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.