Mets Game 26: Loss to Phillies
Philles 10 Mets 3
This was the game that — on paper — was the Mets’ best chance to win out of the three-game series.
Mets Game Notes
Mike Pelfrey is not looking like an Opening Day starter so far this season. But hey, it’s early. He’s gotten past 5 1/3 innings only once in 5 starts. In this game, he lasted only 4 1/3, allowing 4 runs on 8 hits and a walk. I have to think his shoulder is still an issue. I cannot believe that he is this bad if healthy. If he is healthy, and is this bad, then there has to be some responsibility thrown toward Dan Warthen, whose job it is to prepare Pelfrey and get the most out of his abilities. If Warthen can be lauded when Pelfrey pitches well, then he has to get at least part of the blame when Pelfrey fails.
During the postgame eval on SNY, Bobby Ojeda pointed out that Pelfrey did a terrible job of holding runners on and allowing them big jumps. You know the scary thing? Pelfrey has actually improved in that area over the past few years.
Also during the postgame, it was suggested by Terry Collins that he made a mistake in letting Pelfrey start while he had the virus/flu/bug going around the team. Just one problem: Pelfrey was supposedly even sicker five days ago when he threw his best outing of the season, allowing only one run in a seven-inning stint against the D-Backs.
Vance Worley = Dillon Gee (as a starter).
Dillon Gee (as a reliever) = unmentionable epithets.
Instead of harping in the negative, let’s learn some baseball fundies …
In the 6th inning, with Shane Victorino on second, Brian Schneider on third, and the Mets infield drawn in, there was a sharp grounder hit to second baseman Dan Murphy. Victorino instinctively broke for third, realized it was a mistake, and doubled back toward second, prompting Murphy to fetch after him and tag him out for the second out of the inning. Schneider never moved off third base, and I can understand why: he saw Murphy running toward Victorino, which was also toward third, and when you see someone running in your direction you generally freeze or retreat to your base. But, the correct play would have been for Victorino to continue toward third once Murphy came after him, and for Schneider to break for home. Because once Victorino was caught in no-man’s land, an out was imminent, so what you want to do is make that out as difficult as possible. If Schneider broke from third, Murphy would have been forced to throw home, and three things have to happen for an out to occur: a good throw by Murphy, a clean catch by Josh Thole, and a timely tag on Schneider. Major Leaguers generally execute those simple tasks, but you want to make them have to do it because there’s always a chance of something going wrong. And if Schneider breaks for home, the Mets execute perfectly, you still have the same situation: man on third, two outs. Granted, it is very difficult to think “on your feet” (pardon the pun) this quickly, but if you can, that is the ideal way to make lemonade out of lemons.
Not long after that incident, Ryan Howard hit his grand slam. This is what I found interesting: Howard hit the bomb when Dillon Gee finally hit the spot Thole called four times during the at-bat (inside). Gee missed too far inside on one of those occasions, and missed up and away on the other two — both of which, Howard swung through. Despite seeing Gee beat Howard up and out twice, Thole called that inside fastball one more time. Gee hit the spot precisely, and Howard deposited the ball into the right field stands.
Ike Davis extended his hitting streak to 11 games by crushing a homerun to dead center in the top of the ninth. It was the Mets third hit of the ballgame up to that point. Jason Pridie blasted a two-run tater of his own a few minutes later. So the Mets finished with 4 hits on the game. Though, on the bright side, they did draw 6 walks; that should make DePo’s computer happy.
As Michael Baron pointed out on Twitter, the Mets pitching staff allowed 10 hits, 7 walks, and 3 HBPs. It’s not easy to win when you allow 20 baserunners in a ballgame.
Next Mets Game
The Mets play the Phillies again at 1:10 PM in Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon. Jonathon Niese goes to the hill against Roy Halladay.
Niese against Halladay today? Oy vey, not sure they have any shot.