Mets Game 93: Loss to Diamondbacks

Diamondbacks 13 Mets 2

Much was made of the fact that for the first time in over a year, the Mets’ lineup was as intended — in other words, intact with all the planned regulars healthy.

Unfortunately, it didn’t matter.

Mike Pelfrey was the one of the top three or four pitchers in baseball through June 25th. Since then, he has been one of the three or four worst in baseball — and that includes PONY leagues. Big Pelf dug a big hole early and the Mets never had a chance to climb out. It took him 51 pitches to get out of the first inning, and he left before finishing the second. By the time he hit the showers, his line looked like this: 1 1/3 IP, 6 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 1 K. Ouch.

Unfortunately for the Mets, the next arms brought in provided no relief. Raul Valdes helped Pelfrey increase his ERA by allowing an inherited runner to score, and Fernando Nieve allowed 5 runs on 5 hits in the 6th inning. So even if the offense showed any sign of life, it probably would not have made a difference.

Game Notes

If you read my post on Pelfrey’s minor mechanical issue, you may have noticed during this game that he was hunching over fairly often — which in turn wreaked havoc with his arm angle, release point, and command. Just as significant, his body language was negative; he looked lost and lacking in confidence. In some ways, he reminded me of bad outings by Ron Darling back in the mid-1980s, when Darling used to think too much on the mound. Pelfrey was thinking about something, and to me it looked like he was filling his mind with negative thoughts. When mechanical issues are combined with psychological issues, bad things happen. Success generally breeds confidence, which in turn follows with more success — but in Pelfrey’s case, that hasn’t happened. I wonder if he’s one of those self-sabotaging types who fear success?

The Mets scored once, in the fifth inning, after pinch-hitter extraordinaire Josh Thole walked, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored on a blistering line drive off the bat of Angel Pagan.

David Wright went 2-for-3 with a double. Did anyone notice? I didn’t.

Though “the plan” was to have a four-man outfield rotation, Jerry Manuel nixed that by announcing that Pagan would play every day. That was the best news of the day.

Speaking of, whatever happened to the idea of “easing” Carlos Beltran back into everyday duty? Wasn’t he supposed to play one day, sit the next, play two in a row, sit one, etc. ? Yes, he did get the day off on Sunday … but I don’t remember the plan being three days on, one day off. Not that it matters, and I’m sure the Mets know what they’re doing.

While we’re on the subject of players returning from the DL, Luis Castillo returned to the roster and started at 2B. He punched two of the Mets’ 8 hits and scored half their runs. His legs looked fairly healthy running the bases.

Jose Reyes returned to the lineup as well, and looked good offensively but lost and rusty on defense. He made a terrible throw on an attempted DP turn and completely missed a perfect throw to 2B by Rod Barajas on an attempted steal.

Pedro Feliciano continues to look bad, as he allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and a walk in the eighth inning. He threw the entire inning and expended 36 pitches. Yet, Jerry Manuel keeps telling us that Feliciano can pitch every day because he’s a “situational” guy and doesn’t face many guys nor throw many pitches. Did you know Feliciano has thrown 109 pitches so far in July? That’s kind of a lot for someone who is supposed to be a “LOOGY”. (For comparison, Cardinals LOOGY Trever Miller has thrown 38 pitches this month, threw 133 total in June and 118 in May.) But I’m sure overuse has nothing to do with Feliciano’s drop in effectiveness — he’s probably just not throwing the right pitches at the right times, as Manuel explained the other day.

Next Mets Game

The Mets play again in Arizona on Tuesday night at 9:40 PM EST. R.A. Dickey faces Barry Enright.

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. Mic July 20, 2010 at 7:38 am
    – The Mets still need to win games. But in the next two weeks I expect CB (or french) to be dealt. If they can deal CB THATS the $$$ for Cliff Lee.

    -Pel. i think that ‘hunch’ is a back strain. It is obvoious an ‘announcement’ is needed and Pel may need two weeks off.

    -In the meantime, the BP is burnt out. I think valdes will have to be optioned (Ollie activated), and Pel goes on the DL. (Dillon Gee? ).

  2. gary s. July 20, 2010 at 9:33 am
    i agree with joe that pelf unfortunaely has some emotional issues and maybe at 10-2 he couldn’t handle success and went into a shell,I know this might sound crazy, but does anybody else have a better explanation?We definitely have NO emotional issues with the bullpen.they are all physically spent by JULY 20TH!!!Nice job snoop.
  3. wohjr July 20, 2010 at 11:59 am
    The carriage is turning back into a pumpkin. This team is who we thought they were…
  4. murph July 20, 2010 at 4:35 pm
    Last night was technically the Mets first game of the season with the line-up at full strength, at least personnel-wise (Beltran, Reyes, Castillo all back). Let’s hope their offense is just in a bit of a slump. These things do happen over the course of 162 games. One change I suggest is that it may be time to start Thole over Barajas.

    However, looking at the big picture, starting pitching and the bullpen remain the big concerns. 11 days until the trading deadline. If nothing happens, the Mets will have to give Ollie Perez and/or Patrick Misch a shot, with Takahashi going to the pen and Pelfrey possibly the DL.