Mets Game 49: Loss to Phillies

Phillies 8 Mets 4

Congratulations to those who have Ty Wigginton on their fantasy baseball teams.

Mets Game Notes

Jonathon Niese was victimized by two Mets errors in the first inning that significantly increased his pitch count. He labored through the remainder of his outing, and was over 100 pitches after five innings. Which made Terry Collins‘ decision to send him out for the sixth absolutely stunning — especially considering that the Mets bullpen is fairly well-rested after the long outings by the starters in the San Diego series. The high pitch count, combined with the extreme heat and humidity, the fact that Niese’s velocity was dropping, and the availability of bullpen arms — well, can someone give me a good reason supporting Collins’ decision?

Cole Hamels pitched well against most of the Mets hitters, but seemed to “let up” against their lesser-skilled players — such as Vinny Rottino and Scott Hairston, both of whom made him pay for the disrespect by turning Hamels offerings into homeruns.

Somewhat courageous decision by Phillies manager Charlie Manuel to allow Hamels to pitch to David Wright with the tying run on third, two out, and two bases open in the bottom of the eighth. Though, after seeing how horrid the Philadelphia bullpen has been, the decision made good sense — Hamels, even after throwing about a hundred pitches, was still Manuel’s best option in that spot. As it was, Hamels went right after Wright with inside heat, and the count worked full before Wright rolled a change-up to Placido Polanco to end the inning. A classic confrontation between two potentiAl Hall of Famers.

Justin Turner left the game in the third with a sprained ankle, and since Ronny Cedeno is nursing an injury of his own, Wright moved over to play short. Wright did OK, though he came off of 2B on a throw from Bobby Parnell that might’ve been an out; that runner — Jimmy Rollins — eventually became the Phillies’ fifth run. Wright pulled off the bag because Rollins was running on the pitch; I’m not sure that he would have been out. After the way the top of the ninth turned out, it really didn’t matter.

Anyone remember Terry Collins saying that Manny Acosta was “pitching great”?

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Phillies play game two of the series on Tuesday night, start time is 7:10 p.m. Pitching matchup is Jeremy Hefner vs. Joe Blanton.

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. gary s. May 28, 2012 at 5:01 pm
    Bad loss today.Every time i see Niese pitch i do not understand what the hurry was to lock him up for 5 years.He is an inconsistent 6 inning high pitch count back of the rotation guy at best.Couple of other quibbles.Horrendous coaching by Tuefel on the single to right that got Turner caught up and injured for 2-3 weeks.Worst case scenario was the runner being thrown out home for 3rd out of inning and staying 2 runs down.Collins should have pulled Niese after 5 but that is argueable.Putting Acosta in with a one run deficit beyond comprehension.Maybe the 90 degree heat got to Collins
    • jerseymet May 28, 2012 at 6:18 pm
      Acosta’s last chance I hope. Nice to see Egbert I wish him much success. Niese’s contract is odd; last winter they were shopping him….
      • gary s. May 28, 2012 at 6:31 pm
        They should have shopped him a little harder.He’s not worth a long term deal.Very average pitcher.FIVE YEARS!It;s a head scratcher
    • Walnutz15 May 29, 2012 at 8:07 am
      Agreed, 100% Gary.

      My concern with Niese is that he’s pitching like this ALREADY, when he has a natural tendency to break down as it gets deeper into a season.

      In fact, yesterday’s conditions were a pretty good indication of exactly what he’ll need to deal with during the Dog Days.

      Victimized by a couple of errors, early — yes. But at this point, 5 walks isn’t going to be helping anyone’s stamina.

      I would have liked to see much more from him in the early goings; especially in having given him an extension before seeing him reach another plateau.

      So far, I haven’t been impressed at all with his 2012.

      (As an aside, I’ve always gotten a good chuckle from the sect of Met fans who came out and proclaimed Jon Niese to be “better than Gio Gonzalez” – over the winter. Guess I just don’t see the point in overhyping a guy who’s never thrown 200 innings; or lasted deep into a summer to any degree of productivity.)

      And by the way, if Manny Acosta isn’t released today – then I have no idea what’s going on with his Met-tenure.

      There’s absolutely no reason whatsoever for this guy to still be with the team.

      • Walnutz15 May 29, 2012 at 10:55 am
        I think that at least some of the problem with Niese stems from — UNSURPRISINGLY ENOUGH — his pitching coach.

        Why he’s not throwing curveballs – the kid’s best pitch coming through the ranks?

        Anyone’s guess.

        Why he’s “not as prepared” for his opposition as he should be?


        I’ve never been as high on Niese as many others have been along the way – but I’m all about progression and development.

        That being said, I haven’t seen very much under Dan Warthen’s watch.

        ……..for any of our arms, through the years. Be it reclamation project (Perez), or young-ish type that he’s needed to prod along (Maine, Pelfrey, et al).

        Failing marks all across the board, to my eye. It’s not like Warthen’s been a whiz with any of our projectable arms.

        Why’s he still employed by the Mets? (Been asking this for quite a few summers now.)

  2. Crozier May 28, 2012 at 10:26 pm
    Adding to the head scratchers: Torres leads off The 7th with a double, and then Nieuwenhuis attempts a bunt? Small ball indeed.
    • Joe Janish May 29, 2012 at 12:49 am
      Crozier, have to agree with you – especially with Nieuwenhuis hitting the ball well lately. Much rather take three shots at a base hit from one of my top three hitters than play small ball there. OK, Kirk may not be one of the top three but with Murphy and Wright following, it’s still worth a shot. Murphy doesn’t hit too many deep fly balls, so setting up the sac fly for him didn’t make much sense there.
  3. gary s. May 28, 2012 at 11:14 pm
    Agreed.I hated that move also.Team has been winning.I have to give Collins a mulligan i guess
    • Joe Janish May 29, 2012 at 12:50 am
      Correction: team has been beating at-best adequate AAA teams that they should be beating in their sleep.
      • DaveSchneck May 29, 2012 at 9:26 am
        Just remember that when Santana and Dickey are not on the mound, the Mets are fielding an adequate AAA team as well as most if the recent opposition.