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.
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.