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.

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 29, 2011 at 10:57 pm
    Yeah, at home against the D-Backs is not quite the same as on the road against the Phillies. Especially for Pelfrey.
  2. Lee April 29, 2011 at 11:16 pm
    Why, why, why is Dillon Gee pitching in relief. Not to say he should be in the rotation (although why not?) but he is not a relief pitcher. He has the pace, the composure, and the ability to be a starter. The roles are not all that interchangeable.
    • Joe Janish April 29, 2011 at 11:18 pm
      Lee, don’t be silly. Gee pitched in relief 3 times as recently as 2007, so it should come naturally to him. 😉
  3. Midwestern Met April 30, 2011 at 1:57 am
    If the offense was this anemic against Vance Worley of all people, imagine how much worse they’ll fare against Halladay and Lee. It’s gonna be a long weekend.
    • Izzy April 30, 2011 at 5:57 am
      Think back, all the way to the beginning of April. Game 1 Mwets kill Cole Hamel and the invincible Phiiles. Then proceeed to play horrible baseball for the next two weeks. One game in baseball has no relevance to another. If it did, then why did the Nats win Thursday after their horrible play on Wednesday?
      • Joe April 30, 2011 at 9:58 am
        The Mets own Hamel. They then played the other starters and good teams like the Rockies. The Mets over the years also haven’t been good against teams they basically never saw before. Not that Worley is exactly chopped liver.
        • Joe April 30, 2011 at 9:59 am
          That is pitchers they never saw before.
  4. gary s. April 30, 2011 at 9:16 am
    time for pelfrey to be dropped from the rotation??I would start to think about it.I also don’t understand why Gee didn’t get the start last nite and pelfrey wasn’t moved back due to illness,Pelfrey is horrible vs, the Marlins, braves and Phillies.Can’t wait till he is out of here.
  5. C D April 30, 2011 at 10:45 am
    I want to give Pelfrey a pass due to losing 11 pounds in a week because of his illness, but I just can’t. Pelfrey has what it takes to be great except that he needs psychological help. He just can’t perform in the most crucial situations and when he gets down, fuhgettaboutit. He’ll go on to be a superstar for the Astros or Pirates or Royals or someone once he gets his head straightened out.

    Niese against Halladay today? Oy vey, not sure they have any shot.

    • MetsFan1981 April 30, 2011 at 4:26 pm
      I am sick and tired of this “psychological” excuse. The truth is this: Mike Pelfrey is a complete bum. I can’t believe that this guy still has a job; it makes me sick.