Mets Game 10: Loss to Cardinals

Cardinals 4 Mets 3

If I told you Oliver Perez pitched into the seventh inning, allowing only one run on four hits, you’d probably think that either I had the wrong information or that the Mets won the game.

Yet, Perez DID put up that performance, and the Mets lost.

Wasting a rare occasion of superbness by Perez, the Mets bullpen finally caved, as Felipe Lopez blasted a grand slam homer in the seventh off 32-year-old rookie Raul Valdes to give the Cardinals all the runs they needed to win the game.

As well as Ollie pitched, Chris Carpenter pitched just as well — maybe a bit better — as he held the Mets offense to 4 hits and 3 walks and struck out 10 in 7 full innings. The Mets rallied for two runs against “closer” Ryan Franklin in the ninth, but it was too little, too late.

Game Notes

The Mets hitters were a woeful 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position. They left 8 runners on base.

Jeff Francoeur, buried in the #6 spot, remains red hot, going 2-for-3 with a walk (!) and two runs scored. He’s now hitting .457, and has a hit in every game this year, but it makes more sense to bat Mike Jacobs ahead of him against a righthanded pitcher because, after all, Jacobs hits from the left side.

Frank Catalanotto rapped an RBI single for the Mets second run on the first and only pitch he saw, as a pinch-hitter in the ninth.

Garry Mathews, Jr. scored the Mets’ third and final run but struck out three times.

The Mets’ first run of the game came on a throwing error by Brendan Ryan on a sac bunt by Ollie Perez.

Yes, the bullpen failed. Did you expect them to be perfect through 162 games?

Felipe Lopez hit his first grand slam since April 4, 2008 — he hit that one against the Mets, too, but as a member of the Nationals. For those unaware, Lopez plays both SS and 2B, hits from both sides, and was a free agent this winter. He signed a one-year, $1M contract at the end of February. However, he doesn’t have the clubhouse presence of Alex Cora.

You can get frustrated watching the Mets lose this game, thinking, “jeez, they finally played a good game for nine full innings, and battled, and they still lost”. However, what the Mets need to do is compete and perform like this EVERY game, and eventually the wins will outnumber the losses. You can’t expect a team to win just because they play well — this is the big leagues, and to be a contender you must play well all the time.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Cardinals do it again at 4:10 PM on Saturday in St. Louis. Johan Santana faces Jamie Garcia.

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. Paul April 17, 2010 at 12:57 am
    Gotta love how scared Jerry and Co. was of Brendan Ryan. We figured out Pujols, but that Ryan kid. Better not mess with him, lest he breaks out of his 2 for whatever slump he’s in…

    This was a frustrating one to give away, but Joe, I like your healthy thinking. This was about as “normal” as a loss as we’ve had in a while. Let’s make this kind of game not feel like the end of the world and instead just another game. We’ll definitely win more than lose if we keep playing like we did today, especially as we did for the first 6 innings! If we can beat Carpenter, we can beat anyone!

  2. Craig April 17, 2010 at 3:34 am
    I’m surprised you think this was a “normal” loss. This was a wasted performanc and game due to Manuel’s decision making, which continues to hurt this team.
  3. mooshinator April 17, 2010 at 7:50 am
    Unfortunately, this truly is another “normal” loss for the Mets this year, i.e. they demonstrate all of the tools needed to win games but for whatever reason end up losing by one run in the end. They’ve came back from behind only to lose by one run four times already this year in only ten games.

    Eventually you have to question what the small difference is that causes the other teams to be able to close out these games while the Mets come close but can’t pull it off. Jerry Manuel, perhaps?

  4. isuzudude April 17, 2010 at 8:10 am
    The only thing “normal” about this loss is that we’ve seen this recipe play out time and time again for this team over the past 3 seasons. Once again, the Mets left a small army on base, couldn’t hit with RISP, wasted a shockingly effective performance by a starting pitcher by getting schooled by the opposing pitcher, and then rallying in the end only to fall short. How can anyone be optimistic after a game in which the Mets got struck out 12 times, went 1-for-10 with RISP, gave up a grand slam, and scored most of their runs on groundouts and throwing errors? It’s amazing what 6.1 miraculous shutout innings from Ollie and a 1-run loss will do to fans as desperate for something positive as Met fans.

    This loss was just more of the same crap we’ve unfortunately gotten used to and accept as a “tough loss.” And when we look back upon 2010, much like we looked back upon 2009 and 2008, we’ll see a boatload of these tough losses in which this team tried so gosh darn hard only to fall short. This is the big leagues. It’s not pee-wee softball. Trying doesn’t cut it, winning does. And the Mets too often like to think they tried hard enough to win, but things just didn’t break right for them. And that’s crap. Winners win, triers lose.

    You really gotta wonder, though: how many more games would the Mets have had a better chance at winning if Chris Carter’s stick was batting 5th or 6th instead of Mike Jacobs’. Forget about batting Jacobs in front of Francoeur; he shouldn’t even be on a ML roster. I’ll steal a line I saw by someone else on a previous thread: only the Mets would bat a guy released by the Royals in the middle of their lineup. They are so far beyond clueless it defies description.

  5. sincekindergarten April 17, 2010 at 9:49 am
    I’m already looking to the middle of February of 2011, when pitchers and catchers report. At least on Opening Day we’ll be tied for first.

    I used to be an overly optimistic fan of the Mets. Now, I’m cynical. My daughter, who was born two-and-a-half years ago today, may be posting pics of her firstborn before the Mets have a decent season again.

    I’d rather have jerks who win running this team, than nice guys who lose. Didn’t Leo Durocher (sp?) say something about how nice guys finish?

  6. gary s. April 17, 2010 at 10:10 am
    yup, another wasted 3 hours..we need johan to be on today and go at least 7 innings.the only arms i trust in the bullpen are feliciano and k rod.
  7. alex April 17, 2010 at 10:45 am
    well it was a “normal” loss for the mets cant disagree, ollie did his thing, i expected albert pujols to play homerun derby with ollie but no ollie did his thing, i like that, but what im disappointed is the fact that the mets had about two chances to catch up but they failed, its the line up. my suggestion, if and if it works, let Gary Matthews bat second maybe some change in the beginning of the game makes a difference lets move people down and let reyes bat before the pitcher and Castillo second and go on from there, slight transition, they just have to be patient at the plate till the real power hitters come-up, but not jacobs, bring up davis, and tatis could share, jacobs comes when we start getting wins. but the bull pen has to do there thing.
  8. gary s. April 17, 2010 at 11:44 am
    we are 0 for 9 with the bases loaded this year.just wondering what will happen first.we get a hit with the bases loaded or jason bay hits a home run.still 152 games to go, so i am slightly optimistic we can achieve these goals before the season ends..
  9. Mike April 17, 2010 at 1:25 pm
    This is why I hate Castillo batting 2nd. If the lineup turns over do you really want a non RBI guy to come up late in the game like that? I certainly don’t! Oh wait but Castillo can hit behind a runner and get on base! The two times Manual actually will play hit and run with Reyes and Castillo is really worth having him in the 2 hole? I just don’t agree. If he is lead off he is still going to come up, yes, but at least he is followed by guys who can hit as opposed to Reyes being followed by a non RBI guy.