Mets Game 135: Loss to Cardinals
Cardinals 5 Mets 4
With one misstep, the Mets play the heel in St. Louis.
Mets Game Notes
I’m not sure what happened with Collin McHugh; this game was completely unlike every other game he’s pitched in MLB. I guess he, like every pitcher, is prone to a bad day. There’s no other explanation. After all, he had a career 0.00 ERA with about 11 strikeouts per nine innings — what the heck?
McHugh’s final line was 4 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 2 K. The Cards hit him hard and chased him early; he was gone after 68 pitches.
Daniel Murphy had a walk and two hits, including a two-run homer. He also made a throwing error that didn’t lead to any runs, and was picked off at first base with two outs in the third. So, I guess you can say that his offensive performance outbalanced his defense. Though, that means you don’t put any value on the extra pitches he caused his pitcher to throw as the inning was extended, nor the lack of pitches the opposing pitcher needed to throw to end the inning. We’re also not taking into account balls he didn’t get to due to lack of range.
Lucas Duda went 0-for-3 at bat, and though he wasn’t charged with any errors, made left field look like an adventure as he misplayed and/or misjudged several balls hit his way. My feeling is that his weak defense far outbalanced his offense in this particular game.
What was nice to see was the Mets stay in the game and keep coming back, playing hard through all nine innings. I know, I have such tiny expectations for millionaires playing a little boys’ game. But after what we’ve seen earlier this season, and in seasons past, I no longer take such a thing for granted.
In fact, the Mets nearly had a rally started in the ninth, when it appeared that Andres Torres led off the inning with a hustling double. However, he missed first base, the Cardinals appealed, and instead the inning began with one out and no one on. It was a very close play, and the one camera angle provided by SNY suggested that Torres’ back heel might have touched the corner of the bag. However, camera angles can be deceiving and misleading, so we’ll never know for sure. First base umpire David Rackley was also seen in the replay, standing about three feet from the bag with his eyes focused down as Torres went past it. You know what? If Rackley says Torres missed the bag, I’m going to believe him and his perspective over the pixelated one from SNY that shows an angle from the wrong side of the bag. The angle we needed was from directly above first base.
In any case, Torres didn’t argue the call, which some might interpret as telling. Me, I’m not so sure — he could have been just too stunned to argue. Or, he might be one of those few MLBers who still respect umpires, regardless of whether they agree or disagree with their calls. However, Terry Collins did argue the call, and then repeated his “woe is us” mantra suggesting that all the bad calls go against the Mets. Please, stop whining, you’re supposed to be a professional. For every supposed “bad” call made against the Mets, there’s been a “bad” call helping the Mets (case in point: as recently as game 134, when Torres should have been called out on strike three to end the ballgame, but instead wound up walking, extending the Mets rally that eventually resulted in a Mets win). But everyone wearing orange and blue glasses forgets those. Beyond that, there have been FAR more mistakes made by Mets players than mistakes made by umpires. No one is perfect, and the Mets are much less perfect than the men in blue.
In addition to Collins arguing the call — which he should have, as it is part of his job to argue close calls — Daniel Murphy also voiced his beef to Rackley after making the final out of the game. Unlike Collins, that’s not part of Murphy’s job. Who the heck is Murphy to argue — was he anywhere close to the play in question? My assumption is that Murphy was either in the dugout or somewhere near the on-deck circle when Torres either did or didn’t hit the bag, so I’m not sure where he gets off arguing with the umpire. More sour grapes that do nothing but make the Mets look like a bunch of babies to everyone other than diehard Mets fans.
Which leads me to my next point: SNY pushing the “we were robbed” story angle to the fans. It’s the best the network can do to build some kind of support for a woeful team, I guess. The Mets can’t win enough to build interest, so play the sympathy card / “the world is against us” angle to rile up the few fans paying attention. Classy. Instead, how about focusing on the myriad fundamental mistakes the Mets made specifically in this game, rather than one mistake that the first base ump may or may not have made? Oh, no, that would place the responsibility on the team, wouldn’t it? And that won’t sell tickets, gain viewers, or build up the pageviews, will it? Better to put the blame on someone else and stir up some controversy.
By the way, here is a frightening quote from Collins:
“I get back to the bench and I got 10 guys telling me he touched the bag,” said Collins. “I have never seen that call in the big leagues.”
Really? You’ve never seen an appeal play that resulted in a runner being called out for missing a base? Wow. Either Collins hasn’t been managing in MLB for very long, or his memory is awful. We see at least one or two a year, if not more.