Mets Game 131: Loss to Phillies
Phillies 4 Mets 2
Albert Einstein once said “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If we agree that is true, is there anyone who disagrees that Willie Randolph must be committed?
All I want to know is why, why, why was Tom Glavine removed from the game … AGAIN? Have we not learned that pitch counts mean nothing to a man who throws 83 MPH? Have we not figured out that Glavine in a groove but tiring is still much better than anyone from the bullpen other than Billy Wagner? How many times does Tom Glavine have to pitch lights out only to come out with a no-decision because the bullpen blows his masterpiece, before Randolph tries something different? What stroke of genius is going through his head when he makes the decision to take Glavine out? Is he thinking that Glavine is about to tire on the 103rd pitch? Does he think that the Phillies — who couldn’t figure out what to do with Glavine for seven innings, would suddenly figure it out in the eighth? Why does Willie think he’s so damn smart?
I absolutely refuse to say that the Mets bullpen blew this game, even though they did. All of the blame — 100 percent — goes to Randolph for removing Glavine. And if Glavine took himself out, then the blame shifts to him. There is absolutely no logic in removing a guy who is dominating the opposing team, and replacing him with gas-can carriers such as Pedro Feliciano, Aaron Heilman, and Guillermo Mota. Shame on Willie for wasting yet another grand effort by Glavine, who might be vying for Cy Young consideration if not for the stupidity of his manager.
Oh, do you want to read about the game? Fine. The Mets got on the board first thanks to a two-run homer crushed by Carlos Delgado in the top of the second (Moises Alou led off with a hard-hit single to left). That was it for the mighty Mets, batting against the worst starting pitcher in the National League in about a hundred years (in this case, that’s not an exaggeration). And they couldn’t do anything against Geoff Geary, J.C. Romero, nor Brett Myers, either. Pack it up, fans, this is the beginning of the end. If the Mets ain’t scoring against these schleps, they ain’t scoring against nobody.
The Phillies were shut out by Glavine for seven full innings, mustering eight hits and no walks. Feliciano was brought in and gave up a solo homer to Jimmy Rollins to start the game. He got into more trouble as the inning continued and eventually gave way to Heilman, leaving the game with two outs and Shane Victorino on first base. Victorino stole second and advanced to third when rag-armed Paul LoDuca’s throw bounced into the outfield. Aaron Rowand followed by smashing a pitch into a poor worm in front of home plate, and the ball bounced about 33 times hugging the third base line before falling at rest about 35 feet from the plate, two inches inside the line — an infield hit, scoring Victorino with the tying run. The drunken Philadelphia crowd exploded, and the momentum had shifted. There was no way the Mets had a chance in the world to win the game after that crap.
But since you’re still reading, I’ll let you know that the game went into extras, and Mota was brought in to surrender the game-winning homerun off the bat of Ryan Howard — scoring himself and, guess who, Victorino again.
Endy Chavez didn’t do much at the plate, but he definitely made an impact in right field. He made a good catch on a Chase Utley liner in the first, played the ball perfectly in the third to hold Ryan Howard to a single, and made another great running catch in the sixth with one out and a runner on third to save a run. His defense saved at least one run, possibly two or three.
I really hate when Jose Reyes swings at the first pitch of a game and pops up weakly — particularly against a schmuck like Adam Eaton. You want to guess that Roy Oswalt or John Smoltz is going to give you a meatball to start off the game, fine. Adam Eaton? Please. If Eaton gets ahead 0-1, there’s nothing to fear — he tops out at 89 MPH and has no dominating “out” pitch. He’s the kind of guy you force to beat himself, and to force into giving you a pitch to hit. Too often, Reyes starts a game with the Mickey Rivers mentality — swing at the first pitch, no matter where it is. Yes, Reyes had some success earlier in the year looking to jack that initial pitch, but by now every pitcher in the NL sees that on the scouting report and gives him nothing good to drive in the first pitch of the game. It may seem like a petty issue, but it’s a major downer for the offense to give the pitcher an out on the first pitch of the game. First of all, you’re almost automatically putting Luis Castillo in a hole, because he has to take a strike after that occurs. Secondly, you give the pitcher what could turn out to be an extra inning — which is one less inning the opposing bullpen has to cover. The worst pitchers on any team are the middle relievers, and so you want to do everything possible to get to them. I’d really like to see a stat showing Reyes’ batting average when swinging at the first pitch of a game, so if someone knows where to find it, please comment or drop me an email. OK, off the soapbox … it wasn’t Jose’s fault the Mets lost, after all.
In the top of the sixth, Adam Eaton hit Carlos Beltran with a pitch, and then Joe West issued warnings to both teams. Ridiculous. Eaton did not hit Beltran on purpose, and even if he did, by issuing a warning you penalize Beltran’s team because the Mets pitchers have to worry about throwing the ball too far inside. This is one rule that absolutely must be reviewed and tossed during the offseason.
Keith Hernandez quote of the night: ” … looks like a little Archie Bell and the Drells with not being able to throw inside … ” in reference to Eaton walking Alou after hitting Beltran and getting the warning. For those too young to remember, Archie Bell & the Drells performed the top-40 hit “Tighten Up”. Classic.
Delgado, Moises Alou, and Tom Glavine were the only Mets to reach base safely after striking the ball with their bats. Each had two hits. Everyone else went oh-fer.
Delgado missed a second homer by less than ten feet on a towering fly ball to the rightfield wall in the sixth.
Oliver Perez vs. Jamie Moyer in another 7:05 PM start. While the Mets will likely lose again to the red-hot Phillies, it might be interesting to see how they blow it this time. I plan to have a 1.5-liter bottle of whiskey next to me during the game.