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.