Mets Game 87: Win Over Dodgers
Mets 5 Dodgers 3
The Mets are 4-0 without Jose Reyes and now 3 games over .500 for the first time since last July.
Mets Game Notes
Jonathon Niese did not have great stuff, but it was good enough against a weak Dodgers lineup as he pitched 7 strong innings, allowing three runs on five hits and a walk in a 97-pitch effort. He had a pretty good curve working, but his fastball didn’t have its usual zing — he was usually around 87-88 rather than his usual 91-92, though he did touch 92 on occasion. Unless he was using his cutter? Mildly concerning.
In the bottom of the 6th inning, first-base umpire Greg Gibson blew a call that thwarted a double play. Instead, Matt Kemp was safe at first, and moments later, a sacrifice fly — which would’ve been out #3 — scored the Dodgers’ 3rd run. Gary Cohen proceeded to go on and on and on about how the call at 1B “is the easiest an umpire can make”, with his “reasoning” being that the umpire “has the benefit of both sight and sound”.
First of all, I’d like to know when Gary Cohen ever stepped on a baseball diamond and umpired a game. Second, his logic is, well, illogical. The call at 1B can actually be one of the tougher calls, because it requires focus on two things happening in two different places: the catch by the first baseman, and the strike of the baserunner’s foot onto the bag. There are at least a dozen (probably more) easier calls to make because they require that the eyes focus on only one place. You want examples? How about a fly ball caught by an outfielder? How about a line drive snared by an infielder? I would argue that a tag play at a base can be an easier call than the one at 1B, because, very often, the eyes are focused on one spot — the tag.
Another thing about all the whining — by both Cohen and Jon Niese, who was visibly miffed by the bad call — that call may not have even happened had it not been for Niese walking the light-hitting Rafael Furcal to lead off the inning. Niese had just been handed a three-run lead, and the first thing he did was walk Furcal. Why in the world would you pitch carefully to Furcal in that situation, knowing that the only two MLB hitters in the Dodgers lineup — Andre Ethier and Kemp — are looming? Let Furcal hit the ball, for goodness sakes. It was terrible, terrible execution by Niese, and he should have been more angry at himself for that lack of focus than at the umpire for blowing a call.
Great baserunning by Carlos Beltran in the 6th. While on second base on a routine fly to left field, Beltran tagged up and made an aggressive move toward third to draw a throw. Exuberant left fielder Eugenio Velez air mailed the throw over the third baseman, so Beltran kept going and took third base. He eventually scored on a wild pitch to give the Mets a 2-1 lead. Little things.
The last time the Mets were three games over .500 was July 23, 2010, after Johan Santana beat the Dodgers in L.A.
Francisco Rodriguez saved his 22nd game and picked up his 33rd finish. Only 22 more for the pot of gold.
Next Mets Game
The Mets go for the sweep on Thursday night as they send Dillon Gee to the mound against Clayton Kershaw. Game time is once again an eye-reddening 10:10 PM. This Left Coast swing can’t end soon enough.