Mets Game 129: Loss to Cubs

Cubs 5 Mets 2

Waiting to lose … that’s what it looks like these Mets are doing lately.

Pat Misch was hit hard by the Cubs batters, but most were outs or foul balls, and others were knocked down by the crosswind. As a result, he managed to hang around for 7 innings, allowing only one run on six hits and two walks. All in all, an impressive performance.

Through six, soft-tossing Ted Lilly matched Misch pitch for pitch, and the game was deadlocked at one apiece. But in the seventh, the Mets finally broke the tie, scratching out a run thanks in part to the terrible fielding of Alfonso Soriano. Two balls hit Soriano’s way fell for doubles, Lilly was chased from the game, and by the time the dust settled, the score was 2-1.

Brian Stokes then entered the game to hold the lead, but unfortunately did no such thing. Instead, he allowed four runs on a walk and three hits, including a booming homer by Soriano, in one-third of an inning.


Soriano was absolutely horrendous in the field, and I’m not sure how he was absconded from being charged with at least one error in the seventh. He flat-out dropped a ball earlier in the game, on a fly ball that bounced off his glove.

Stokes’ appearance was Exhibit A of why he has not been more successful in MLB despite seemingly “good stuff”. With a man on third and RBI machine Aramis Ramirez at the plate, Stokes’ first pitch was left over the middle of the plate, and Ramirez drilled it into left to drive home the run. After doing that, he was inexplicably pitching around Jeff Baker. (Kids, take note. If you’re going to pitch around someone, make it in a situation where the go-ahead run is on third, first base is open, and the monster RBI guy is at the plate — not AFTER the run has already scored.) Then, with men on first and second, Stokes got Soriano to chase two breaking pitches in the dirt to get ahead 0-2. He hung the next pitch chest-high and over the middle of the plate, letting Soriano demolish it.

The Mets need to decide whether Stokes is a starter or a reliever. If it’s a reliever, he needs to cut his repertoire to a fastball and one other pitch — one that he can master. His biggest issue has always been trying to throw too many different pitches. All can look good at one time or another, but none are consistent.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Cubs do it again at 4:10 PM EST on Saturday. Bobby Parnell faces Ryan Dempster.

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.