Mets Game 109: Win Over Cubs

Mets 6 Cubs 2

Ryan Dempster solidified his position as my favorite Cub.

Dempster characteristically had a meltdown, set off by a few calls that didn’t go his way, and the Mets took advantage by pounding him for four runs in their last at-bat, sending nine batters to the plate.

It all began with a walk to David Wright, during which Dempster disagreed with a couple calls by the home plate umpire. As Yogi Berra says, it was deja vu all over again, with Dempster barking at the umpire and completely losing his focus on the mound. Carlos Delgado followed by driving a double into the rightfield corner, scoring Wright, and on the relay home Delgado took third. Dempster managed to retire the next two batters, but the gates opened up again, as Shawn Green slashed a double of his own down the third base stripe to score Delgado, Ruben Gotay followed with a single to score Green, Moises Alou moved Gotay to third on a pinch-hit single, and Jose Reyes hit another single to drive in the fourth run of the inning — the third with two outs.

Orlando Hernandez brought his “A” game to the mound in this afternoon contest, matching Carlos Zambrano pitch for pitch through five innings. Zambrano dominated in that he did not allow much contact, but patience was practiced perfectly by the Mets hitters in their garnering seven walks against the Cubs ace. Zambrano left after allowing a solo homerun to Ramon Castro — although the official reason for his removal was “heat-related cramping”. Apparently he wasn’t drinking his Vitamin Water between innings (the potassium-filled “Revive” with the great fruit punch flavor would have been ideal).

Castro’s blast stood as the sole run until there were two outs in the bottom of the sixth, when Derrek Lee jumped all over a fastball by El Duque and deposited it into the bleachers to tie the game one-all.

The Mets answered in the top of the seventh when David Newhan walked, stole second, and was driven home on a single by Marlon “Play Me on a Hunch” Anderson. However, the Cubs charged right back with a run of their own, chasing El Duque to the showers and tying the game at two.

Notes

Interesting that if you watched the MLB.com coverage of the game — carried by the Cubs local broadcast — the hometown announcers commented that they thought at least two of the pitches called balls to Wright in the ninth looked like strikes. Yet, when you watched the replay on SNY, Gary Cohen and Ron Darling agreed with the umpire’s calls.

Next Game

The Mets and Cubs do it again at Wrigley Field in a 3:55 PM start because, you guessed it — it’s being carried by FOX. That means we’ll have the wonderful pregame covered by stoneheads and the game itself broadcasted by Tim McCarver — with the added bonus of getting “look ins” to every Barry Bonds at-bat … yippee! I might rather watch the game on the choppy, slow-mo image on MLB.com and listen to Ron Santo again (ouch). Anyway it’ll be John Maine vs. Ted Lilly. Should be a good one.

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. isuzudude August 3, 2007 at 6:31 pm
    Huge win. Perhaps one of their biggest wins of the season. Why? Anytime you can steal a victory in a game where you start David Newhand 2nd, Marlon Anderson 5th, and keep Alou, Beltran, Castillo, and Lo Duca all on the bench, with Carlos Zambrano pitching, it’s a huge win. On a paper this is a game that at 2:21pm ET we should have lost. Worst we can do now on the road trip to the top 2 teams in the central is 3-3 heading into an even huger series at home against the Braves. Again, I saw HUGE.
  2. sincekindergarten August 3, 2007 at 6:54 pm
    In the “hometown announcers” defense, the pitch that was ball four to David Wright in the first inning was, I thought, a strike. But, that’s baseball. The calls tend to even out over the length of a season.

    Whoda thunk that David Newhan would play, much less get on base, and score the second run?

  3. isuzudude August 3, 2007 at 8:09 pm
    Somehow lost in the shuffle: another scoreless inning from Guillermo Mota.
  4. joe August 3, 2007 at 8:29 pm
    Mota did throw a scoreless inning, but it wasn’t without stress. He came REALLY close to giving away the lead.

    BTW the Braves are hitting something like .330 over their last four games, scoring 49 runs, and they LOST a half-game in the standings over that span. So much for immediate returns on their deadline deals.

