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.