Mets Game 109: Loss to Phillies

Phillies 7 Mets 5

Jonathon Niese had his big curveball working, the home plate umpire had a huge, pitcher-friendly strike zone, and the Phillies were without Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, and Shane Victorino.

In other words, a sure-fire formula for success.

But, something went wrong on the way toward fulfilling that formula — I blame the scientist in the lab.

Game Notes

Niese allowed 4 hits and 1 run in 7 innings of work. The bullpen allowed 7 hits and 6 runs in the 8th inning alone. That, in a nutshell, was the ballgame.

On a positive note, Niese had his big overhand curveball working really well — as well as we’ve seen it all year. Why was it so good? Mainly because he was staying more “over the top” with his arm action, staying on top of the ball with a consistently high release point. In other words, he was doing all the things we’ve been saying he needed to do right here at MetsToday (check the archives). With that nice overhand delivery, Niese gets good 11-5 bite on the curve and a mild sink on the fastball. He does not get as much sideways movement on the slider that he calls a cutter, but in my humble opinion that is generally an ineffective pitch that should be used only as a “show” pitch — something to throw maybe 4-5 times a game just to keep the batters thinking of something else. Having a great curve working as he did in this contest is the ultimate equalizer, as we saw through seven formidable innings.

Mike Sweeney had two hits, a run, and an RBI in his debut as a Phillie. Sweeney is one of my all-time favorite players, and if you’ve been visiting for a while you know I’ve advocated the Mets acquiring him several times in the past. It’s remarkable that when the Phillies lose a player like Ryan Howard they are able to pick up a solid veteran such as Sweeney, but when the Mets had all those injuries last year, the best acquisitions they could muster were Wilson Valdez and Anderson Hernandez.

As well as Niese was pitching, there was this eerie feeling throughout that the Phillies were just waiting for the opportunity to explode and take the game. Or maybe it was just me.

Ike Davis went 2-for-4 with a run scored. Jeff Francoeur very quietly went 3-for-4 with 2 runs scored. Mike Hessman very loudly hit a pinch-hit, 3-run homer in the top of the ninth that chased J.C. Romero from the game.

Is a New York Met EVER going to slide hard and aggressively into second base to break up a double play? Just throwing that out there, because it seems like they’re always doing their best to get out of the way and make sure the second baseman or shortstop has a clear, unobstructed path to throw the relay to first.

Next Mets Game

Game two in this three-game set begins at 7:05 PM on Saturday night. Johan Santana faces Cole Hamels and the bullpen binoculars.

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. Tom August 6, 2010 at 10:33 pm
    How do you spell meltdown? M-E-T-S

    It’s ok though because Omar did a wonderful job assembling this bullpen…and lineup…and pitching staff…and coaching staff…

    I ever heard he put together the grounds crew!

    What a guy, what a team

  2. Al August 7, 2010 at 12:11 am
    I believe a drastic change is needed: I know this will never happen, but they HAVE to try something different. They have absolutely nothing to lose. If anything, I hope this will make Omar LOSE his job.

    1. Angel Pagan
    2. Luis Castillo
    3. Jose Reyes
    4. Carlos Beltran
    5. David Wright
    6. Ike Davis
    7. Jeff Francouer
    8. Josh Thole/Henry Blanco

    • Tom August 7, 2010 at 12:16 am
      How about we just put the best hitters in the lineup in order for the heck of it. Give the best hitters the most at-bats:

      1 – Pagan
      2 – Reyes
      3 – Wright
      4-8 They’re all terrible, who cares?

  3. Al August 7, 2010 at 12:15 am
    Scratch that. New new lineup

    1. Angel Pagan-LF
    2. Luis Castillo-2B
    3. Jose Reyes-SS
    4. David Wright- 3B
    5. Ike Davis- 1B
    6. Carlos Beltran- CF
    7. Jeff Francouer-RF
    8. Josh Thole/Henry Blanco (I am in favor of a platoon)

  4. mICHAEL August 7, 2010 at 11:26 am
    yes the mets need a drastic move, i was a big big fan of david wright but im realizing this guy will never live up to team captain / face of the franchise, just look at the past few games, What team leader watches 2 errors go on right in front of his eyes then takahashi gets another ground ball could get out of the inning with no runs and this jrkoff throws it away, same with lst night bases loaded i recall i know for sure man on 1st and 3rd , a bunt gets dropped down and you expect a bullpen pitcher to get to that, your the leader on the team you should be dying to make plays like that, all leaders no that they must show by example, and this guy is not an example, im sorry david wright but your just not living up to expections, we need to trade him for a big time club house leader, maybe a kevin youkilis ??? maybe a evan longoria ?? i havent looked at the numbers yet, but theres deff alot of possibilities, but 3rd he must go after castillo and perez. Deffinition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results SO from that either the mets are hooked on drugs or there just insane.
  5. mICHAEL August 7, 2010 at 11:31 am
    sorry i meant either bases loaded or 1st and second when refering to the david wright brain fart, Just watch the tape and look at his face, it looked like he was about to just break out and start crying. daviid will if traded probaly go and successed some were else if he goes were he wont be counted on to lead the team.