Mets Game 5: Loss to Phillies
Phillies 10 Mets 7
For a moment there, it appeared as though the Mets would come back again to take a ballgame. Then it all fizzled out.
Mike Pelfrey was awful, again, allowing 7 runs (6 earned) on 8 hits and a walk in 2 innings pitched. Similarly to Game One, Big Pelf was not getting any sink on his fastball, but this time it wasn’t always because of an inability to stay on top of the ball. In this game, he was doing a better job of staying upright at the balance point and in turn staying on a straight line toward the plate — for the most part. Here’s what happened, though: perhaps because staying upright is “new” to him again, his release point was a few inches too high. When the release point is too high, it’s almost impossible to get any sink, because you can’t get the necessary finger pressure on top of the ball when you release too early. This type of adjustment is incredibly minuscule — we’re talking an inch or two at most; maybe even less than an inch. From what I saw, Pelfrey stayed upright around 40-50% of the time, but because he hasn’t done that in almost a year, it was foreign to him and that’s why we saw the slightly high release. Otherwise, he was still hunching over slightly the majority of the time, and in turn dropping his arm angle slightly, which results in flat pitches (i.e., no sink).
So while Pelfrey confidence may be an issue (as Bobby Ojeda suggests), that is a result or symptom of his actual problem — which still, I maintain, is mechanical in nature.
Believe it or not, I think that Pelfrey took a step forward in this game, despite getting rocked. Though, that’s only if he’s aware of his “hunching over” issue and making steps to fix it. If it is just blind luck that he happened to be staying more upright at times in his brief outing, then I take back that suggestion.
Interestingly, it seems like Mike stays upright at the leg lift when he throws his curveball — and did so on the deuce that Ryan Howard blasted into the centerfield stands. I wonder if the hitters are picking up on that detail, and therefore know the curve is coming when he keeps himself more upright? That would qualify as “tipping” his pitches.
This Pelfrey issue is driving me crazy; when is Dan Warthen — or Scott Boras — going to email or call me for a consult? I can fix Big Pelf in 10 minutes, no jacket required.
On the bright side, Taylor Buchholz threw two scoreless innings, striking out five and allowing three hits. His 12-6 curveball is devastating, but his fastball is pretty flat and high in the zone.
Pedro Beato was also effective, spinning one perfect, 9-pitch (7 strikes) inning.
Offensively, Angel Pagan had two hits including a double, homer, two RBI, and two runs scored. Brad Emaus, Jose Reyes, and Ike Davis all had two hits each as well. Davis drove in two runs, and has driven in a run in every game this year — at this rate he’ll break Hack Wilson’s record for RBI in a season.
Interestingly, although Emaus drew a walk in addition to the two hits, he saw only 9 pitches in his 4 plate appearances. In comparison, Jose Reyes saw 15 pitches in 5 plate appearances. And yes, Jose has yet to draw a walk this season — though he did steal his second base of the season. That extension is looking less and less possible with each passing day.
Josh Thole finally faced a lefthanded pitcher — Antonio Bastardo — and struck out.
Francisco Rodriguez managed to gain his first “game finished” of the year, as he pitched the bottom half of the eighth. What a waste of a “finish”, no? K-Rod now needs to finish 54 games in the final 157 games of the year.
Next Mets Game
The Mets and Phillies engage in the rubber match at 3:05 PM on Thursday afternoon in Philadelphia. Jonathon Niese goes to the mound against Roy Halladay. The Mets are undefeated in rubber games this year, so they have that going for them.
(Just wait until the CWS is over….so I can focus my efforts, 100%.)
That bunt pop-up was one of the worst-botched plays that I can ever recall – from start to finish. He doesn’t think quickly on the fly, and is even worse in attempting to implement these adjustments.
Not only did he make it harder on himself by letting the ball drop – deciding to throw to 1st base anyway (?!!?!) – but he got flustered to the point where he slung the ball into RF.
Just plain unacceptable, especially when he had the runner at 2nd base by a good 45 feet.
And, of course – he only made matters worse after this all went down. Definition of “shook”.
– Blaine Boyer reminds me of the Met-version of Tim Redding, with the same kind of beard/gut combo – and a bit more velocity. This is not a good thing.
– I have nothing to complain about with the Mets through the first 5 games – aside from Pelfrey’s typical crap. It’s essentially a newer (more likeable) crop of players to root for – which we’ve been asking for for the past 3 years. Shed the dead weight, and for the most part, everyone’s happy. Just like many of us wanted.
(The atmosphere and look of the team is completely different — and in a positive way.)
– I hate K-Rod just as much as anyone, but c’mon —- does anyone think he’s just NOT going to get his work in this year? The number of people going ape(spit) over Collins inserting him into the game last night for a “finish” is a bit crazy.
You don’t just shelve a guy to start a season…..the real juggling will begin post-Memorial Day. That’s when they’ll really have to start making the decisions on when he can/can’t enter into a game.
Right now, he needs work….and it shows in every 2-0, 3-1 count he starts off with.
This game was an example of a recent post on key moments. Like “check swing double” or “not managing to get the pitcher out,” that helped lose the game.
The two runs they got after the Mets tied it was annoying enough, but the check swing double aided two runs was really annoying. Not getting another run also helped kinda ruin them tying the game. Silly or not, a run is not a run for me. A clean hit or a 11-9 loss would have been better. Anyway, I guess we will see how Pelfrey does at home.
According to David Waldstein of the New York Times, “After he was done pitching, Blaine Boyer went into the clubhouse and, in an act born more of pragmatism than anger, shaved off his beard, leaving just a small goatee.”
Oh great — Guess he’ll remind me even more of Redding now.
I want to like Blaine Boyer – but this will keep me from doing so, since I loathe Tim Redding.
DFA’d by the ChiSox. Guess it’s just another minor blip on his road to Cooperstown. Whattachump.
This was not exactly the performance I was expecting from Niese today & Joe you hit the nail last night w/ the cutter. We saw him get away from his curve once again today and rely to much on that cutter. Niese is going to have to show more confidence in his best pitch. Because they can’t hit it for the most part.
Lets see if the team can bounce back over the weekend vs. the Nats. You have to expect 2 of 3 there I would think.
Of course, they go and get trounced today 11-0, so go figure…luck had nothing to do with today’s result.