Mets Game 25: Loss to Phillies

Phillies 10 Mets 5

So much for momentum.

If it wasn’t for that 9-1 homestand, I might have the feeling that nothing changed with the Mets from the last three years.

Game Notes

Johan Santana was terrible. Absolutely terrible. He allowed 10 earned runs on 8 hits and 2 walks — including 4 homeruns — in 3 2/3 innings. He threw too many pitches up in the zone and over the heart of the plate, and the Phillies didn’t let him get away with it. Though it could be argued that balls regularly fly out of Citizens Bank Park, at least three of those homers would’ve been out of just about any park, and CBP is no excuse for the other four hits — nor the bases-loaded walk to Jamie Moyer that forced in a run. Santana’s velocity was also a little worrisome, as it hovered around 89.

In contrast, Moyer barely broke 78 MPH, but kept the Mets off-balance, “holding” them to “only” 5 runs through 6 innings. The Mets pretty much threw in the towel after Santana left the mound.

Fernando Tatis hit a double, justifying his start over Ike Davis (not).

Gary Matthews, Jr. was 0-for-4 in the leadoff spot. He’s now hitting .139 on the season with a .244 OBP.

Jose Reyes was 1-for-13 with an RBI this weekend against the Phillies hitting in the three-hole.

David Wright hit a 3-run homer to give the Mets a 3-0 lead in the first frame. Santana, however, gave the Phillies two runs back in the bottom of the initial inning.

Rod Barajas went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer in the fourth that gave the Mets their second 3-run lead of the game. Santana, however, let that lead get away in the bottom of that inning as well.

Jeff Francoeur stole his second base of the season and threw out Moyer trying to score. He also was hit by another pitch, though he didn’t make any attempt whatsoever to get out of the way of Moyer’s 74-MPH changeup.

Fernando Nieve, who had not appeared in a game all month, finally got some work in, pitching a perfect seventh inning. He is on pace to appear in 97 games this season. No kidding — do the math.

Next Mets Game

The Mets will try to shake off the last two drubbings on Monday in Cincinnati. Oliver Perez faces Reds rookie Mike Leake at 7:10 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. May 2, 2010 at 11:54 pm
    what a nice ollie perez imitation santana did tonite in philly.that said, batting matthews leadoff is absurd.he is done, that’s why the angels got rid of him.i hate reyes in the 3 hole.i said that before the winning streak and i will say it again.his batting third had nothimg to do with the 9-1 the 3 hole, he is trying too hard to hit for power and pops the ball up too much.he loses the benefit of his speed in the 3 hole and needs to go back to the leadoff spot.i compare this move when they tried to make him a 2nd baseman to let kaz matsui play was idiotic and the move to the 3 hole is idiotic.on the flip side, before the series started, my best case scenario was to win 2 out of 3 in philly.getting one is ok.a sweep by the phillies would have wiped out the good feelings of the 9-1 streak and that didn’t 2 out of 3 in cincy and we come home in good shape.
  2. Danny May 3, 2010 at 1:37 am
    Got up in the middle of the night here in Israel (thank you ESPN international) to watch Johan beat Moyer. And then I saw Gary M. Jr. leading off. Let’s face it, he’s awful, an almost automatic out. AND LEADING OFF? He should be released. I agree with gary s. above about Reyes batting third, though until he stops swinging at the first pitch, and starts getting on base, I don’t think it makes much of a difference. And the big question: who are the real Santana/Pelfry? The ones of April or the ones of May? This will decide the whole Mets season: a possible 85 win team or one that will struggle to win 70.
  3. isuzudude May 3, 2010 at 6:56 am
    This is the beginning of the end. Mark my words – 2 months from now we’ll look back in April and say, “hey, remember that 9-1 homestand that catapulted the Mets into 1st place for about 2 seconds? yeah, that seems like 10 years ago now.”

    I don’t think Santana finishes the season with anything better than a 4.50 ERA. His stuff is awful. He has no command. No velocity. I predict Jon Niese will win more games this year than Johan.

    So what else have we learned over the past week? We learned Pelfrey and Johan will get spanked against teams with good offenses. Maine and Perez still need 100 pitches to get through 4 innings against weak offenses. The bullpen is still overworked. The offense shuts down after the opposition opens up a big lead. And Jerry Manuel is still a clueless manager. In summation:
    – poor starting pitching
    – a bullpen that will burn out by June
    – an offense that can’t make up for the poor pitching
    – bad management
    – bad roster composition

    Add these components together and we get 2 things:
    1. A fanbase that got WAY ahead of itself thinking the Mets were back as a contending team

  4. Jason A. May 3, 2010 at 8:25 am

    This game was awful.

