Game 41: Loss to the Nationals
Nationals 5, Mets 3
Angel Pagan and R.A. Dickey are the kind of players who you could root for, no matter what team they play for. Tonight, they both wore Mets uniforms and they both played (and pitched) their asses off. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to beat the Nationals.
Dickey was solid, allowing two runs in six innings of work. He made a great diving catch on a bunt pop up in the first inning – in the grand scheme of things, it was a small play, but it was clear that Dickey was willing to make the extra effort and earn a spot with the Mets. In the wake of Hanley Ramirez’s recent lollygagging in Florida, Dickey’s effort was nice to see.
Pagan’s night was a bit more historic – he was became the first player in 55 years to take part in an 8-2-6-3 triple play (as a fielder) and hit an inside-the-park home run in the same game. The triple play was the tenth in Mets history.
Dickey was matched by former Met Livan Hernandez, who scattered four hits and allowed two runs over 6 1/3 innings.
After Dickey exited the game, the Mets bullpen blew the lead, thanks to losing pitcher Raul Valdes and Fernando Nieve. Valdes and Nieve allowed three earned runs over 2/3 of an inning. It never got ugly or out of control, but while the Mets bullpen was leaking, the Nationals pen was airtight – Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Matt Capps allowed one hit and walked none in 2 2/3 innings of work.
Notes: This game was much more exciting than the past two snore-fests, but the Mets offense has mustered only 7 runs this week… David Wright was given the night off tonight, in favor of Fernando Tatis… Tatis hit a solo home run off Matt Capps in the 9th inning – his first hit off right-handed pitching all season… Ollie “All Over” Perez made his first appearance out of the bullpen and was his typically wild self, walking one batter in 1/3 inning of work… The last player to take part in a triple play and hit an inside-the-park home run in the same game was Philadelphia’s Ted Kazanski on September 25, 1955.
Next Mets Game
The Mets take on Washington again tomorrow night at 7:05pm EDT.
Enjoy this video from Opening Day at Shea in 1972:
1) Dickey could probably have gone another inning, but Jerry chose to pinch hit. That may in itself have been a defensible move, but with Wright and Carter both sitting on the bench Jerry called on Cora and ordered him to bunt sacrifice. This with a runner on first and nobody out. Either have RA bunt sacrifice and pitch one more inning, or put Wright or Carter in to swing away. Jerry chose the worst of all possible moves.
2) Ollie Perez threw 8 pitches to end the 7th, by which time the Mets were 3 runs down and didn't have much hope of winning the game. Instead of leaving Ollie in to throw the 8th as well, Jerry brings in Manny Acosta. What if he needs Acosta tomorrow? Why waste another pitcher?
Bay for Lackey straight up? haha
Jerry doesn't make Jose or Bay or Francoer not hit.
Jerry doesn't make Maine and OP bad pitchers
Jerry doesn't make David Wrong become whiff man and no glove no throw man.
Jerry doesn't make his bullpen major league thin, not being able to trust anyone.
Every fan can and will blast any manager after a close loss. Its meaningless becaue the bottomline is these guys aren't performing on their own, not becaue of Jerry.
I'll admit that if it had been me I probably would have pinch-hit for Dickey, but I'd have put in Carter with instructions to swing away.
As for your point on Acosta, fine, so I'll revise my rhetorical question: "What if he needs Acosta tomorrow and the day after and the day after that? No days off until Monday!"
Anyway, neither of these gaffes can be definitively said to have cost the Mets the game, but you never know. Stupid decisions like this, built up over time, surely cost at least a handful of wins per year. Think how nice an extra handful of wins would have been in 2007 or 2008!