Mets Game 67: Loss to Yankees

Yankees 8 Mets 2

The Mets lost by six, but it felt like eleven. They were completely unable to get anything going against Chien-Ming Wang, and couldn’t stop the steamroller that is the Yankees. The entire game, from start to finish, was a complete downer for Mets fans.

Wang did his best Bugs Bunny impression: “one-two-three strikes you’re out … one-two-three strikes you’re out!” in an 8 2/3 inning, six-hit performance.

Before this game, of course, Wang was 90th in MLB in strikeouts per nine innings — with barely four per game. Against the Mets, he gets into double digits — setting his career high with ten strikeouts. Huh.

When the Mets weren’t whiffing, they were killing worms, hammering the ball into the ground — but that part was expected. It was all the swinging and missing that was disturbing — because it wasn’t just taking strikes, but a lot of swings and misses. After this game — the cherry on top of an offense that hits with the power of a melting sundae — I don’t know how Rick Down keeps his job. It may not be his fault, but someone’s head has to roll, a change has to be made, and they can’t fire the players (as much as we may wish they could).

The game could have been summed up by watching the last batter of the top of the sixth and the first batter of the bottom of the sixth. The former, Jose Reyes, hit a bullet down the first base line that found Miguel Cairo’s glove and became a double play. The latter, Robinson Cano, hit a slow bouncer off the end of the bat back to the pitcher — but the ball barely escaped the reach of Scott Schoeneweis to become an infield hit. That’s pretty much the way the entire game went — if the ball had one of two ways to bounce, it would bounce in the Yankees’ favor.

It didn’t matter what El Duque threw — fastball, curveball, slow curveball, sidearm, underhand, bowl — the Yankees hit it. He looked remarkably vulnerable.

Game Analysis Break

Let’s not talk about the game anymore, but move on to the comedy of the broadcast — namely the geniuses of ESPN. Following are four dumbest things heard (when I forgot to hit the mute button).

1. Joe Morgan telling us — six times — that Jose Reyes should have stolen on the first or second pitch, because by stealing on the third pitch, the Yankees were able to pitch out. Apparently, Joe hadn’t watched the first two games, during which the Yankees pitched out several times on the first or second pitches with Reyes on first.

2. While interviewing Willie Randolph, Joe Morgan asks for Willie’s opinion on Odalis Perez.

3. While extending his already painful diatribe on “the best shortstop in New York”, Morgan talks specifically about Jose Reyes while the camera pans on Ruben Gotay.

4. Joe Morgan telling us that Roger Clemens would have won his start on Friday if the Yankees had scored enough runs. (Brilliant … thank you oh Master of the Obvious.)

Appropriately, I will give a shout out to one of the most important movements on the internet — Fire Joe Morgan.


Nice to see El Duque knocking down Bobby Abreu in the fifth, partially to stop the Yankees from diving over the plate and partially in response to Paul LoDuca’s HBP in the first — the Mets pitchers need to do more of that. Not hit people necessarily, but take the inside part of the plate back, protect their hitters, and send the message that they won’t be pushed around. And yes, it was intentional. Why would he hit the batter in front of A-Rod? Three reasons. First, he knew he was going to be out of the game soon, and would have to get the knockdown in before he was taken out. Second, if he hits Jeter, the umpire could infer that it was intentional, because the batter before — Johnny Damon — had just hit a homerun. Third, he couldn’t hit A-Rod because Rodriguez hit a 900-foot bomb in his previous at-bat. So Abreu gets buzzed.

Peter BackGammons claimed that Omar Minaya is talking to the White Sox about Mark Buehrle, and to the Astros about Brad Lidge. Since Gammons’ only value is knowing what the GMs are talking about, it’s probably true. I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing either of those guys come our way — though I doubt either deal can happen without losing L Millz plus one of either Mike Pelfrey and Philip Humber.

I would really like to see Alex Rodriguez hit 74 homeruns this year, so that Barroid Bonds doesn’t have the record anymore. He may have a better chance of driving in 200 runs, though.

Aaron Heilman gave up a 320-foot homerun into the rightfield porch off the bat of Jorge Posada — the fifth homerun he’s given up this year. It’s really sad and painful to see Heilman pitching so poorly this year, after being so good for the last few years. He clearly needs a change of scenery.

The lollygagging of the Mets returned here and there during the game, and was most glaring in the eighth. With two outs, Melky Cabrera hit a roller up the first-base line that Pedro Feliciano
was a little slow to pick up. Had he gone hard after the ball, he would have been able to pick up the ball and tag Cabrera easily. Instead, he picked up the ball late, couldn’t tag him, and no one was covering first — Delgado was taking pictures of the incident, frame-by-frame, with his new Motorola Pink RAZR V3c Phone, I think. (He also got a great shot of the third strike thrown to him from Mike Myers to end the game!) When I find his FlickR page I’ll pass it along.

Next Game

The Minnesota Twins invade Shea for a three-game series starting at 7:10 PM on Monday night. John Maine takes the mound against Carlos Silva.

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. fafhrd316 June 18, 2007 at 2:52 am
    What pissed me off in the game was the first inning, where the ump let the Yanks dictate to OHern the strike zone. He threw two straight strikes (that Wang would have gotten) to A-Rod that were called balls, and you could look at Hern’s face that says “you’ve gotta be kidding me?! This POS wants me to throw meatballs only!” and that’s exactly what happened. Wang wasn’t really good- he had a favorable strike zone while OHern was forced to repeatedly adjust to the Yanks A) leaning in and B) getting BS calls from the ump. The Yanks better thank their lucky stars and garters that Pedro wasn’t pitching, because he’d have taken a few heads off for that crap.

    Not to mention, Morgan should have pointed out that Clemens got a crapload of favoritsm calls his way against the Mets. Half his strikeouts were BS “borderline” calls from umps that didn’t want to show him up. Thankfully it didn’t matter: Ollie was on his game and is turning into a true ace.

    Otherwise, I do agree that Rick Downs needs to go. Either move Julio Franco over to batting coach or give that job to HoJo. Or better yet, hand that job over to Rickey Henderson.

    As for the Gammons talk, I agree. Buherle would be nice, but I’m more interested in getting Lidge. Heilman an 08 draft pick or a player to be named later probably would be the best deal. As much as I’d want Lidge, there’s a part of me that wonders what it’d take to get Jimmy Gobble from the Royals, as well.

    Jason B

  2. joe June 18, 2007 at 7:49 am
    I have to agree I saw two different strike zones, but thought maybe it was me looking at the game through blue and orange glasses. There were a number of pitches — to Jeter in particular, that Duque was not getting (and when Jeter was called out on strikes, he had the gall to argue with the ump for a moment).

    Were these American League umps, or do umps call games for both leagues these days?

    I’d like to see Rickey in the dugout. The problem would be keeping him from trying to grab a bat and inserting himself as a pinch-hitter (though, now that I think of it, not necessarily a bad thing!).

    Interesting call on Gobble.

  3. JimmyJ June 18, 2007 at 11:35 pm
    It was tough to watch the Yankees hit cheap HR, after cheap HR, but having to listen to Joe Morgan was even harder.