Mets Game 162: Loss to Nationals
Nationals 2 Mets 1
Finally, it’s over.
Meaning, the game — which lasted 14 wretched frames — the season, and the Omar Minaya / Jerry Manuel regime.
Fittingly, Oliver Perez was the losing pitcher, coming into the game in the top of the fourteenth. He struck out the first batter he faced with a sizzling 87-MPH fastball, receiving a standing ovation from the
crowd small gathering of fans still at the ballpark. He proceeded to hit the next batter, then walked the next three to force in what was ultimately the winning run.
Mike Pelfrey pitched OK, not awesomely. His stat line was very good: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 ER. However, the Nationals were very bad, killing potential rallies with a combination of poor pitch selection, baserunning mistakes, and lack of hustle. Pelfrey’s command was off and his slider was flat, as he once again fell into the habit of hunching over at the leg lift, which in turn caused his body to fall a little too much toward first base at the release point, which in turn causes the hand / arm to go a just a bit horizontal and not enough vertical. But perhaps the otherwise strong outing will give big Pelf a boost of confidence going into the offseason.
In fairness to Ollie — if that’s even plausible — Perez had not pitched in a game since a two-inning stint against the St. Louis Browns in 1911. To expect him to do better than he did would have been wishful thinking. And again, I ask: why the heck did the Mets have only 33 players on their roster in September? Where was Chad Cordero, Michael O’Connor, Roy Merritt, Josh Stinson, or ANYONE from the minors — particularly after K-Rod was arrested, and Johan Santana, Jenrry Mejia, and Bobby Parnell were shut down. Perhaps the issue was this: the Mets do not have any pitching prospects that were worthy of a September call-up, other than Dillon Gee — which is pretty scary for the future.
David Wright and Jose Reyes were taken out as part of a double-switch during the top of the ninth — the intention was to give the fans an ovation to them both. However, much of the sparse crowd had no idea what was happening, and in the end, their absence might have prevented the Mets from winning 80 games.
During the postgame, Jerry Manuel mentioned a number of players as “foundation pieces” that were not named Reyes nor Wright. Stunning, but a glaring reason why this regime (Manuel AND Minaya) is clueless — they truly believe that the complementary pieces that were assembled around the “core” in 2010 (including the youngsters) are better than average MLBers. This team needs a full overhaul and at least 3-4 more players that are at, near, or above Reyes and Wright in terms of performance if they are to see the postseason again.
Next Mets Game
The Mets open the 2011 season on April 1st in Florida — no fooling.