Mets Game 51: Loss to Phillies

Phillies 5 Mets 2

Believe me, it was much closer than the final score would suggest.

Mets Game Notes

Mike Pelfrey was dominant through 7 2/3 innings in one of his best performances of the season. He had good sink on his fastball — which was running around 92-93 MPH — and was able to spot it on both corners. Additionally, he was able to get both called and swinging strikes on his secondary pitches. It looked like he was using both a curve and a change-up, with about 84 MPH velocity on the change, which was dropping nicely.

Unfortunately for big Pelf, he left the game with a one-run lead that the Mets bullpen could not hold. He exited with two out and a man on first, and LOOGY Mike O’Connor allowed that man to steal second before giving up an RBI single to Chase Utley — tying the game and saddling Pelfrey with a no-decision. O’Connor and other members of the ‘pen then let the game get away completely.

It was a tough call for manager Terry Collins to remove Pelfrey at that point, but I can understand why he did considering Big Pelf’s implosion in the last inning of his last start (against the Yankees) — and the fact he had thrown 116 pitches. Collins probably figured that by taking out Pelfrey there, with a lead, and having dominated the big bad Phillies, it would be a significant boost to his confidence. Further, if Pelfrey did in fact implode again, his confidence most definitely would have been shaken. At the same time, Pelfrey was the best pitcher the Mets could have had on the mound at the time. I understand why Collins did what he did, but, there was something illogical about replacing him with a “four-A” LOOGY like O’Connor on this particular evening. But that’s baseball.

As for the Mets bullpen … what’s happening? The relief corps was a pleasant surprise up until about a week ago, and it’s suddenly become a big question mark. Some of it could be due to regression to the mean; additionally, I think some of the relievers benefited from the element of mystery early on. The second time around, teams have seen these pitchers and know what to expect.

The last 17 Mets to come to the plate in the ballgame were retired.

On the bright side, Jose Reyes had yet another multi-hit game, and scored both of the Mets runs. Justin “Mr. RBI” Turner drove him in one of those times.

The Mets stole 5 bases; two by Reyes.

There’s something not right about Chase Utley’s swing. It looks like he’s cutting it off after contact; almost as if he’s trying to catch the ball on the barrel and lift it, as if he were using a shovel or playing jai-alai. I wonder if his right knee injury has anything to do with the lack of a full follow-through? I wouldn’t think so, but you never know.

Next Mets Game

The final game of the series begins at 1:10 PM on Sunday afternoon. Jon Niese takes the hill against Vance Worley.

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 29, 2011 at 7:41 am
    Agree about Utley. He looks like a new guym well, actually he looks like an old timer. But the Met bullpen looks like what it is is, minor leaguers and broken days guys looking for one more hurrah. And they know they have to be perfect because the team is done adding on to a lead. And the Phillies know they only have to score a little because they have major league pitchers. It all adds up. Some say it shows the Mets are competitive, but it actually shows the small line between winning and losing in baseball.
  2. gary s. May 29, 2011 at 8:28 am
    I would have liked to see Pelfrey get one more batter, but most managers would made the same move at that point of the game,The problem is that Alderson did not obtain a lefty to replace Feliciano or Takahashi that is an MLB quality reliever.Byrdak and O’Connor both stink
  3. Joe May 29, 2011 at 9:48 am
    The Mets was bit by the Phillies late in the past and given O’Connor has been reliable and Pelfrey known to lose it all the sudden, I think it was okay to trust a couple guys who (contra another comment) in no way “stink” this year as a whole. Meanwhile, F is hurt and last I heard T started the season off mediocre.

    It’s a tough call with a guy like Pelfrey. Who would have been surprised if he was the run who gave up the run with the relievers giving up one or more, saddling him with a loss?

  4. The King May 29, 2011 at 1:02 pm
    Joe, you wrote in the first sentence of this post:

    Believe me, it was much loser than the final score would suggest – I assume you mean “closer”.

    • Joe Janish May 29, 2011 at 3:04 pm
      ha! must’ve been from my subconscious. Thanks for alerting me, it’s been fixed.
  5. Mic May 30, 2011 at 4:39 pm
    Izzy is righht. We need more tihan journerymen relievers.