Mets Game 10: Loss to Rockies
Rockies 7 Mets 6
The good news: Mets #1 pitcher Mike Pelfrey made it past the fifth inning. The bad news: he didn’t make it much further, and had to give up the ball to the beleaguered Mets bullpen, which continues to struggle — both as pitchers and as fielders.
Pelfrey wasn’t great, but his outing was encouraging compared to his first two starts of the year. He struck out 3 and allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits and 4 walks in 5 1/3 innings, expending 113 pitches. He labored through every inning.
Bobby Parnell would be a pretty good pitcher if he could throw strikes, not throw the ball away on 40-foot throws to home, and not give up home runs.
All kidding aside, Parnell’s body language and facial expressions evoke a lack of confidence. It may be time to send him down to AAA to build up his psyche.
Jason Isringhausen appeared as a Met for the first time in a dozen years, and received a rousing ovation from the five thousand people in the stands at Citi Field. He did a nice job of pitching out of a jam left behind by Tim Byrdak in the seventh.
OK, there were more than five thousand people in the crowd, but for such a warm and inviting spring evening, the seats were sparsely filled.
Pedro Beato was impressive again in his first-ever Citi Field appearance, setting down the Rox in order in the top of the ninth to preserve the one-run deficit, humming his fastball at 95-96 MPH.
The Mets executed their first “wheel play” on a bunt since 1976, when Felix Millan, Bud Harrelson, and Roy Staiger pulled it off.
Jose Reyes electrified the park with two triples on the night. However, he didn’t draw any walks, so I don’t see any reason for the Mets to try to extend his contract.
David Wright hit a solo homer in the eighth to give the Mets a chance, but it was too little, too late.
The Mets had three leads and the Rockies none until the top of the 8th, when the Rox finally went ahead and stayed ahead.
During the third inning, there was much discussion in the SNY booth about the relationship between Josh Thole and Mike Pelfrey and game calling in general. Ron Darling was adamant about his feeling that the pitcher should be in charge of what pitches should be called — “large and in charge” was a term he borrowed from Bobby Ojeda. Generally speaking, I disagree with Darling — the last thing the pitcher should be concerned about is what pitch he should be throwing to the batter, because it is the catcher’s job to know what pitch should be called. Why? Three reasons specifically: 1) the catcher should know most if not all the hitters inside and out — since he sees them every day rather than one in every five days; 2) the catcher should be paying attention to what each batter is doing on that particular day, and pick up on things that can be seen squatting next to each batter as opposed to standing 60 feet away; 3) the catcher can see how each pitch is coming in from the batter’s perspective, which is very different from the pitcher’s viewpoint. There are other reasons as well, but these are the main ones. Further, most pitchers can’t repeat their mechanics and release point as consistently as they need to, and by taking the mental load of game pitch calling off the pitcher’s mind, the pitcher can spend more focus on getting the right delivery and release point. When it comes right down to it, the pitch that is chosen is not nearly as important as the pitcher EXECUTING that pitch.
That’s not to say that a pitcher should never be thinking about the next pitch or setting up a hitter — nor that a pitcher should throw a pitch he’s uncomfortable throwing — but for the most part, a pitcher will pitch his best when he follows the orders of a catcher who can call a good game.
By the way, I should add that most people inside baseball considered Ron Darling as one of the most talented pitchers of his time, but didn’t come close to realizing his potential because he was a “head case” — i.e., he thought too much. He was still a good pitcher — a few years, a very good pitcher — but many feel he could have been much, much better had he not spent so much of his energy and concentration over-thinking things.
Four years ago I stated that Troy Tulowitzki would be a Gold Glover and was a “star in the making“. He’s fulfilled both prophecies, making me look smart (of course, I was not the only one who felt that way back then). His jump-and-throw play on a Dan Murphy ground ball with two outs and Jose Reyes on third to end the inning was spectacular and clutch. Oh, and then there was that two-run homer in the 8th to give the Rockies a 7-4 lead (and would eventually be the difference-making clout of the ballgame).
The Mets have lost 6 of their last 7 games.
Next Mets Game
The Mets and Rockies do it again at 7:10 PM on Tuesday night. Jonathon Niese takes the hill against Esmil Rogers.