Mets Game 130: Loss to Cubs

Cubs 11 Mets 4

The Bobby Parnell Experiment took another step backward.

Parnell allowed 8 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks in 4 2/3 innings, capped by a grand-slam homerun.

The offense scored four early runs against Ryan Dempster, then kind of fizzled.

Not much more to describe about this game, from the Mets’ point of view. Another long day of watching poor fundamentals, questionable decisions, walks of the opposing pitcher, etc., etc.

Notes

The bullpen was no better than Parnell. Ken Takahashi allowed a run in his one inning, and Lance Broadway gave up two in his inauspicious Mets debut.

The Mets had a chance to have a HUGE inning in the fourth, loading the bases with no outs. Brian Schneider stroked a double to score two, but Fernando Tatis was tossed out at home after stopping at third, then re-starting toward home for reasons unknown. Then Jerry Manuel gave up an out (and the game) by allowing the already struggling Parnell to hit, and having him sacrifice for the second out. Angel Pagan grounded out weakly to get Dempster out of trouble.

Tatis became the 16th Met runner thrown out at home this season.

Was it just a coincidence that the cameras were focused on the back of Jake Fox’s jersey every chance they had?

Fox’s grand slam came on an 0-2 slider that hung up in the zone. It was like deja vu all over again — the pitch took almost the exact flight of Brian Stokes’ hanger to Alfonso Soriano on the previous afternoon.

Aaron Heilman made his first-ever appearance against the Mets. He wasn’t dominating, but did well enough. He also put on a few pounds (perhaps the home cooking?) and was wearing old-school stirrups. Something else was different, too — his arm angle, which was more over the top than we’d seen in the past. He’s still throwing three-quarter, but more of a high three-quarter than he usually did as a Met. If you remember, the more Willie Randolph and Jerry Manuel (ab)used him, the more Heilman’s arm angle would drop — to the point where at times his delivery resembled that of Joe Smith.

Seeing Heilman and Parnell in the same game stoked a memory. Remember when Omar Minaya explained that Aaron Heilman wouldn’t be a starter because he didn’t have command of enough different pitches? Yeah …

Next Mets Game

The Mets can’t leave Chicago fast enough, but before they do there’s one more afternoon affair with the Cubs. Game time is 2:20 PM, with Nelson Figueroa facing Carlos Zambrano.

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. sincekindergarten August 30, 2009 at 1:42 pm
    Joe, you should have expected Parnell to get his fourth point of contact kicked by the Cubs. He needs to learn how to pitch against good-hitting teams as well as bad-hitting ones. He’s still young. When he finally hits his stride and wins 15 games a year–in 2013 or 2014–despite the Mets’ horrible ownership and front office signing players past their prime to back him up, he’ll be one of the “home-growns.” And we’ll be proud of his tenacity and dedication.
  2. mic August 30, 2009 at 3:37 pm
    Or he can go back to the pen as a set up man, work on his cutter/splitter and off speed pitches learn the league and maybe in 2011/2012 compete in Spring training for a starting role.
  3. sincekindergarten August 30, 2009 at 4:18 pm
    Or, mic, work on those pitches this offseason (AFL, anyone?), but get let down by the Mets’ pitiful offense over the next three years, and win 15 in 2013.

    As I type this, Nelson Figureoa has ten strikeouts against the Cubs. And Danny Murphy just had an awesome recovery on a DP in the seventh.

  4. isuzudude August 30, 2009 at 6:06 pm
    C’mon – I think Parnell has as good a chance of winning 15 games as Luis Castillo has at hitting 15 home runs. Parnell’s strongest attribute is his ability to hit close to 100 MPH on the gun; something he can’t accomplish when he’s starting. He belongs back in the pen so his skillset can be fully maximized, and I think the Mets will come to that conclusion sooner than later.
  5. mic August 31, 2009 at 5:58 pm
    Agree with ‘dude. BP Is basically Matt Lindstrom -pt2, and makes Putz expendable.

    I’d tack on Brad Holt as a candidate to partner him in the pen next year.