Mets Game 67: Loss to Reds

Reds 3 Mets 1

Sweep, get swept. Sweep, get swept. So, does that mean the Mets are due to sweep the Orioles?

Mets Game Notes

Chris Young gave the Mets seven strong innings, which is about the most anyone can expect from him. He was the perfect pitcher to face the free-swinging Reds, who in the previous two games showed a tendency to take rips at pitches as high as their eyes. As such, they played right into Young’s fly ball strategy. However, he pitched just well enough to lose on this particular afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Mets had Cincinnati ace Johnny Cueto on the ropes in the second inning, but couldn’t put the hammer down. Perhaps a more appropriate description of that frame is, Cueto gave the Mets a length of rope, but they didn’t pull.

From an entertainment perspective, I like watching Cueto’s full-rotation leg lift, as it adds fun to the game and reminds me of Luis Tiant. However, from a practical perspective, it’s absolutely asinine and it must contribute to Cueto’s occasional, acute control problems — which are related to a mechanical breakdown that disrupts his release point. Luis Tiant was able to get away with his pivoting motion because he threw so much; El Tiante averaged 225 IP a year, and had seasons in which he hurled 270 to 310 innings — not including the pitching he did in the winter leagues. With so much repetition, Tiant was able to find the right release point (for several arm angles), and learned how to fix himself when he ran into problems. In contrast, Cueto hasn’t been using this turn-around windup very long, and he hasn’t figured out how to quickly adjust himself when he’s missing his target. Eventually, he may, but right now, it’s a struggle.

I know what you’re thinking: “but Joe, he walked in a run while throwing from the stretch!” Yes, but, that is part of his problem with maintaining consistency in mechanics and release point. Throwing from the stretch and throwing from that Tiant-like windup are incredibly different motions, and to switch from one to the other is abrupt and significant.

The Mets lost this game to a team that had a lineup that batted Wilson Valdez second, Miguel Cairo sixth, and Willie Harris seventh. Let that sink in for a moment, and try not to lose your lunch. Yeah, that lineup also includes Joey Votto, who had three hits, but Votto didn’t even drive in a run (though he did score one). Baseball’s a funny game.

After scoring 29 runs in three games against the Rays, the Mets managed only 5 against the Reds. Go figure. What did I just say about baseball being a funny game?

On the bright side, Ike Davis extended his hitting streak to eight games and is approaching the Mendoza Line.

Next Mets Game

The Mets begin a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night at 7:10 p.m. R.A. Dickey goes against Jake Arrieta.

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. Walnutz15 June 17, 2012 at 10:45 pm
    Was at the ballpark this afternoon – a pre-Father’s Day present from the wife, since we’re expecting our 1st in late-October (hope her labor doesn’t interrupt our Metsies in the World Series……ha!)

    While the game itself was like watching paint dry, I was happy with my Bobblehead Doll of Mex.

    That’s about the extent of things…..what a lost weekend for the ball-club, upon their return to NL ball.

    Still wondering why Torres wasn’t charged with an error, after dropping that ball in CF. A great read, on it the whole way – got there…….and it sprung right out of the glove.

    Wish I was the beneficiary of all the scoring jobs I’ve seen so far in 2012.

  2. DaveSchneck June 17, 2012 at 11:19 pm
    Was at the game Sat. night, that too was like Walnutz’ description of the Sunday game…like watching paint dry. Unfortunately, I tend to think this weekend’s offense is more representative than the one we saw in Tampa. The pitching has very little margin for error with the O and D that has been demonstrated by this squad.
  3. Walnutz15 June 17, 2012 at 11:22 pm
    I can’t understand what the fanbase’s fascination is with Daniel Murphy, either. Watching him today, as I normally do with a very keen eye – the guy plays the deepest 2nd base I’ve ever seen.

    …….in addition to his struggles at the plate – there’s absolutely no reason to play this kind of dept — especially when Cueto’s at the plate.

    He’s a very strange player to view on a daily basis, and it’s not even about the lack of pop. He has absolutely no baseball IQ when he’s outside of the batter’s box.

    ……..and even that’s lacking this year.

    • Joe Janish June 18, 2012 at 9:28 am
      Agree on all, especially the depth issue. On one grounder, Murphy nearly collided with Lucas Duda.
      • Walnutz15 June 18, 2012 at 9:59 am
        One of the guys in my section was REALLY ooh’ing and aah’ing about the “fantastic catch” Murphy made on a pop-fly going toward the RF line. On and on….

        He did make the grab, and fired a strike to the plate to keep the runner from tagging at 3rd.

        2 things that the casual fan doesn’t realize:

        – Cueto was on 3rd, and has even less instinct (definitely less interest – lol) on the basepath than Murph; and
        – The insane depth he plays 2nd base at allows him to get to balls much easier than other true 2nd basemen do.

        This has to do with Duda playing RF behind him, but really – there’s only so much you can “make up” by cheating that much. All it takes its a squibber off the end of the bat, and he’s never making a play on any runner with average speed.

        He’s still slow around the bag; to boot.

        Time to pick it up with the stick, Murph. Your “game’s” exposed, big-time.

  4. Walnutz15 June 17, 2012 at 11:23 pm
  5. Crozier June 18, 2012 at 6:33 am
    Anyone notice it wasn’t just a lost weekend for the Mets, but for the entire NL East? Atlanta and the Marlins managed a win each, and overall, the division went 2-13, which is some kind of atrocity.
  6. Quinn June 18, 2012 at 7:06 am
    To answer the question posted about a possible sweep of the O’s, Dickey is on the mound so its a good start.
  7. gary s. June 18, 2012 at 8:06 am
    I never thought there was a chance the Reds would sweep us.But i never thought there was a chance in the world we would sweep Tampa.I guess i should stop thinking.Brandon Nimmo to make his debut for Brooklyn.He is 18 and right now has a good chance to be 28 in 10 years a la Casey Stengel.I have not attended a game in Brooklyn yet.I would like to see Nimmo swing the lumber.I guess it is time to make a visit to Brooklyn for a ballgame