Mets Game 148: Loss to Phillies
Phillies 10 Mets 6
Others may argue, but the turning point in the game came in the top of the second inning. With two out, runners on first and second, and the opposing pitcher at the plate, Ollie Perez dropped down and threw a slider out of the strike zone for ball one. That pitch epitomized everything that was wrong with the Mets’ approach and execution of the game.
Because, that pitch was both illogical and off the mark. It was the result of someone on the field not thinking about the situation, not considering the consequences, and not focusing on the task at hand. Furthermore, the ill-advised decision led to a four-pitch walk, which put Perez into a deeper hole than he should have been in. This is what the Mets did all day — they weren’t thinking, didn’t focus, didn’t make pitches / plays / hits, and every mistake made led to worse and worse situations.
Perez threw his 72nd pitch in the third inning, and was knocked out of the game by his 118th — but before finishing the fifth. In 4 2/3 frames, Ollie walked 6, allowed 6 hits, and gave up 5 runs. But because of Mets errors, only two of the runs were earned. In truth, Perez may have been partly to blame for the errors — after all, it’s difficult to stay focused on the game when a pitcher is throwing ball after ball after ball.
Miraculously, despite all the walks and errors, the Mets were still in the game, when Carlos Beltran hit a three-run homer in the fifth to tie the game five-all and take Perez off the hook.
Then the sixth inning happened.
Everyone in the stadium could feel a bad omen when the inning began with Guillermo Mota on the mound. I realize Willie Randolph wants to keep putting Mota out there to get him back in the groove, but could he choose less stressful situations for a bit? It’s apparent that Mota’s confidence is shot — throwing him to the wolves is clearly not the way to motivate him. Anyway …
Taking Oliver’s cue, Mota began the inning by walking Pat Burrell. (The Phillies’ leadoff batter reached base in each of the first seven innings, BTW.) Ryan Howard then grounded into what should have been a double play, but Luis Castillo bobbled the ball and then threw it wildly to second. Predictably, Mota walked Aaron Rowand to load the bases. By then Randolph had seen enough and trotted in Jorge Sosa, who proceeded to walk Jason Werth, forcing in the go-ahead run. When Greg Dobbs came up to pinch-hit, Sosa must have heard someone in the stands say, “just let him hit it!” — because that’s exactly what he did. Dobbs jacked one over the rightfield fence, putting the Phillies ahead 10-5.
After that, it was a matter of getting the game over with as quickly as possible.
Leading off the top of the sixth, down by five, Paul LoDuca shockingly took the first pitch offered by reliever Geoff Geary — something he’s rarely done in the past. In fact, he worked the count to 3-1, but buried all that effort by swinging wildly at ball four — a pitch around eye level. He fouled off a few more pitches before finally popping up to Chase Utley for the first out. I had no idea LoDuca had the capability to hit six-run homers with no one on base.
It is positively baffling to me that the Mets can endure walk after walk after walk while in the field, see that the walks almost always score, then think the best way to get back in the game is to swing like madmen. You would think after LoDuca had been sitting through the top of the sixth, when the Phillies walked three times, a run walked in, and a grand slam was hit, that maybe, just maybe, something would “click” in his head — like, “hey, maybe a walk could work for US!” Goes to show you that just because a guy has 10 years’ MLB experience, doesn’t necessarily mean he has intelligence.
David Wright hit his 30th homer of the season, making him the first 30-SB, 30-HR Met since his guru Howard Johnson.
The only other highlight, from the Mets’ point of view, was the fact that some nutcase bride agreed to have her wedding reception at Shea — despite not being a Mets fan (I guess we know who’s wearing the pants in THAT relationship). The bride and groom were visited and congratulated by Mr. Met, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling. Let’s hope the debacle of a game is not a bad sign for their marriage.
Down by four entering the ninth inning, why was Aaron Heilman in the game? Does he HAVE TO pitch every other game? Did Willie really think it was critical to remain within four runs? Did he honestly believe his free-swinging crew could somehow mount a five-run rally in the bottom of the ninth against Phillies closer Brett Myers? Ha ha … what a knee-slapper!
The Mets have now lost eight consecutive games against the Phillies.
The Mets travel to Washington to begin a three-game series with the Nationals. Monday night’s contest will begin at 7:05 PM, and if things didn’t seem bad enough, Brian Lawrence will be starting for the Mets (why? no one knows). Tim Redding takes the hill for the Nats.