Mets Game 146: Loss To Braves

Braves 6 Mets 5

Shades of ’62 re-emerge.

Once again, the Mets find a creative way to lose.

The Mets jumped ahead 3-0 in the second inning, but that lead was quickly squandered by Bobby Parnell, who allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 7 hits and 3 walks in 3 1/3 innings.

Remarkably, the Mets fought back to tie the game and then went ahead 5-4 on a pinch-hit homerun by Omiracle Santos (nickname hat tip to TheRopolitans).

Then, it was up to the bullpen to hold the fort. Brian Stokes got two outs before walking Nate McLouth, which led to Jerry Manuel’s inexplicable decision to bring in Frankie Rodriguez to convert a four-out save. Ask Mike Scioscia how many times he called on K-Rod to get more than three outs in the last three years — and his team was ALWAYS playing “meaningful games” in September.

Anyway, as expected, Frankie Fantastik failed to clean up. He got that last out in the eighth but quickly faltered in the ninth, allowing a leadoff double to Garret Anderson down the right field line (that might have been stopped by a better-fielding first baseman — or not) and hitting Brian McCann to put the tying and winning runs on base. Frankie then misplayed a sac bunt by Yunel Escobar that nearly loaded the bases with none out, but K-Rod recovered in time to get the first out of the inning by a hair. The next batter hit a deep sac fly to score the tying run, and then Ryan Church hit a two-out bouncer to first base that Dan Murphy mishandled three times in Throneberryesque fashion to allow the winning run to score.


In an incredulous lack of class, K-Rod was quoted by Kevin Burkhardt as saying about Murphy’s error (or possibly the double down the line), “That ball has to be stopped”.

Nice. Seems there’s only one driving school in Venezuela — and the vehicle is a teflon-coated bus.

Hmm … I didn’t see Murphy on the mound when Anderson hit the double, McCann was hit with the pitch, or Gorecki hit the deep fly … but yeah, let’s blame him for the loss. Makes plenty of sense. Not.

This is the sixth blown save of the season for Frankie Fantastik, out of 37 tries. Billy Wagner blew 7 of 34 last year, so K-Rod’s still doing better. But not by much. So much for the “improved bullpen”.

And for all his questionable quotes and public dress-downs of his teammates, I don’t recall Wags ever blaming someone else for a loss. Stay classy, K-Rod.

On the bright side, Parnell lasted longer than Derek Lowe, who left after 2 innings and allowing 3 runs. Both Jeff Francoeur and David Wright went 3-for-5, and Josh Thole went 2-for-4 in the two hole.

The Mets pounded 16 hits, and still couldn’t win — they left 14 on base.

Next Mets Game

The series finale begins at 7:00 PM on Thursday night. Nelson Figueroa faces Jair Jurrjens. If nothing else the Mets will have a standup, respectful guy on the mound, who will take responsibility for his actions. So there’s that.

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. Walnutz15 September 17, 2009 at 8:16 am
    I hate this team.

    ……that is all……

  2. gary s. September 17, 2009 at 9:06 am
    very well said..they are a loathsome group..and a big thank u to the wilpons for promising to bring everyone back next year.i hope they don’t sell one ticket for 2010!!!
  3. Wendy September 17, 2009 at 9:08 am
    Frankie went to the same driving school as the mighty Johan, must come with the territory, throwing teammates under the bus and you escaping without fault is the lowest.
  4. Patrick September 17, 2009 at 9:16 am
    The guy is entirely frustrated with the season give it a rest, you act like he said Murphy has no business playing baseball. And your chain of events Joe might not take place had Murphy made the play or at least kept the ball in the infield.

    For the last three years I have listened to Mets fans whine about accountability, then anytime a player wants to hold someone accountable it is utterly inexecuseable that it happen.

    It is frustration from a miserable season.

  5. Walnutz15 September 17, 2009 at 9:37 am
    Put it this way: players should never be pointing fingers at each other in the media; no matter how subtle.

    However, we’ve seen this from multiple players throughout the season….and is, of course, a byproduct of frustration.