    However, let’s not forget what we saw on the home stand, or for the rest of the season for that matter.

    Time to move Reyes back to lead off to get him going.

    Santana will turn it around. Even if he is not the ace we expect, he won’t give up ten runs every start.

    The one thing I will say is Jerry needs to stop resting starters against division rivals.

  5. CatchDog May 3, 2010 at 9:25 am
    A last place team??

    The last I checked, the Mets were 8-2, which is good enough to call them the hottest team in baseball over the last 10 games. Sure, it’s a small sample but I’ll take it.

    Obviously, some of us fans tend to look at things quite differently. I prefer to view sports as entertainment. And the last couple of weeks were quite entertaining for Met fans. Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself.

    All things considered, the season has just entered its second month, there’s positive news on Carlos Beltran and my team’s 1/2 game out of first. I’ll take that too.

    Dude; I don’t disagree with some of your points. Overall, I believe this team has performed better than expected. The Nats are a year or two away, the Marlins are about to can Fredi, the Braves are a mess and the Phil’s pen will be their downfall. I don’t believe it’s time to sound the abandon ship call.

    After all, we could be Cubs fans. 🙂

  6. Mike May 3, 2010 at 9:49 am
    Geez overreact much? Sure maybe those of us that thought this team was fully back overreacted in our own right, but again you are never as bad or as good as when you are at your best/worst. this team can win ballgames. Santana I don’t believe is fully recovered from his surgery. I believe he will be much better in the middle and end of the season than he is now. In fact I recall that being the case since he’s been a Met. We would have liked to win 2 of 3, but in the end the Mets still play the Phillies 15 times and 9 times at home.

    gary s, I’m calling you out to defend why Reyes’ speed is “wasted” in the 3 hole. He is still fast. He can still score from first on a double by Bay (which is way more likely than Castillo doing that). He can still steal bases. I think the idea that he has to bat leadoff is flawed. I still hold that the all OBP and nothing else Castillo should bat leadoff and Reyes should bat second followed by Bay and then Wright then Davis then Francoeur then Pagan then Barajas. That lineup balances so it is not top heavy and has the nice lefty righty thing going on. But whatever gary, I know you and everyone else only cares about a meaningless stat that does not directly result in runs called the steal. I think it is useful and can make things happen (and I love that the Mets are aggressive) but Reyes batting leadoff for the sole purpose of stealing is just baseball fans stuck in an old way of thinking. Like that the 2nd hitter should be able to play hit and run. When was the last time the Mets even did that? It’s not why this team can’t score some nights.

  7. mooshinator May 3, 2010 at 10:21 am
    Mike, I agree with you completely that Castillo/Reyes should be 1-2, but consider that with Pagan/GMJ batting leadoff, Castillo and Reyes almost ARE effectively batting 1-2. So the ordering of the lineup is actually pretty good, and except for the 1st time through the lineup it almost plays like a Tona LaRussa style “bat the pitcher 8th” type thing.

    However, if Jerry wants to do that, he should just go ahead and do it and stop giving Pagan/GMJ extra at-bats. He should just go ahead and bump everyone in the order from #2 to #9 up one spot, and then put Pagan/GMJ 9th. The ordering would remain the same every time through the order except the 1st (and the 1st time through would be an improvement), and you stop giving extra at-bats to backup outfielders.

    So, ordering-wise, I’m almost okay with all of this. My bigger concern is that Reyes has been flat out awful since being moved to the 3-spot. Everyone else in the lineup has been doing better but I have to think that that’s more coincidence than as a direct result of Reyes batting #3. The real issue with Reyes is that he’s simply not producing.

  8. isuzudude May 3, 2010 at 10:23 am
    Ouch, I guess I’m not too popular these days.

    Jason: I’ve had patience for 3+ years now. I’ve been rewarded with September collapses, incompetent managerial decisions, awful roster management, a plethora of injuries, and lots of late night headaches and nausea. Safe to say my patience has run quite thin.

    Catchdog: 8-2 is terrific, but, to me, I see that type of success as more the exception than the rule. And to be that successful they needed an 0.69 ERA from Pelfrey, virtually flawless work from the bullpen, and some crazy beneficial breaks. When those things disappear, we get what we saw over the past 2 games: a team that loses to above-average competition by a combined score of 21-5.

    In the end, I agree that baseball should be entertaining. Heck, I don’t see a dime if they succeed so I certainly have no vested interest if they win or lose. But, honestly, is losing 10-0 entertaining? Is watching your two best pitchers get slaughtered entertaining? Is watching the Phillies destroy your favorite team entertaining? In the end, the entertainment value of a club is tied into their success rate. If they aren’t successful, they aren’t entertaining. And the way I am forecasting the future, I don’t see the Mets being successful or entertaining for long stretches of this season.

