Mets Game 82: Loss to Rockies

Rockies 11 Mets 3

Let’s get something clear: Jason Vargas did not pitch well. However, he did not pitch nearly as poorly as the boxscore would indicate.

Here’s the ugly line:

3 1/3 IP | 10 H | 2 BB | 2 HR | 2 K | 9 ER

Firstly, Joe Smith gave up a grand slam when he came on in relief, so three of the runs you can’t really blame him. Yes, Vargas could have let in all those runs too, but, not necessarily.

Secondly, the Mets played poor defense behind him. If you watched the game you might have thrown a beer can at the TV screen after Carlos Delgado’s feet got stuck in cement on a ground ball about a foot to his left in the second inning.

Thirdly, the home plate umpire was not giving Vargas the benefit of the doubt on anything. For example, with the bases loaded in the second, at least two pitches to Todd Helton should have been called strikes — including ball four — but were not. The 10-year veteran hitter always gets the advantage on close calls against the inexperienced and struggling pitcher. There were several other calls here and there that could have been called strikes, weren’t, and in the end hurt Vargas.

Finally, Vargas was hit by some tough luck — plain and simple. David Wright knocked down a few balls but couldn’t finish the deal. Vargas deflected a line drive that would have been an easy out had he not touched it. Carlos Gomez made an error in the outfield. Anything that could go wrong, did go wrong.

All that aside, Vargas still didn’t do all that great — he did give up two homers in two innings, after all — but with a little luck, and a few calls going his way, he might have eeked through. In other words, I’m not convinced he’s not ready for prime time — I want to see him pitch closer to sea level, and with the Mets playing good defense behind him, first. Remember, he’s only 24 years old, and Tom Glavine was 10-12 with a 4.02 ERA at the same age.

We could go into the details of this debacle, but why bother? Vargas and Smith gave up a boatload of runs early in the game, the Mets went into the tank as usual, and there you have it.


Kaz Matsui was 4-for-4 by the fifth inning (5-for-5 for the game). Carlos Delgado and Ramon Castro combined to match that within the same time frame, while Carlos Beltran had grounded out to the right side three times (Beltran went 4-for-4 on groundball outs to the right side for the game).

Todd Helton has walked five times so far in the series. The Mets as a team have walked once (Tom Glavine drew the lone base on balls).

Scott Schoeneweis had an unbelievably effective outing, allowing no runs in the eighth inning. Willie Randolph should really start using this guy in tight situations (NOT!).

Also in the eighth, Damion Easley threw away a tailor-made DP grounder. Had Ruben Gotay done that, he’d have a plane ticket to New Orleans waiting for him after the game. In contrast, Easley will likely be in the starting lineup tomorrow.

Next Game

John Maine goes against Josh Fogg in an 8:05 PM start. Whether we’ll see fireworks from the Mets’ offense reamins to be seen.

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. JIMMYJ723 July 4, 2007 at 1:30 am
    I’m glad I missed this game.
  2. JIMMYJ723 July 4, 2007 at 1:32 am
    Kaz Matsui 5 for 5 ?!?!?!?!? I don’t think he had 5 hits his entire tenure with the mets. Did someone finally teach him how to hit a breaking ball? I guess they must have a hitting coach in Colorado… I wish we had one of those on our team.
  3. sincekindergarten July 4, 2007 at 7:18 am
    Jimmy, you’ve got to remember that the air is thinner in Denver, so curveballs don’t break as much.

    I would have gone with Brian Lawrence over Vargas. That’s just me, however.

    I went to bed after three.

  4. joe July 4, 2007 at 10:58 am
    The media doesn’t break your balls as much, either. I always thought Kaz was a nice player, but not the superstar he was hyped to be. He had no idea what he was getting into, coming into NYC with that pink hair. The quiet midwest is perfect for his personality.
  5. GaryG July 4, 2007 at 11:39 am
    Let’s just hope Vargas doesn’t come anywhere near the mound on Sunday. But in any case, 3 runs will not win many games out in Denver.

    Still, hard to panic when the Braves and Phillies also continue to lose and we hold onto our lead.

  6. joe July 4, 2007 at 12:01 pm
    Good point. It’s as if the Phils and Braves don’t want to win the NL East.

    In any case, this ain’t 2006, that’s for sure.

  7. Micalpalyn July 4, 2007 at 2:09 pm
    Its nice to hear your comments. vargas is not that bad a pitcher, but lack of a FB did him in especially not getting calls.

    The other good was Gotay getting Reyes moved over in the first, then a nice double later. I’d be happy to see Gotay sub for Reyes at SS again too. The reason Pelfrey, humber, and Vargas are first options out of NOLA is because they are on the 40man. To bring up Lawrence someone gets the DFA. Yes I’d DFA Ledee even Sele but I think that card is being saved until DW2 (Dave williams) Lastings or Pedro are activated.

    Does Williams have options left?

  8. debmc July 4, 2007 at 2:19 pm
    U-G-L-Y, they ain’t got no alibi, they ugly, yeah, yeah, they ugly… which about sums up my feelings on the past several games.

    I just can’t get a pulse on this team. And I just think Delgado has no pulse…… lol. I mean, he looks basically dead out there. He looks as bad defensively as I’ve seen a first baseman look in a long time, and the rest of the team is a close second on many many days.

    Lonely days, lonely nights, where would I be without that lousy defense? LOL (Sorry, Bee Gees, lol)

    I’m hoping we can pull one out tonight, and what we pull out isn’t another crappy outing!

  9. joe July 4, 2007 at 8:22 pm
    C’mon now deb … Delgado does just fine if you hit the ball with a few inches of his glove ….

    Micalpalyn — good point on Brian Lawrence and the 40-man. I still don’t think it would be so awful to give Vargas another shot. After all, Glavine wasn’t exactly stellar in his Colorado outing, but he’ll get another chance.