Mets Game 62: Win Over Orioles

Mets 3 Orioles 1

Two down, one to go …

The Mets beat Baltimore for the second straight night, behind the brilliant pitching of Hisanori Takahashi and the general lack of interest by the Orioles.

To me, the O’s resemble the Mets of late August 2009 — a team waiting for the season to end. Unfortunately for the Orioles and their fans, there are a hundred games left. That’s a long time to be wallowing.

Game Notes

Hisanori Takahashi hurled 7 frames of one-run, 6-hit ball, walking only one and striking out 2. Before you get all excited that Tak has “re-discovered” his form, temper the enthusiasm and realize that a) the Orioles are a bad offensive team — 29th out of 30 in MLB in runs scored; b) the O’s are completely unmotivated and disinterested; c) the O’s never saw Takahashi before. All three of those factors played significantly into Tak’s success. That doesn’t mean he won’t pitch well again five days from now, but it does mean you shouldn’t be surprised if he gives up 5 runs and 10 hits in a five-inning stint. Sorry to be a downer, but that’s my style.

Jose Reyes led off the game with a homer, the 15th time he’s done that in his career. He also hit a single, sacrificed, and was picked off.

Jeff Francoeur continued his hot hitting, blasting a solo homer to provide an insurance run in the 8th.

Reyes and Francoeur accounted for over half the Mets’ hits — they managed only 5 all told against Brian Matusz, who pitched 8 brilliant innings in a tough loss.

Ruben Tejada scored the Mets’ second run, but really shouldn’t have. He misread an Angel Pagan hit and therefore didn’t score from second base, and eventually scored on a double play that should’ve been off the bat of David Wright — but first-base ump Ron Kulpa blew the call and called Wright safe, thereby giving the Mets a run instead of ending the inning. A small thing, and Frenchy’s homer would’ve been the difference anyway, but it is these small things that eventually catch up to a club. Again, you’re probably wondering why I’m being a Debbie Downer, but I’m a bit miffed that the Mets are only barely beating the worst team MLB has seen in ten years — maybe closer to 50 years, considering that the O’s current record compares to the 1962 Mets over the same number of games.

As predicted, Pedro Feliciano pitched again, tossing 16 pitches in his MLB-leading 37th appearance. Again, I’m a bit miffed that Jerry Manuel felt forced to “go to the well” for his lefty specialist yet again, to make sure the Mets beat the worst team in baseball. What happens in August when the Mets play the Phillies and Braves a dozen times? Will Feliciano’s left arm still be attached to his body?

Next Mets Game

The Mets go for the sweep on Sunday afternoon at 1:35 PM. Mike Pelfrey goes for his 9th win against Kevin Millwood, who has yet to earn a win and has lost seven.

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. John June 13, 2010 at 11:54 am
    I agree that we shouldn't get excited by Takahasi's performance against Baltimore. I still think the best place for him is in the bullpen. His delivery works very well the first time through the lineup, he throws strikes and seems pretty poised.
    And they should beat the Orioles. But the reason they are the worst team in baseball is not that they get blown out every night but that they always do something to lose the game. And that is what happened tonight. They get good pitching and then don't score runs and make some bad defensive plays. It is why they are awful.
  2. MikeTomaselli June 13, 2010 at 4:21 pm
    Tak is a good 5th starter, Capable of handling bad teams, and teams that have not seen him, but against an opponent that has scouted him well or seen him before, he is vulnerable. I agree that his role is probably best in long relief, but putting it this way, if he is replaced by say a Kevin Millwood, how much work would he actually get? I definitely don't make a decision based on that, but if he is moved back to the pen then it is likely because the Mets have acquired a better SP. Is he good in short relief? Remains to be seen. So I feel if Tak is left in the 5th spot the Mets are okay.
  3. metstoday June 13, 2010 at 5:57 pm
    Certainly there are worse #5 starters than Takahashi. But we are banking on Dickey continuing to surprise as a #4 and Niese being a legit #3. Lots of hopes and wishes after the first two spots.
  4. AlexSVK June 13, 2010 at 8:43 pm
    well, there's still some chance that either Maine or Perez figures it out, right?
  5. metstoday June 14, 2010 at 12:12 pm
    eh. About as much a chance of the Pope converting to Scientology