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.