Mets Game 91: Loss to Giants

Giants 4 Mets 2

Did you expect the Mets to be one game over .500 at the All-Star break?

Mets Game Notes

Mike Pelfrey stumbled a bit in through the first four frames, but finished strong, striking out the side in the sixth. It’s hard to judge his performance, because it was uneven. Some innings he struggled, others, he was lights-out. Two things about his mechanics that struck me: first, he was releasing and finishing slightly more upright than usual. As a result, he left some pitches up in the zone and didn’t get full extension on his pitches. Ideally he would be releasing the ball more out in front of his face, finishing with his head down and over the front knee, allowing his arm to naturally decelerate. Sometimes he was doing that, but too often, he was staying more upright and cutting off the follow-through. The second thing that bothered me was he occasionally dropped his arm angle down to low three-quarter / sidearm, with his elbow dropping slightly below the shoulder. He got strikes doing it, but combined with the upright finish, over the long run it’s not a healthy technique for his elbow and shoulder. I wonder if these two issues have anything to do with the pain he has experienced in his shoulder over the past two years.

Despite allowing 10 baserunners in 6 innings, Pelfrey did an admirable job of getting outs and keeping the Mets in the game. However, once he exited, it was like a minor dam break. Jonathon Niese came on in relief to start the 7th, and his inexperience as a reliever showed immediately — he allowed two hits and two runs in one-third of an inning. Both runs scored thanks to Fahrenheit 451fireman D.J. Carrasco, who threw gas on the fire and allowed both of the runners he inherited from Niese to score.

Unfortunately for Big Pelf, the Mets hitters couldn’t do anything against Matt Cain. Their best shot at scoring off of him came in the top of the third, when they loaded the bases with two outs. But Cain bore down and induced a line out from Dan Murphy.

Now for the positive: Justin Turner had four hits including two doubles and an RBI. Nick Evans hit a pinch-hit homerun in the top of the eighth to give the Mets their first run of the evening. Evans had been red-hot in AAA, and looked good knocking that ball over the fence, so this four-day break is kind of a shame, as it might break Evans’ momentum. The kid just can’t get a break.

With this loss the Mets go into the break 46-45 — that’s one game over .500, folks — and 11 games behind the NL East-leading Philadelphia Phillies. They’re also 7.5 gams behind in the Wild Card — which is currently led by the Braves. The Braves are 16 games over .500 to the Mets’ 1. What does this mean? Expect personnel movement over the next few weeks.

Next Mets Game

The All-Star exhibition pauses the season until Friday, July 15th, when the Mets host the Phillies in Flushing. I will be at the game, and likely won’t have a post up until after the 7 train and other modes of public transit deliver me home.

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. Jerseymet July 11, 2011 at 11:52 am
    One over 500..not bad at all! Most of these players were in Buffalo within the last two years. I am pleased with the management of this team.
    • izzy July 11, 2011 at 12:41 pm
      What has this admn done to make this team acheive its “greatness”? Its acquisitions were for the most part failures, with a medicore starter and maybe a decent reliever thrown in. A year wasted by the new brain trust. You should be pleased with Minaya. He actually left some decent back ups in the system.
  2. John July 11, 2011 at 4:16 pm
    I watched the ESPN telecast and Orel Hersheiser harped over Pelfrey’s mechanics, noting that he does not do a good job of repeating his delivery. He used the slow motion camera to show how he points his left knee towards second base and as a result is consistently out of synch.