Mets Game 95: Loss to Diamondbacks
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.
Next Mets Game
The Mets move northward to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers for a four-game set. Game one begins at 10:10 PM EST (yawn!) on Thursday night. Hisanori Takahashi is scheduled to face Hiroki Kuroda.
I have to ask what you mean by this? Are you saying his personality is so poisonous that it can destroy a team’s spirit? That is placing an awful lot on one player. I have read complaints that he is not a dynamic personality, but I have never heard he was a clubhouse cancer.
There are a slew of easily recognizable reasons for this slide (Bay’s offensive performance, Pelf’s terrible pitching, Manuel’s unfathomable coaching decisions etc etc) yet you bring up the one thing that matters least in playing a sport – a guy’s personality.
Even worse the mets were losing BEFORE beltran came back. So it’s not even correlation. You couldn’t even get that part right.
they should zero life in the Brave series before he returned. Beltran is not the problem, the problem is that no one in the lineup is hitting.
Total cliche, utter nonsense, and embarrassing to read.
Hey Joe, did you watch the last four pre-Beltran series against FLA, WASH, CIN and ATL when we went 5–8?
How can people publish such drivel?
People who own their own website can publish any “drivel” they want. It’s covered by the First Amendment, which I believe is still active in this country.
Do you even know that the Mets were playing poorly before the break and before Beltran’s return?
But let’s actually address the question. If it were actually the case that the Mets play has suffered because of some kind of player backlash due to the return of Beltran and Castillo, then I say screw them. These are professional athletes. You mean to tell me they’re so bothered by a guy’s personality that it causes the team to play poorly? You mean Rod Barajas stopped hitting because he was dreading the return of one of the premier players in the game of baseball? Come on.
And if Carlos Beltran has such a deleterious affect on team chemistry, how did they manage to win 97 games in 2006, and 88 games in 2007 and 2008? And it’s funny that they went into the the crapper in 2009 as soon as Beltran returned.
I broke my leg last week. I thinks its Beltran’s fault.
Such an asinine statement.
He’s just simply not that good.
I didn’t see Pagan pressing because Beltran was coming back.
The question is: how many lives will Jerry Manuel be handed with this organization?
Granted, a team needs to score runs to win ballgames — but this guy does nothing for this organization; unless it’s to remind us of some of the worst times in Met history.
How he made it through so many cuts, be it managerial (Randolph and Co.) or coaching staff — is beyond my comprehension.
.500-baseball……a Met staple.
I come from a different school of fan-dom than Joe and most of the frequent commenters on this site. The two times I’ve commented I’ve felt like I had my hair on fire. But then again, I visit the site, so I know what I’m gettting myself into.
That said, Beltran’s not the reason that the team isn’t hitting. I feel like the squad has this tendency to go in the tank collectively that has less to do with any one individual than a vibe that’s been around the team since ’07. But I’m with Ted Berg–this is a deep lineup when Thole plays, with a lot of guys that have .350 or better OBP’s (or can be reliably expected to have them). I don’t know when the bats get going, but they will, and the Mets will finish five or six above .500 and not make the playoffs. Ted Lilly or Ben Sheets isn’t going to change that by much, though for thrill’s sake I’d love to see them try.
Manuel won’t be fired. There won’t be a massive sell off of players. The Wilpons won’t sell the team. So maybe we can hope for the best. That means this: Bay comes to life; Beltran continues to heal; Wright gets hot again; Castillo gets on base at his career rate; Reyes stays healthy; Pagan’s really this good; Thole plays more and hits .275; Pelfrey pitches even like his 2009 self; Dickey and Niese keep it up. That’d be a fun season, something to build on for 2011.
Beltran has missed a lot of games the last year, but from 2006–2008 and when he played in 2009 he was EXCELLENT.
Power, speed, great fielding, helping teammates hugely as the recent Pagan story shows, etc.
Some of us who understand the game and are rational just are sick and tired of the idiocy that makes up a significant percentage of the Met fan population.
In other words, it matters WAY less whether the guys like each other than if they perform. IN my humble opinion.
While we are at it, lets call up Mike Piazza and see if maybe he can jump start the offense, after all his stats were explosive in 1999-2000. By your reasoning he should be just as good if not better this year!
Albeit a painful pill to swallow, Beltran is getting older and slower and he is coming off a major injury. I think we can agree that he will never be the 2006 Beltran again.
I think Joe does a great job and i look forward to his analysis after every Mets game. You can just jump all over the guy because he posed a question and you took it as an attack on Beltran.
If you have a lifeless manager, chances are your team will be lifeless. The manager is supposed to earn his money during times like this…and Manuel just isn’t smart enough to know what buttons to push to turn this team around.
As always Joe, thanks!!! I dont always agree with you ( i think its a 40-60 split) but you give me 15 minutes of vent time everyday.
