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.

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. friend July 21, 2012 at 5:14 pm
    “For the first time since April 26, the Mets reach .500.”

    Sandy Alderson said that the plan all along was to be buyers at the trade deadline, and that only poor play could change this.

    This sounds like an anti-pep talk, and the team responded by anti-performing. Talk about tempting fate!

  2. DaveSchneck July 21, 2012 at 7:53 pm
    I’m with you on the Dickey appearance. Why mess with your 37 year old ace at this point? It makes no sense.
  3. Izzy July 21, 2012 at 8:50 pm
    Has Collins taken managerial lesson from Jerry Manuel???? Valdespin hot so he rots another day on the pine. Murphy gets 4 hits so he’s benched for the superstar Ronny Cedeno. Dickey has to relieve for no real reason!!! Damn and we drove Willie Randolph out of town for blowing a lead in September and trusting his gut!!!!! .
    • AC Wayne July 21, 2012 at 11:16 pm
      I agree, Murphy has four hits the night before and then asked to sit out for Cedeno, gimme a break, I get that a manager likes to play his RHers against lefties but it shouldn’t be par for the course, sometimes you have to ride the hot bat, as for Dickey, I don’t have a problem with it, if Dickey’s able to retire Uribe, no harm no foul

      on Collins, if the Mets continue to tumble does he finish out the season?

  4. gary s. July 21, 2012 at 11:45 pm
    Lets hope not.I am sick of Collins.Using Dickey today was insane..Starting Batista was insane today.The strings holding up our puppet manager starting to break.Another sad september playing meaningless games looms ahead.
  5. Micalpalyn July 22, 2012 at 3:10 am
    In the last 7 days or really much longer, the hype has been on whether to bring up Harvey. The blogs are split as we know. Any one of us would have predicted the outcome of Batista’s start. So in light of that …would Harvey have been any worse?

    For that matter, I think Familia, who is being touted as a two pitch pitcher and potential ML reliever also needs to be up.

  6. jerseymet July 22, 2012 at 11:44 am
    This was a sad game. The white flag is up. Time to sell the free agency eligible veterans and bring up the AAAA types from Buffalo.