Mets Game 100: Loss to Diamondbacks

Diamondbacks 11 Mets 5

What? Matt Harvey couldn’t start two days in a row?

Mets Game Notes

This game was wildly entertaining in the first few frames, until the Mets bats ran out of steam. It was kind of like watching the turtle and the hare in a marathon, with the Mets as the hare.

Jonathon Niese plowed through six innings but the results weren’t pretty – 8 runs (6 earned) on 9 hits and a walk. Everything he threw was flat, and/or up in the zone, and/or over the middle of the plate. If you’ve been reading MetsToday for the past three years, you know why Niese had such a terrible evening – low arm angles and release points. He gets into a groove of side-to-side momentum instead of back to front – a common malady among MLB pitchers, and one we’ve identified here before with other pitchers (Oliver Perez). The fix is to think about a straight line between the pitching rubber and home plate and stay on it – a concept theorized by some British guy. Once again the culprit is the cutter that so many onlookers love. Niese doesn’t really throw a cutter, though. His cutter has morphed into something like a “nickel curve”, which means he’s turning his hand and altering his wrist angle at release, such that his fingers are on the side of the ball instead of on top. Often, his entire body follows that direction, and his arm angle drops just enough to flatten out his fastball and make it difficult to get on top of his curve. A true cutter – like the one Mariano Rivera made famous – is thrown merely by changing the grip on the baseball and using finger pressure; there shouldn’t be much, if any, turn of the hand at release that is different from the fastball.

The Mets did score five runs, which was nice to see. Unfortunately, few offenses can keep up when the defense allows eleven runs.

Next Mets Game

Saturday night’s contest begins at 8:10 p.m. EST. Chris Young goes to the mound against Ian Kennedy.

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. Crozier July 28, 2012 at 11:13 am
    In mid-June I suggested that by late summer the glow would wear off the Mets’ mildly surprising start, and losses would pile up when they faced teams still in competition. And that was presupposing a very decent starting rotation stayed decent. With a broken Santana, flagging Dickey, no Gee, and inconsistent Niese, there’s no telling how far they can fall. All of which makes me feel bad for Harvey, who suddenly becomes the reason to keep watching.

    Admittedly, I was seduced by the early, modest success of the outfield platoon, but these days it looks worse than the broken Mets outfield of 1972. That was a team which, astonishingly, finished 10 games above .500 without a single position player compiling 100 hits* (and included –are you reading this, Dave Schneck? — Dave Schneck hitting a Jason Bay-worthy .187). The difference was a starting rotation that finished 30+ games, and three workhorses named McGraw, Frisella, and Sadecki, who combined for well over 200 innings of terrific relief. Wasn’t that a time?

    *Right, had the season not been strike-shortened, Tommie Agee, Cleon Jones, and Bud Harrelson would have reached the 100 hit plateau, but still: an historically anemic offense.

  2. AC Wayne July 28, 2012 at 11:21 am
    Even though David Wright’s 3-run homer brought the Mets within one run and got them back in the game in the top of the 3rd, Niese’s throwing error in the 2nd was the worst play I’ve seen so far this season by a Mets player…what the hell was Niese thinking on that play, he should have to pay a fine or something! that was a terrible decision, it just shows that this Mets team still has a lot of growing pains to overcome by fielding a roster of predominantly young players…thanks Jon, Harvey pitches a great debut and you go out there a lay a big fat stinking EGG!