Mets Game 147: Loss to Nationals

Nationals 3 Mets 2

Yet another hard-luck loss for R.A. Dickey, while the Mets Without Hats continue to perform the safety dance.

Mets Game Notes

R.A. Dickey threw his tenth straight quality start; unfortunately, a quality start does not necessarily guarantee a win. Dickey spun seven solid innings, allowing three runs on 8 hits — only one for extra bases — and no walks.

However, the Mets offense couldn’t do anything against Nationals pitching, collecting a grand total of 3 hits. They did walk four times, though, and somehow managed to cobble together a pair of runs.

In tight ballgames like this, every detail counts — particularly on defense. And guess what? The Mets lost focus a few times, David Wright made an error, some knuckleballs bounced away from Mike Nickeas, and in the end those little things were the difference in the ballgame. Wright missed a throw by Jose Reyes that would have put out Ryan Zimmerman at third on a grounder, and moments later Zimmerman scored on a single by Rick Ankiel. Then in the seventh, with the score tied two-all and Wilson Ramos on third base (thanks to a single, wild pitch, and groundout), Brian Bixler hit a grounder to Reyes. Ramos started toward home, then stopped about 35-40 short of home. Instead of firing home immediately, Reyes pump-faked a few times, then finally threw home. By then, Ramos was caught in a rundown, and by the time he was tagged out, Bixler made it to second base. Bixler scored moments later on a base hit.

Kids, the right play there is to throw the ball to the catcher IMMEDIATELY. You should always avoid chasing a runner forward, and NEVER chase him TOWARD home plate — which in essence is what Reyes was doing by fake-throwing toward home. Get rid of the ball and let the catcher chase the runner back to third. Additionally, it’s not good practice to pump-fake a throw unless you are NOT going to throw (i.e., you intend on chasing the runner and tagging him). By faking, you confuse your teammate as much as you do the runner.

BTW, the groundout that sent Ramos to third was a beautifully ugly inside-out job by Ian Desmond, who somehow found a way to pound a very tough, far inside pitch into the ground and to the right side — allowing Ramos to advance to third. That’s something that isn’t visible in the boxscore, and negatively affects an individual’s offensive stats, but is a skill executed in winning baseball. Yes, the Nats have a losing record, and Ramos wound up not scoring, but in that situation Desmond displayed a winning play. It’s all about the process, not necessarily the result.

During the post-game press conference, manager Terry Collins mentioned that Jose Reyes was working with batting coach Dave Hudgens on staying back, taking pitches, and being selective. Collins then went on to say that he (meaning TC) told Jose to stay aggressive and “just play your game”. Um, huh? Mixed message much?

Concerning Reyes’ recent cold spell, I’m on board with Bobby Ojeda’s theory that everyone is telling Jose to turn it down a notch so that he can stay healthy — and Jose, being a guy who is always “amped up” and full of energy, can’t do that and still play the game at his peak potential. If Jose has in his head to play at 75% effort, then his approach to everything is going to be affected, including his at-bats. Ojeda surmises that as a result, Jose is not as aggressive and is swinging with a slightly slower bat.

Also during the postgame press conference, Collins suggested that the Mets didn’t have focus on the game because “everyone was talking about which hats we’re gonna wear today”. Huh? So … the Mets lost because they couldn’t deal with the questions about the responder hats? Wow — imagine if this club were ever involved in a REAL pressure-cooking story (like a pennant race!).

Ojeda had something to say about that too — Bobby O. is convinced that the team is flat-out exhausted, and making errors and losing focus because they are fatigued. Hmm … compare and contrast the two viewpoints, and you tell me which one is more logical.

Next Mets Game

Game two of this four-game series begins at 7:10 PM on Tuesday night. Dillon Gee faces Chien-Ming Wang.

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. izzy September 13, 2011 at 11:49 am
    I felt sad for Collins last nite. He sounded just like a fast talking Jerry Manuel. But I’m not sure I buy Ojeda’s line either. Would they be fatigued if they were one game behind the Bravos? More likely, they are done for the year, know it, and have turned off Collins’ rants.
  2. JOHNN SANTIAGO September 14, 2011 at 2:32 am
    We now know what we have in these team so lets fix it quick or destroy it! Move in the fences so Wright and Bay can once again become themselves! Or trade Wright, he starting to look like Howard Johnson on a decline! TRADE Pelfrey,Pagan and Tejada to cleveland for Sizemore! or just let them go and don’t resign neither. Find a way to get Sizemore. Team will be set Davis,Turner,Reyes,Wright if we don’t trade him for a number#2 pitcher behind Santana. Paulino and Thole, Bay, Sizemore, Duda! Santana, a#2, Zambrano, NIese, Dickey! Trade Capuano or let him go! KEEP Izzy, Beato, and Parnell get a better lefty specialist and a real closer!! Bench Martinez, Harris and Flores… Done and the bank aint broke at 120 mil!!!! Wow pretty easy! once you unload 60 mil!