Mets Game 65: Loss to Reds
Reds 7 Mets 3
After a nice breather playing Adulterated Baseball against a couple of tomato cans from the AL East, the Mets get smacked with a dose of reality playing the real game against a legitimate NL power.
Mets Game Notes
What’s most frustrating about this loss is that you KNOW there had to be a pregame meeting with the pitching staff communicating one clear direction: DO NOT LET Wilson Valdez BEAT YOU! Yet still, the hit-machine utilityman managed to rough up the Mets for two hits and three RBI. With rookie Zack Cozart playing a strong shortstop, and the Reds back to playing in non-DH ballgames, manager Dusty Baker found a way to get Valdez’s powerful bat into the lineup by installing him in centerfield. Hopefully the Mets find a way to stop — or at least slow down — the slugger.
In all seriousness, it was kind of bizarre to see Valdez: a.) in centerfield; b.) batting anywhere in the lineup other than 8th (he batted 2nd!); and c.) getting hits and driving in runs. Every dog has his day, right?
Dillon Gee had trouble not only with Valdez, but with the Reds in general. He allowed four runs — three earned — in yet another six-inning outing, but it felt like the outing was worse because he was hit so hard — two doubles and two homeruns in those six frames. Interestingly, Gee seemed to have good stuff; his changeup was as good as always, he had a nasty curve, and his fastball appeared to have decent movement. But, he left too many balls near the middle of the plate, and he didn’t use his curveball nearly as often as he should have. I have to wonder: what if Rob Johnson was catching this game instead of Josh Thole? Would the game have been called differently? Would the Red have had a more difficult time as a result? Hmmm …
One of the homers Gee gave up was an inside-the-park job by Jay Bruce, who lifted a fly ball to left field that went beyond the reach of a diving Jason Bay. Bay’s momentum took him violently into the wall, and he left the game with what appeared to be a concussion. Remarkably, there were at least a few “boos” from the Citi Field crowd while Bay leaned on trainer Ray Ramirez and walked off the field. I don’t like to use curse words on this blog, but, ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME????? I get that Mets fans are angry with Bay’s horrendous offensive production since signing that $66M contract. But if there’s one thing you cannot fault Bay for is his effort — the guy goes all-out, all the time. Though I’m much too young to have seen him play, I read and heard enough stories about Brooklyn Dodger Pete Reiser to think that Bay might be a similar ballplayer (Reiser is the reason MLB began installing padding on outfield walls; read up on him if you’ve never heard of him before). Hey, if you want to boo Jason Bay for striking out, OK. But booing him because a ball gets by him on a play where he clearly has given 100%? Shame on you.
Gee plunked Joey Votto in the third, and it appeared to be unintentional. However, in the eighth, with two outs, a three-run lead, and first base open, Reds reliever Sean Marshall grazed David Wright with a pitch. Was that a payback? It certainly looked that way. At minimum, it was a message: “hey, if you hit our star — even accidentally — you can be sure we’re going to hit yours.” Let’s keep an eye on this and see if anything comes of it.