    No big deal; but you’d like to see a veteran rise above doing this in the media — everyone knows the play should have been made; and Murphy himself was one of the first ones to have admitted to it.

    Thanks, Captain Obvious-Rod.

    That being said, Daniel Murphy is a terrible defensive player — that hit just enough last season to thrust himself into this team’s forefront….for some reason or another.

    Just another case of misjudged talent by the Mets; and unreasonable expectation level….if he’s the full-time 1Bagger next year, then this team will be even worse off than I think they will be at this point.

  6. Wendy September 17, 2009 at 9:57 am
    Of course he spoke out of frustration, no question, but taking the high road and at least acknowledging that Murph was not the only one at blame would have been the classy thing to do, team loss all the way, 14 men LOB and squandering an early lead is what cost the game as much as the 9th inning events.
  7. joejanish September 17, 2009 at 9:59 am
    Patrick, I’d prefer that the Mets players themselves “give it a rest” — this back-stabbing and bus driving has been going on since April. It’s tiresome, and loathsome.

    And you seem not to grasp the concept of “accountability”. Accountability is not pointing the finger at someone else — in fact it is the exact opposite. Since you don’t seem to have access to a dictionary, here is the definition from Merriam-Webster:

    “Accountability: the quality or state of being accountable; especially : an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions ”

    Choose your words more wisely, and make sure you know what they mean. Otherwise you expose yourself as much less intelligent than you probably are. Unfortunately a person’s intelligence is often judged by his/her ability to comprehend and express the english language.

  8. hdarvick September 17, 2009 at 10:29 am
    “Nelson Figueroa … a standup, respectful guy on the mound, who will take responsibility for his actions.”

    Why don’t the Mets offer him a contract for 2010? His age? At 35, he’s shown he can easily throw 100 pitches per start. In AAA Buffalo this season, he averaged 113 pitches per start and with the 2009 Mets, 94 pitches per start.

    He would have won the International League’s ERA title at 2.25 and led the league with a 1.03 WHIP in 112 innings but it went to Carlos Torres with a 2.39 ERA in 128 innings and Justin Lehr with a 1.08 WHIP in 118 innings. Figueroa was 3 innings short of the 115 inning minimum. If he had pitched 5 innings on April 16th instead of being removed after 2 innings because the Mets had just called him up to pitch at CitiField on April 19th, Figueroa would have had the minimum 115 innings needed to win the International League ERA titles to go with his 2007 China World Series MVP and 2008 Caribe Series MVP awards.

    He can start as well as relieve (short and long) and you’re right, he always takes “responsibility for his actions.”

    Note to the Wilpons: Sign him now before he becomes a free agent at season’s end. He won’t cost you that much. He has even called himself “the Mets Geico policy,” low-cost insurance. And, what should be important to you, he loves pitching for the Mets.

  9. Quote: Daniel Murphy Booted It, Inexcusable September 17, 2009 at 10:55 am
    […] a post-game write up for Mets Today, Joe Janish breaks down the chain of events, and writes, “In an incredulous lack of class, K-Rod […]
  10. wohjr September 17, 2009 at 11:05 am

    I’d be careful about slamming someone too hard about usage– your use of “incredulous” above isn’t really correct either. A good synonym is “skepticism”… I don’t think that’s what you’re going for here

  11. mic September 17, 2009 at 11:25 am

    i probably might have watched the game but BP already has had one start too many. the ignoble JM previously said he did not want BP’s confidence eroded so what does he do…..Note to blog…I think WE know where BP’s best role is right now.

    2. Matt Laporta 2…or Ike Davis has been given the mike jacobs award…..goodbye Dan murphy. As such I expect some veteran 1st baseman next year…del even to be soon followed by Ike.

    3. Carlos Beltran is expected to begin looking for assurances. Mic’s view is that CB could be dealt NEXT offseason with Fmart soon to roam center.

    4. In summary: Be thankfull. We still have Ike Davis, Fmart, Jenry, Bobby P, Kirk n…our future nucleus and did not trade 3 of them for Mark derosa.

