Mets Game 35: Loss to Rockies

Rockies 2 Mets 1

Give the game ball to Chris Iannetta.

The Colorado catcher stretched a single to a double and then scored the first run of the ballgame, and later ripped a line-drive solo homer over the 347-foot sign in left field to give the Rockies the lead and eventual winning run. Iannetta also tagged out Dan Murphy at home to get a crucial out — though, he did a horrible job of blocking the plate and I’m not sure Murphy was definitely out — and he threw out Willie Harris attempting to steal in the top of the ninth.

Mets Game Notes

Tough luck for Chris Capuano, who pitched an outstanding ballgame but came out of it with a loss. Capuano allowed 2 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks in 6 2/3 innings, striking out 4 in a 98-pitch performance.

Jhoulys Chacin pitched well himself, though his command was unusually off. He came into the game walking only 3 batters per 9 innings, but he walked 6 in 6 innings.

Home plate umpire Mike Winters had a really tight strike zone for both pitchers in the first few innings, and seemed to loosen it a bit at times as the game wore on.

Harris was out by at least 10 feet, and the attempted steal would’ve looked even worse if Iannetta had not throw the ball high. An ugly play and yet another “error of aggression”, where a player tries to do too much.

Murphy was almost safe at home, and for me, the replays were inconclusive. It was one of those cases where the ball beat him so he was called out, I think. As a baseball fan and catching instructor, the execution of the play drives me bananas, because Iannetta had enough time to move his entire body in f ront of home plate and block it completely from Murphy. That swipe tag and lack of contact was meek and incorrect.

The Mets had 5 hits. So did the Rockies. It was a pitchers’ duel.

The Rockies were 2-for-6 with RISP; the Mets were 0-for-7 and left 10 men on base.

Both teams had golden opportunities to break the game open, but just couldn’t get it done. Colorado’s best chance came in the first frame, when they had the bases loaded and one out, but Todd Helton bounced into an inning-ending DP. The Mets loaded the bases in the sixth after scoring their only run but couldn’t add on, and they had a rally going in the 7th when Murphy was tagged out at home.

To me, Josh Thole has a look on his face that expresses a lack of confidence. When he came to the plate in the sixth with men on first and second, two out, and pitcher on deck, Thole seemed to be looking for a walk — which he got. He had at least two pitches to lash at, but took them both as he worked the base on balls. I don’t think that was due to a planned approach as much as it was a lack of confidence. He has this unsure look on his face and his body language is tentative. At least, that’s what I see.

Kudos to Iannetta for stretching his single into a double and eventually scoring the first run of the game. The bulky catcher is far from fast, but he hustled out of the box and did a textbook job of cutting first base efficiently. When you take good angles, you can make up for lack of speed in taking extra bases.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Rockies do it again on Tuesday evening in Colorado at 8:40 PM EST. Mike Pelfrey goes to the mile-high hill against Jason Hammel.

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. Izzy May 10, 2011 at 6:04 am
    Agree with you about Thole, but this team has shown no patience for any player except of course for the superstar Hairston. So he’s pressing. People like Collins intensity and that’s fine, but we will see why it didn’t work in his other stints. It doesn’t work for too many guys.
  2. Joe May 10, 2011 at 8:30 am
    Harris accidentally gets on base and decides it is too much to bear. It’s really time to go. He doesn’t just not do things, he repeatedly negatively does things.

    Given the importance and closeness of the play — I find when Keith says such it is truly close since his policy is to err the other way (ditto if he says a pitch is a ball — “too close to take” is his middle name) — it was a bit curious that Collins didn’t even come out.

    • FrankTaveras May 10, 2011 at 8:53 am
      Seriously — where the heck was Terry Collins on that play? Did he stay in the dugout because Murphy didn’t argue? And why didn’t Murphy argue?
  3. Josh Zimmerman May 10, 2011 at 11:52 am
    im a bit optimistic that it was close, but the mets cant get too far back, we are only a few losses from being doomed.