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”.

Game Notes

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.

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. Lawrence April 22, 2010 at 12:07 am
    Hitting sac flies (which count in OBP but not BA) can produce a lower OBP than BA.
  2. gary s. April 22, 2010 at 9:37 am
    cut catalonno and bring up chris carter from triple a.the way bay and francouer look, it would be nice to have a lefty swinging outfielder with punch 2 spell the corner guys and have a pinch hitter with power.catalonno has no skills anymore!!i would dump matthews too, but we need someone who can play cf till beltran returns (????).francouer has too many holes in his game to play every day, i would love to see carter play against some righties.
  3. DC Niner April 22, 2010 at 11:09 am
    When are Metsie fans going to wake up and accept the fact that your prince david is no more than a good player who has a real problem inside his head. Every year he makes adjustments in the Spring only to fail make new adjustments when loe and behold the league’s pitchers adjust to the new prince David. He has gone from all star to a better than average third baseman and is falling into the average category, as there are now several young third basemen far superior to your prince. It is truly awespme to turn on a metsie game and listen to the sounds of booes as the little prince walks back to the dugout after another timely whiff. Well, if nothing else, little metsies in the new park won’t needs fans as prince david provides them regularly…..
  4. isuzudude April 22, 2010 at 2:03 pm
    First off, kudos to mic who mentioned Pagan moving to the 3-hole on a previous thread. His suggestion may ring true: http://www.nj.com/mets/index.ssf/2010/04/mets_wrap-up_possible_lineup_c.html

    The thing about all the DWright detractors are that they only want to notice the bad plays he makes, while ignoring the really good plays – especially on defense. And I’d be willing to say that so far this season, Wright has likely made 3 very good plays for every bad play or error he’s committed. It’s pretty harsh for fans to expect perfection from Wright, both offensively and defensively. Anything less and they think he deserves to be traded for prospects or moved to a different position. That doesn’t sound fair to me.

    Ollie’s velocity has certainly been disconcerting, and the immediate inclination is to claim injury. And that may be the correct assumption. However, a part of me wonders if Ollie’s been told, or if he came to terms himself, to concentrate less on throwing as hard as he can and going for strikeouts, and more on throwing strikes and letting the opposition put the ball in play. This mentality would hopefully decrease Ollie’s tendency to walk the ballpark (though it didn’t help all too much last night), and would be a smart strategy, especially at home, where the dimensions favor the pitchers. In other words, let the opposition try and beat you (with hits) instead of beating yourself (with walks). Time will tell if it works for Ollie.

    Also, for what it’s worth, the Mets pitchers’ may lead baseball in walks, but they also lead in strikeouts. Meantime, the offense has walked the second most times in baseball, but has struck out third most. Combine those rankings with the fact that the pitchers have given up the 4th most home runs, and the offense has the third worst batting average, and you can see why this team is always battling the “one step forward, 2 steps back” mantra.