Mets Game 145: Loss to Brewers

Brewers 9 Mets 6

From this game, it was hard to tell which team was still in the playoff race.

Mets Game Notes

The Mets got to Shawn Marcum early but couldn’t sustain the attack against Milwaukee’s middle relievers. Marcum’s command was unusually inconsistent — which is a problem for a control pitcher — and he was gone after only four frames.

However, that was one inning more than Mets starter Jennry Mejia, who allowed 6 hits and walked 5 in 3 atrocious innings.

Actually, that’s not completely fair; Mejia pitched okay in the second inning. But he gave up a run in the first, struggled in the third, and the dam burst in the fourth — which he started but exited without getting an out.

Watching Mejia through 68 pitches, one thing is crystal-clear to me: he made absolutely no adjustment whatsoever to the dangerous pitching mechanics that led to first a shoulder injury and later a torn elbow ligament. My guess is he won’t be changing anything about his motion, so I’m going to look at him as a “throwaway pitcher” — one who has a short shelf life. If the Mets grant his wish to be a starter, he might burn out a little sooner, since he’ll be throwing more pitches. Though, I’m not sure that the three-times-plus per week rigors of relieving will be any less stressful. I’m comparing him to where Joba Chamberlain was at a similar age, except, less effective.

Ironically, it was immediately after Keith Hernandez lauded Mejia for his ability to work out of difficult situations, that the fateful fourth inning knocked Mejia out of the game. On the one hand, I agree with Keith — you want to see a pitcher who can remain calm and cool in times of trouble (i.e., the opposite of Manny Acosta). However, that attribute isn’t helpful enough when the pitcher gets into trouble nearly every inning.

Nice to see the Mets offense wake up in Milwaukee. But the glass half empty side of me considers that it’s September, and even though the Brewers are fighting for a playoff spot, these games feel a little bit like spring training. Further, the Brew Crew looks like they’re fading; they’re also significantly flawed fundamentally. Even their supposedly best players make shameful defensive, baserunning, and mental errors. The squeeze but by Mejia in the top of the fourth was a glaring snafu that can be blamed on both the players and the manager — how do you not either step off before delivering the pitch, or call a pitch-out on the first pitch, to make sure the Mets aren’t squeezing? Well-executed by both Mejia and Jordany Valdespin, but boo to the Brewers for assuming it would be a straight sacrifice.

There was some discussion in the SNY booth about the Mets evaluating Kelly Shoppach for 2013. I find that hysterical — it’s the other way around. The Mets haven’t had a catcher with the all-around skillset of Shoppach since Paul LoDuca. He’s not Johnny Bench, but he’s adequate or better than adequate in every aspect of his position. Even more laughable is questioning whether Josh Thole “is a starter, a backup, or a platoon player.” All it takes is watching a few non-Mets games to realize Thole is — at best — a backup. If it were up to me, Thole would be fielding ground balls again, and see if he could become a corner-guy utilityman with the extra benefit of being a third catcher.

Next Mets Game

The rubber match occurs at 2:10 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. Chris Young faces Wily Peralta.

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.