Diamondbacks 4 Mets 3
It’s one thing to watch a painful loss. It’s another to watch a painfully long game that ends in a loss.
It took the Mets 4 hours and 45 minutes to lose to the Diamondbacks in a game that appeared to be lost as early as the third inning. The only thing that caused the contest to continue was a random moon shot by Rod Barajas in the sixth. Otherwise, every Met not named Angel Pagan pretty much packed it in and was going through the motions.
By the time Chris Snyder lashed a liner to the left field wall to drive home the winning run in the fourteenth frame, I have to admit I was rooting for it to happen — the game had become too agonizing, and a loss seemed inevitable.
Jon Niese pitched so-so, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and a walk, striking out 6, in 5 innings. All three runs he gave up were on solo homers. As usual, his release point and arm angle was all over the place, and his pitches were mostly flat. Not as usual, the opposing team took advantage. Could be a sign of things to come.
Angel Pagan hit another homer and went 3-for-5 with 2 runs scored. Has anyone been more consistent and consistently productive since Opening Day? And to think he’s been relegated to bench duty not once but twice this season.
What is most disturbing about this lost series is the fact that the Diamondbacks weren’t necessarily trying to win. Of course, they were trying to win, but what I mean is, manager Kirk Gibson was doing a lot of things he might not have done if his team were in the thick of a pennant race. For example, he pulled Ian Kennedy after 5 innings because the team wants to keep him under 200 IP for the season. And, Gibson left in his “irregulars” for most of this contest rather than plugging in starters such as Adam LaRoche when key situations came up. Gibson was doing more evaluating of his personnel than going all out to win — yet, they still won the series.
Bobby Parnell allowed no runs in his one inning of work but was lucky to do so. He walked Justin Upton to start the frame, then allowed a rip up the middle to Miguel Montero, then allowed another laser to Mark Reynolds but it was right at Jose Reyes, turning a bad situation into a double play. After the DP, Parnell gave up another hard-hit ball to Rusty Ryal before gettng the third out. It’s remarkable that Parnell can hit triple digits yet be so hittable.
Former Met Aaron Heilman hurled two nearly perfect innings of relief, striking out three and walking one. He’s lost a bit on his fastball — topping out at 92 MPH — but still has one of the nastiest changeups in MLB. He also dropped in a sharp breaking ball on Carlos Beltran that felt really weird if you have any memories of Heilman, Beltran, and Adam Wainwright from one evening in October 2006.
Oliver Perez pitched an inning and a third of scoreless ball but it was far from impressive. I’m still trying to figure out how he escaped from a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the twelfth.
“Oliver Perez” and “Ollie” were trending topics in NYC on Twitter as of 2:20 AM EST.
Is it a coincidence that the Mets’ overnight change from a fighting, tenacious team to a bunch of sleepwalkers began when Carlos Beltran returned to active duty?
The Mets had one hit after the sixth inning. The game went 14 frames.
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About the Author
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.