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.