  12. joejanish September 17, 2009 at 11:30 am
    wohjr – thanks for the warning.

    For the record, another synonym for “incredulous” is “incredible”, which is what I was going for.

    The misuse of the word “accountability” is especially disturbing to me, because it is such an important aspect of any successful team / culture / society.

  13. wohjr September 17, 2009 at 11:44 am
    My thesaurus doesn’t list that as one of the first seven synonyms, but its your sandbox so carry on as you see fit!

    I am in agreement with you about Fantastik, FWIW.

    You think the Thole/Santos combo is enough next year?

  14. joejanish September 17, 2009 at 11:57 am
    wohjr – Strange. Send me a copy of yours. The one I have I stole from some guy named “Roget”. 😉

    I’m not against the Thole/Santos combo. Why not? Santos has been a pleasant surprise, and Thole hasn’t embarrassed himself (yet). If Thole becomes exposed, the Mets can always pick up a career minor leaguer like Curtis Thigpen or JR House on the cheap (more likely: Raul Casanova or Rene Rivera).

    The alternative is to bring back Schneider, or sign either Bengie Molina or Ramon Hernandez (deja vu!). I’d prefer the Mets spend their sparse ducats on pitching and power hitting.

    Though, I’d love to see Pudge in Flushing. Even at age 37 he’s as good or better than Omir, both at the plate and behind it.

  15. isuzudude September 17, 2009 at 1:09 pm
    At least the Mets aren’t in any type of playoff race right now. Imagine how painful this loss would have been if it wound up costing the Mets in the standings.

    Another Parnell starting flop. Whodda seen it coming?

    A Santos/Thole platoon for 2010 suits me just fine. It’s gonna be cheap and apparently productive, so what’s the point of securing a minute upgrade via free agency this winter when there are so many more glaring holes that need to be filled?

    I also think KRod is a bum. I may be in the minority, but I don’t think he’s worth the money and I don’t feel entirely secure knowing he’s the last line of defense in a 1-run ballgame. I think I felt more secure with Armando Benitez. KRod’s awful second half and his knack for inserting foot in mouth lead me to believe he’s an over-rated jackass. Which I guess means he’s perfect for this team.

    By the way, gary s., if you’re out there, when did the Wilpons announce that they’re “promising to bring everyone back next year?” I know you love to hate this team, but how about using real life criticisms instead of your twisted pipedreams.

  16. wohjr September 17, 2009 at 1:33 pm
    Never been wild on pudge, but that is just a layman’s perspective. Clearly they’ll need to sign a veteran backstop, the question in my mind is whether it is someone who would displace one of Santos/Thole or someone who just gets stashed in buffalo until needed. Joel Sherman suggested a kevin cash type today (as an example of the latter). Would it be worth sending down one of the two at the start of next year for the vaunted “regular playing time”?

    ps- incredulous = skeptical, disbelieving, expressive of disbelief. This is awkward when used as an adjective describing “lack” as it is YOU who is incredulous, not the lack itself. I’m not sure it can be used interchangably with “incredible” (amazing, unbelievable, tremendous) in this context.

  17. joejanish September 17, 2009 at 1:38 pm
    wohjr – We can go back and forth on my use of the word “incredulous”. At WORST, my use of the term is “awkward”, as you suggest. In the case of Patrick’s use of the term “accountability”, he wasn’t even close — he used the word in its exact opposite meaning.

    Either way the Mets still suck, and it’s partly because many in the organization like to place blame, rather than finding solutions.

  18. mic September 17, 2009 at 3:50 pm
    Thole/santos= 1/6th Schneider’s salary. I think next yr there are 3 catchers to possibly include Pudge.
  19. Patrick September 17, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    If you going to lecture people about use of the English language at least be right. The definition of the word is not changed by your opinion.

    I could have gone more direct at your totally unecessary ethnic bash at Santana and Rodriquez.

