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.