Mets Game 114: Loss to Braves

Braves 9 Mets 3

No good here — just the bad and the ugly.

Mets Game Notes

The story was Johan Santana, who came off the disabled list to save the Mets season. It didn’t go so well.

Santana allowed 8 runs on 8 hits and a walk in 1 1/3 innings. He did strike out 2, so there’s that. And he did hit 90 MPH on the radar gun — whoop-dee-doo.

What he didn’t do, however, was command his pitches. His arm was lagging behind the rest of his body on nearly every pitch he made, and as a result his pitches were up in the zone (if they were in the zone). Occasionally he’d hold on to the ball a little longer and it would wind up in the dirt — but the process was still the same.

My guess is there is something wrong with his shoulder, because it appears to me, from the limited view of the CF camera, that his shoulder is not rotating fully. He might be doing that to avoid pain, because of a limitation in flexibility, or as a habit. Whatever the cause, it’s not safe for his shoulder nor his elbow ligaments, which get stretched if the shoulder is not rotating.

Looks are deceiving, and so are radar gun readings. Just because someone “looks” healthy, says he’s “feeling great,” and is reaching high velocity readings, doesn’t necessarily mean everything is OK.

As for the rest of the game — well, does it matter? I suppose you could be happy with the performance of the bullpen, though it’s hard to gauge when the score is out of hand. Can Manny Acosta toss two shutout innings if it’s a tie ballgame? I’m not so sure.

Ruben Tejada had two hits, including a double. What I liked to see was him holding on to the baseball on a play early in the ballgame. Last year, two years ago, Tejada might have tried to make an impossible play. This year, he’s starting to understand when to “eat it,” and that will prevent errors.

Andres Torres is still hot, as he had two hits including a triple. Too little, too late.

Did you see that bomb by Freddie Freeman? Wow, talk about spanking the baseball. He hit the ball over the homerun apple, which has to be at least 10-15 feet behind the 408-foot mark in dead center field.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Braves finish the series beginning at 8:05 p.m. Sunday night. Jonathon Niese takes the ball against Ben Sheets.

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. SiddFinch August 12, 2012 at 1:25 pm
    The wheels have officially fallen off. Wild, passing thought maybe the Mets, if they can’t work out a trade for either, should eat both Johann’s and Bay’s contract(s) this offseason.

    Also, they should consider trading Dickey this offseason, while his value is at a peak, for either a C or power OF bat. 2013 looks more and more like a 90 (+) loss season so why not build up for 2014, when a lot of the current contracts come off the books.

    Dickey deserves a shot at the postseason with a contender. I don’t see the Mets there till 2014 at earliest, but more realistically probably 2015 or ’16.

  2. Dan B August 12, 2012 at 2:04 pm
    eat Santana’s contract? If nothing else, Santana brings fans to the ballpark. Certainly more fans then some AAA pitcher who would be replacing him. With revenues down this year, the Wilpons are still in trouble financially. Remember, the Madoff case didn’t bring revenue in for them, it just meant they didn’t have to pay out as much as expected. Ever wonder why the Mets didn’t trade Reyes, Izzy, and Capuano last year? They are desperate for a reason for people to come to the ballpark even at the cost of long term goals. When Alderson said keeping Hairston and Byrdak was important for winning now, what he really meant is, “if we trade them, we will never win again at Citi Field and then what few fans that come will stop coming completely and then my bosses are really screwed”. Boy, don’t we wish we had gotten a single A minor prospect for Byrdak now?
  3. jerseymet August 12, 2012 at 2:49 pm
    Time to shut Santanna down. Rest may be what he needs. Let him work with the young pitchers. Let him be their mentor.
  4. DaveSchneck August 12, 2012 at 9:00 pm
    Your points on Santana are very interesting, but it seems that your POV may not be shared by those with the team, including Santana. Clearly his command is shot, but why is the question. They should go start to start with him and shut him down if his mecdhanics and command don’t improve. He can start from scratch in the spring. Releasing him makes no sense. Despite the train wreck this season has become, Tejada has been one of the few bringht points. He is very impressive, especially given his age. Also, great point about the pen. It is nice to see Acosta pitching better, and he is capable given his “stuff”, but he like Parnell is not a late game performer. They need to add a clsoer-type for next season and let the young power arms develop in the 6th and 7th.
    • Joe Janish August 12, 2012 at 9:57 pm
      My POV is definitely NOT shared by the Mets nor Santana, because I alerted both to Santana’s mechanical flaw back in April and was ignored. They’d prefer to believe that something mystical causes pitching problems, rather than hard science. Whatever, it’s cool. It’s what 90% of MLB believes anyway — that pitching injuries simply “happen” and there’s nothing you can do to prevent them. The next “moneyball” knowledge that helps a team win will be embracing kinesiology and scientists.
      • Dan August 13, 2012 at 6:30 am
        Common sense will seldom beat statistics in big business, and things like the cause and effect of injuries that are difficult to measure will usually get short sheeted due to the cost of acquiring reliable data, especially when the player is nothing more than a commodity to the bean counters. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard “get me the data” instead of “No!” to kill a common sense solution to a problem.