Mets Game 108: Loss to Braves

Braves 8 Mets 3

Operation Meltdown. Or was it “Metdown” ? Or, “Letdown” ?

The Mets failed in their attempt to help the Phillies gain ground on the Braves by folding early and giving Atlanta an easy victory.

Four errors … three in one inning … a starting pitcher who was unable to hold a lead … a manager who seemed unable to make the right decision, no matter what the situation … and how do you walk 6 times in a game but score only three times?

If we thought a loss in game 107 would’ve been a nail in the coffin for the Mets’ season, then how do you qualify (or is it “quantify”?) a loss in game 108? Either way, the Mets lost the series, and have sunk to a .500 record and 7.5 games behind in the NL East. At this point they are closer to the last-place Nationals than the first-place Braves — not a great situation for a team that hoped to play meaningful games in September.

Game Notes

Mike Pelfrey was, again, a disaster. He’s gotten to the point where he reminds one of John Maine or Oliver Perez circa 2008 – 2009. He has no confidence, looks uncomfortable and confused, and is clearly thinking too much when on the mound. I’m not going to get into the mechanical issues because I’m beating a dead horse and no one is listening anyway. It’s increasingly hard to believe that less than two months ago, Pelfrey was 9-1 and pitching not only like an All-Star but as well as anyone in the National League.

Though he wasn’t especially dominating, it should be noted that the Braves are now 13-1 in Kris Medlen‘s 14 starts. Medlen left the game in the fifth by what was later described as an injury to the ulnar collateral ligament. Not good. Usually that type of injury is followed by Tommy John surgery and 12 – 18 months out of action.

Ron Darling made his move to the dark side during the postgame, responding to a Jerry Manuel quote about possibly skipping or shifting Pelfrey in the rotation to set him up for a favorable “matchup” in his next start:

“I don’t understand what he’s saying when he says that. I mean, I’ve been around the game for 25 years; I don’t know what that means. There’s no protection in this game, there’s no picking a lineup that you think you’re gonna be more comfortable with … what do you do? pitch him at night at Citi Field where he has good numbers for the rest of the year? You can’t do that kind of stuff …”


Manuel also mentioned that the team is lacking “power”. His exact comment:

That’s another thing that we haven’t done offensively … we don’t seem to have the power from our guys, and that’s a big thing missing if you don’t present that power now and then.

Well, hmmm … if that’s not throwing your sluggers under the bus I don’t know what is. While I agree that the Mets have not hit as many four-baggers as one would like, that quote also speaks very loudly about Manuel’s offensive strategy: sit back and wait for the three-run homer. I know Earl Weaver and the statheads prefer that plan, but a manager is stuck with the hand he’s dealt; you can’t coax a royal flush out of a pair of deuces, ace high. When the homers ain’t coming, you have to find another way to score (or limit the scoring) — be it in changing the personnel and/or adjusting the offensive attack. The Steroid Era is over, and thus a manager can no longer wait for homeruns and send relievers to the mound 80 times a season.

With this loss, the Mets fall to 54-54 on the year, prompting my lovely wife to say:

Jerry Manuel has reached his goal of .500 — so he can retire now, right? And we can have a new manager tomorrow?

If only, dear … if only …

And BTW, is YOUR wife (or husband) that informed about the Mets? If so you are as blessed as I.

Next Mets Game

The Mets have a welllllllllllllllllllll – deserved day off on Thursday as they travel to Philadelphia to phace the Phillies phor a three-game weekend series. Phriday night’s game begins at 7:35 PM, and pits Jonathon Niese against Joe Blanton.

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. GLOT August 5, 2010 at 8:03 am
    Finally! A quote from a former GLOT!
  2. John August 5, 2010 at 8:43 am
    John Smoltz spotted the mechanical issues with Pelfrey by the third inning on the braves telecast. You would think that Warthan or Manual or any one of the other geniuses in the Met’s organization would have spotted after a month
  3. Mike August 5, 2010 at 9:09 am
    I can’t watch Pelfrey pitch anymore. Thanks Joe, you’ve ruined me. That I know his flaw and the Mets are so pathetic that they cannot correct this is just unbearable. It would be unbearable regardless, but now I am yelling obscenities at my screen about his mechanics and frightening the neighbors.
  4. Walnutz15 August 5, 2010 at 9:31 am
    What does anyone honestly expect? The Mets told David Wright that he was “standing too far away from the plate” about a month (literally) after he started doing it.

