Mets 3 Pirates 2
When two offensively challenged teams face each other, the level of drama of a game and its outcome are often dependent on the number and type of mistakes made. This game fit that condition.
Mets Game Notes
Was this a well-pitched game? Kind of. Or was it a game that had the perception of being well-pitched because of the ineptitude of the batters? Hmm … that is up to subjective interpretation — and yours is encouraged in the comments.
R.A. Dickey‘s dancing knuckleball kept the over-zealous Buc batters in fits. Likewise, Mets hitters accomplished little against an array of fastballs and off-speed pitches served by James McDonald. Both pitchers are reliable starters with the potential to occasionally hurl brilliant outings. On this night, both pitchers brought their typical, solid-yet-unspectacular stuff and walked away with brilliant results. I mean this in no disrespect to either pitcher, both of whom I hold high respect. Rather, in my humble opinion, both pitchers succeeded more as a function of futile hitting than of outstanding pitching. Do you agree?
Further, I wonder if this game would still be playing as a 1-1 tie if not for the multiple mistakes made in the field by both sides — a few of which were not identified as errors by the official scorer, but were miscues nonetheless.
From a less ambivalent, and more positive perspective: nice to see Frank Francisco finish the game with a clean inning.
On a negative note: what is going on with David Wright? He’s mired in his worst slump of the year — he hasn’t had a hit in FIVE AT-BATS! Is it time to panic? Should Wright be studying video? Is he unprepared? Does an adjustment need to be made? What the heck is Dave Hudgens getting paid to do, if not to help David out of this? If this already prolonged dry spell goes any longer, there is a distinct possibility that Wright’s average will drop BELOW .400. I hope he works out of this funk quickly!
OK, you know I’m being facetious about Wright (right?). But on a more serious note, Ike Davis is officially awful. He needs to go down to the minors — maybe as low as Port St. Lucie — to work things out.
Kudos to Terry Collins for moving James McDonald off the mound and into the outfield when Collins was farm director for the Dodgers. By retarding his development as a pitcher for two years, Collins was integral in assuring that McDonald was not spectacular enough to completely dominate the Mets in this ballgame. Sometimes it takes a while, but eventually, decisions made with minor leaguers eventually pay off.
Following with that point, I am impressed with McDonald’s development over the past year. This time last year, I wondered if McDonald was ever going to put it together; in many ways, and perhaps because of their shared Dodgers background, McDonald reminded me of eternal enigma Edwin Jackson. But it seems as though McDonald has become more consistent with his command, and his focus and confidence has improved. I don’t expect him to be a Cy Young candidate, but as mentioned earlier, he does now appear to be a reliable MLB starter — something you couldn’t say about him in 2011.
Next Mets Game
The Mets and Pirates finish up the series on Wednesday afternoon with a ballgame that begins at 12:35 p.m. Jonathon Niese faces Charlie Morton.
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.