Mets Game 60: Win Over Brewers

Mets 2 Brewers 1

This was an old-fashioned pitching duel, pitting two savvy starters who kept batters off-balance and pitched to contact. In the end, the Mets prevailed.

Mets Game Notes

The pitching matchup was mirror-like: two sinkerballing slop-throwers who rely on control and guile to get by, sitting in the upper 80s and fooling hitters with the change-up as their bread and butter. Additionally, both had Tommy John surgery in 2008.

Chris Capuano was terrific again, allowing only one run on 6 hits and 2 walks in 6 solid innings. He struck out 5.

Prior to the game, SNY showed a quick clip of Capuano making high-arc long tosses in the outfield. Now we know at least part of the reason why he needed Tommy John surgery twice in his life. Kids: if you pitch, do not waste your time with what most people define as “long toss” — i.e., heaving the ball high in the air and over a long distance. It does very little, if anything, to improve your arm strength for pitching, and in fact, it has been scientifically proven that such an activity puts significant and damaging stress on the elbow. Instead, I recommend limited and monitored long distance throwing — throwing on a straight line / downward plane, and no more than 120-150 feet at most. Once you start throwing on an arc, your mechanics change and the body parts you use change; neither of these changes improve the mechanics you use at 60 feet, 6 inches.

While we’re on the subject of mechanics, Shaun Marcum puts tremendous strain on his arm by remaining upright in his follow-through. Because he stays almost standing up throughout the motion, his arm is decelerated by the shoulder and other parts of the arm. What a pitcher wants to do is get his head over his front knee at release, and allow his entire body to continue down and forward — then, both gravity and the larger muscles in the back, buttocks, and legs can get involved in both powering the baseball and slowing down the arm.

Jose Reyes hit a two-run triple to put the Mets ahead in the top of the 7th, and had a chance to score when Justin Turner followed with a grounder to second base. However, Rickie Weeks made a perfect throw to home, and Reyes was tagged out as he came in standing up. Had he slid, he would have had a great chance to score. Why didn’t he slide? Because Jose Reyes does not know how to slide feet-first, and he knows that sliding head-first is too dangerous in that situation. This is a failure on both Reyes and the Mets organization, who have taught Reyes the intricacies of the game since he was a 17-year-old. It doesn’t take any special skill or god-given talent to slide properly — it merely takes instruction, repetition, and a policy to ensure that all players (including pitchers) do it. And, I blame both the previous and current management regimes, because the simple art of sliding takes all of three days to teach and implement.

Reyes enjoyed his 29th multi-hit game and that was his 11th triple — but the first one not hit in Citi Field.

Francisco Rodriguez bounced back to convert his 17th straight save opportunity. Yes, he’s been shaky lately but I’m convinced it’s a mental thing — K-Rod cannot pitch his best in a non-save situation. I don’t care what he claims, his mindset, focus, and approach are different when the game is on the line.

This was the Brewers’ 24th one-run game. It was also only their 8th loss at home (against 21 wins).

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Brewers do it again on Wednesday night at 8:05 PM EST. Mike Pelfrey faces Mets nemesis Randy Wolf.

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. June 7, 2011 at 11:33 pm
    Play ot the game was gomez robbing beltran of a 2 run homer.What i found even more amazing than the catch was the reaction of Beltran on the replay showing ZERO emotion after being robbed of a 2 run home run.He’s been a great Met, but i think he’s part robot.
  2. Steve S. June 7, 2011 at 11:34 pm
    Sign Reyes for five years with a sixth year option, but force him to watch FOOTAGE of Jackie Robinson’s feet-first slide into Yogi Berra in the 1955 World Series!
  3. daxmontana June 7, 2011 at 11:56 pm
    Upon further review, I’m pretty sure cbelts drive was gonna hit off the top of the wall. Gomez’s momentum brought his glove over after the catch. Still a great catch but not torii hunter/endy chavez great.
    I loathe lebron james.

    Nice win. Only 62 more to go for the wild card. LGM.

  4. Joe June 8, 2011 at 7:18 am
    Driving up Marcum’s pitch count might have been a key part of the game. Failing to score more runs in the 7th thankfully was not. I thought that Reyes should have leaped from third on contact, but he seemed to wait a beat and that also hurt his chances.

    Teaching him how to slide there would be useful and Ojeda was right to in the post-game to note that a superstar is good in all areas of the game. Again, in some other game even one more run would have been key there. Here is just added to the stress level.

    Good to see Beato pitch a clean inning. What is the over/under on how long I. will last? Will he last past the All Star Break? Still, he has been great for them in the 8th inning, just as someone else has replaced the expected 8th inning guy over in the Bronx.

  5. Steve S. June 8, 2011 at 7:36 am
    Six of the eight Mets’ “regulars” are hitting VERY well. I’m amazed how good Tejada, Murphy, and Turner look at the plate!
    • Mike June 8, 2011 at 11:37 am
      Tejada was never Anderson Hernandez no matter how many times Joe called him that. Tejada is young and was hitting well in AAA all year. He is improving where AHern never did. Will never be a great hitter, but if he can sustain a career, I think in his prime he could have a few years of good hitting. Always will be light, but still good.
      • Joe Janish June 8, 2011 at 8:57 pm
        Mike, what do you have against Anderson Hernandez? Why do you always take that comparison as some kind of a slight against Tejada? In his early- to mid-20s, AHern was a spectacular fielder and a so-so hitter who showed promise. He’s turned that into a six-year MLB career, which is six years more than 99.9% of the general population.

        You may remember that AHern also “improved every year” in the minors. He won the Domincan League batting title two years in a row and hit a combined .315 at three levels in 2005 and .301 at AAA in 2007. He likely would have been the Mets’ starting second baseman in second half of the last decade had it not been for that awful injury sustained in the first week of the 2006 season.

        In 255 plate appearances in MLB last year, Tejada hit .213 with a .588 OPS. This year, he has about 70 plate appearances and is hitting .317 with a .714 OPS. He is not going to sustain those numbers. He’s hitting really well right now mainly because pitchers are giving him waist-high fastballs over the middle of the plate. To his credit, he’s hitting them. But if he remains in the bigs over the long-term, pitchers will eventually make adjustments and then we’ll see what his made of. If he does well and winds up being at least as good as AHern, that isn’t so bad. A spectacular defensive second baseman who can hit around .250 is welcome in the post-steroid era.

        • CatchDog June 9, 2011 at 9:05 am
          To me, the biggest improvement in Rubes offensive game this season is he’s being very patient at the plate. While last season the majority of his offense was the result of getting plunked every other time he was up to bat, this year he’s working the count, fouling off the tough pitches and not swinging at too many balls out of the zone.

          I love his approach this year.

  6. Bryan June 8, 2011 at 1:21 pm
    I’m interested to see whether Mets fans watch baseball the same way I do.
    • Joe Janish June 8, 2011 at 9:02 pm
      Fascinating that you measure your favoritism level of the Mets based on Fred Wilpon and Sandy Alderson, considering that you are not really a fan of the Mets. Can you elaborate?