Mets Game 74: Loss to Cubs

Cubs 6 Mets 1

Even the worst team in baseball wins once every three games.

Mets Game Notes

Should we panic? Of course not. As mentioned above, even the Cubs are going to win one out of every three. The Mets fought through an emotionally draining weekend series against the Yankees, took a redeye into Chicago, and without the help of greenies or “special coffee,” they had little energy. This was a giveaway game that even championship teams toss out every once in a while. However, championship teams will win the next two — what will the Mets do? We’ll soon see.

Johan Santana threw six innings, allowing five hits, three walks, and two earned runs. Bobby Ojeda described the outing as “outstanding” and “superb” — going so far as to say “…the best game he’s pitched since the no-hitter.” Well … hmmm … I’m gonna go ahead and uh, disagree? Yeah …

Except for the last part; I do agree it was his best outing since the no-hitter. However, it was far from outstanding or superb. His command was only so-so, and the only reason he didn’t allow four or five runs in those six frames was because he was pitching against the Cubs, who stink. It wasn’t a terrible performance, it just wasn’t “outstanding.” Did he pitch well enough to win against the worst team in baseball? Heck yeah. Unfortunately, the Mets hitters were dozing at the plate.

Twenty-three outs were recorded before the Mets scored a run; you guessed it, a two-out run. Ike Davis saved the team from suffering a shutout by blasting a solo homer with two outs in the top of the ninth. Did you pick him up for your fantasy team? I did.

The two runs scored against Santana were enough for the Cubs to win the ballgame, but the game went out of control in the seventh, when the Mets committed three errors and allowed four unearned runs. I don’t like to say “committed” because it sounds like a crime; however, in this case, what the Mets defense did was as close to a crime as a baseball team can be without being arrested. Team leader David Wright began the series of felonies by dropping a popup in front of the plate that turned into an infield triple. OK, it wasn’t really an infield triple, but I’ve never seen anything like that before and it sounds kind of cool to say “infield triple.” In truth, it was a three-base error, and you have to hand it to Adrian Cardenas for hustling it out of the box and all the way to third on a routine popup that should have been caught by catcher Mike Nickeas. However, Wright is the unofficial captain of the team, and Nickeas, as a backup catcher, doesn’t have enough of a take-charge, commanding presence to call Wright off (for the record, I doubt Josh Thole would have commandeered that popup, either).

In the postgame, Terry Collins said, “… yeah, we were a little flat.” My wife‘s response: “THAT’S an understatement!”

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Cubs do it again on Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. Dillon Gee faces Randy Wells.

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 25, 2012 at 11:26 pm
    While we all know that Lucas Duda isn’t a good defensive outfielder, by any stretch of the imagination – don’t let the boxscore fool you into thinking tonight was his 4th error of the year out there — on that fly ball that hit him in the chest.

    It was at least his 5th. Tip o’ the cap to the official scorer at Citi on Saturday night for minimizing the damage to his fielding percentage.

    (We used to see the same when the Mets were trying to pass Murphy off as a “plus” defender at 1B.)

    Ugly game tonight – they need to shake it off in a hurry.

    • Joe Janish June 25, 2012 at 11:56 pm
      Agreed, and furthering your point, I believe many Mets have been spared several errors by generous official scorers this year. However, from what I’ve seen, there have been just as many — if not more — of these “hits” awarded by scorers of the home teams when the Mets are on the road. Because, of course, a home team scorer wants to see his local player with a higher batting average.

      If this game isn’t shaken off quickly, it’s going to be an ugly stumble into the All-Star Exhibition.

      • Walnutz15 June 26, 2012 at 12:00 am
        You know my McCutchen-theory already. I hear ya, brother.

        That 7th inning was as fugly as it gets…….again, from the defensive side of things. They’ve really been abominable.

        Absolutely can’t be doing that to a guy getting outs on the mound — especially when that guy has been struggling to get ’em.

  2. Walnutz15 June 25, 2012 at 11:54 pm
    I also wish I had a media credential to ask the proper follow-ups on Terry Collins:

    Lucas Duda‘s lack of confidence defensively:

    “We do a pretty good job of making these guys understand that you can only do your best. Lucas Duda has done his absolute best. Once in awhile, because he’s not a right fielder, you’re going to have a hiccup. You hope that there aren’t very many and there haven’t been. So it was just one of those situations where he came in and gave it his best effort and didn’t catch it. I certainly have no problem with the way the play went down.”

    This is where someone needs to ask……since he’s “not a RF”, then what exactly is he, and why isn’t he being played there?

    Naturally, this might make one think he’s better suited to playing 1B……but that isn’t in the cards. So, when will he be moved to LF?

    • Izzy June 26, 2012 at 6:20 am
      So you want to move Duda to left ? Why? So he can miss more fly bals? And why should a beat writer ask him Duda’s natural position. They all know it.
      • Walnutz15 June 26, 2012 at 7:44 am
        Yeah, Izzy – I’d like not only to:

        – see Duda play LF….where the reads are truer and throws/gaps are shorter, BUT ALSO

        – hear beat reporters and writers ask relevant questions to the guy who’s responsible for putting the best team out there on a nightly basis.

        Taking the easy way out during press conferences leads to the garbage interviews we read in the rags they call sports-sections….and it’s common-place these days to avoid direct questioning like that.

        RE: Duda to LF — (since he’s probably never going to play 1B with Ike Davis in the organization)

        RF typically becomes a bigger problem when you’re making a mistake in the outfield…..look no further than some of the errors Duda’s made this season.

        At the same time, we’ve seen bigger, sometimes clumsier LF’ers out there many times through the years – i.e. Matt Holliday, Manny Ramirez – at least keeping up with the joneses and putting up a good front defensively.

