Mets Game 50: Loss to Phillies

Phillies 6 Mets 4

For a while there, it seemed like the Mets might be able to steal one from the Phillies. But it was not to be.

Mets Game Notes

Chris Capuano started the game striking out the phirst phour Phillies he phaced, and phinished with 8 Ks in 6 innings of well-pitched ball, allowing two runs (one earned). He did a great job of establishing the fastball inside to the righties, then turning over the changeup; it reminded me a bit of Tom Glavine in 2006.

Unfortunately, the Mets bullpen couldn’t hold back the phightin’ Phils. On the bright side, Pedro Beato bounced back with a perfect inning. On the dark side, neither setup man Jason Isringhausen nor closer Francisco Rodriguez could prevent Philadelphia from scoring; they allowed a combined four runs in 1 2/3 innings.

I did not love the move of removing Capuano for pinch-hitter Willie Harris. First of all, Capuano had thrown only 78 pitches and was keeping the Phils off-balance. Second, I honestly and truly believe that Capuano is as good or better a hitter than Harris.

Still, it was nice to see the Mets fight back in the bottom of the ninth, after K-Rod imploded and allowed the Phillies to go up 6-3. Before the last half of the inning began, I was expecting the Mets to go in the tank and sleepwalk their way through the last three outs. Can you blame me? I mean, you’ve been watching this team since at least 2008 too, right? As it turned out, the Mets hitters were alert and confident, and did enough to make Phillies fans’ hearts skip a beat.

For me, it was nice to see both teams use the running game. That’s the kind of baseball I enjoy watching: aggressiveness, taking chances, making your opponent execute. We saw four attempted steals and several baserunners taking an extra base. A fresh contrast to the Steroid Era days of teams slugging it out like a nine-inning version of homerun derby.

Speaking of the running game, Ronny Paulino takes forever and a day to get rid of the baseball when throwing to second base. He’s a big man but is a better athlete than you’d think, yet he doesn’t make the most of his quickness. He pops up too upright, takes too much time to get his body in position, and his arm arc/swing is much too long — it’s almost like a windup. He’d be much more effective taking a shorter slide step with his right foot combined with a shorter route to get the ball back into launch position. It would take some time, but such changes would not be impossible. Paulino has quick feet and a strong arm, but he doesn’t know how to get the most of those assets.

I keep waiting for Scott Hairston to get a big pinch-hit. Good thing I’m not holding my breath. Though, the odds suggest that it will happen eventually.

Another multi-hit game for Jose Reyes, who scored three of the Mets’ four runs and saw 20 pitches in his five at-bats. He’s been hot for fifty games, and showing no sign of slowing down.

Speaking of hot, Justin Turner warmed back up, collecting four hits in the two-hole.

As nice as it was to see Jason Pridie playing usually great defense and providing surprising pop, it was much nicer to see Angel Pagan return to centerfield. He had two hits, scored the other Mets run, and looks hungry.

Dan Murphy’s defensive deficiencies were not made up by his offensive prowess in this particular game. In that respect, he is sort of like a poor man’s Mark DeRosa. Though, it’s hard not to like Murph; the kid is trying, and it’s not easy to be constantly shifting gears to learn completely new positions on the fly, in MLB.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Phillies do it again at 7:05 PM on Saturday night. Mike Pelfrey takes the mound against Cole Hamels.

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. Pulled Hammy May 28, 2011 at 8:17 am
    I thought for sure you’d mention K-Rod’s non-game finished. Or the look on his face when he was removed. His quest for the pot of gold is one of my *favorite* running subplots.
    My thoughts go out to “The Kid”.
    • Joe Janish May 28, 2011 at 4:42 pm
      I almost did mention it, but was trying to be as positive as possible since the Mets provided valid entertainment in this particular ballgame.
  2. Steve S. May 28, 2011 at 9:29 am
    Turner’s hitting stats are now better than those of Reyes, but he’s not going to get Carl Crawford money next year….
    • Joe Janish May 28, 2011 at 10:04 am
      Ha!

      But if he keeps this up he’ll get Werth money.

  3. Steve S. May 28, 2011 at 10:20 am
    Joe: What are your thoughts on changing Citi Field’s dimensions? Do you think Alderson will make some changes after this season?
    • Joe Janish May 28, 2011 at 4:48 pm
      The Citi Field dimensions don’t bother me all that much, maybe because I grew up watching baseball in the 1970s and 80s, when many ballparks had deep dimensions. I enjoy watching balls hit over fences, but I prefer watching triples and inside-the-park HRs — and for those two types of hits, Citi Field is perfect. I think the park is built for Jose Reyes and Angel Pagan, and will be sad if/when either of those players leave.

      On the other hand, the right-center gap destroyed David Wright’s homerun output, and has gotten into the head of Wright and other players. Will the Mets move the fence in? I hope they don’t; the players should adjust to the ballpark, not the other way around. If the Mets build their team around pitching and speed, they will have an advantage similar to the Royals and Cardinals of the 70s and 80s.

      • Steve S. May 29, 2011 at 10:37 am
        I’d like like to see two changes:

        In right-center–which is much to far away from home plate (410 feet away).

        The walls–which should be lowered closer to what they were in Shea.

        • Steve S. May 29, 2011 at 10:51 am
          *too* far away….
  4. Joe May 28, 2011 at 12:27 pm
    If your team is going to be a mess, I’ll take one or two people “trying” and contributing something to the team but having some deficiency.

    The deficiency is going to be there anyways. If merely talent is the issue, well, it’s not really great to be a Mets fan these days. After all, he’s not the reason they lost last night. In some game, it might be, but given K-Rod’s line, Murph was but a part.

    Possible or not, at some point, when is it time to cut bait with Bay? His hitting is about as bad as the Hs and worse if there is someone on third base.

    Anyone still want Castillo?

  5. gary s. May 28, 2011 at 2:12 pm
    Hey Joe, I was at the game last nite and i have a message for you from Fred Wilpon.He said you are a nice guy but not a superstar blogger!
    • Joe Janish May 28, 2011 at 4:48 pm
      Ha! I highly doubt he would ever say either of those things.
      • gary s. May 28, 2011 at 7:09 pm
        Maybe he said you are only 65-70 percent of the writer you used to be.Not sure.Lol.The way this season is going i have to work on some humor.Btw, mets have not hit a home run in a week and there were about 20,000 people tops in the ballpark last nite.I got to the park 20 minutes before gametime and parked about 100 feet from the rotunda entrance.A couple of years ago at shea, there would have been 45,000 in the house.
  6. Mic May 28, 2011 at 8:56 pm
    Jor. Bud selig, joel sherman, adam rubin and peter gammons all said the same thing
  7. Mic May 28, 2011 at 9:09 pm
    1- murph is the fall guy for that game, based on his error and he sits…….again. Maybe collins should look at nick evans as a spot defensive replacement.

    The mets are overall doing an interesting job. What if ike and dw were here?

    2. Who will be first to start the jeurys watch?