Mets Game 54: Loss to Pirates

Pirates 5 Mets 1

For seven innings, R.A. Dickey’s dancing dipsy-doodle devoured the Pittsburgh Pirates batters. If this were a high school game, Dickey would’ve finished with a shutout victory. Unfortunately, they play nine-inning contests in the Major Leagues.

Mets Game Notes

R.A. Dickey had a great knuckler on this evening; it was dipping and diving with sharp, late, unhittable movement. He was outstanding through seven shutout innings, striking out a career-high ten and allowing only five hits. Unfortunately, the Bucs got to him in the eighth, and since the Mets offense was paralyzed by Pirate pitching, he was saddled with the loss.

If you want to be a Monday-morning quarterback, you could argue with Terry Collins’ decision to leave Dickey in the game to face Neil Walker after Dickey walked Andrew McCutchen to load the bases. Walker wound up lashing a two-run single to give the Bucs the lead. However, I would argue that Dickey’s knuckler was very effective, and I’m not sure that Jason Isringhausen would have definitely fared better in that situation. Furthermore, the Mets didn’t score any more runs, so what’s the difference?

Bobby Parnell tossed a highly ineffective two-thirds of an inning, allowing two runs on two hits, a walk, and a stolen base in a 32-pitch inning. On the bright side, he was throwing 96+ MPH, and touched triple digits once or twice. Though, not sure that it matters, since he wasn’t throwing strikes.

Speaking of Parnell’s velocity, Ron Darling made an extremely irresponsible comment while Bobby was throwing those bullets. Darling pointed out Parnell’s front (left) shoulder, and how it “jerked” toward first base during the delivery. He went on to say that this jerking motion of the front shoulder is the reason Parnell can throw so fast. Let’s get something crystal-clear: just because Ron Darling pitched in MLB and is a Yale graduate, does not make him an expert on biomechanics. The fact that Parnell’s shoulder “jerks” is NOT necessarily an indication of a high-velocity thrower. In fact, such an action could actually REDUCE velocity, depending on the timing. So, please, parents, do not instruct your kids to “jerk your front shoulder” this weekend. And kids, don’t believe everything you hear — even if it comes from someone who you think should be an “expert”. Most current and former MLBers have absolutely no idea how the human body works (even the “smart” ones), and many made it as far as they did based on incredible, god-given athleticism that allowed them to perform better than others in spite of incorrect mechanics.

Angel Pagan and Dan Murphy had four of the Mets six hits on the night. Pirates starter James McDonald looked good, but not dominating; the offensive output was disappointing. The only run scored when Jason Bay hit a worm-beating, swinging bunt that he beat out for an infield hit to drive in Angel Pagan in the first frame. That one-run lead looked like it might hold up as R.A. was amazing until the 8th. Oh well.

The Mets have now gone ten straight games without a homerun, the longest streak in MLB and their longest since 1980.

Next Mets Game

The third game of this four-game series against the Pirates begins at 7:10 PM on Wednesday night. Chris Capuano faces Kevin Correia.

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. Gary S. May 31, 2011 at 11:28 pm
    Pagan lost a 2 run homer in the bottom of the seventh to that asinine modell zone.traveled about 390 feet right into the glove of the right fielder.Without David and Ike they might never hit a home run the rest of the season in citicavern.Might have been a different 8th inning and a met win if they had normal distances in the house that Fred and Jeff built.
  2. Rodeo May 31, 2011 at 11:53 pm
    I confess that I am a little surprised when Joe says these condescending comments about other people who have an opinion, whether it’s Darling or not. If you disagree with his feeling, you might want to express it a bit differently. Just a thought.
    • Joe Janish June 1, 2011 at 9:33 am
      What is “condescending” about what i stated? Ron Darling is absolutely wrong. Velocity does not come from “jerking of the shoulder”. It’s patently incorrect.

      He’s not an expert on biomechanics by any means, and therefore should not be making comments about human body movements. Sitting where he’s sitting, with millions of people watching/listening, and positioning himself as an expert of baseball (not biomechanics), he has a responsibility to stick to his expertise.

  3. Joe June 1, 2011 at 7:57 am
    I’ll be a Wednesday morning QB. After getting batter after batter out while clearly being hurt, this was the line:

    Cedeno singled to left.
    Brown flied out on a bunt to first baseman Evans.
    Diaz pinch-hitting for Meek.
    Diaz struck out.
    Tabata was hit by a pitch, Cedeno to second.
    Harrison singled to right, Cedeno scored, Tabata to third.
    Harrison to second.
    A.McCutchen walked on a full count.

    This is the line of someone about done. He got something of a gift out there too. I understand trying to stretch the guy and I’m sure he wanted to stay in, but if you can’t get an out from your bullpen against the Pirates …

    I also had no confidence in Parnell. Now, if you figure the Mets are going to lose anyway only down 3-1, okay. I half thought Gee would lose myself. If it was the 12th inning, okay. I realize Misch wasn’t available.

    I think Rodeo has something of a point. You suggest he actually might be right (he is not “necessarily” wrong) and I doubt parents are going to go out and risk their kids arm because some announcer said something about a major leaguer. Pitchers force their arms to do unnatural thing every day. A natural arm does not throw ninety pitches in various variations like that.

    The start wasn’t brilliant. Brilliance is knowing when to get out or finishing the job.

    • Joe Janish June 1, 2011 at 9:44 am
      Thanks for the commentary on the game. You make good points. I know Dickey was hurt but he looked borderline dominating to me most of the night — it seemed like the Bucs hitters were uncomfortable facing him. I think it was a tough call either way.

      As for parents and kids watching the ballgame, I think you’re dead wrongt. Ron Darling played MLB and was fairly successful. If he says something related to pitching, people are going to believe it — it’s the reason he gets paid to provide color commentary. In other words, he has influence. Kids and parents are constantly trying to emulate MLBers, because they think they know everything.

      Whether throwing a baseball is “natural” or “unnatural” is debatable and moot. Sitting at a desk 8 hours a day in front of a computer screen is “unnatural”, but millions of people do it every day. So what? There are ways to do it so you don’t hurt yourself — as there is with pitching. Additionally, there are ways to sit — and pitch — that are guaranteed to hurt you. Isn’t it smart to to learn and take the safer path?

  4. Mic June 1, 2011 at 10:40 pm
    Good comments….

    Here i go. Tc lost this game. He was pushing luck. The hit batsman was my cue. Other keys; RA was proving his health …not superhuman status.
    Whatever happened to set up man concept?

    The biggest point is tc risked RA’s health. I think given the heel scare asking for 7 was fine.

    But the next thing to me is terry is not about wins per se. If he was maybe the previous statement applies. He has set murph as punishment, etc ithink despite nick getting on base he left too many on yesterday so today he sits.

  5. Rodeo June 3, 2011 at 1:36 pm
    Joe, in general you seem like a good guy, but you sometimes just come across as a very pompous person with the way you write – just saying that you could take a bit of a different approach when you disagree with TV analysts/managers/coaches/players/individuals posting on this site.