Mets Game 94: Loss to Dodgers
Dodgers 8 Mets 5
For the first time since April 26, the Mets reach .500.
Mets Game Notes
Miguel Batista pitched like Johan Santana — Friday night’s Santana, that is. Actually, that’s not true; Batista was a little better, allowing “only” four runs in what could have been a much more horrific three-inning stint. He walked three, allowed four hits, and threw 81 pitches in three painfully slow innings. If the Dodgers were a slightly better offensive team, those four runs may have been doubled.
Speaking of the LA offense, it was led by, of all people, Juan Uribe. Uribe came into the game with one hit in his previous 38 at-bats; apparently, he was saving his strength for this particular game. Uribe had two hits, two walks, a homer, scored three times, and drove in four. Remarkably, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier combined for only one RBI — though they each scored a run.
Remember Chris Capuano? If not, this game may have jogged your memory. He did pretty much what we saw him do in the orange and blue last year — 7 IP, 9 K, 8 H, 1 BB, 3 ER, in a 98-pitch performance.
This time, the Mets starter and relievers shared in the damage — equally in fact, as each side allowed four runs.
R.A. Dickey came out of the bullpen to pitch the top of the ninth with the hopes of keeping the Mets within one run — the score was 6-5 Dodgers. However, his knuckler was spinning and tumbling, which means it was fairly straight and not doing its usual dance. It wasn’t surprising to see R.A. in the game, since Terry Collins suggested he might be used. That doesn’t mean I agree with the move. Why mess with success? Why take the chance that pushing R.A. too hard might result in reduced performance in his next start, or possibly an injury? I know it was his “throw day” but that occurs in the bullpen, not under the stress of a ballgame. The theory that knuckleball pitchers can throw every day is mostly hogwash, but specifically unsubstantiated in the case of Dickey, as he throws most of his pitches 75-85 MPH. In other words, his pitches put the same amount of strain on his body and arm as a “conventional” pitcher with good mechanics. Do we see Cole Hamels, Matt Cain, or Ryan Dempster pitching in relief on their “throw day”?
I don’t completely disagree with the idea of having starters throw in games in between starts. But if it’s going to be done, it has to be something that is planned far in advance — something that begins early in the season, and becomes part of the pitcher’s routine. I also don’t disagree with doing something like this in late September, if a team is a game out of first place and giving it their last push for glory. But to try something like this in game 94, with a .500 team that has lost three of its five starters and has no one to bring up from the minors (or at least, no one they want to bring up), it doesn’t make any sense, and is irresponsible.
Next Mets Game
The final game of the series begins at 1:10 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. Jonathon Niese goes to the hill against Nate Eovaldi.