    Regarding the rest of the NL East: I think the Nats deserve more credit than you give them, the Marlins always have the Mets’ number, the Braves have just won 3 in a row, and the Phils’ bullpen was supposed to be their downfall the last 2 years, but hasn’t been. I envy your optimism, but I’m seriously not seeing the Mets stacking up with their rivals in 2010, and I’ve been saying that since January so the last 2 games have had little to do with my current mentality.

    Mike: Again, I can’t be overreacting because I’ve been calling the Mets a last place team for months now. Let’s just say I decided to be more vocal about my feelings after watching the Mets get crushed on Saturday and Sunday.

    Regarding Johan, again call me the eternal pessimist but I think his offseason surgery has little to do with his decline in velocity. His average speed per pitch has been in steady decline since he was traded from Minnesota, and is likely to continue to decline as he ages. It’s called getting old. You can’t remove his old elbow and give him that of a 24 year old. Surgery alleviates pain but does nothing to recover lost velocity. Not to mention further recovery won’t help him throw strikes to the opposing pitcher, or stop him from missing his target and throwing meatballs over the heart of the plate. He’ll continue to will his way through many games this season, and probably take advantage of some over-aggressive lineups in the process, but his best days are behind him now. What other team’s ace gives up 10 runs before the 4th inning is over? What other team’s ace maxes out at 90 MPH? What other team’s ace walks the pitcher with the bases loaded?

  9. gary s. May 3, 2010 at 10:49 am
    my thoughts on reyes batting leadoff is not predicated on him stealing 80 bases.with his leg problems, he will never get the freedom to steal 80 bases again.i have no problem with problem is moving a leadoff guy, who when he is right is in the top 10 percent of leadoff batters in mlb to give at bats to pagan, who is a career sub and to matthews, whose career is i stated in my previous post, that makes as much sense as moving him to second base a few years ago.imho, a 3 hitter has to hit for some power.reyes is not a power hitter, but in trying to drive he ball more, will hit more flyballs, which completely negates his speed (infield hits and bunt basehits).feel free to disagree with me, but i think it’s a horrible idea.i also don’t think it’s a good idea to move a career leadoff hitter into the 3 hole after missing a year of basball and having no spring training.
  10. Mike May 3, 2010 at 10:56 am
    gary I’ll agree that he is trying to be something he is not, but at his best Reyes absolutely can hit in the middle of the lineup. batting him 3rd has not gotten him hot and instead might have made him change his approach, but he need not change it to be a good third hitter. He does have power and he can drive in runs because he hits the ball into the gap and generally makes solid contact. Limiting him to an on base guy and a singles hitter is a waste of talent. This is again why I argue for the Castillo-Reyes one-two punch at the top.

    I think in the end it won’t matter where he is hitting… as long as he is hitting. He needs to get going because it is obvious that this team needs to hit to succeed and a great year from Jose is a must to have that.

  11. KD May 3, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Not that I like to be a topper but add all of your 3 1/2 year issues the fact that I actually live outside of Philly and we are getting close to my nightmare.

    The last time we were in a must win situation, Glavin chose to have his worst day(and last in a Mets uniform). It was like he was showing all the fans that he was really only here for the money so it didn’t matter that much to him. Now I know that last night was not a ‘must win’ however if there was a game to announce to the rest of the NL that we are here and will stick around for a bit it was last night with our ‘ace’ on the mound. Johan can now be added to the list of Mets who are not ‘clutch players’… this list seems to have more players in it than our ‘gamers’ list…and that, as a fan of this team, is disheartening.

  12. Mike May 3, 2010 at 12:09 pm
    KD, September 27 2008. Look it up. Santana is clutch. Every Mets fan needs to stop this. Stop getting all over Santana, and Wright, and Reyes, and Krod, etc. Stop getting on our best players and star to be better and start getting seriously critical of the fodder the have on this roster. GMJ, Cattalanatto, Tatis, Cora, Valdes and the like are the reason this team won’t win. Many many more wins can be had from those roster spots. that when Jerry gives his regulars a breather the team immediately drops its win probability is a huge problem. This roster can be reworked in so many ways that would make it better. That is what is costing the Mets. I think it is unreasonable to ask more from your already great players when there is so much more wrong with the team than David Wright not being “clutch enough”. Maybe if the filler on the roster was better Wright wouldn’t have to be so clutch because the Mets would have scored more runs, or given up fewer.

    Santana proved his worth in 2008 and I have no doubt he will be great again this year, like he does every year, mid-season through September.