    Par for the course with these pretenders we have on the field, in the dugout, and in the executive offices.

    This team is finished.

  5. gary s. August 5, 2010 at 9:47 am
    on the bright side, we are only 54 games away from getting a full page apology in the newspaper from fred and jeffie about another pathetic season.Lots of meetings will be held the next 2 months to decide how much parking will go up next year and how many games to place in that ripoff “tier pricing” the wilpons have been nice enough to share with met fans.. who has time to fire a manager or make a trade at the deadline to improve the team, when such other vital issues must be decided.
  6. Mike August 5, 2010 at 10:32 am
    I’ll keep saying it, but a deadline deal would never had made a difference for this team. All along I’ve wanted them to win, obviously, but at this point we all should know that trading away prospects for a Lee rental, or any other move, would have blown up in their face. I have and will support the continues youth movement.

    I just hope real changes are actually made like Beltran, Castillo, Frenchy, and Perez are moved or released. But I have all winter to worry about that. Now I’m just worried about whether or not Revis is ruin the Jets chances, and my chance, and finally getting a championship, because I’m 25 and grew up in NY and I’ve never seen a championship for a team I care about, how is that even possible?

    • DUB August 5, 2010 at 11:02 am
      86? You could have been wearing Mets diapers
  7. gary s. August 5, 2010 at 11:07 am
    mike, i’m 59 and a jet fan, met fan and ranger and knick fan..i offer my sincere condolences to a met and jet fan, u can look forward to a lifetime of failure.welcome to the club.And don’t get caught up in this all met prospects fpr 2011 nonsense.check the 1986 roster..a lot of key guys were brought in by trades.the key is of course having a g.m. who knows who to use in trades for better players and who to keep.our front office is sorely lacking in this area.
    • Mike August 5, 2010 at 2:40 pm
      My problem with the 86 argument is that it is one example out of how many others that were NOT built through trades? 69 for the Mets comes to mind. That was a home grown team. The Yankees in the late 90s where builts around a core of young players (or very smart moves that did NOT cost young good players). Look most teams that win have a core, a nucleus that the players brought in compliment or join with, but there is still always the core. Beltran, KRod, Santana, Castillo, and last year Delgado should not be the parts a championship team is built from, but instead should have been the last pieces of a puzzle. Since they all did not work I think the strategy should be to but ties with as many as possible, build off of the Mets true core of Wright, Reyes, Pelfrey (assuming he turns things around eventually) and maybe Ike if he truly is a star.

      But whatever I could go on for hours about what I think they should do, it won’t do any of us any good. As long as Jerry and Omar are running this team there is no hope. So I hope the team tanks hard at this point.

    • Mike August 5, 2010 at 2:46 pm
      Oh and yeah, how I grew up in NY when championships were bountiful for NY teams and did not latch on to any of them is beyond me. I never followed hockey so 94 doesn’t count for the Rangers since I didn’t even know they were playing in the Stanley Cup. And yes I too am a Knicks fan. Ugh, Mets/Jets/Knicks/Rangers. What a crummy combination. And in college sports I went to Penn State. Only chance they have at a BCS title is an undefeated season and JoePa has 5 of them and just one title (of those 5, two total I believe) to show for it. Good luck with that.

      Probably the closest thing I have is when Tony Stewart won the Cup back in that one year my friend got me into NASCAR and I followed him. I hate that stuff now, no idea why I liked it then. Peer pressure is dangerous people.

  8. gary s. August 5, 2010 at 11:10 am
    one more thing..after reading joe’s ron darling quote, it’s pretty obvious he can’t stand manuel.(good for him), would darling be interested in becoming the gm of the mets??he is smart and has so much knowledge of the game, met ties and i’m sure he would like to be a part of the team to turn the mets around.what do u guys think???
  9. Walnutz15 August 5, 2010 at 2:09 pm
    Cue the Beavis and Butthead laugh-track — and intro music……….

  10. Walnutz15 August 5, 2010 at 2:19 pm
    Minaya’s typical deals + Wilpon budget = not good for the foreseeable future

    Love the faith they’re showing in Omar —- especially with option years running through 2014.