Mets Game 16: Loss to Giants
Giants 7 Mets 2
In this series, the Mets were lucky to not face Matt Cain and to see Tim Lincecum at a time when he was looking quite human. However, the Mets still dropped three of four, and have now reached Omar Minaya’s perpetual goal of .500.
Mets Game Notes
Madison Bumgarner has a long, slow, deliberate, smooth-looking, slingshot-like delivery that fights gravity and completely nullifies his 6’5″ frame. His motion is completely dependent on sideways torque, and puts considerable strain on his shoulder. It kinda sorta reminds me of the sidewinding delivery of John Candelaria, except Candy Man used to drop down to sidearm angle. It will be interesting to see how Bumgarner progresses over the course of his six-year contract.
In contrast, I really like Dillon Gee‘s delivery. Unfortunately, a textbook motion didn’t help him pitch effectively on this particular occasion. When one allows 13 baserunners in 6 2/3 innings, it’s tough to win. It’s even tougher when your team can count its number of hits on one hand through that same amount of time.
Gee was just getting too much plate and not fooling anyone with his change of speed. He needs to keep batters off-balance and paint the corners to be successful; when he does neither, games like this happen.
As great as Bumgarner pitched, reliever Javier Lopez was just as awful. He singlehandedly gave the Mets hope in the 8th, pitching so poorly one might have guessed that he had been paid by bookies to adjust the score. Why Giants manager Bruce Bochy removed Bumgarner in the first place is a mystery, though I suppose there’s a reason he’s won over 1300 games and been named “Manager of the Year.” Oh, right, Bumgarner had thrown 107 pitches, so his taxi home was about to turn back into a pumpkin.
I think Ike Davis‘ constant whining about called strikes is catching up with him. There were two borderline calls against him in his 8th inning at-bat with the bases loaded (he struck out looking to end the inning). In fact, both of those calls would be liberally “borderline” — one of them was several inches wide of the plate, and the other might have been a few inches below the knees. But you know what? Ike has established a negative reputation among umpires, and this could be the men in blue sending a message. I don’t think it’s right for an umpire to make calls based on personalities, but at the same time, I also don’t think it’s right for Ike to constantly “show up” umpires. Umpires are human, so they make mistakes, and that’s part of the game. As it turns out, players are human, too, and also fallible.
And actually, the called third strike on Ike was inside and at (or just below) the knees — in other words, in Ike’s wheelhouse. He’s a low-ball hitter, and though it was surely a nasty pitch it was also right in the area where Ike swats balls far distances. So, why wasn’t he swinging there? Why was he looking for a walk?
Jordany Valdespin went for the grand slam on the first MLB pitch he saw. Unfortunately, he instead invoked the infield fly rule. They say it’s a game of inches.