Mets Game 138: Win Over Nationals

Mets 6 Nationals 3

By taking two of three from Washington, the Mets solidify their third-place spot in the standings, separating themselves from the Nationals by four games with only 24 games to play. Ah, the excitement of September baseball!

Mets Game NoteS

Mike Pelfrey started out the afternoon pitching with a purpose — he looked confident, determined, aggressive, and almost mean. He cruised through the first three frames, firing strikes and looking like the guy we saw for a brief period in the first half of 2010. Then in the fourth inning, facing the Nats lineup for the second time around, he fell apart. Completely. Suddenly, he wasn’t throwing strikes. His demeanor changed — he became unsure, less aggressive. He picked around the plate, and when he went to two strikes on a hitter, couldn’t put him away. Pelfrey threw 36 pitches in that fourth frame, allowing three runs on three hits and a walk. He threw another 29 pitches in the fifth inning, and left it with two outs. Of his 106 pitches on the afternoon, 64 were for strikes. Of those 64, 6 came on swings and misses. Of those 6, 5 were from fastballs, and only 1 from the slider. He threw 16 sliders, and got only one swing and miss from it — that’s a problem, because the slider is supposed to be a swing-and-miss pitch. But, this goes back to Pelfrey’s first foray into MLB, when his curveball was taken away from him to speed his progress and he was forced to use the slider as his offspeed / breaking / second pitch.

Lucky for Pelfrey, the Mets came back in the sixth with a four-run outburst to get him off the hook and spare him from what could’ve been his 12th loss of the year.

The Mets successfully executed their first squeeze play of 2011 in the sixth, with Mike Nickeas bunting home Jason Bay. This is exactly the type of aggressive small ball that Terry Collins was supposed to be bringing to the game plan. So, why did it take until early September, with the Mets completely out of the race, for us to see it?

Josh Satin made his MLB debut, starting at 1B and stroking a single in his first at-bat. Curious why he didn’t play second base — his primary position — especially considering that Ruben Tejada started at short. I guess the organization does not see him as a second baseman, but he is unlikely to have a future with the Mets at first base. I know, it’s only one game, but we really don’t need to see how youngsters can do at first base — and we do need to see who can handle second. Don’t we?

The “other” Josh — Josh Stinson — pitched two innings without allowing a run but was less impressive compared to his MLB debut. Stinson threw 17 pitches in the sixth, only 8 of them for strikes, and allowed a booming double to Wilson Ramos. Stinson did induce a double-play ball, though, which is what he does as a sinkerballer. Overall he threw 29 pitches, 14 for strikes. Not a good ratio.

Lucas Duda hit another bomb, a solo shot to deep centerfield, to start the sixth.

More good news: Bobby Parnell converted the save without incident.

Next Mets Game

The Mets move on to Miami to face the Marlins on Monday. Game time is 7:10 PM and has Chris Capuano facing Javier Vazquez.

Mets 2011 Games

About the Author

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.

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