Mets Game 80: Loss to Phillies

Phillies 4 Mets 1

So much for taking over first place this weekend.

Fernando Nieve was decent, if unspectacular, allowing 3 earned runs in 5 2/3 innings of work. But, he allowed six hits and walked another six, so every inning was a struggle. About what you might expect from a fill-in fifth starter facing the Phillies.

Meanwhile, the Mets offense was nonexistent. Jamie Moyer and four Phillies relievers held the lineup to six hits, one walk, and one run. Not even Brad Lidge could blow the game; he threw a perfect ninth to earn his 15th save.

Notes

The ghost of Marv Throneberry rode again in this game. We witnessed dropped popups, missed cutoff men, overthrows, improper backup alignment, and myriad other mistakes.

What’s important to note, however, is that few if any of these mistakes would have been avoided if the “cavalry” was on the field. We’ve been discussing the fundamental flaws of this team for two years now. The only difference is that with Beltran, Reyes, Delgado, etc., there is a better chance of the Mets erasing their snafus with scoring.

Alex Cora had three of the Mets’ six hits.

Fernando Nieve drove in the only Mets run with a bloop single.

Jimmy Rollins is in the midst of the worst year of his career, hitting only .216. But, he’s hitting more than 40 points higher than that vs. the Mets, and has more RBI (7) against them than any other opponent.

Next Mets Game

The phinale with the Phillies begins at 1:35 PM on Sunday afternoon. Johan Santana pitches against Joe Blanton.

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 July 4, 2009 at 10:08 pm
    It’s disappointing watching the Mets put up virtually no fight against a heated rival like the Phillies, knowing that first place is within their grasp, after seeing a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Yovanni Gallardo and the Brewers on Wednesday, and then the come from behind, 10 inning affair in Pittsburgh Thursday. So just as it seemed like the Mets were starting to build momentum, they have it snuffed out and flushed away by a Phillies team that, quite honestly, wants to win more – which has sadly been the case ever since the summer of 2007. It’s one thing to be missing a slew of players due to injury and have out of position fielders and AAA players scattered all over the diamond, but it’s totally another to be shut down by Rodrigo Lopez and Jamie Moyer. And the defensive snafus and mental mistakes are doing nothing but drawing attention to how bad this team really is – from David Wright to Nick Evans. It’s just not a proud time to be a Met fan these days.

    Meantime, news has surfaced that Oliver Perez will be back with the Mets and starting on Wednesday against the Dodgers. Now, there’s no doubt he could provide an enormous boost to this team if he comes back the way we hope he does. But I seriously question whether it’s the right time for Ollie to make his return. After all, the Dodgers, with Manny back in the fold, aren’t exactly the soft landing you want a pitcher facing for the first time after an injury. Also, despite claiming to be healthy, Ollie hasn’t exactly been tearing up the minor leagues. His last start for Buffalo lasted just 5 innings in which he continued to struggle with his control (46 balls, 46 strikes w/ 4 BBs). I think what would have been the better plan of action would be to recall Jon Niese, who’s been outstanding recently for Buffalo and is more than ready for the leap to the majors, for next Saturday’s start against the Reds, skipping Tim Redding’s spot in the rotation (which can be done due to the off day on Monday). Put Redding in the bullpen until then, and see how he fairs. If he continues to struggle, his value on the team is worthless as he can’t be trusted as a starter or a reliever. So you DFA his ass to make room for Niese if he struggles; and if he doesn’t struggle then he inherits the longman role, allowing Misch to be Feliciano’s compliment lefty in the pen, and giving Elmer Dessens his bus ticket back to Buffalo (although, I’ll admit, Dessens has been a surprisingly worthy bullpen arm since his callup). Meanwhile, as it looks like Fernando Nieve’s cinderella story may be coming to an abrupt end, whenever Perez puts together a pair of encouraging starts at AAA would be when I give him his next shot in the bigs at Nieve’s expense. But this Wednesday against the Dodgers would not be the next time I have Perez toeing the rubber for the Mets. That just seems like it’s got disaster written all over it.

  2. nwaldrop July 4, 2009 at 11:17 pm
    Santos missing that popup behind the plate had shades of Castro written all over it. I wonder if he’ll get a “talking to” from Jerry Manuel, probably not. Why isn’t Reed playing more, I don’t care who the opposing pitcher is, just give him more at bats. He plays better defense than “Double play” Tatis and maybe with a few more at bats he can get his offense going.
    More talk from Jerry Manuel today about treading water. Let’s just hope they don’t drown by the all star break.
  3. mic July 5, 2009 at 9:31 am
    -yeah, What i-dude said.!!!

    – I am seing 1993 all over again…welcome back jefff torborg

    -reed: personally i think reed is best traded. he is a nice 5th ofer but his bat is not adding value on this club…which is alot like his old mariners team of 2006-2007.

    -it is time to see cory sullivan who was a bigger bat for the rocks just a yr and a half ago.

    -in addition to reed, i think tatis, redding, church, delgado or possibly ollie could be considered in trades in just 2-3 weeks from now.

  4. adrock July 5, 2009 at 10:00 am
    this team has grown more and more incompetent by the day since beltran watched strike three in ’06. that appears to have been our high water mark. the GM, while making some decent big moves, nevertheless seems consistently to be unable to solve major problem areas. some say that he has no control over whom is available as a free agent or in a trade, yet other teams seem to be able to fill most of their glaring needs with the same pool of available players. the situation at the manager’s position seems to get worse and worse. randolph was found to be lacking and manuel, after a decent early run, has shown himself to be no better. ownership is too scared of ANY controversy to hire a man like wally backman, who has more than earned a shot, has won everywhere he has gone, and is an ’86 met, which would go a long way with the fans. it seems as though the wilpons greatly overestimate the fanbase’s need for political correctness, to all our detriment. the players are alternately apathetic or trying too hard, depending on the day and the player. fundamentals and hustle seem to be foreign concepts to this group. and their best pitcher can’t wait to blame his teammates every time something goes wrong, which lately he has as much to do with as they do.

    how this team is even hanging around .500 i have no idea. as much as we all love the IDEA of certain players, maybe it’s time to blow this thing up and start over.

  5. joejanish July 5, 2009 at 10:50 am
    Mic, what is your fascination with players in minor league uniforms?

    Cory Sullivan and Jeremy Reed are essentially the same exact player. The only difference being that Sullivan had the chance to play in a hitter’s park. Even Jay Payton hit like an All-Star in Coors Field.

    We’ve seen that Reed can play the outfield as well as anyone, can run the bases with speed and intelligence, and has a line drive swing. He’s not a great hitter, but he’s no worse than the immovable, untouchable Dan Murphy.

    And in any case this team doesn’t need offense — it needs more people like Reed, who plays hard, can play the entire ballgame and exhibits strong fundamentals. It’s amazing how many games can be won when you don’t give the other team 4-5 outs an inning, and when you can get bunts down, and when you don’t walk the opposing pitcher, etc., etc.

    Reed is hardly the problem with this team. The entire team — and its “leadership” — is the problem.

  6. joejanish July 5, 2009 at 10:50 am
    adrock – well said. I second all motions.