Mets Game 125: Loss to Rockies

Rockies 1 Mets 0

Is it possible that the Mets have not yet hit rock bottom?

Mets Game Notes

My oh my … where to start?

In four games against the worst-pitching team in the NL and the third-worst team in all of MLB, the Mets lost four straight, at home, and managed to score only 5 runs while allowing 16. Five runs in four games, against the worst pitchers in the league. To quote Vizzini, “it’s inconceivable!”

On the bright side, rookie Collin McHugh threw a helluva game in his MLB debut. McHugh calmly worked out of trouble in the initial inning, and threw seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits and a walk, striking out nine in a 100-pitch outing. Of course, the Mets bullpen was quick to waste that effort, but that’s expected at this point.

As well as McHugh performed, I’ll reserve my enthusiasm for the moment. His motion and stuff reminds me a bit of former Yankees / Mariners reliever Jeff Nelson, and I wonder if McHugh will eventually find himself pitching middle / late relief. He has a very low three-quarter slot that often drops to sidearm and a little below, which gives his fastball good run but also makes it difficult to throw his sharp-breaking overhand curveball without telegraphing it to the batter. Looking at the current Mets rotation, we’re likely to see more of McHugh over the next five weeks, and that’s a good thing. I’d much rather see McHugh prove me wrong than watch Miguel Batista do what everyone knows he can do.

I mentioned in the precap, and will mention again, my surprise and dismay to see Jordany Valdespin starting in centerfield and leading off the ballgame. I would like to see Valdespin do well but I’d also like him to conduct himself professionally and start paying attention to the little things that win and lose ballgames — i.e., fundamentals, hustle, and constant focus. However, he’ll never be motivated to mature as long as the Mets organization continues to reward him on the heels of his lacking in those areas. At some point he has to learn that there are consequences for his actions (or inaction), but it doesn’t appear such lessons will occur under this regime.

As it turned out, Valdespin reached base twice, though was thrown out stealing once. In the eighth inning, he misjudged a fly ball off the bat of Tyler Colvin that went over his head and turned into a triple, and eventually, led to the winning run. I’m not for a moment going to fault Valdespin for misplaying the ball — he’s not yet a true centerfielder, and has very little experience out there. However, I am going to fault him for lollygagging after the ball once it went over his head, and for making a poor throw in to the cutoff man; those two actions helped turn a double into an easy triple. Maybe Colvin still gets a triple even if Valdespin hustles and makes a strong throw, but how about making him earn it?

By the way, that misplay came after Valdespin couldn’t get a sacrifice bunt down, and wound up striking out in the bottom of the 7th. Am I being too hard on Jordany? So be it — someone has to be.

This is supposed to be the “soft” part of the schedule — a gift to the Mets at the end of the dog days of summer. The Astros are up next, and one has to wonder what’s going to happen this weekend.

Next Mets Game

The Mets host the Houston Astros on Friday night, sending Jonathon Niese to the mound against Jordan Lyles. First pitch is 7:10 p.m.

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. Izzy August 23, 2012 at 10:34 pm
    I wouldn’t take anything from any Met starter this series. Because if you do you have to give the Rockett pitchers a ton of credit and they aren’t superstars are they? It was two teams going through the motions so the pitchers looked good for no reason. If these guys dominate the Braves Nats etc, then ok, but not based on this absolutely pathetic series.
  2. James August 24, 2012 at 7:10 am
    The Mets hitters are tired. But what are they tired of? That is not clear exactly.

    One thing is clear: As long as the Mets have the most runs allowed in the majors in the 7th 8th and 9th innings, THERE IS NO BOTTOM. Fortunately as a franchise, the Mets had the grace and flair to hit bottom in their inaugural year, because 39 wins is almost a mathematical impossibility. But you cannot generate any mojo with a really bad bullpen, and next year will be more of the same. They might win 77 games or even 83 somehow, but with a bad bullpen you are always a team IN SEARCH OF A BOTTOM. 😉 sorry about the caps, I’m really tired too.

  3. James August 24, 2012 at 7:11 am
    The Mets will lose 2 of 3 this weekend, you can bet on it. I think part of the issue is that TC cannot relax, and his teams can tense up as time goes on.
  4. Joe August 24, 2012 at 7:51 am
    I understand that you can’t “reward” V., but there simply aren’t that many options. If you want to “send a message” to the guy, after he lollygags or something, take him out of the game. I think that is fair.

    But, with the alternatives, I don’t know how much I can blame the manager for putting him in and hoping he would learn. That did seem like a double to me & if it was, the run might not have scored.

    The Rockies have won some lately. Lousy teams manage to compete. The Mets have to do some of that and the complete drop-off pissed me off. I expected a drop off, but the complete drop-off is too much.

  5. Herman Metsville August 24, 2012 at 10:49 am
    I agree completely with Joe’s comment that “Lousy teams manage to compete.” I hate to show my disgust, but Collins has to go. It was obvious from the beginning that he has no imagination, and simply does not get the fact that the METS CAN’T HIT. They do all right at the beginning of the season, but when pitchers around the league hit their stride after the All-Star game, the Mets’ bats shut down — and Collins makes no attempt to adapt. As a basically poor-hitting team, the Mets have to scratch out runs — execute the sacrifices, move runners along, bunt for base hits. Ike Davis could get a couple of hits a game by laying down a bunt or hitting to left field — he can do both quite well, but he’d rather go for a home run on every at bat. And what’s wrong with David Wright bunting for a base hit when the third baseman is playing deep? Instead, Collins just keeps tinkering with a lineup in which everyone is underperforming, and bringing in losers like Rodriguez and Francisco at the end of a well-pitched game by the starters. The result is another close game goes down the drain.
    • Mike B August 24, 2012 at 12:26 pm
      I am not A Terry or Sandy fan, but havent we been down this path? This crap with mental mistakes and not knowing fundemental baseball has been going on for 5 years and 3 different managers and 2 GMs. I dont know what the problem is, I guess our minor league system. I definetly dont know what the answer is.
  6. friend August 24, 2012 at 6:24 pm
    For what it’s worth, the Rockies pitchers have now resumed giving up their expectedly high number of runs per game (as demonstrated against the Cubs on Friday).