Mets Game 65: Win Over Indians
Mets 8 Indians 4
Tin soldiers and Niese was pitching, we’re finally scoring runs
This summer I hear the drummin’, four runs in O-HI-O.
OK, that was lame. No offense to anyone who found that offensive. But that CSNY song was running through my head.
If you think “CSNY” refers to a William Peterson police investigation TV production, please move on to another Mets blog … don’t make me feel old.
Ohio-born-and-bred Jon Niese pitched masterfully in front of his hometown fans, spinning seven innings and allowing 3 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks. Not nearly perfect, but perfectly acceptable nonetheless.
I liked Niese’s pace; he worked quickly and seemed to be pitching with a purpose. I still don’t love his varied arm angles and inconsistent release points, and don’t at all like his early collapse and sideways drive to the plate, which completely negates any advantage he has from his tall 6’4″ frame. Only rarely does he really use his height and get on top of the ball, dropping and driving a la Jerry Koosman — a style that would bring the sharp bite back to his curve and provide more leverage and sink to the fastball. Sometimes I think his learning the cutter was a step back in terms of long-term success, even if it helped create short-term success. Also I fear for the health of his elbow … sorry if I’m harping on that subject.
One of these days I’m going to force a “professional” pitching coach to explain to me why he allows pitchers to step sideways in starting the windup — and thereby going against all of the laws of motion and physics established by Sir Isaac Newton. Eh, they know more than Newton, I guess.
Speaking of “pro” coaches who have changed the game for “the better” … SNY showed a clip of Bob Feller during the 4th inning. If you paid attention, you would have seen that Feller used his arms over his head to initiate the generation of front-back-front momentum to propel the ball toward home plate. Somewhere along the line, pitching “experts” decided that it made more sense to keep “moving parts” to a minimum, and focused the delivery on hip rotation, which is side-to-side — and go against all the laws of motion and physics. The end result? Pitchers who don’t finish games, are limited to 100-pitch counts, have higher ERAs, lower win totals, and need annual surgeries. Go figure.
Offensively, the Mets jumped out to a five-run lead in the third inning and never looked back. Angel Pagan had a big day, going 3-for-5 with 3 RBI, a double, his 14th stolen base, and a run scored. Carlos Beltran can take all the time he wants getting back into shape.
Jeff Francoeur, Jason Bay, and Ike Davis each contributed two hits and an RBI, and David Wright hit a two-run double to round out the scoring.
Travis Hafner is a shell of his former self, and not nearly resembling the scary slugger he was before MLB starting testing for PEDs. Not to suggest that he had any “help”, just pointing out a coincidence. In fairness, Hafner has been struggling to fight injuries over the past four years, and injuries are rarely associated with PEDs.
I may never understand the universal praise for Manny Acta — aka “Connie Macta”, as Michael Kay likes to say. Despite a reputation of “being good with young players, his Nationals teams never took a step forward, were generally lazy, and lacked both fundamentals and discipline. Similarly, his Indians have gone backward. Even though Cleveland’s problems have something to do with injuries, I still felt like I was seeing a team similar to what we’ve seen in Washington the last few years. It’s not fair to judge Acta based on the small sample and the personnel, but there is definitely a familiarity from my view. Anderson Hernandez in the leadoff spot? Hmm ….
This was one of those nice games where the result was never in jeopardy … perhaps partially because Francisco Rodriguez had the night off.
Next Mets Game
The Mets go for the sweep in Cleveland at 7:05 PM on Thursday night. R.A. Dickey goes to the hill against future Met Jake Westbrook. Woops … did I say that out loud?