Mets Game 128: Loss to Phillies

Phillies 9 Mets 4

It wasn’t really as close as the final score would suggest.

Mets Game Notes

Jonathon Niese followed the pattern set by Dillon Gee the night before by giving the Phillies a big lead early. Niese was hit hard and often, allowing 8 runs on 10 hits and a walk in 4 innings. He gave up little hits and big hits, to good hitters and bad hitters. Niese didn’t have much trouble throwing strikes, but he threw strikes that were too easy to smash.

I noticed that he threw an unusually high (for him) number of change-ups, to the point where it sort of felt like a spring training game — you know, when a pitcher toys with a pitch he’s “working on”? Unfortunately, Niese’s change was usually not slow enough to fool anyone — it was usually around 85 MPH, while his fastball sat at 90-91 (though he did touch 93-94 once or twice).

Meanwhile, the Mets offense couldn’t do much with Vance Worley. The Mets put together rallies in the first two frames that fizzled before anyone crossed the plate, and from there it was as though they were facing “Lee” instead of “Wor-Lee”.

Eventually the Mets plated four runs but it was so late in the game it didn’t matter. The team was 0-for-11 with RISP.

On the bright side, Lucas Duda hit another bomb. Nick Evans ripped a double and a triple, but was the victim of a called strike three to end the Mets first-inning rally.

As a side note, I watched this game from the right field seats at Citizens Bank Park — my first venture to the stadium. One thing that surprised me was the number of fans wearing Phillies gear — I would estimate that 90% of the people in attendance were wearing either a Phillies jersey or T-shirt (no exaggeration). It was a little unnerving seeing so many red shirts; and those who didn’t wear red wore white with the pinstripes, or old-school baby blue, or some other shirt emblazoned with the Phillies logo. Granted, you will see a good portion of Mets fans wearing Mets gear at Citi Field, but it’s not 90% of the crowd.

Other than seeing red, the only other remarkable thing to note was the “schmitter” — which is essentially a Philly cheesesteak enhanced with a slab of pork roll and a fresh tomato. Quite tasty.

Next Mets Game

The final game of the series begins at 1:05 PM on Wednesday afternoon. Mike Pelfrey goes to the hill against Kyle Kendrick.

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. mel August 24, 2011 at 7:21 am
    New manger; new rhetoric; same old old Met crap. Players with no fundamentals; players playing hurt and getting more hurt’. New Gm new plan same results. Omar didn’t win but at least his plan wasn’t to save the Wilpons a few bucks. Omar went on TV bragging about his prospects like Gomez and Milledge; Alderson and his cronies spew he same lies. Bottom line is same rotten owner means a very long streak of crap for Met fans,
    As for being shocked about the sea of red, maybe you should go to to more visiting games. Fans wear their team colors with pride all over the place. Except maybe Queens where it is obviously not fun to be a Met fan anymore.
    • Joe August 24, 2011 at 7:28 am
      Can’t say much about the training staff and injury stuff, which continues to be total b.s., but the team from May-July played as good as possible for the remaining talent, didn’t sign on any crap contracts and actually got something (Zach Wheeler). Now that the team has fallen into a Pirates (or Seattle) size freefall, I’m not going to suddenly forget all of that. I remember it. It’s something to build on.
      • mel August 24, 2011 at 7:51 am
        How fast we forget that the team last year was actually in the race and was 40-30 and still close until the fatal west Coast trip in July. Weren’t thety playing good ball last year? The only difference was there was no PR campaign last year as Manuel’s antics had worn thin. as fr getting 1 whole prospect for Beltran…. we’ll brag about it in 4 years if he pans out. Meanwhile, he’s just another guy in A Ball. Maybe you are very young and don’t know about Generation K.
        • Joe August 24, 2011 at 10:42 am
          “no PR campaign last year”

          I’m not seeing this big PR campaign from my seat in NYC. What “lies” are we hearing? I’m not hearing any big dreams being spoken. No wasting millions on Bay on the basis of false hopes or because you know we just have to do SOMETHING. I just see lower expectations that led to many fans pleasantly surprised that a AAA bunch managed to play competitively for so long.

          Who promised me a rose garden? No one. The owners dug a hole. The hole not getting deeper is a start. The team is still AAA. Like other teams — see the Pirates and Seattle — this flawed nature came back and bit them. When the Giants and Ds are losing four, five straight these days, the METS doing lousy isn’t because we were sold a bill of goods.

          I’ve been thru memory lane with someone else here. Who expects miracles with this bunch? I don’t see it. It is a tad early to tell that the people’s careers are over like G K (or over with the Mets, since one had success elsewhere) though.

    • Joe Janish August 24, 2011 at 1:41 pm
      Mel, agreed on your first points. New faces, new story angle, same results.

      As for visiting other parks, I have been to Baltimore, Boston, Atlanta, and the “other” stadium in New York and had not experienced this much team pride or whatever you want to call it. I’ve seen something similar on TV when the Cardinals are on, but never in person. Also, the last time I watched a Phillies game in Philly was when old Veteran’s Stadium was still around, and no way was there this kind of Phillies gear worn by the populace.

  2. mel August 24, 2011 at 7:22 am
    PS: Niese was throwing change ups because he was playing hurt. Only the Minaya/Manuel Mets would declare a guy healthy in one day. Oh wait they are gone. Niese must have had bad doctors or trainers oh wait things are supposed to be different now. When we we ever learn?
    • Joe Janish August 24, 2011 at 2:39 pm
      Was Niese injured BEFORE the game? From what I understand he hurt himself on a pitch in the third inning, but I may have missed something.

      Also I took a look at the Pitch F/X stats and according to that, Niese threw only 2 change-ups. So either I misinterpreted the change-up for some other pitch or the person inputting the Pitch F/X numbers did. Since I was watching from 400 feet away in the RF stands, it wouldn’t surprise me if I was wrong.

  3. Joe August 24, 2011 at 7:23 am
    The Phils have won 12 straight games that Worley started. The last time they lost … the Mets. They didn’t score on him then either. 2-1. The Mets didn’t have to face the top three. Too bad Worley is no relief.

    Niese might go on the DL. So, we will soon see two spot starters, with the upcoming doubleheader.

  4. Walnutz15 August 24, 2011 at 9:28 am
    The Schmitter is great. Was my first order of business back in ’06, when we ventured there — long before the days of “90% Phillie gear” in the crowd.

    (Side note: still the same kind of fights, though.)

    What’s not to like about:

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_n1OFAcLBXPU/R_eEL80KuzI/AAAAAAAAAOg/Ar_agNgAcC8/s320/schmitter.jpg

    Good job, Janish.

    • Joe Janish August 24, 2011 at 1:52 pm
      The “Schmitter” almost made up for loss. OK not really, but it is a fascinating and delectable foodstuff. I missed “The Heater”, unfortunately. Though, I did go to John’s Roast Pork today for, um, a roast pork sandwich; it easily beats the best Philly cheesesteak.
  5. Walnutz15 August 24, 2011 at 1:57 pm
    Philly cheesesteaks are more overrated than John Franco, IMHO.

    (Not in general, but actually from Geno’s and Pat’s.)