  20. joejanish September 17, 2009 at 9:00 pm
    Patrick –

    1. The definition of the word “accountability” has nothing to do with my opinion. Definitions are by nature facts, not opinions, and don’t change according to opinion. Therefore I have no idea what you are trying to say, because it is impossible to lay blame on someone else and hold yourself accountable at the same time. Please explain.

    2. What “ethnic bash” are you referring to? Because I bunched K-Rod and Santana into the same blanket description as being from Venezuela? Try again. If they both hailed from Nebraska, I would’ve made the same exact snarky comment, but it would’ve read: “Seems there’s only one driving school in Nebraska”. If you want to twist that into some kind of ethnic or racial slur then be my guest, but it doesn’t hold water.

  21. John September 17, 2009 at 10:15 pm
    Gorecki did not get the sac fly, Infante did. Gorecki pinch ran for Anderson.

    Murphy SHOULD have gotten that ball. Fair or foul, you should ALWAYS get that ball. It’s not incredulous that K-Rod said it because he’s right. And it didn’t cost them the game, but Murphy booting Church’s hit was did. That is not the way you field a ground ball with 2 outs.

    Also, K-Rod is an improvement over Wagner. Scioscia never used him for more than 1 inning because the Angels always had a good pen, namely Scott Shields as their set-up man. Wagner blew 7 games and pitched a lot fewer games last year. K-Rod really only has 5 b/c one is Castillo’s error. Billy may not have done something like this, but to say he was a clubhouse darling is a joke. He caused some problems in the clubhouse.

  22. joejanish September 17, 2009 at 10:23 pm
    John – thanks for the correction on Infante / Gorecki. All the Braves look the same to me. (Oh crap did I just make a racial remark? Sorry!)

    It doesn’t matter that K-Rod was “right”. It’s not his place to say. The manager can, the press can, we can, but not a teammate. That’s unacceptable.

    Hitting McCann to put the winning run on base “cost the game” as much as anything else. 14 LOB cost the game. Any number of things cost the game.

    K-Rod has yet to prove he is an improvement over Wagner in any capacity – on or off the field. When did I say Wags was a “darling” in the clubhouse? Rather, I was suggesting that as bad as people perceived him to be, he never blamed someone else for a loss.

    Scioscia never used him more for more than one inning because he consistently exercises intelligent bullpen management.

    And K-Rod “really” has 6 blown saves because he blew six saves, no matter which way you slice it. If you’re going to give him full credit for saves when the guys make the plays behind him, then you have to give him full credit for the blown saves when the guys behind him make errors.

    The US Open is over. This baseball sport is of the TEAM variety.

  23. Mark September 17, 2009 at 10:28 pm
    Hey Joe sorry to change topics from K-Rod here but do you know why Beltran wasn’t in the lineup tonight? Just a routine day off?
  24. joejanish September 17, 2009 at 10:37 pm
    Mark – don’t be sorry, this conversation is getting tiresome.

    No “official” word on Beltran; I believe the Mets are being cautious with him since he was out for so long and the field is pretty wet. I think the plan no matter what was to give him several off days through the end of the season.

  25. Patrick September 18, 2009 at 7:16 am
    The topic is getting tiresome? Then why did you begin the discussion? I suppose it was so you would have a flood of people coming to your blog to pat you on the back for what a great job you did?

    The definition of the word is a fact Joe, application of it is not, unless of course you actually think one person can not wonder if the way Murphy played that ball was subject to or capable of being explained?

    Of course, if you don’t like the “opinions” of others being shared on your blog, you might as well turn off comments.

    In the meantime, you could have wrote Nebraska but I would doubt by a mile that you would have, because the reason you used Venezuela in my opinion was pretty obvious. It was a slur as most definitely Nebraska would have been. You are insinuating and perpetuating an idea that has bubbled up in this fan base going as far back as to when Omar Minaya was hired and began bringing in players.

    It would have been just as easy to say this team has had a culture of not keeping the door closed on commentary from Billy Wagner to Rodriquez. In fact it would have been far more appropriate, because by lumping together Santana and Rodriquez as some sort of unprofessional back stabbers, you completely gloss over the point that they might see something that needs to be said. Since both players came from organizations that while they were there achieve something the Mets never do. Consistent levels of success.

