Mets Game 23: Win Over Nationals

Mets 6 Nationals 4

Five in a row, gotta be pleased about that.

Mets Game Notes

If the Mets didn’t win this game, I might have packed it in. Besides the fact that the Nationals are awful, both Ryan Zimmerman (DL) and Ian Desmond (paternity leave) were out of the lineup. I realize both of those regulars are off to rough starts, but if a Major League team can’t beat a club that puts Alex Cora and Jerry Hairston, Jr. on the left side of the infield, they don’t belong at this level.

Chris Young’s final line is not great, and it actually was worse than it looks — 4 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 3 K, 3 HR, 88 pitches. In reality he had no command and did not look good; he was lucky to be facing a terrible, terrible collection of hitters in the Washington lineup. Granted, Young has the flu or whatever is going around the Mets right now, but I wonder if his arm was also in pain. To me it was not an encouraging performance.

Ike Davis and Jason Bay continued their hot hitting, combining to go 5-for-8 with 4 runs scored. But the big hit of the game came off the bat of Josh Thole, who stroked a two-run double to give the Mets a 5-3 lead that was never relinquished.

The Mets bullpen allowed two hits and one run in 4 2/3 innings.

The only Nat to appear to have a clue at the plate was Wilson Ramos, who hit two solo homers and a run-scoring single. Jayson Werth also hit a solo shot but I think it was an accident.

Francisco Rodriguez earned his 5th save of the year and collected his seventh finish. He needs 48 more to collect the big bucks — but my guess is he’ll collect it from a team other than the Mets.

Jason Bay has played in five games, the Mets have won five times. Coincidence?

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Nationals do it again at 7:05 PM in DC on Wednesday night. R.A. Dickey faces Tom Gorzelanny. A win by the Mets would catapult them out of the NL East cellar by a half-game.

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. Joe April 26, 2011 at 10:19 pm
    Team that can hit a few home runs can win games. They can always tack on a run or two at some point. That leaves it to the team’s pitching. The Mets have played nailbiters against mediocre Nats for years now.
  2. NormE April 26, 2011 at 10:33 pm
    Jason Bay for MVP!
  3. gary s. April 26, 2011 at 11:32 pm
    If i hear a met announcer say one more time that Young can get away with throwing 86 mph fastballs because hitters pick up the ball late, my head is going to explode.He looked like a batting practice pitcher tonite.he would be great to throw bp at the home run derby at this years all star game.He was worth a look, but i don’t see him winning 10 plus games for us this year.I would not be surprised if he ends up on the dl again in the next week or 2 . Dillon Gee, stay ready
  4. daxmontana April 26, 2011 at 11:54 pm
    gary really should cite janish when paraphrasing his post from a couple days ago. those metties sure are streaky. Shaky, I mean shaky.
    • gary s. April 27, 2011 at 12:34 am
      English please..
  5. paul nassau April 27, 2011 at 7:34 am
    If this Mets team had the Phillies starting pitching it would be favored to win the WS.
  6. Stan April 27, 2011 at 9:27 am
    Yeah, and if my grandmother had a beard she would have been my grandfather.
  7. Joe April 27, 2011 at 9:40 am
    For one night at least, the “other Buchholz” pitched better overall. Also, there are teams with worse records than the Mets. And, Hu is really a waste of a line-up spot. Hairston, you have a hope that he might get you a pitch hit. Harris gives you an extra OF. If you are worried about Reyes, stop. If he gets injured, call someone up. Turner can be your emergency SS for a game. Pridie is showing some baseball value. Hu, and this isn’t the first time, is a benchwarmer.
    • FrankTaveras April 27, 2011 at 10:36 am
      Paul DePo’s computer very clearly shows that Hu hit .299 in the minors with a .341 OBP. Also, Matt Cerrone watched him in batting practice once and noticed Hu had surprising power. Therefore, you are wrong.
      • Joe April 27, 2011 at 11:33 am
        I submit. After all, crowd enjoyment at chanting his name alone makes him more useful these days than Hairston.
  8. Alan April 27, 2011 at 11:13 am
    Joe, you seem to have a real misunderstanding of major league baseball. You say “If the Mets didn’t win this game, I might have packed it in…. if a Major League team can’t beat a club that puts Alex Cora and Jerry Hairston, Jr. on the left side of the infield, they don’t belong at this level.” Do you think that the Nats are going to lose every game until Zimmerman and Desmond return? Because even the very worst baseball teams in the league usually win over a third of their games. And the best baseball teams every year lose at least a third of their games. That’s major league baseball. It’s unpredictable on a day-to-day basis and I find the importance you place on a single game in April (out of 162) to be… puzzling, to say the least.

