Mets Game 70: Win Over Tigers

Mets 14 Tigers 6

Usually, a “laugher” like this is fun to watch. But when there is a 58-minute rain delay in the middle of it, it can kind of drag on and put a “dampener” on the evening.

Though, I’ll take it!

Game Notes

If anyone can find something to complain about in a 14-6 victory, it’s me. And I’m steamed.

Why? Because Jon Niese was sent out to pitch the fourth inning after not only a 58-minute rain delay but a lengthy offensive rally by the Mets that made the score 10-zip. As a result, Niese sat for a good hour and twenty minutes or so between pitches. Anyone who has even a rudimentary understanding about how the body works (and how it recovers), knows that going back into action after that long a time is not only difficult, it’s downright dangerous. There are some chemical reactions and other things that happen inside the body, with lactic acid, glycogen, carbohydrates, and protein when the body is at rest after intense activity (yes, pitching a baseball repetitively at 90+ MPH is an “intense activity”). I’m not an expert on the subject but I know enough to know that by the time Niese went back to the mound, his body was in “recovery mode”, not “active mode” (if there is an expert out there who can support / deny this with specific details, please comment below). Workout buffs know what I’m talking about, and know the dangers of trying to do something strenuous while the body is in a “shutdown” / recovery period. Muscles are devoid of glycogen, lactic acid is building up, tissue repair is beginning, and the body is thereby vulnerable to injury. The Mets trainers should know all about this, and shame on Jerry Manuel / Dan Warthen for not seeking or heeding their advice.

As it turned out, Niese did not pitch well at all after returning to the mound in the fourth, yet Manuel sent him back out in the fifth. Why? I guess because he wanted Niese to pitch five full innings and thereby earn a win. Sorry, but padding stats is secondary to a) health and b) winning the game. Eventually Niese was removed, but not before allowing 6 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks in 4 2/3 innings. It could’ve been worse, as he left the game with the bases loaded but Fernando Nieve struck out Danny Worth to end the fifth inning.

OK, I’m descending from the soapbox. On to the positives.

Nieve was awarded with the win for his 2 innings of shutout ball.

Angel Pagan went 4-for-6, only a homerun shy of the cycle, driving in 4 runs and scoring thrice.

David Wright was 3-for-3 with two walks, two RBI, two runs scored. His first RBI of the game gave him 615 for his career, passing Ed Kranepool for fourth on the all-time Mets list. Thank goodness … seeing Kranepool anywhere in historical offensive records is an embarrassment.

Ike Davis drove in three runs with three hits. Jose Reyes scored three runs with three hits.

The top three hitters in the lineup — Reyes, Pagan ,and Wright, — combined for 10 hits, nine runs scored and seven RBI. Add in Davis’ 3 RBI and you could say that batters 5 through 9 were slackers!

Bobby Parnell made his first appearance of 2010, needing 21 pitches to get 3 outs in holding an 8-run lead in the 8th inning. He threw a lot of high heat, 95-97 MPH.

Jay Sborz of the Tigers made his MLB debut by hitting the first batter he faced to load the bases, then hit the next batter to force in a run. By the time he left the game, he allowed 5 runs in two-thirds of an inning (67.50 ERA). He looked very sad as he walked back to the dugout — like he was on the brink of tears. But I’m sure a graham cracker sandwich of roasted marshmallow and chocolate would have lifted Sborz’ spirits.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Tigers meet again in Flushing on Wednesday at 7:10 PM. Undefeated R.A. Dickey faces Jeremy Bonderman. The game will be televised by ESPN.

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. June 23, 2010 at 1:16 pm
    i agree with u joe.the manager risked injury to get niese a win??after what happened to us last year with injuries!!he has no clue how to use starters or relievers.this was almost as brilliant as starting valdez in the 9th vs. the yanks.DO NOT BRING THIS GUY BACKNEXT YEAR .WE WIN DESPITE MANUEL, NOT BECAUSE OD THE MANAGER!!!!
  2. John Fitzgerald June 23, 2010 at 1:48 pm
    Jerry seemed to imply in his postgame comments that he brought Niese back because he had a no-hitter.

    "Plus, with no hits going through the lineup, you've got to give him the opportunity to go back and see if he can hold on and win that game."


  3. John Fitzgerald June 23, 2010 at 1:49 pm
    It's amazing that Niese is untouchable when it comes to trades, but his health is an afterthought.
  4. isuzudude June 23, 2010 at 2:05 pm
    Niese has had one hamstring injury his whole career and now he should be labeled as injury prone? Roy Oswalt had back and hamstring issues this spring, why is his health also an afterthought? And we lambaste Omar for trading away Jason Vargas, yet his entire tenure with the Mets was marked by injuries. So why only point out injury risks when they are convenient to your argument?

    Niese is also far from untouchable. But trading a 23 year old who appears to be a legit major league talent for a 3-month rental in Cliff Lee, or some other short-term, high-priced solution, is nonsensical, imo.

  5. isuzudude June 23, 2010 at 2:17 pm
    Totally agree with this thought, too. Leaving in Niese after such a long delay was one of the worst decisions Jerry has ever made – and that's really saying something. Up 10-0, with the field conditions and the state of his recent injury history, there was every reason in the world to take him out and throw in Valdes or Nieve to eat innings and coast the Mets to an easy victory. Instead, Jerry gets his priorities screwed up and risks one of the team's biggest young talents (or trading chips, as it may be) while leaving him in to get pounded for 2 innings before finally coming to his senses. As gary says, we win despite of Manuel, not because of him.
  6. metstoday June 23, 2010 at 2:21 pm
    'dude, you completely twisted John's argument. Who said Niese was "injury prone"? The point is that Manuel put Niese into a situation that NO pitcher — injury prone or not — should have been put into. And Vargas has absolutely nothing to do with whether you send a pitcher back to the mound after an hour and a half of cooling down.

    And as for Niese being untouchable, I'm pretty darn sure that John was being facetious, teasing the Mets fans who think Niese is the next Sandy Koufax.

    How the heck you went from the argument of Manuel being an irresponsible rockhead to the Cliff Lee debate is amazing, though — gotta give you props for that one! 🙂

  7. John Fitzgerald June 23, 2010 at 3:16 pm
    I don't think Niese is injury prone. Just that Jerry Manuel used him last night like he was from the planet Krypton. ANYONE is at risk of injury after a 90-minute rain delay.

    And as far as being untouchable, MetsBlog is reporting that the Mets won't deal Niese for Cliff Lee. If he won't be traded for Lee, he won't be traded and is, therefore, untouchable.

    So… all I was saying was that if the organization feels Niese is so good that they won't consider trading him, maybe they should tell Jerry not to put his arm (and hamstrings) at risk.

  8. isuzudude June 23, 2010 at 4:15 pm
    John didn't say injury prone, but I thought it was implied. Why else would he mention his injury history as if it were a bonus to trade Niese because then the Mets wouldn't have to worry about him getting hurt again, like it's a common occurrence. Maybe I misinterpreted John's intended audience. I thought he was speaking to the fans who want to hold on to Niese, and mentioning his health issues as an additional selling point to ship him elsewhere. However, now I see he was instead making a comment about the Mets' themselves, and how they value Niese so much as a future commodity based on their trade stances, but contradict themselves by jeopardizing Niese's health by their actions last night. My bad – I didn't twist John's argument, I just misread it.
  9. John Fitzgerald June 23, 2010 at 4:51 pm
    No problem, 'dude.