Mets Game 4: Win Over Nationals

Mets 8 Nationals 2

One more win this weekend and the Mets will lose last place.

Mike Pelfrey pitched well, mixing in the new split as a change of pace to the sinker, and the offense exploded for eight runs as the Mets cruised to an 8-2 victory.

Game Notes

Mike Pelfrey allowed only 2 runs on 4 hits and 4 walks in 6 innings. The walk total is mildly concerning, but he was working hard to change speeds and use the split, which looks to have some potential. I liked that he was finishing his pitches for the most part — meaning, he had a good follow-through, ending his delivery with his “nose to toes” and letting his throwing hand breeze past his left ankle. Ron Darling continues to harp on the fact he doesn’t get his back leg up high enough after release, but I don’t believe it is a major issue. Yes, he’d get a little more “giddyup” on the fastball, but the fact he’s getting his head so far down and forward is a sign that he’s using leverage and gravity to his advantage. I agree that eventually his back or “push” leg should kick up high but let’s take baby steps — remember, Pelfrey did not have the advantage of ample development time in the minors. Overall, an encouraging start.

Jeff Francoeur and Rod Barajas both went yard twice, the first time two Mets had double dinger days since the Carloses Delgado and Beltran did the same a few years ago. I’ve stated before that I don’t care about the stats re: Francoeur, because I enjoy watching him play. Tonight was a prime example — he was smiling ear to ear after his bombs and seeing that made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Alex Cora made two brilliant plays at second base to prevent runs from scoring and drove in an insurance run with a single in the eighth. If he has another 60-70 games like this one he’ll earn his $2M.

David Wright – SHAME ON YOU!!! Wright hit a bomb in the 7th that looked like it would reach the seats, and David watched it from the batter’s box and broke into a homerun trot. The wind knocked the ball down and it bounced off the left field wall, so Wright made it only to second base instead of third — which he would’ve made easily had he been running from the get-go. He eventually scored on a pinch-hit single by Fernando Tatis, but the ends do not justify the means. This is Wright’s year to establish himself as the team leader, and he needs to set a better example.

Wright also is looking shaky at third base thus far this season. He should’ve been charged with an error on a grounder by Josh Willingham that turned out to be a double, and his throws are both weak and offline. On the bright side, he was 2-for-4 with a walk.

Congrats to Ruben Tejada, who started his first MLB game and collected his first MLB hit.

Fernando “Nightly” Nieve pitched again, the fourth time in four games (a Mets record). He is quickly becoming this years’ Aaron Heilman.

Jennry Mejia pitched a perfect ninth, which was nice, but wouldn’t we rather see him chucking 6-7 innings as a starter in the minors than cleaning up garbage innings at the end of a six-run game? I know, I know — he’s being gently broken in as an MLB reliever, but I have a hunch the Mets will be more desperate for a starting pitcher in both the near and long-term future.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Nats do it again at 1:10 PM on Saturday afternoon. Oliver Perez pitches (?) against John Lannan. Tell me again why Johan Santana is not starting on regular rest?

Oh, and Jose Reyes starts at shortstop.

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. gary s. April 10, 2010 at 10:06 am
    joe, as a former ballplayer, can wright’s erratic throwing from 3rd base be corrected by coaching or is that beyond the scope of met capability.every time he throws to first in a close game, i hold my’s been this way for a few seems to me this could be corrected by i wrong??
  2. Mark April 10, 2010 at 11:17 am
    I totally agree on the Francouer comment. He always seems to be playing 100% – no admiring your HRs, Mr. Wright – and his attitude does seem contagious in the dugout. I do think, however, that people have overreacted a tad bit to the contract that Cora signed. Sure, they overpaid by $500k to $1 million, but they’re a big market team and have made far more significant mistakes (see Perez, Ollie and Castillo, Louis). Cora is a solid player – he makes good outs (advancing runners and putting the ball in play when necessary) and plays solid defense. Yes, he’s overexposed as a starter, but I think that he’s a more than capable bench player, playing a day or two a week (especially in a semi-platoon with Castillo, who seemingly can barely hit the ball out of the infield from the left side).

    Anyhow, if you want to complain about management decisions, there’s always Meija getting mop up duty, rather than an opportunity to develop his secondary pitches as a starter at AA (as you note above), and Green in the pen (whom we have to hope is a placeholder for either Calero or, dare we hope, Escobar). Oh, and Jerry’s decision to use Nieve in the eighth? Odd.