Mets Game 108: Loss to Padres
Padres 8 Mets 3
Ho-hum. Good thing this one was happening on the Left Coast, so most Mets fans were asleep while it was occurring.
Except, even the Mets fans who stayed awake to witness this depressing contest were fighting to keep their eyes open beyond the third inning.
Livan Hernandez did not pitch well. One would expect that a San Diego lineup full of youngsters would be easy prey for the wily veteran. However, these kiddies were clearly equipped with a game plan: make Livan throw the ball in the strike zone. Their collective discipline was devastating to Livan’s roundabout strategy from frame one, as the Friars worked him over for two runs and then another four in the third. Remarkably, Jerry Manuel left Livan in the game through the madness, and he gave up one more in the fifth before finally leaving.
Tim Redding got back to his usual routine, allowing the eighth Padre run in the seventh inning.
Meantime, the offense could do nothing against rookie lefthander Clayton Richard, who mowed down the Mets with ease before running out of gas in the sixth. The Mets mounted a mildly inspiring rally to chase Richard from the game, but Danny Murphy stifled it with a double-play grounder.
Aside from that rally-killing grounder, Murphy had two hits in four at-bats, as did Fernando Tatis. Tatis drove in a run and had the Mets’ only extra-base hit of the evening.
After watching Hernandez allow four runs in the third inning, and seeing him return to pitch the fourth, the fate of the Mets’ season became crystal-clear. The season is over, done, finished. Livan was left out there to dry, to save the bullpen. In other words, the game had been conceded. From here on it’s an early version of spring training, as the Mets will be holding auditions for the 2010 season. But hang in there, folks, and buy tickets — the Carloses are returning any week now!
Speaking of 2010, San Diego has some intriguing youngsters to build on for the future. Clayton Richard reminds me a bit of Cole Hamels, and they have some potent bats in Chase Headley and Will Venable. Everth Cabrera looks like a young Jose Reyes with his speed and fielding ability — though I’d like to see him dive for more balls. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this team compete again within 2-3 years.
Next Mets Game
The second game of the series will be played at 10:05 PM on Friday night. Oliver Perez hurls against his old team while Kevin Correia pitches for the Padres.