Mets Game 146: Win Over Pirates

Mets 8 Pirates 7

Thankfully, there weren’t too many impressionable kids in the stands, and hopefully, there weren’t too many aspiring youngsters watching the game on TV — because the Mets and Pirates put on a clinic on how NOT to play baseball.

In the end, the Mets were less terrible than the Pirates, and wound up with more runs than the visitors at the conclusion of the contest. And “contest” is a pretty suitable word, as the “winner” seemed to have won a sweepstakes contest rather than earned a game victory.

Unfortunately, not only was this a three-hour disgrace to professional baseball, but Jenrry Mejia left the game in the third inning with pain in the back of his shoulder.

Game Notes

Maybe I’m being a bit tough on these two teams, but if you saw the third and fourth frames, you’d feel similarly. The Mets played like an A ball club, making errors, displaying poor fundamentals, and Raul Valdes serving up BP fastballs. But the Pirates were even worse, looking like a bad high school JV team, as they handed the Mets 7 runs in the bottom half of the fourth via a multitude of physical and mental errors and just plain bad baseball.

Fittingly, the top Mets minor leaguers were honored in a postgame ceremony.

The boxscore reported an attendance of 29,000. There is absolutely no way there were that many people at the game. I’d be surprised if there were half that many, in reality. The promenade level was almost completely empty, and the lower levels were sparse.

Of the 15 combined runs scored in this game, 9 were earned. Only 3 errors were listed by the official scorer, but there were at least three times as many mental errors and pull-your-hair-out displays of poor execution.

After the game, the Mets reported that Jenrry Mejia suffered an “acute strain” in the back of his shoulder and will receive an MRI right away. You have to wonder why Mejia — who is more or less the crown jewel of the farm system — wasn’t shut down after his injury in late June. Oh, because Omar Minaya still needed reasons to save his job, such as proving his ability to build a minor league system that could produce MLBers. I don’t care if the MRI shows nothing wrong — the Mets absolutely, positively must shut down Mejia for the remainder of the year if they care one bit about his future.

By the way, I stick to my belief that Mejia’s mechanics are flawed and dangerous. The illogical decisions to make Mejia a reliever then back to a starter likely accelerated the inevitable injury.

Next Mets Game

Thanks to the fact they are playing perhaps the worst team in baseball right now, the Mets have a valid shot at being over .500 by Thursday night. If the rain holds up, Mike Pelfrey faces Charlie Morton, who has a 1-11 record and a 9.05 ERA — numbers that hark us back to fond memories of the late Jose Lima.

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. Paul September 15, 2010 at 11:19 pm
    I’m surprised the Mets are planning to send Mejia for an MRI now. I’d have figured they would wait until after he threw his bullpen session to see if he continued to experience discomfort. 🙂

    Baby steps, I guess.

  2. gary s. September 16, 2010 at 12:53 am
    iif manuel and minaya were fired after last years embarrassment like they should have been, mejia would not have been yo yo’d around to save manuel and minaya’s he’s injured for the 2nd time this year because of this bs unreal.
  3. micalpalyn September 16, 2010 at 8:06 am
    1. meija = crown jewel….No. I loved his early season role and some of his may/june appearances. YES JM mishandled him. AND I agree that after his last start he should have been sat. FRANKLY I do not/have not seen any evidence that he is a starter. As for his injury I hope it is not serious. BTW… Meija to Bob Parnall…releiver, then starter, finally reliever…hmmm

    2. Meanwhile Dillon Gee has 2 starts and a .69 ERA? so what defines ‘jewel’.

    3. This Org does not NEED Meija to be a starter! There is Kyle allen, Rob Carson, Familia, Harvey, Urbina and others who may well overtake Jenry. And then we can look at Steve Matz…

    • CatchDog September 16, 2010 at 9:01 am

      A dominant starter has much more value than a reliever. Also, Jenrry has shown glimpses of 4 quality pitches in his arsonal, which translates much better as a starting pitcher. It’s much too early to view him as a reliever.

      In my opinion, if after a few seasons of healthy yet typical John Maine starts — 5 innings 100 pitches, then I’d consider Mejia for the pen. Until then, I’d love to add him to the names that you mentioned as heir apparents to the rotation.

    • Joe Janish September 16, 2010 at 11:41 am
      Mejia has been touted as the crown jewel by the Mets themselves — take your argument on that to them. They pushed a kid who wasn’t near ready into the spotlight to save jobs — no other reason. They’ve done the same with Tejada, and got lucky pushing Thole and Davis. But then that is their master plan for everything: throw as much paint on the wall as possible and see what sticks.

      As for Allen, Carson, Matz, etc. — there is still way too much projection and all are at least 2 years away. Any could be either another Ron Darling or another Matt Peterson, or anywhere in between. Look at what one year did to the reputation of Brad Holt.

      Also re: Matz he’s already lost a year due to TJ surgery w/o throwing a pro pitch. So he’ll be two years behind. Harvey’s mechanics scare the crap out of me. But then, so do Tommy Hanson’s, and he’s healthy.

  4. CatchDog September 16, 2010 at 8:29 am
    Totally agree regarding Mejia. Even if the kid’s MRI comes back clean, I’d shut him down for the fall. Align him with a competent pitching instructor in the Winter League and after Spring Training, start him back in AA, then onto Buffalo. If Jenrry can demonstrate command on his fastball and develops his secondary pitches while understanding the fundamentals of solid mechanics as well as recognizing his role as a fielding pitcher, perhaps if his innings allow him, he can be a September callup.

    This is the route the kid should have been on this season. Instead, Omar and Jerry wasted a year of his development, started his clock early, and worst of all; may have damaged him.

    • John September 16, 2010 at 8:34 am
      I agree. However, first they need to get pitching coaches throughout the organization that understand pitching mechanics and are able to teach them. At 20 years old, I am not sure if it is too late for Mejia to learn a new delivery. That is if he doesn’t need major surgery which could set him back years.
  5. micalpalyn September 16, 2010 at 4:48 pm
    i am sure he will be back. But why rush him?

    Santana-Pelfrey-Gee-Niese and RA…thats 5 pieces to at least project next yr. Possibly with a rental untill santana is ready. Why rush jenry into that picture?

    1. Beltran, Angel and CF
    2. bullpen
    3. Pelfrey
    4. RF: CPT Kirk?
    5. 2nd base

    • John September 17, 2010 at 8:41 am
      You can’t count on Santana for next year. IF he pitches it will be a bonus. Shoulder injuries will require serious rehab. Maybe June or July but 2012 is just as likely.