  13. gary s. May 3, 2010 at 3:31 pm
    mike, i agree about santana..i still consider him a big game pitcher.he was just off last nite.i think u make an excellent point about the way the roster is put the end of the year the numbers for our top players will be fine.the signings of matthews, cora, tatis and catalonotto are terrible.all 4 of these guys are over the hill.none except for tatis have any power.over the long haul, this will cost us games and needs to be addressed.i find it hard to believe there was not one other player in baseball besides matthews that we could have obtained for centerfield insurance.i would have kept cory sullivan or reed from last year.both of those guys could play a little bit.matthews is so over the hill it’s pathetic
  14. Mic May 3, 2010 at 4:02 pm
    Sorry, but I refuse to believe the BS about ‘one bad night’. Johan simply is not himself. Didnt we go thru this with Pedro? Johan might be ‘recovering from elbow surgery’ but either way he has NO stamina nor strength in his arm. I think (if he continues) Jerry needs a 6 man roto and Pedro needs to be back. Better yet if thats going to be Johan, let him sit on the DL and rest. Lets travel back to Friday….one Jon Niese beat this SAME team… lesson: its better to role out a healthy starter.

    – I saw a Javy Vazquez rumor floated too…Would they take GMJ? Dont laugh too loudly I-Dude.

    – Ditto Reyes and Pagan should alternate (Righty-lefty) in the 1&3 slots

  15. Mike May 3, 2010 at 4:19 pm
    Mic did you miss every at bat Pagan has had all year? He’s a switch hitter. Not only that he has been bad. Why bat him third? The point is to move him out of more at bats and you want to put him in one of the premiere RBI positions in the lineup? Where do people learn to make lineups? Pagan is ideal for batting 7th because he can take chances on the bases and get into scoring position quickly. With the powerful Barajas behind him the chance he scores is much better than if he hits eighth where his speed is completely wasted on the pitcher. If he were hot and smoking the ball all over the place I’d put him at leadoff, but he isn’t, so keep him down in the lineup.

    and I just continue to believe Mets fans are drawing conclusions on Santana that should not be made just yet. He has started slow every year as a Met. why should this year be any different? And by slow I mean he still throws a few gems but may get knocked around a few times before he really hits his stride.

    Pedro needs to stay far away from this team. The idea that he and his likely 5 innings of work would be good for the Mets is ignorant.

    Gary, think bigger. Why settle for Reed or Sullivan? One of those guys might be OK if he defense was elite, but neither of them are at that level. The Mets bench should be Carter, Felipe Lopez, and Xavior Nady to start. Add a defensive specialist for the outfield of your choice and the Mets are much better than they are today. None of those guys would have been hard to get and Nady is probably the biggest risk. But he can play multiple positions and once he gets going will be pretty good this year.

  16. isuzudude May 3, 2010 at 5:01 pm
    Mike: I want to address a few things.

    Regarding Johan, I agree his reputation is that of a 2nd half pitcher. However, please take a look at his gamelog from last season.

    He came out of the gate smoking hot and then cooled off, so obviously he has not “started slow every year as a Met.” Much of his dropoff last year can be attributed to injury, but the point is that Johan is not a 2nd half pitcher BY TRADE; meaning, you should not just assume he’s going to recover lost velocity and start pitching like a true ace again as the calendar turns to July. The guy is 31 years old, which some may argue is the new 36. He has a lot of miles on that left arm of his and it would not surprise me in the least if his slow and steady decline to mediocrity has already begun. And maybe I’m an alarmist, but pardon me for being concerned when our $137 million man is topping out at 90 MPH and is missing his location like an Ollie Perez clone.

    Regarding who the Mets should have on their bench, during the offseason I lobbied for the Mets to sign Ryan Garko and Willie Taveras/Reed Johnson in lieu of Tatis and GMJ. Jury is still out on which choices have panned out better, but I’m sticking to my guns. I also agree Carter should have Catalanotto’s roster spot. Felipe Lopez would have been a nice upgrade over Cora, but the Mets signed Cora way early in the offseason (for way too much money) and thus weren’t likely to seek Lopez’ services. Plus, I gotta think Lopez preferred going to St Louis over the circus at CitiField, where he’s guaranteed a better chance to win and a better chance to play regularly. I completely disagree on Xavier Nady. He’s not hitting a lick for Chicago and he has absolutely no arm. He would be relegated to backup 1B duty and pinch hitting, which is not worth his $3.3 million pricetag.

    And, by the way, if the Yankees accept a Vazquez-for-GMJ deal, then I’m sure I’ll see pigs fly by my bedroom window.

  17. Mic May 4, 2010 at 4:57 pm