    So we can agree to disagree, and I can certainly say that your comment while perhaps not overtly intended on your part, to me reeks of the current state of the Met fan base. In addition we can agree to disagree on the unwritten code of ethics that somehow demands that one player dare not say that play should have been made. Players in the heat of terrible moment, in a terrible season, when asked the same question by 40 different reporters day after day can tend to crack. Is it the best scenario? Nope. Is it incredulous or unexpected or damning? Hardly. These types of things are usually at the core of a larger problem, that being a lack of collective purpose in the mind of the players which stems from the top down. So better that someone says it and it get corrected vs. festering.

  26. joejanish September 18, 2009 at 10:08 am
    Patrick – the discussion began with the baseball game. The tiresome part is arguing with someone who disputes the definition of a word.

    For the last time, the definition of accountability is:

    “the quality or state of being accountable; especially : an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions”

    ONE’s. Not “someone else’s”.

    When you “hold someone else accountable” … first of all that’s misuse of the word, but secondly you turn the word accountable into a synonym for “blame”. And if that was your goal — congratulations, you win. Because it’s true — K-Rod did in fact BLAME his teammate for a bad inning, and indirectly BLAMED his teammate for the Mets’ loss — when K-Rod himself was the one who hit a batter to put the winning run on base.

    And that’s why this conversation is tiresome — because you seem to think that this is a good thing, that somehow it’s good that players speak up and blame others, rather than take responsibility for their actions and find solutions, rather than problems. It doesn’t work that way — not in any team sport, not in life.

    You don’t get it, maybe because you’ve been watching this godforsaken team so long. Maybe because you’ve never been on a winning team. Maybe because you’ve never seen a winning team conduct themselves (there’s one in the Bronx to check out). Blaming others is a LOSER’s mindset. That’s not an opinion.

    Santana and K-Rod and Beltran were all “lumped together” because all three have made back-stabbing comments in public — no other reason. If David Wright drove the bus over Luis Castillo then he also would’ve been “lumped” with them. The Mets do have many latinos on their team but that’s an MLB trend, not a “Mets thing” — anyone can see that. So, again, you suggesting that my comment was a “racial slur” is a figment of your wild imagination and is completely incongruous with what’s been written here for the last four years. (Another reason this is tiresome — the conversation should be about baseball, not me having to defend my right to the freedom of speech.) If you found what I write here offensive, all I can suggest is to go read another Mets blog.

  27. isuzudude September 18, 2009 at 10:17 am
    The numbskull that said KRod is an improvement over Wagner needs to get his head examined. Just look up KRod’s second half numbers this season and tell me if Wagner had any stretch of his career in which he was so unreliable.

    The bottom line is that if KRod does his job and doesn’t allow a leadoff double to Anderson and then hit McCann with a pitch, Murphy is never in position to commit the costly error(s) to begin with. But instead of blaming himself for all the baserunners and hard hit balls, KRod shifts the blame to Murphy. Frustrated or not, as a professional who has been around the block a few times, KRod should know better than that.

    And let’s stop with this ethnic slur nonsense. If the mere mention of someone’s ethnicity or nationality is going to provoke the modern day McCarthyists to blow their racism whistles, then they need to do more examination of their own insensitivity and insecurity than of others. The correct observation is that both Johan and KRod are Venezuelan. Any speculation or thoughts put into Joe’s head after that are of your own demons, not his.

  28. Patrick September 18, 2009 at 5:06 pm
    Modern day McCarthyists? Wow.

    Anyhow the correct observation is that both Johan Santana and Rodriquez are baseball players on the Mets and were previously baseball players on teams that succeeded and did not beat themsleves in the process.

    But I will take Joe’s suggestion since he is incapable of seeing past one line in the dictionary and just go read another blog.

  29. joejanish September 18, 2009 at 5:48 pm
    Farewell, Patrick. I wish you a satisfying and entertaining journey in finding less offensive conversation in the blogosphere.