Mets Game 97: Loss to Dodgers

Dodgers 8 Mets 6

For a while there, it looked like the Mets might take three in a row in LA, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Before the series began, I figured this game would go to the Dodgers, because Brad Penny has been so dominating this year. However, since the Mets reached him for four runs, and originally had the lead, it was a bit of a disappointment when Jorge Sosa couldn’t pitch more effectively and scratch out a win.

The Mets jumped out to a two-run lead in the second inning, thanks to a sac fly by Ramon Castro and a two-out, run-scoring single by Lastings Milledge. Milledge is hitting about .035, but every time he gets a hit, he drives in a run. Gotta like that kind of production. The Mets tacked on two more in the third after Carlos Beltran sent a two-strike pitch into leftfield and David Wright followed by golfing a ball over the centerfield fence.

The lead vanished in the fourth inning, thanks to a five-run inning by the Dodgers, highlighted by a James Loney three-run blast to centerfield.

The Mets didn’t score again until the eighth, when Carlos Beltran jumped all over a high 2-1 fastball from lefty Joe Beimel and deposited it into the leftfield seats.

Notes

“Aloha Adam” was a stupid, nonsensical addition to the FOX broadcast. Why, exactly, would we care to celebrate the 25th anniversary of “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” ? Hey, I watched the movie myself, and enjoyed it immensely as a teenager, but … what’s it got to do with baseball? Yeah, I thought so.

The only thing more annoying than “Aloha Adam” and the incessant camera shots of Hollywood stars was Barry Bonds at-bats invading the game. If I want to see Barroid hit, I’ll watch the Giants game on MLB or DirectTV — don’t spoil my enjoyment of the Mets. If FOX thinks it’s so important to see the poster boy for HGH hit a homerun, then broadcast the whole damn game and let us watch the Mets on SNY. I don’t care about Barry Bonds, and the “record” means nothing to anyone outside of San Francisco. In fact, it’s not even a record. Last time I checked the Guinness World Records book, the all-time homerun king is Sadaharu Oh — so what’s the big whoop-dee-doo about tying/passing Aaron’s 755? When he gets close to 868, lemme know.

Sosa’s inability to throw an offspeed pitch in the strike zone is the main reason I’ve been hesitant to look at him as an effective pitcher over the long term. Using the slider for swings and misses is fine, but purposely putting it in the strike zone is a dangerous strategy (I don’t care WHAT Leo Mazzone says). Sliders in the strike zone — other than at the very bottom corners of the strike zone — tend to be flat and fat. Add the fact that a slider is about 2-5 MPH slower than a fastball — which is not slow enough to throw off a hitter’s timing — and you can understand why homeruns are often hit on high sliders.

Shame, shame, shame on Willie Randolph for not making a stink, or moving from the dugout, when Juan Pierre was hit by a Scott Schoeneweis pitch in the sxith inning. Pierre DID NOT MOVE, and in fact, he might have moved slightly INTO the ball. The umpire wrongly awarded him first base, as the MLB rulebook clearly states that the batter must attempt to get out of the way.

Ruben Gotay threw away a tailor-made double play ball immediately after the HBP — allowing a run to score — so I guess he’s a bad fielder and should be replaced by Anderson Hernandez.

Shawn Green has a career .419 average against Brad Penny (in 31 at-bats). Did anyone get the reason Lastings Milledge started instead? If so I missed it.

Jonathan Broxton was described as a “drop and drive guy” by ho-hum broadcaster Matt Vasgersian, as his delivery was compared to Tom Seaver’s. Nothing could have been further from the truth. If anything, his motion is closer to “tall and fall” — a la Nolan Ryan. Drop and drive pitchers usually have a dirty right knee, as they push hard off the rubber with their back leg, then flex the back knee down to the ground as the front side collapses at the release point. (BTW, I guarantee Broxton has an arm injury within a year. He puts a lot of strain on his arm, first by throwing so many sliders and second by not allowing his arm to naturally and fully decelerate — he cuts off his follow-through almost immediately after releasing the ball. He would be well served by watching some old clips of Tom Seaver — but there’s no similarity between Tom Terrific and Broxton.) It galls me when “professional” broadcasters make asinine, incorrect statements to try to sound smart — please don’t ask me why I didn’t hit the mute button in the first inning.

Kind of funny that FOX made the far reach of tying together “Fast Times …” with the basestealers of the Mets and Dodgers — and that there was not one stolen base attempt in the game. Even funnier that Tim McCarver was forced to watch the movie the night before the broadcast, so he’d know who “Mr. Hand” was.

Next Game

The series finale starts at 4:10 PM EST. El Duque pitches for the Mets, and Mark Hendrickson is still listed as the Dodgers starter, despite having pitched two innings of relief in game one.

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. Micalpalyn July 23, 2007 at 2:28 pm
    Slightly!!! Pierrre practically jumped into that pitch.

    Shame about that DP ball. G. was about to be plastered too. BUT I think Doug Mink makes that scoop. (lol)

  2. joe July 23, 2007 at 2:32 pm
    Yeah I guess Pierre kinda pulled a Ron Hunt there.

    I think Mienky would have needed a swimming pool skimmer to reach that throw and scoop it … wasn’t it like ten feet up the RF line?