Mets Game 64: Loss to Pirates

Pirates 3 Mets 2

Somehow, the Mets managed to finish this game with less runs than the Pirates. I’m not sure how, because R.A. Dickey pitched well, James McDonald was borderline terrible, the Mets were hitting, and the Pirates weren’t.

In short: what the heck happened?

Mets Game Notes

R.A. Dickey continues to pitch better with plantar fasciitis than he did without, but at the same time, he can’t win. Dickey put forth a complete game, allowing 3 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks, expending only 103 pitches (72 strikes). He kept the Bucco batters off balance all night, and was one Dan Murphy error-scored-a-double away from a victory.

Meantime, Pirates starter James McDonald was awful. He was only able to get one pitch over the plate — his straight-as-an-arrow fastball — and he didn’t have great command of it. OK, he did throw his curveball for a strike two or three times — including once for a called strike three on Jason Bay with men on second and third and two out (Bay just can’t catch a break). All the Mets hitters had to do was look for the fastball and sit on it. For the most part, they did, collecting 8 hits and 3 walks. But they couldn’t push runners across the plate. McDonald’s body language screamed lack of confidence and puzzlement, which made the Mets’ inability to score all the more frustrating. McDonald did have the benefit of a few great defensive plays and “at-em” balls, but I still don’t understand how he managed to get through 4 innings, much less 6.

Murphy’s error — which wasn’t scored as an error according to the ESPN boxscore I read — was the difference in the ballgame. I know that Terry Collins was trying to get Lucas Duda’s bat in the lineup while also giving his veteran Jason Bay a chance to right himself, but you have to wonder what the final score might have been if Justin Turner played 3B, Murphy 1B, and Duda LF.

Speaking of Jason Bay, it’s painful and sad to watch his at-bats. I truly like Bay and am rooting for him to get out of this massive slump, but he has zero confidence and is completely clueless at the plate; he looks defensive and confused from pitch one. It might be best for him to take a three-week sabbatical from baseball, if such a thing is possible. Continuing to go to the plate and make outs only buries his psyche deeper and deeper into an unscalable abyss.

Happy 28th birthday to Jose Reyes, who had yet another multi-hit game.

How did Joel Hanrahan get so good? The Nationals can’t be happy they gave up on him so quickly, and sent him away for Sean Burnett and Nyjer Morgan (ouch). Hanrahan was buzzing the ball at 98 MPH and reminding me a bit of Eric Gagne circa 2003.

Next Mets Game

The rubber match will be played on Sunday afternoon at 1:35 PM. The Mets send Chris Capuano to the mound against 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. murph June 12, 2011 at 3:07 am
    Some other game notes:

    Tejada batted 2nd for the first time this year. He walked & scored the Mets first run, and also singled twice.

    Jason Bay wasn’t the only Met to strike out looking to end an inning with runners on 2nd & 3rd. Ronnie Paulino duplicated that gruesome feat in the 8th.

    Keith Hernandez said it all when he said “Murphy is a man without a position”.

  2. Dan N. June 12, 2011 at 5:51 am
    Jason Bay should continue to sit and ponder the meaning of life. I can’t imagine what their reasoning was for benching Justin Turner.
  3. AC Wayne June 12, 2011 at 10:27 am
    “What the heck happened?” I know, I was wondering the same thing myself, McDonald was not intimidating anyone at the plate, Bay and Paulino’s at-bats were killers, also, if you recall the bases loaded with one out and Dickey grounded into a DP to end the inning, I think Dickey is still running that one out, haha, can we get the bat boy to line up parallel to Dickey so he can run for him? I love that he can pitch effectively with plantar faschia but he’s a definite liability on the base paths.

    Hey Dan N., as for Turner, he has been struggling of late at the plate, maybe a the day off was good for him.

  4. Mic June 12, 2011 at 10:55 am
    Thanks joe. You said it ALL.

    1. Murph is one of the hottest hitters in baseball the past month, but it is unreal to ask him to play Every freakin position at random as a gold glover…man up terry collins.

    2. You want dudas bat ….sit beltran..remember the knees.

    3. Bay is returning from injury too, and not his knees, i personally think there is a post concussion issue. And its hatd to see him bashed. My solution is a platoon with said duda. Alternating starts in lf. Meanwhile bye bye hairston. I think cb has proved his health and should see time in cf even if only to sub pagan rarely.

    4. Comment on mcdonald; now you can see how ollie perez got consecutive 14 win seasons….you only need to throw strikes when its least expected.

  5. Joe June 12, 2011 at 2:59 pm
    Collins want it scored an error too, but if we are resting on a could-a-be 2-1 “victory,” any number of things could have also gone wrong. The game could also have turned at various at bats that could have made it a different score too.

    Bay does look lost even with his hit. It’s sad.

    • Joe June 12, 2011 at 3:25 pm
      I say that and he gets a couple hits and a RBI. Oh well.