Mets Game 35: Win Over Brewers

Mets 2 Brewers 1

There’s no way the Mets can lose this series. And we can thank a man with the power of voodoo. Who do? Miguel do.

Mets Game Notes

Yes, voodoo. I can find no other explanation for Miguel Batista‘s ability to pitch seven shutout innings. I realize he only allowed five baserunners but it felt like twice as many; I’m not sure why. He’s like a poor-man’s Livan Hernandez, except Livan used to put guys on base on purpose. I get that the 2012 Brewers bear no resemblance whatsoever to the hard-hitting 2011 version (or the 1982 Harvey’s Wallbangers version, for that matter), but wow, if they can’t hit Miguel Batista, who are they gonna hit? If I’m the Brewers hitting coach, I might start looking into some undetectable performance-enhancing … oh, never mind …

For me this was a really weird game to watch in terms of paying attention to the pitchers. Because on the one hand, Batista seemed to be getting into more trouble than he really was. Similarly, Yovani Gallardo — to me — was pitching horribly, yet somehow skated through six innings and allowed only two runs. I guess six walks can do that. Gallardo managed only 12 strikes in his first 26 pitches of the ballgame, and somehow finished with 61 strikes among his 109-pitch total.

Due to the refusal of both pitchers to throw strikes, this game was a snoozefest for the first few innings. Then it was just plain old boring. But Frank Francisco made sure we woke up by making it interesting in the ninth. His outings make me long for the days of Braden Looper. You know what, Braden? I take back all those awful things I thought (and screamed at the TV) when you were closing. You weren’t so bad after all.

David Wright had only one hit but continues to blister the ball. His season is reminding me of another one I remember a third baseman once had — George Brett in 1980. Seriously.

The Mets had only three hits all night, and the other two were courtesy of Hit Man Dan Murphy, who drove in one of the Mets’ runs and scored the other.

Speaking of Murphy’s score, it came on a perfectly executed squeeze. The Brewers demonstrated an imperfectly executed squeeze earlier in the game that resulted in an out. It’s not every day you see one squeeze, much less two in the same ballgame. Nice to see, but awful to see them fail, because the only way they fail is by terrible execution. Even if you execute poorly, you should still score a run because it’s a play that’s nearly impossible to defend against. In the Brewers’ case, both the runner on the third and the batter messed up royally — Taylor Green didn’t run hard from third as the pitch was delivered, and Cesar Izturis deadened the bunt right in front of home plate, which is the last thing you want to do. The squeeze play is the one situation where the hitter wants to bunt the ball HARD and force anyone other than the catcher to field it — the idea being that a runner will be able to cross home plate in the time it takes to pick up the ball, transfer it to the throwing hand, throw to the catcher, and the catcher make the tag. But since Green was tip-toeing down the line instead of breaking hard (as if it were a straight steal), he was a dead duck.

Not too much else to report on this game. The pitching from both sides was less than inspirational, and yet the hitting was similarly ineffective. This is what games after travel days look like in post-PEDs MLB. Now we understand why there are so many Mondays off.

Next Mets Game

If you read Sunday’s post then you know I was a day ahead on the schedule. In the series finale on Tuesday night, Dillon Gee faces Zack Greinke. Really, I mean it this time. Game time is 7:10 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. Joe May 14, 2012 at 10:48 pm
    The third run wasn’t great baseball either.

    Batista got a no decision by eating up some innings v. the Phils. Fact is, a chunk of the NL are not very good. With that, Batista can survive as a fifth/sixth starter.

    Hey, the Brewers aren’t doing that well this year. K-rod seems an unnecessary luxury. Maybe, they can release him mid-season …

  2. Mic May 15, 2012 at 4:22 am
    Batista Won!. And in fact has pitched decently. Contrary to your statement though I dont think it reflects on the league. If anything BASEBALL as a whole is down in quality of hitting and pitching.

    But back to Batista, ..before we beliitle his accomplishment, we should remember that Chris Schwinden was not even in the same zip code as Batista in terms of execution. AND hopefully Batista can keep plugging until Harvey or Young can help.

    I applaud Terry for getting Frankie back in there. And yes he is Braden Looper II. But he is also a contributor. Meanwhile a dont have any nice things to say about Acosta.

    • Steve S. May 15, 2012 at 8:22 am
      Yeah, bringing in Acosta for Francisco! Sheesh.
    • Steve S. May 15, 2012 at 8:23 am
      And how about that rundown, with Wright scoring when Ramirez dropped the ball?!
    • Joe May 15, 2012 at 9:30 am
      I guess the idea is to like it when Acosta pitches well (as he did in some games recently, getting key holds) but when he pitches lousy, there is nothing nice to say. So it goes.

      Fact is, he almost got out of it. Yeah, he did not, but if he got Kearns, which he should have and if he pitched as he did recently would have, he would have.

  3. DaveSchneck May 15, 2012 at 8:26 am
    A win is always a cause for celebration. A win with Batista starting and the team collectively getting three hits is cause for a parade, even in dreary Monday night rain. 20 Ws, +5 after 35, holding 2nd wild card spot…it could be much worse.