Mets Game 15: Loss to Cubs
Cubs 9 Mets 3
Oliver Perez was so-so, the bullpen was awful, the offense was languid. Put it all together and you end the evening with an “L”.
Ollie was unlike himself — he was neither spectacular nor awful, but rather, ordinary. Perez allowed 8 hits and walked 3 in 5 innings, throwing 97 pitches in the process. He never broke 90 MPH from what I saw, which is disturbing. On a positive note, he was gathering his balance at the top of the leg lift and his follow through often had him sort of facing home plate, rather than third base, which meant his momentum was driving toward home plate and he was better able to command his pitches. But his lack of velocity is a bright red flag; I’m guessing that he’s concentrating so much on his mechanics, it’s slowing down his body and arm.
Manny Acosta, Raul Valdes, and Hisanori Takahashi all were terrible, and allowed a combined 6 runs in the final four frames. Thing is, the Mets were within two runs when Perez left the game, so a victory was still very possible. But it felt like the game was being given away, seeing the likes of Acosta and Valdes on the mound. Reminds me of the days of Jamie Cerda and Bartolome Fortunato.
After a hot start that saw him hitting in the .450s, Jeff Francoeur is now 0 for his last 19, and his average is down to .281. Before you say it’s because he’s swinging at too many pitches, look back at the box scores. You’ll notice that even when he was red-hot, he was often seeing less than 10 pitches in 4-5 ABs per game.
Rod Barajas hit a homerun, but struck out twice and is hitting .204 with a .196 OBP. I need a stathead to explain to me how it is mathmetically possible to have an OBP below one’s batting average, because I don’t get it.
The Mets walked 9 batters in this game, and are leading the NL in walks with 77 in 15 games.
David Wright made some sparkling plays at third base — and has been, for the past few games — but has become a non-entity at the plate. He was 1-for-2 with yet another walk (he has a .433 OBP), but he doesn’t yet look “right” (or is it, “Wright”?). The way he’s now cocking his hands and loading up to take big cuts looks powerful, but has yet to produce consistent results. He looks a bit tense, and his swing looks longer now, as he’s dropping the barrel a bit / tilting the knob skyward through the contact zone. I’d like to see him keeping the barrel up longer as he moves the hands forward and “dropping the hammer” on the ball in front of the plate, which he was doing during the first week of the season.
Future Hall of Famer Carlos Silva held the Mets to one hit — a homer by Rod Barajas — through six innings. He left after only 87 pitches and probably could have continued through 7 or 8, but Lou Piniella wanted to give the Mets a chance.
Alfonso Soriano was 3-for-4 with a homerun, triple, and 3 RBI. This from a guy who is a major disappointment and not fulfilling his contract.
Next Mets Game
The final game of this four-game series beings at 7:10 PM in Flushing. Ace Johan Santana faces fifth starter Tom Gorzelanny.