Mets Game 78: Win Over Rangers
Mets 8 Rangers 5
There’s the the Indy 500, the Fortune 500, the card game “500”, and a movie called 500 Days of Summer. And then there is the New York Mets’ magical mystery tour in pursuit of the .500 mark — perhaps we should call it “the Flushing 500”. For only the third time since the first week of the season, the Mets reached that elusive .500 winning percentage by beating the reigning American League Champion Texas Rangers.
Ironically, the Mets accomplished the Flushing 500 with native Texan Dillon Gee on the mound — who also started the game won by the Mets on June 15th, which was the last time the team reached .500.
This time around, the Mets are guaranteed to remain at .500 through Monday; let’s hope they can get over the hump this week.
Mets Game Notes
Dillon Gee was hammered by the Rangers hitters, who hit bullet after bullet but hit them within the range of Mets fielders most of the time. That’s called “pitching to contact” and if a pitcher throws strikes and limits walks, he’ll usually give himself a good chance to win the game. Of course, there are also days when the hitters get those bullets by the fielders (and/or over the fence), but as a pitcher you will do better over the long haul if you keep the ball around the plate and make hitters get themselves out.
Gee did get help from several sparkling plays by the Mets defense. It is games like this that the importance of defense is more obvious than usual.
Among those stellar plays included one by Dan Murphy, who made a great diving stop of a ball in the fifth to possibly save a run (he also made a few good scoops during the contest). He’s pretty good at making diving plays; his problem is he can’t handle balls hit at him. If you notice he tends to field the ball to the side, even on routine grounders. Usually this is what infielders do when they are afraid of the ball taking a bad hop and hitting them in the face; it’s incorrect form.
Though Gee won his 8th game, I’m sticking to my feeling that something is not quite right with him. It looks like he may be opening up his front side a shade too early, which means his throwing arm is just slightly behind, which is why many of his pitches are higher in the zone than he wants them to be. He might also be tipping his pitches — the curve in particular (of which again, he didn’t throw many) — but I can’t tell for sure because we never get a camera angle from behind the plate.
Jose Reyes showed no signs of cooling off in the Texas heat. He had another multi-hit game, with four hits, three runs scored, an RBI and his 14th triple of the year.
I love Justin Turner but he is making a lot of errors at 3B — which isn’t really his main position so he’s kind of excused. Luckily, his miscues have not caused the Mets to lose too many games.
Rangers manager Ron Washington was tossed from the game in the 6th inning by home plate umpire Andy Fletcher (Fletcher also threw out Elvis Andrus, who was chirping from the dugout). The only surprise was that it didn’t happen earlier, because the men in blue were killing the Rangers on calls all weekend. In the third game alone, I counted at least 5 runs scored by the Mets that were a direct result of missed calls — whether they came from out/safe calls or balls/strikes. And it seemed as though every single time there was a bad call that extended an inning, the Mets took advantage by scoring not only on the very next play but on the play or plays beyond. There were also a few calls that went against the Rangers’ offense that would have extended rallies / innings and might have allowed them to score more runs. I usually say that a team can’t blame a loss on umpiring calls, but in this third game in particular the Rangers most certainly were put into a difficult position several times. Great teams rise above such challenges, but this year, I’m not sure the Rangers are a “great” team.
K-Rod came into a non-save situation in the 9th, taking the mound with an 8-3 lead. He proceeded to allow two runs on two hits and a walk to keep the fannies in the seats and give Mets fans agita. He also “earned” his 29th finish of the year. Only 26 more for the pot of gold, with 84 to play; looks like a slam dunk at this point.
Next Mets Game
The Mets take a day off on Monday to travel to Detroit to meet the Tigers at Comerica Park for a three-game set. Game one begins at 7:05 PM EST on Tuesday night. R.A. Dickey will pitch against Seton Hall Prep alum Rick Porcello.