Mets Game 141: Loss to Nationals

Nationals 5 Mets 1

The Mets’ offensive futility in Flushing is now reaching historical proportions.

Mets Game Notes

Collin McHugh was battered once again. His first problem is that each of his pitches are thrown at a different arm angle, so the batters more or less know what’s coming. The second problem is that he throws a flat, average-velocity fastball over the middle of the plate, between waist- and belly-button-high. When one throws a fastball with those characteristics to big-league hitters, one tends to allow long-distance blasts. And on this particular evening, that’s exactly what happened to McHugh. In addition to three homers hit within an eight-batter span, McHugh also gave up a 400-foot out that was caught thanks to a spectacular leaping effort by Andres Torres. So if, after McHugh’s splendid debut, you were wondering how he “came out of nowhere,” you now understand. He’s a real nowhere man, sitting in his nowhere land, making all his nowhere plans for nobody.

OK, that was just downright nasty, but I couldn’t resist. Finding something creative to write about these uninspiring, meaningless September games is challenging. I didn’t mean it. In truth, McHugh is one of those under-skilled, hard-working athletes that I root for — the Dillon Gees, Justin Turners, etc.

106 consecutive innings at home without more than one run scored. The only other team to do that was the 1909 Senators. Yikes. The Mets have also gone 11 consecutive home games without scoring more than three runs. However, Terry Collins is trying some different things, based on research, so no worries, the offense will be back on track in no time. There’s a lot of season left.

Highlight of the game: Keith Hernandez‘s Richie Hebner impression. Those of a certain age remember 1979 as one of the most miserable seasons ever for a Mets fan, as the team had an uncanny combination of lack of talent, lack of passion, and lack of character. Hating Hebner was the most interesting part of the season. The most painful, of course, was watching Tim Foli win a World Series. Curse you, Frank Taveras!

But I digress …

Scott Hairston hit a solo homer to give the Mets their lone run of the game. A few more dingers and Hairston will price him out of a 2013 Mets uniform (if he hasn’t already). My opinion? Probably that’s a good thing. No one saw this power surge coming, and no one expects to see it again. No point in a rebuilding team overpaying a bench player for production he’s unlikely to reproduce. Let him go to the Yankees to be a fourth-string DH / left fielder. Someone has to keep Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones company on the bench.

Beyond that blast, the Mets managed four other hits — three singles and a “double” by Andres Torres that was the result of Bryce Harper diving for and knocking down a liner. Had Harper played it safe, it would’ve been four singles for the Mets. Today’s players better be tipping the official scorers.

Gio Gonzalez won his 19th game, giving him one more than everyone’s favorite knuckleballer.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Nationals do it again at 7:10 p.m. on Tuesday night. R.A. Dickey goes for his 19th victory against Jordan Zimmerman. Let’s hope the Mets can score at least once for their ace.

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. DaveSchneck September 10, 2012 at 10:59 pm
    Isn’t he a bit like you and me?
    • Joe Janish September 10, 2012 at 11:07 pm
      I’m glad someone is old enough to finish the line!

      He is, which is why he, like us, shouldn’t be in MLB. From the postgame interview, though, he appears to be a guy I’d really like on my team – takes complete responsibility, no excuses, great team player.

      • Walnutz15 September 11, 2012 at 9:32 am
        “Nowhere Man” was my favorite nickname for Nick Evans.

        Good ol’ Nick Evans….vamoooose!!

  2. Izzy September 11, 2012 at 8:17 am
    While I agree with you it makes no sense to have HR Hairston on the team next year, how about a little bit of criticism to the GM for refusing to move him in July for a mid level prospect because now, like Capuano last year, the lazy old GM gets nothing in return for Hairston. another FAIL for Alderson, Remember when he said he couldn’t get a top 3 prospect for a platoon player so he’d rather not help the team get better at all. Well, that’s reading between the Alderson lies but whatever.
    • Joe Janish September 11, 2012 at 10:22 pm
      Iz, I criticized the non-move of Hairston on several occasions, particularly after the trade deadline came and went. I figure there is no sense in beating a dead horse / repeating the obvious / etc.

      But I have no problem with you reminding us of Alderson’s futility and/or refusal in moving the few moveable chips.

  3. Wohjr September 11, 2012 at 10:03 am
    I was in attendance. Pretty ugly. More Dwright strikeouts in big spots… To the extent this team even has big spots any more. Gary s promised me 33 hr from young David… He might not even crack 85 RBI at this rate. And he better be careful because he is flirting with sub .300 ba, which seems unimaginable given the beginning of the season. Talk about someone who shoulda been dealt!!! Please, for the love of mookie, can we not shell out $150 mil for this guy

    I was amused by the three man horse puppet however

  4. Steven September 11, 2012 at 10:34 am
    We need to be objective about David