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.