Mets Game 9: Loss to Phillies
Phillies 8 Mets 2
The final score looks ugly, but it really wasn’t that bad until the very end, when the defense broke down and the bullpen fell apart completely. Hey, the Mets still took two out of three in Philadelphia, so we can’t get too upset.
Mets Game Notes
Early on, Mike Pelfrey struggled commanding his fastball, generally missing his target too high, but he started to find his sinker at the bottom of the zone around the third inning. It was nice to see him snapping off 12-6 curveballs with tight spin and good bite — tell me, again, why that pitch was taken away from him when he first came up to the big leagues?
Also nice to see that Big Pelf has finally developed a decent pickoff move. He’s still a nervous nellie with runners on, but at least they can’t run rampant any more.
Speaking of runners on against Pelfrey, it’s so painful to watch; it reminds me of Steve Trachsel. After all these years, one would think that Pelfrey would eventually learn to stay cool and remain confident. Instead, he looks terrified, he dilly-dallies, and we are on the edge of our seats hoping that the other team runs into an out or a fielder makes a spectacular diving play to save him.
Cole Hamels had downright filthy stuff — so good that I wondered if he would throw a no-no after disposing the first two batters of the game. But that idea was squashed quickly when David Wright dropped a Texas leaguer into right field for the first hit of the game, and Ike Davis followed with his first homer of the year — a no-doubter into the right field seats. The Mets started to figure him out the second time through the lineup, as his big curve turned a little lazy and tended to hang up too high and too long.
I hate to use the cliche, but the gopher ball to Davis was the only mistake Hamels made — he otherwise set down the Mets seemingly without breaking a sweat. Meanwhile, Pelfrey was in trouble in nearly every inning, yet found (lucked into?) ways to wiggle out. Two things killed the Phillies — at least, until they met the Mets relievers — an inability to hit anything but singles, and refusal to take walks. It’s hard to score runs without extra-base hits.
As frustrating as it was to watch Pelfrey, he did pitch well enough to win. Unfortunately, Hamels pitched better, and the Mets bullpen wasn’t up to the task this time around.
Ike looks like he’s out of his slump; his timing was perfect on both his homer and his single to center and he had very positive / confident body language all day.
David Wright remains red hot; he dumped two bloops into right field for singles, both were inside-out swings that spoiled hard sinkers on the inside edge of the plate.
I don’t understand how Pete Orr continues to find his way on to MLB rosters and in starting lineups. He’s not a spectacular fielder, he doesn’t have blinding speed, he can’t hit a lick, yet somehow he survives. Orr reminds me of the backup middle infielders who used to litter rosters from the 1970s; guys like Rod Gilbreath, Rick Auerbach, Pat Rockett, Rob Sperring, Fred Stanley, Rob Andrews, Mike Champion, etc. I’m sure he’s a pleasant chap but I find it hard to believe there isn’t someone in the Phillies organization — or available via free agency — who can bring more to the table.
Speaking of hitless wonders from the 70s, is it me or have these first two weeks felt like ballgames from back then — when it wasn’t unusual for a pitcher to have an ERA under 3.00 and hitting 20 homers in a season was a big deal?
Miguel Batista is beginning to resemble a cross between Pedro Feliciano and Brent Gaff. Like Perpetual Pedro, he pitches nearly every day; like Gaff, he appears in every kind of situation, but it rarely turns out well. I don’t know what he was thinking on a slow grounder down the 1B line in the 8th. He waited for the ball to roll foul, yet could have very easily picked it up and tagged out John Mayberry for out number three. So much for the benefit of veteran experience.
It wasn’t game 162, so Jonathon Papelbon finished the game without incident. He has some nasty stuff.
Jason Bay was a late scratch due to a jammed ring finger. Shame, since he was finally looking like he had a clue at the plate.