Mets Game 21: Win Over Dodgers

Mets 10 Dodgers 5

Break up the Mets!

By taking the second game of their doubleheader with the Dodgers, the Mets have won their third consecutive series, and are now threatening to take the lead in the NL East.

I urge you to bask in this current glory, because one can never know what the future brings. Live in the present, and be happy!

Game Notes

Oliver Perez was his usual awful self. The numbers he put on paper in the first three innings seemed innocent enough — no runs, one hit, one walk — but your eyes should have told you a different story. From his very first pitch of the game and throughout his short stint, Ollie was consistently missing his target by a foot and a half or more. A FOOT AND A HALF. I’m talking about his intended target, not the strike zone — there is a difference. You can miss your intended target and still get lucky enough to have the ball pass over the plate on occasion. Additionally, his velocity was topping out in the high 80s. With that combination, it was only a matter of time before the roof caved in — as it did in the fourth.

Ollie’s issues stem from his inconsistent mechanics, which often are sending his momentum side-to-side rather than toward the plate, and in turn cause his release point to be all over the place. A pitcher can get away — for a while — with bad mechanics if his release point is relatively consistent. Perez has no consistency with anything he does from the moment he toes the rubber.

The fourth inning that sent Ollie to the showers could have been much worse. Hisanori Takahashi — who otherwise provided another admirable job in long relief — had walked the bases loaded, walked Reed Johnson to force in a run, and might have walked James Loney to force in another, but was saved by some questionable strike calls by home plate umpire Angel Campos. Takahashi was struggling mightily in his initial inning (maybe he wasn’t completely warmed up?) and who knows what might’ve happened if Loney walked to force in another run and bring up Blake DeWitt with the bases still loaded? The Dodgers could have broken the game wide open there and set the momentum in another direction. It’s nice to see the Mets getting breaks like this, after watching them on the short end so often the last three years.

Jason Bay followed up his first homer as a Met in game one with a first-inning triple and a spectacular diving catch in the second inning to steal a hit from Jamey Carroll. Who said he couldn’t play defense?

David Wright had a huge day at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a walk and 4 RBI. His bases-clearing triple in the sixth cemented the win. Guess I can shelve my “Whats Wrong with Wright” article.

Hisanori Takahashi was better than Perez in 3+ innings of relief, but nothing to write home about. He’s following in the 2010 Mets tradition of inefficiency, using 75 pitches to get 10 outs.

Jennry Mejia got one inning of work in the 8th. So glad he’s up in MLB for these garbage innings, rather in the minors honing his craft for a possible future as a starting pitcher. The Mets can’t trust Jack Egbert or Pat Misch with a six-run lead?

Timing is everything; the Mets caught the Dodgers at just the right time, and took advantage. Los Angeles is currently without Manny Ramirez, Vicente Padilla, Cory Wade, and Jeff Weaver, didn’t have Rafael Furcal due to a tight hamstring, and for all intents and purposes didn’t have Ronald Belisario nor Hong Chih Kuo available (both recently returned to the roster and are being handled carefully by Joe Torre). James Loney exacerbated the situation by getting ejected in the fourth inning. Again, nice to see the Mets take advantage, since they likely will face a much different Dodger team the next time the two teams meet for four games in late July.

Next Mets Game

The Mets hope to finish the sweep on Thursday afternoon with John Maine taking the mound against a mystery pitcher who is most likely to be Josh Towers (who is currently in AAA). Game time is 1:10 PM.

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 28, 2010 at 1:06 am
    despite ollie stinking it up again, we won our first doubleheader from the dodgers in 39 years!!well done.john maine, the only pitcher in mlb with 2 bad arms will try to injure another body part tomorrow at 1pm.anybody surprised that jerry played reyes in both games?especially in the cold weather.could have taken him out with big lead..just wondering..
  2. isuzudude April 28, 2010 at 8:50 am
    gary: I was more surprised to see Castillo play both ends of the DH than Reyes. What with the day game today following the DH yesterday, and a big upcoming series against the Phillies looming this weekend, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Jerry sport a ragtag lineup today to rest his weary soldiers. I’m talking Tatis-Cora-Catalanotto-Davis around the horn, with Matthews-Pagan-Francoeur in the OF. Feel sorry for anyone who took the day off to go to the game today.

    I know I should be more jubilant over the Mets recent winning streak, but I just find it difficult to get my hopes up and celebrate knowing their 12-9 record is more a mirage than an expectation. Honestly – what are the chances this string of success continues in Philadelphia this weekend? I have a feeling by Monday we’re once again going to be talking about how the Mets offense can’t hit in the clutch, how Jerry deserves to be canned, and how the pitchers can’t throw strikes.