    Following this series against the Mets, Washington plays San Fran and then Philly. If Cora and Hairston start and the Nats win a game against either of those teams, will you say that that the Giants of Phillies “don’t belong at this level”?

    • Joe Janish April 27, 2011 at 1:16 pm
      Alan, you seem to take me far too seriously.

      But, yes, I DO expect the Nats to lose every single game going forward with Cora and Hairston on the left side of the infield. It will be completely unexpected — to me — if they manage to win with that combination further dragging down an already struggling offense. Right now they have at least five automatic outs in the lineup, their manager is overmatched, and the pitching is below adequate. Add in the rangeless Cora at the most important position in the infield and a player who is a third baseman in name only, and I see it as an overwhelming task for the Nats to beat an average MLB team. It would take an extraordinary effort by the pitching staff combined with an unprecedented offensive outburst for the Nats to overcome their deficiencies.

      Finally, I often pepper my commentary with outlandish and bombastic statements — for no other reason than to cajole people into conversation.

      • Alan April 27, 2011 at 2:46 pm
        I agree with you that Cora and Hairston are terrible and Cora especially is a joke at SS, but even with both of those guys in there, the Nats are STILL going to win a bunch of games– that’s just how baseball works. Any of their starters can have a good game on any given night, just like every other team in the league. I just think it’s a big overstatement to say that it would take both (a) extraordinary pitching and (b) unprecedented offensive outburst to win. Even the worst teams win roughly a third of their games and the Nats won 43% of their games last year. They were projected by most people to be even better this season (projected by many to finish ahead of the Mets) I just don’t think that having Zimmerman/Desmond out of the lineup hurts their chances of winning on any given night as much as you’re suggesting. Zimmerman was worth just over 5 wins per year (if you want to use WAR as a quick indicator) and Desmond less than one win. Even if you project both players to improve this year, and even with Hairston/Cora in there, the Nats are still a 60-win team that can win on any given night.

        But if your overall point is that the Nats are completely out of their minds for playing Alex Cora at shortstop, let alone having him on their major league roster in the first place, then I couldn’t agree with you more.

        • Joe Janish April 27, 2011 at 5:42 pm
          You seem to have been cajoled into conversation.

          The stats you cite are impressive but do not change my opinion of whether the Mets should beat the bejesus out of the Nats this week. I’m an old-school knucklehead, not an actuary.

  9. NormE April 27, 2011 at 11:40 am
    This blog is a lot of fun, along with some serious thoughts. Joe J. has a facetious/sarcastic sense of humor. He also
    does not have much regard for Jerry Hairston and Alex Cora as starting ballplayers. That was the point I took from his comment. To say that Joe J. seems “to have a real misunderstanding of major league baseball” is totally incorrect. Forgive me, but I guess I should let Joe J. defend himself.
    • Joe Janish April 27, 2011 at 5:43 pm
      Thanks Norm!
  10. Steve S. April 27, 2011 at 12:16 pm
    Mets are only a game out of third place! .500 or bust!

    Hu never should have been the backup infielder. Turner was always the better option.

    Pridie looks like he knows how to play the game! I’m impressed so far.

    Buchholz and Beato were great pickups by Alderson.