Mets Game 38: Win Over Reds

Mets 9 Reds 4

The final score belies what this game was.

Mets Game Notes

For seven innings, this was a tight, fairly low-scoring ballgame. Then came the eighth, when the Mets exploded for five runs after chipping away for three straight innings.

R.A. Dickey‘s knuckler was dancing, and he hung around long enough to keep the Mets in the game but not long enough to earn a win. The sportswriters call it a “quality start.” Seeing the action on his knuckleball, it was a little surprising that the Reds scored four runs (three earned) off of him.

For once, the Mets won the battle of the bullpens. Heck, even Frank Francisco pitched a full inning without allowing an opponent to cross the plate. Though, he did allow two baserunners in his one inning of work.

If you weren’t sure how wildly the knuckleball was dancing, you could have taken a cue from Mike Nickeas, who had a very hard time getting his glove on the ball for much of the afternoon.

Mat Latos has incredibly filthy stuff but a two-cent head. If he ever gets it together, watch out. Of course, that’s a big “if.” To me, he compares to where Curt Schilling was at a similar age: plenty of talent, but his mental approach and lack of emotional control prevent him from realizing his potential. It took a while for Schilling to figure it out, so there is hope for Latos.

No sign of David Wright slowing down; he actually improved his average to .411 and walked twice. Similarly, Daniel Murphy remains hot and Lucas Duda is in a groove.

Wright is so good he makes Joey Votto look human.

Ronny Cedeno? Really?

Next Mets Game

The Mets travel to Toronto for a three-game series. Interleague already? Meh. Game one begins at 7:07 EST / 7:07 Canadian time. Jonathon Niese goes against Ricky Romero.

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 18, 2012 at 12:23 am
    Yes, Cedeno was a good pick-up like a few here noted at the time while people sneered at it about it. He’s doing exactly what his role was supposed to be and Turner too managed to get some playing time. Murphy, meanwhile, is hitting and playing second okay (I admit to be a bit surprised).
  2. Ben C. May 18, 2012 at 1:38 am
    Another great come-from-behind win!

    I’m concerned about Francisco. I think TC is right to make bullpen changes slowly – tonight he indicated that he wants to make sure Parnell is comfortable before considering him for the 9th inning – but when Frank casually allowed 2 RISP tonight, it’s clear the pen isn’t doing its job.

    This team might compete if Young and Mejia manage to come up soon.

    Anyone know why Hefner wasn’t given a legitimate shot after posting those three solid innings in the majors plus consistent numbers in Buffalo?

  3. Tommy2cat May 18, 2012 at 3:39 am
    Mike Nickeas needs to be J.D. Carrasco’s personal catcher. Difference between Rob Johnson and Nickeas is an ocean. Johnson is a defensive stalwart and does what it takes to win. Nickeas lacks the confidence and level of concentration required to be successful in MLB.

    Johnson’s bunt singe key to unlocking Met offense. Can’t swing the bat? No problem, I’ll bunt my way on. On defense, Johnson’s skill and awareness is reminiscent of my favorite all-time Met, Jerry Grote.

    When Thole returns, I hope the Met brass has the acumen to demote Nickeas and retain Johnson at the ML level. Bear in mind, that the Met pitchers have not been performing well with Nickeas behind the dish. That is very telling and very, very significant. Nice guy and all, but Mike Nickeas needs to leave this team in a hurry.

    • Joe Janish May 18, 2012 at 9:25 am
      Tommy, I knew there was a reason I liked you … Grote is one of my all-time favorite Mets as well. Good points all around.
      • DaveSchneck May 18, 2012 at 10:17 am
        Jerry Grote was a fine player and one of those players that can’t be measured by the abundant statistics available for performance evaluation. Johnson has a shot at sticking. Also, Mets should be kicking the tires on KRod right now. He may be the only available closer-type for low cost in talent, and it would be a shame if they let bullpen to take them out of contention.
  4. SiddFinch May 18, 2012 at 12:41 pm
    Grote goes unappreciated in his role of helping to make those great Mets pitching staffs what they were. His hard-nosed play led to a lot of injuries which unfortunately made him pretty much a part-time player by mid-70s. He should easily be on any Mets top 50 players list.

    This team looks good. They are a resilient bunch. It could a fun summer at Citi. Like any other team staying healthy and playing well on the road will contribute greatly to their chances.

  5. jim May 18, 2012 at 3:11 pm
    My favorite Jerry Grote story was when I was kid watching a game on WOR. Grote was behind the plate when the batter fouled one off and it hit Grote right in the nuts. He just falls over, his hands between his legs. Lindsay Nelson says “It looks like Jerry Grote caught that one in his Adam’s Apple”.
    My dad says “He ain’t holding his Adam’s apple”.