Mets Game 122: Loss to Padres

Padres 6 Mets 1

In a big park like Petco, where homeruns aren’t seen too often and line drives can frequently find gaps, defense and fundamentals are of utmost importance. Looking at the final score, can you guess which team did a better job of executing?

Mets Game Notes

Jonathon Niese struggled through a long, rough first inning that was not entirely his fault — the Padres were helped by a few misplays by the Mets fielders. Niese recovered to toss scoreless frames in the second and third, then gave up another run in the fourth. By the time he exited, his line looked like this: 6 IP, 10 H, 0 BB, 3 K, 3 ER. That’s a “quality start”, and stepping away from the perspective of one who watched the ballgame, it doesn’t look like a bad outing. However, Niese threw a number of flat cutters and never really got his great curve snapping — which has been the story with him for two years now: either the cutter works, or the curve, and rarely do both show up in the same contest. On the bright side, he was also mixing in his change-up a little more often than usual. If it were up to me, he’d ditch the cutter for the rest of the season and focus on turning that change-up into a plus pitch.

The outfield defense was like a circus, with Angel Pagan the ringmaster. If you witnessed it, you know what I’m talking about. If you missed it, trust me, it’s good that you did — there was little to learn from the performance.

The Mets offense was as inept as the defense. The bats never got going against Cory Luebke, and the team totaled four hits in the ballgame. Four. Four hits and three walks, for a total of seven baserunners in nine innings. Tough to score with that kind of output.

Ruben Tejada collected half of the Mets hits, drove in the only run, and reached base three times. Give the kid the game ball.

Pedro Beato had a rough inning of relief, allowing two runs on three hits including a solo homer by Cameron Maybin. Beato was up in the zone with a flat fastball that was “only” around 93 MPH. I say “only” because in the past he’s put that four-seamer up in the zone at 95-96 and induced swings and misses. It looks to me like he’s fatigued from the rigors of MLB relief — his mechanics are starting to break down. In particular, his arm is dragging behind a bit and he’s staying too upright at release and through his follow-through. We’ve seen this before, earlier in the year when he was being used frequently and just prior to going on the DL with elbow tendinitis.

Mike Pelfrey made a surprise appearance out of the bullpen to get some “game work” in and to test his bruised elbow after getting knocked out of his last start. It was similar to a Bobby Parnell outing, in that Pelfrey threw gas — touching 95-96 MPH — but was hit hard.

Next Mets Game

The rubber match begins at 6:35 PM EST (bless you, schedule-maker!) and pits Dillon Gee vs. Mat Latos. Hey, did you know that the Mets have yet to win a series in Petco Park? Like, ever? The last time the Mets won a series in San Diego was over nine years ago. Crazy, right?

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. Walnutz15 August 17, 2011 at 8:52 am
    “It was weird seeing him come out of the pen,” Hundley said. “It was like, ‘Who is this guy?’ To take a swing like that off AN ACE like that gives me a lot of confidence.”

    ………………….Hundley obviously using that terminology very loosely.

    Angel Pagan is really a scary outfielder – it’s been apparent for years, that his speed helps him make up for (many) miscues and bad reads….doesn’t make him good out there.

    It’s actually sad that the Mets haven’t developed a solid outfielder in such a long time, that this guy routinely gets overhyped by the fanbase. Unless something else comes along, he’ll be there again in 2012 – can’t see Alderson relishing giving this guy almost $5MM… we’ll see.

  2. Joe August 17, 2011 at 10:31 am
    Pagan isn’t really a “scary OF” … he is scary if you expect him to be the center of things with a decent OF on one side, and some bat on the other. He’s above his skill-set probably.

    If your starting pitching is no longer going to do it for you, well, this is going to be a long six weeks. Hey the team gave you something for 2/3 of the season. More than I expected. A bit more life against the likes of the Padres would be nice, even now, though.

  3. Walnutz15 August 17, 2011 at 10:59 am
    I beg to differ when it comes to Pagan.

    So many Met fans love hyping him up as a “Gold Glove-caliber” outfielder, meanwhile – from Day 1, there’s always been a communication problem from him… matter whether it’s Daniel Murphy next to him, or a true Golve Glover like Carlos Beltran.

    He’s had plenty of close-calls through the years out there, and definitely a lot of questionable routes….whether or not he makes the play.

    It remains:

    Shaky reads.
    Questionable throws.
    Ill communication.

    Not anywhere near as valuable as many Met fans make him out to be, IMHO.

  4. Walnutz15 August 17, 2011 at 11:11 am
    End of 2nd paragraph — that was “Gold Glover” – excuse the typo.
  5. Joe August 17, 2011 at 12:44 pm
    The follow-up says people have exaggerated his talents. I’m not refuting this. My comment was that I don’t think he is “scary.” He is a credible outfielder that is now put in a role above his skill-set. If he has to serve that role, yes, it’s “scary” in the long term.