Mets 4 Diamondbacks 3
Frank Francisco made it an interesting ending, but the Mets still prevailed.
Mets Game Notes
Johan Santana continues his miraculous recovery, pitching with pure guts and changing speeds. His fastball barely breaks 90 and his command is only so-so, but his change-up and slider are doing just enough to keep batters off balance. It will be interesting to see how (or if) he adjusts his strategy of pitching “backward” as the season goes on and he faces opponents second and third times, as it would seem that a hitter’s best chance against him is to sit on the change-up.
Despite Santana’s ability to keep the batters lunging, he didn’t induce a ground ball out until the seventh inning. Weird.
Patrick Corbin does not impress me as a starting pitcher. He seems to try to strike out every hitter he faces, and wastes too many pitches trying to paint the corners or entice the batter to swing and miss. He appears to have pretty decent stuff — nice fastball with some tailing action, nasty slider — but if he’s not going to challenge hitters and pepper the strike zone then he can’t last very long. My prediction is he’ll be a LOOGY — and a fairly good one — within the next few years.
Daniel Murphy stroked four hits. In the spirit of Mel Allen, “how about that!”
I get that Henry Blanco is “a good clubhouse guy” but find it hard to believe the Snakes can’t find a better option for a second-string catcher. Blanco was never a good offensive player and his defense was never great. His singular tool during his “peak” was a strong arm, and now that that’s gone he has little value. He has no mobility behind the plate, his game-calling is predictable, and his receiving skills are atrocious — his narrow stance puts him off balance, he catches the back of the ball, and he often tries to “frame” pitches with a sloppy jerk of the arm. I counted at least five strikes he lost because of his poor glove work.
Perhaps the most important out late in the game came when Bobby Parnell blew three straight fastballs past pinch-hitter Miguel Montero with two out and a runner on second in the eighth. How the heck did that happen? Did Montero forget that he hits .360 with RISP and kills the Mets? Did Parnell forget that he gives up gopher balls in those situations? Nice change of pace.
Next Mets Game
About the Author
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.