  5. isuzudude August 3, 2007 at 10:33 pm
    Immediate dividends or not, the Braves are going to be a team to wrecken with over the final 2 mon
    ths of the season. They may not win the East outright, but who else do you like better in the WC race? Although they may be lacking in SP depth, Smoltz and Hudson are a great 1/2 combo, and their offense and relief pitching is as good as anyone’s.

    Back to Mota: watching the inning, the only reason he got in trouble was due to a 2-out bitch single to LF by D-Lee and a throwing error by Castro allowing Lee to get to third on a steal attempt. But Mota stranded him there by getting Ramirez to fly harmless to center. Take a look at the numbers and tell me he’s washed up (not including Friday’s scoreless inning):

    Since all-star break – 9 games, 12.2 IP, 2.13 ERA, .191 opp BA, 0.87 WHIP, 9 K

    Think he’s only good vs. right hand batters?

    Season vs lefties – 14.2 IP, .232 opp BA, 1.09 WHIP, 10 K

    So why is his season ERA near 5? Easy – relievers coming in after him allowing inherited runners to score And I still say, you cannot write off a guy who’s throwing 95 with his fastball and can get his off-speed pitches over the plate for strikes. If this guy was with Atlanta or Philadelphia we’d be talking about how bad we want this guy, but because we’ve seen a few crappy outings first hand we want this guy strung up by the balls. Somehow, I think Philly fans think the same way of Ryan Madson, and Atlanta of Rafael Soriano. Let’s cool off of Mota and direct our attention at more glaring problems, like OF backups and scoring enough runs for Tom Glavine to get his 300th win already.

  6. CJGarcia529 August 4, 2007 at 1:17 am
    Willie will never understand how to properly use Mota. He is a very tempermental pitcher and needs to be treated as such. Mota is most effective when used for one inning every other game. The fact that Willie tries to milk multiple innings out of Mota at times, or use him in consecutive games proves yet again that, although overall I like the job he’s done, he is not the brightest bulb as far as managers go.

    Another thing, is it just me or is Gary Cohen better suited for radio. Cohen was one of the great radio announcers the game had to offer, but it’s getting harder and harder for me to listen to him on TV – every ball off a Mets bat, foul or fair, shallow or deep, and Cohen’s voice rises as if 2-run home run has been hit when the Mets were down 1. Bring Howie back to the TV booth where he belongs and put gary back in the radio booth where he belongs.

  7. isuzudude August 4, 2007 at 10:47 am
    I’m in the radio business, CJ, and there’s an old adage: “he’s got a face for radio.” And although Gary Cohen is nobody’s heartthrob, Howie Rose has a face for radio, not TV. I think that’s why Cohen is on SNY and Howie’s sitting next to McCarthy every night.

    Anyway, I agree with your Mota assessment. It seems to me Willie uses the bullpen like he’s in the american league, leaving guys in longer than they probably should be because they don’t need to be replaced at the plate. And Mota is the classic examle. When he was setting up for the Dodgers and Marlins, he was strictly a one inning guy, pitching the 8th with a lead or the 9th in a tie game. Now Willie’s asking him to go 2 innings at a time, back to back days, and to come in with runners already in scoring position, which Mota isn’t accustomed to. I hope Mota adapts to the role Willie wants for him, or they’re both going to keep getting grief for not doing their jobs properly.

  8. joe August 4, 2007 at 4:59 pm
    I still have a twinge of hope and faith in Mota regaining effectiveness — notice I did not say dominance. All I want is to feel comfortable when he comes into the 8th inning of close game.

    And I don’t think there are ANY other issues more glaring than the bullpen. Pitching is everything, and this team was built to rely heavily on the bullpen — regardless of the fact that the starting rotation is exceeding expectations.

    I don’t mind Gary Cohen so much, he seems to have a nice rapport with Ron and Keith. As far as a beauty contest, I don’t know that Cohen beats Rose. I’d put a Mr. Met mask on both of them.