Mets Game 45: Loss to Padres
Padres 11 Mets 5
This was supposed to be the beginning of an easy, breezy weekend at home. The Mets were hosting one of MLB’s worst offensive ballclubs — and one that was further decimated by injuries to the few legitimate MLBers on their roster. To boot, the starting pitcher facing them had been released earlier in the year by a team whose staff is below average. However, this “easy” series did not begin as expected — much the opposite, in fact.
Mets Game Notes
Sloppy game, both literally and figuratively, for both sides. Wet conditions caused slipping, wild throws, and other oddities. Some miscues, though, could not be blamed on the weather — such as missed tags, poor slides, bad baserunning, misplayed balls, brain farts, and a steadfast refusal to keep runners close to first base.
The mistakes on the Mets’ side began with the decision to bat Ronny Cedeno leadoff. Really?
The scouting report on Jeremy Hefner was that he was a strike-thrower. Naturally, his first three pitches of the game were balls — almost certainly an indication of nervous excitement, as he didn’t throw another ball until the third inning. However, in that third — and immediately after the rain delay — the Padres pounded four doubles in the frame, plating four runs. You have to like the way Hefner attacks the strike zone, and that he can throw all of his pitches for strikes consistently, but as seen in that third inning, it is possible to throw too many strikes. Unusual, but possible. Still, I’d rather see too many strikes than too many balls.
If Hefner threw from a three-quarters angle instead of straight over the top, he’d be the spit and image (or spitting image, if you prefer) of Orel Hershiser. Hefner also might get a little more movement on the ball with such an angle — perhaps enough to make it slightly less hittable.
Eric Stults is not a great pitcher. But, he is a great-hitting pitcher. He is also a terrible bunter, as displayed in this game. Yet, Padres manager Bud Black inexplicably called on Stults to bunt time after time with runners on base — and he failed miserably. Does Black not realize that Stults might have been one of the best four hitters in his lineup? Just because it’s a pitcher at the plate doesn’t mean he can’t hit and the bunt call is automatic.
David Wright boosted his batting average back over .400 with a 3-for-5 day that included a double, a homerun, and two RBI.
Meanwhile, Andres Torres busted out of his slump with a single, jacking his average up to within eight points of the Mendoza Line.
Also seeing better results at the plate was Ike Davis, who rapped a two-run single in a pinch-hitting appearance. Maybe he can start pulling himself out of the ditch.
Manny Acosta was his usual terrible self, though he did strike out four in two innings. I’m beginning to wonder if inducing swings and misses is perhaps an overvalued asset; Oliver Perez, after all, is #8 all-time — yes, ALL-TIME — in K/9.
Unfortunately, rookie Robert Carson followed Acosta — literally and figuratively. Carson pitched after Acosta, and nearly as poorly. Like Hefner, Carson simply threw too many hittable pitches.
After seeing the Mets struggle to take two out of three from the lowly Pirates, and then watching the Padres trounce them, I really have to wonder how the Mets are over .500. Smoke and mirrors? Sheer luck? Voodoo?
Next Mets Game
Game two of this four-game set begins at 7:10 p.m. on Friday night. Dillon Gee faces Anthony Bass.