        (Sure, they still come with “adventure in the outfield” tags – but that’s beside the point.)

        Ball gets by you in LF, it’s a completely different ballgame than it is in RF – most times.

        I think the shorter dimensions in the Citi Field LCF alley help him, in addition to truer reads off the bat on balls pulled to LF and the corner. (You’re also not dealing with as many slices on balls that way, most times.)

        In addition, he’s got a good enough arm – where it translates to being a “plus” (IMO) from LF.

        Shorter throws, pretty good arm….at least on-par with Bay – who had a decent one, mainly because of the accuracy…..will keep runners from taking the extra base in lieu of playing fly outs into 3-base errors from RF.

        He also “looks better”, just on the basis of his competition as a strict “LF” around the league.

        To me, it’s about minimizing the damage – and think the Mets will be hurt more, over time – with him playing RF.

        • DaveSchneck June 26, 2012 at 9:13 am
          Since Murph has kind of flopped, perhaps we can try the Dude at 2B. If not, maybe C. Reality is Mets have way too many lefty bats and Scott Hairston can’t cover Wright all year. Time for Sandy to wake the $@#% up and do something without mortgaging the future. This is possible, despite what they say. Get an 8th inning arm now, and if Bay doesn’t come back raking, find a righty bat for LF or RF and move the Dude to LF.
        • Walnutz15 June 26, 2012 at 9:35 am
          I don’t see how anyone can realistically expect Jason Bay to come back to any level of productivity, let alone “raking” – considering he’s not only dealing with post-concussion stuff (“no symptoms”, fine – means nothing ’til he comes back and plays) — but is coming off a cracked rib.

          On top of it all, he’s looked lost for the better portion of 2 and a half seasons.

          I wouldn’t hold my breath.

          This is where Duda moves to LF…..talking 2B and C is just silly; even when you’re essentially mocking the situation.

          The guy’s not a RF, but I can see him making the move over to LF without much of an issue. The Mets left side of the infield is much more stable than their right side has ever been.

          This is the kind of stuff that you keep in the back of your mind. What they’ve been trotting out there for a bulk of the games in 2012 — Murphy at 2B, Duda in RF — weakens everything on that right side.

        • DaveSchneck June 26, 2012 at 3:40 pm
          I don’t expect Bay to rake, I’m just saying that they can’t give him 60 games to get going. Now could be the time to move on and find a real rightly bat with some pop to cover Wright. I agree with you that it is an opportunity to find a RF righty and improve in 2 spots. I seriously don’t expect the Dude to play 2B or C, but I’m not mocking the situation either. At this point, they have a LF playing RF(poorly), a 3B playing 2B (poorly), and a 1B playing C (okay I guess). It’s no wonder they have the worst D in MLB. It’s time for the GM and manager to start doing something about it. Maybe Ronny Cedeno at 2B at least vs. lefties. I think there are things they can do to stay competitve this year without mortgaging the future or breaking the bank, and it is important to the franchise and brand to avoid fading into 74 win oblivion in the 2nd half.
        • MikeT June 26, 2012 at 9:38 am
          You’re joking about Duda to 2b right…. right?

          Duda is a 1st baseman. Ike is a 1st baseman. Daniel Murphy is a 1st baseman. And we wonder why the Mets defense stinks. They will have these nights. In fact they have been having these nights throughout the year. Perhaps not this bad, but bad. We knew the defense would be awful, so why is this all so concerning all of a sudden? They have won in spite of the bad defense, and should continue to do so. But it will also cost them a few games along the way.

        • Walnutz15 June 26, 2012 at 9:48 am
          Of course, the Met defense was going to be bad.

          My point is: Lucas Duda should be playing LF, especially with no Jason Bay to be cluttering up anyone’s thought process (at least for the past couple of weeks since his concussion).

          Again, it’s a situation where the Mets know a guy doesn’t play the position they want him to — HAVE AN OPEN SPOT TO PLAY HIM IN — yet continue to put him somewhere else.

          Duda, in addition to having been a 1st Baseman — has played close to 200 games as a LF throughout his professional career.

          About 75% of his experience in RF has come from playing out there this year.

          It’s all about seeing a guy where it makes the most sense. Even more-so with Bay out, Duda should have been in LF.

    • Izzy June 26, 2012 at 6:23 am
      Janish the tired line is total crap. Tell me Janish how did the Mets win the first game in Arizona in the playoffs many a year a go, when they came off not one but two emotionally draining days and nights just to make a little thing called the playoffs and had to follow a night game with a flight to Arizona and then have to face the mighty Randy Johnson???? This time they had a short hop to Chicago and had to face the leagues worst with a mediocre pitcher on the mound. You give these guys more excuses than the manager. But he’s paid to come with the fake excuses They played awful. It happens.
      • Walnutz15 June 26, 2012 at 7:45 am
        LOL – I’m wondering what you’re reading Izzy.
        • Joe Janish June 26, 2012 at 9:49 am
          Iz, I wasn’t making any excuses. It was clearly a giveaway game — from the body language I saw, few Mets wanted to be on the field last night. I’m not excusing it, I’m reporting it – it is what it is. The best teams either don’t let fatigue get in the way of winning or they make up for it in the long run. Are the Mets among the “best teams”? Not likely, from my point of view.
  3. Mic June 26, 2012 at 3:58 am

    TC is full of ironies & contradictions. With Tejada and Cedeno back would n’t want to give DUDA and DW a day off sometime? Then he talks about fatigue. Then he has a AAA line-up but with DW. What about keeping players ‘fresh’.

    Murph can play 3rd, 2nd and 1st now, So can Turner. After last night give Duda a day off.

  4. friend June 26, 2012 at 5:18 pm
    At least you have the chicken thing going!