The above post is great!! especially on Beltran. Beltran is TAKING a big bat out of the line-up NOT adding it. I mean Reyes can hit .240 BUT Tejada cant (yet). AND like Scott says, there IS a market for Beltran….NOT for Frenchy…who btw I might trade anyway and give CPT Kirk/Fmart/Feliciano RF.
Seriously, Joe pointed out the 300 pound gorilla in the room, Beltran comes back and takes a spot in a PRIME position (Center Field), in a PRIME spot in the batting order (Clean Up), stinks up the ballgame, and the Mets are reeling. It’s never one players fault in baseball, but it sure as hell is superstitious that Beltran comes back and takes the life outta this team.
If you look at monthly stats: you would see practically every hitter in the Mets lineup besides Pagan and maybe Ike is having a TERRIBLE July.
Beltran is the team’s 2nd best player, and it’s very unreasonable to blame him for this team’s woes.
Do you think Jerry should have brought in K-Rod? I don’t see anything in the post about it.
Only among Mets fans.
It’s not even a coincidence, since they started slumping well before he returned.
Barajas hasn’t hit in what, 2 months?
Frenchy has been awful. Bay has been bad. Davis is up and down (as rookies normally are). Pelfrey has fallen off a cliff. The bullpen is terrible.
But fans wonder if the return of Beltran is a cause.
Question – did the blog poster pose this question simply to cause debate, knowing full well it was a silly question to begin with?
Did the blog owner pose the question knowing full well that the “lazy latino” crowd will eat this up?
It’s my 1st amendment right to pose such a question, no?
Oh, and using WFAN callers and hosts to support his posing the question is asinine as well. Is that really who we want to take cues from? The valley of the stupid?
Pagan should play over Frenchy. If Jer decides to play Frenchy, that’s on him.
Oh, and Pagan is having a nice season and all, but to try to compare his bat to Beltran’s is ridiculous.
Second- What fighting and tenacity have you seen from this club before Beltran returned to even write such stuff? Their losing record on the road? Their losing record in one run games?
It’s a silly question, but it’s a throwaway hypothetical stuck in the notes of the blog entry. It probably took ten seconds to type it. And you know EVERYONE is thinking it.
It is true that correlation doesn’t equal causation — but that just means that correlation is not a reason to believe something BY ITSELF – it’s not the correlation is useless.
I came here expecting to read some stupid post blasting Beltran – but it wasn’t that. So chill out. Joe does good work. Stop being an angry mob.
Based on the harsh wording and your previous coverage of Beltran, one has to believe that you would answer “no” to that question. It would have been better if you just came out and said it, rather than hiding behind the veil of “it’s just a question, not a statement”.
Has my previous coverage of Beltran been unjust? I believe I’ve been pretty fair, considering he is the highest-paid Met regular and as such is framed as a superstar and positioned as a team leader.
Joe, I like your blog, but you’ve got to admit you screwed up on this one. There’s no reason to think Beltran is the cause of the Mets’ recent woes, and impugning his character (or whatever you were trying to imply there) isn’t fair or helpful.
This blog is less about my opinion and more about the conversation among Mets fans. At least, that’s the goal. I sincerely believe it is a question worth discussing, and just because I find it worth discussing doesn’t mean I believe it one way or the other — otherwise it would’ve been a statement.
You’re WAYYYYY outta line here. You have to wait at least 3-4 weeks to say something so politically incorrect. We fans are still riding the “we’re getting our lineup back!!!” wave.
This is the lineup that Grand Master Minaya put together. It must work. It has to. It has Carlos Beltran, after all. So, it will work. And it will work because Carlos Beltran isn’t the problem. The problem was Delgado. And LoDuca. And Pedro. And Willie.
Not Beltran. Not Manuel. Not Omar. Those are the GOOD guys. Hooray!
And that’s it. Period. The end. No more nonsense. Stop it. Please. I said stop it. Let’s go Mets!
And people remember 2006 when the season ended with his bat on his shoulder? Do they remember that he also OPS’d 1.054 for the series and hit three homeruns?
The guy’s played in seven games. He’s rusty. He’s still gotten on base a third of the time, which is a hell of a lot more than half the players in last night’s lineup. If you want to bitch about someone, bitch about the leadoff man with a .317 OBP or Manuel for putting him there every night. Or maybe the two corner outfielders who started last night despite having sub-.300 OBPs. The Mets got 99 problems, but Beltran ain’t one (probably).
Joe I know you were just asking a question, but in the past you have sarcastically asked questions that were really meant to be statements. So for people to miss interpret sarcasm, or really anything that would normally be hinted at in spoken language, is not anyone’s fault but the writer. But it is the fault of the reader to personally assault you on your own blog. They don’t have to read your blog and they certainly don’t have to be jerks.
No, I don’t believe there is a correlation here. There just isn’t any evidence to support it. In the future, if you care for my opinion, maybe you should more clearly ask questions to your audience. That question was loaded more with intent and rhetoric than as an actual question. If as you say you were indeed going for an actual question there.