to work. But Jerry exhausted his team managing every game like the world series was on the line, and in the end ran his team (especially the bullpen) into the ground and out of the playoffs. And this year, his infatuation with JJ Putz and Bobby Parnell has ruined both of their seasons. His insistance to keep Murphy in LF cost the team god knows how many games. His persistance in burying Luis Castillo in the lineup is putting the Mets at a disadvantage. And despite having all the pieces in tact at the start of the season, the Mets still stumbled out of the blocks, toiling in 4th place with a record around .500 for much of the first month and a half of the year. Jerry is at the root of what is wrong with the Mets, and I think the first step in resurrecting this franchise is to overthrow his regime. It’s only been a year but he has already worn out his welcome.

  10. mic June 30, 2009 at 1:03 pm
    isnt JM contract up after the season anyway?
  11. isuzudude June 30, 2009 at 1:24 pm
    no, mic. contract runs thru 2010 with option for 2011
  12. gary s June 30, 2009 at 1:42 pm
    dude, we’re all in the same foxhole.let’s concentrate on the enemy..THE WILPONS!!we need new ownership to bring in a new gm, new manager and change the culture (omar saying “we hustle most of the time”) ..imho, till that happens not that much is going to change with this team