    Signs that the season is still early:
    1. The Mets are in first place
    2. The Mets and Yankees have the same amount of wins
    3. Mike Pelfrey leads the league with an 0.69 ERA
    4. Jeff Francoeur has as many walks as strikeouts

  3. mic April 28, 2010 at 9:11 am
    -joe,

    1. Nice to see the early hook. I’d like to see ollie go down (to Fla) for some extra work, ala Trax.

    2. Contrary to Dude, I thought the Mets had some great AB’s. Notably French and Wright. Also Reyes speed helped keep the decisive rally going. I still think Reyes and Pagan could/should flip-flop.

    3. I like the defense Ike brings. I think it has made a notable difference to Wright and Reyes.

    4. I too think Tatis should be in the mix more at 2nd base.

    5. I think Pelfrey is for real. with his maturation and solid contribution from Niese, I think a new starter is possible in June/July.

  4. Jeff April 28, 2010 at 9:26 am
    One factual error: Takahashi did not walk the bases full. Ollie took care of that by walking the pitcher Haeger on 4 pitches. Takahashi came in with the bases already loaded and walked in one run, but you really can’t kill him for that, especially with the conditions last night. It was a tough spot.
  5. Mike April 28, 2010 at 9:49 am
    ‘dude, you are forgetting that the Phillies also have looked pretty bad the past week partially allowing the Mets to get back in it (the other part is the Mets actually winning, of course). So will this continue into the weekend? I think it might because we have our three best pitchers going and the Phillies have Kendrick (been awful) and Moyer (Mets always knock him around when they are going good). Halladay vs Pelfrey is going to be a good match up, I hope I won’t miss it! Also don’t forget the Mets have off on Thursday. If I’m Jerry I rest Castillo only and go for the sweep because we don’t know how things will go in Philly over the weekend.

    And honestly sometimes teams need to get lucky and run into struggling opponents once in a while to get hot. This weekend will be a test but I don’t see why confidence gained by beating up on teams playing bad can’t lead to success against better opponents. I’m not saying I fully believe yet but I think this offense still can get better and this staff can still improve greatly (and regress a bit in other areas at the same time).

  6. wohjr April 28, 2010 at 11:54 am
    Credit where credit is due, nice AB by DW to break the game open. I feel like that is the first time in a while, maybe all season, he has really raked one in a big spot with men on… he did have 1k 5LOB in game one. His stance just looks messed up to me… too much with the hands and he looks more crouched to me this year. But hey, a few more games like this and we might be able to get some decent arms for him! Viva los Mets!
  7. isuzudude April 28, 2010 at 12:06 pm
    Mike: I guess unlike yourself, my hope does not run eternal. Whereas you see Kendrick and Moyer as easy targets, I’m seeing the Mets’ offense as the easy target. I could be wrong, but until I actually see the Mets play fundamentally sound baseball against the Phillies, I’m not going to believe they can pull it off.

    wohjr: question – if Wright were to re-discover his 30 HR/.300+ form, would you still want him traded or would you opt to keep him?

  8. mic April 28, 2010 at 12:12 pm
    Oh and Joe; On your Man-Lust for Monasterio, note that the kid the mets DID keep (john Lujuan ?)from the rule 5 draft is in AAA now and has 1 save and has been clocked in the high 90’s.t

    -I expect to see Dillon Gee soon too. Also the Mets do not have a ong term commitment to John Maine and I dont think the mets are ‘trapped’ by Ollie’s contract. To me the stability the bullpen has shown, and mistake free play has been the difference. also Chip hale has been huge.

  9. Death April 28, 2010 at 7:56 pm
    Oops, I posted my comments regarding Game 20 (the second game of the doubleheader) under the comments for Game 19, the first game of the doubleheader.
  10. joejanish April 28, 2010 at 9:52 pm
    mic – “man-lust” ? I don’t know about man-lust. My issue was not that the Mets traded away Monasterios in particular, but the fact that there were SEVERAL players available who were better than what the Mets brought into ST, but they chose to sell their pick to the Dodgers for cash. Not a player, but for cash. Similar to their decision to trade away two #1 picks (Billy Wagner) for a player they never intended on giving a chance to play (Chris Carter), all in the name of saving some pennies.
  11. Mic April 29, 2010 at 5:28 pm
    Agreed on Wagner. That was D-U-M-B!! not just for the picks issue. On top of that JJ Putz is paid to walk away. BUT I think they wanted/needed roster flexibility. On Monasterios, I think he had 3 oppurtunities to appear in this series and I did not see him.

    I like this years pen if not for the fact it is not choked full of high priced so-so releivers. So how long before Sean Green is traded?