Mets Game 4: Loss to Nationals

Nationals 6 Mets 2

Well, you can’t win ’em all. This loss crushes the Mets’ chances for a 162-0 season. But hey, they can still go 161-1!

Mets Game Notes

Dillon Gee had trouble from the first batter he faced, as Ian Desmond hit a leadoff homer to start the game. Gee didn’t pitch poorly, but he didn’t pitch well, either. He was simply too hittable, and the Nats hitters were too comfortable.

Opposing pitcher Ross Detwiler, however, was stellar in his five-inning outing, allowing no runs and only two hits and a walk, striking out six. He was pulled after an efficient 71 pitches, though, because he’s still being stretched out as a starter. He had a very Cliff Lee-like thing going on — nice and easy motion, good tempo, lots of strikes, quick outs.

Bobby Parnell struck out 4 in his inning and two-thirds. But, it took him 51 pitches to record 5 outs. Not efficient. He had trouble getting his curveball in the strike zone, and as a result he went back to the old fastball-fastball-fastball-fastball-fastball-fastball routine.

For those who are quick to point out that the Mets were without Ike Davis and David Wright in this game, please remember that the Nats’ lineup did not include starters Michael Morse, Rick Ankiel, and Danny Espinosa, and they were without closer Drew Storen. Further, starting pitcher Ross Detwiler likely would not be their #5 starter if Chien-Ming Wang were not on the DL. And by the way, Ronny Cedeno went 3-for-4 with an RBI subbing for D-Wright.

Though, having no Wright and Davis in the lineup exposes Lucas Duda and possibly also Daniel Murphy. Murphy went 0-for-4 in the three hole and Duda was oh-fer batting fifth. I think Wright more than Davis changes the complexion of the lineup — and does so significantly.

Ian Desmond hit the first leadoff homer against the Mets since Ian Desmond.

Justin Turner subbed for Ike Davis at 1B in this game and had a relatively uneventful game in the field until the seventh, when he cut off a throw from Lucas Duda on a sacrifice fly that scored Wilson Ramos. The knee-jerk reaction was “hey, why did he cut it off?” but after further review, I’m not sure that Duda’s toss would have reached home on time — it was low and didn’t have much on it. Further, Duda caught the ball rather routinely, as though he wasn’t expecting Ramos to tag, and seemed surprised when he did — as a result, he lost a few milliseconds and made a so-so throw. Duda should have gone after the fly ball more aggressively, with the intent to make a strong throw. Blame should be shared by both Duda and Turner on that play.

The Mets’ defense overall in this game left much to be desired. In addition to the weak throw, Duda also flubbed a fly ball earlier in the game that turned into an extra-base hit. And one day after saving the day with a stellar “web gem,” Daniel Murphy muffed three double play balls; that makes four botched DPs in four games for Murph thus far – ouch.

Jayson Werth picked a heckuva time to break out of his year-long slump. He had four hits including a double and 2 RBI and was both driving and spraying the ball all over the place.

Next Mets Game

The Mets send Johan Santana to the mound against the Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg for the final game of the series on Wednesday afternoon. Game time is 1:10 p.m.

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. Josh Z April 11, 2012 at 12:14 am
    Facing Strausberg will be quite a test. He is an excellent fireballer and it will be interesting to see if the mets can rebound from a loss which every good team must do.
  2. gary s. April 11, 2012 at 12:39 am
    Lovw to watch Murphy with a bat in his hands.Hate to watch him with a glove playing second base.He seems scaed silly to make a pivot at second when the base runner is close due to prior injuries playing second.Can’t really blame him.Mets created this situation by not resigning Reyes.That forced tejada to play ss and Murph to play second.Four botched double plays in 5 games is unacceptable at the MLB level
  3. norme April 11, 2012 at 8:38 am
    Gary S.,
    The problem is not that they didn’t sign Reyes, but that Murphy is not a major league-level defensive player.
    IF the Mets had made Reyes an offer, and IF he had accepted it, you would still have the Murphy problem.
    His bat would probably force his way into the line-up ahead
    of Tejada. The only solution would have been trading him to
    the American League, and coming off an injury his value was too low.
  4. Steven April 11, 2012 at 11:23 am
    It will be interesting today to see how Strasburg pitches Duda. Duda crushed a fast ball from Strasburgl to the opposite field during a ST start, and the Nationals’ approach to Lucas today may be telling about what the whole league will do.
  5. Joe April 11, 2012 at 1:03 pm
    Now, if Murphy had a day off and Cedeno filled in at 2nd, things might have gone a bit better. Put Duda at first there — he actually played there before after all. Anyway, the team was due for a bad game overall and from failing to score in the 1st inning, this did the trick. Cedeno did his job though and if your 5th starter is at least passable each time, that’s about what you ask for. Shave the damn beard.