Mets Game 149: Loss to Phillies

Phillies 16 Mets 1

Can a blog be speechless?

Mets Game Notes

Frightening: I wrote that opening line BEFORE the ninth inning.

I’ve heard the saying, “the game was over before it started,” but this is the first time it could have been taken literally. The Phillies collected 9 singles, a walk, a hit batter, and 8 runs in the top half of the first frame. Heck, Chase Utley was 2-for-2 with 2 RBI before the third out of the game was recorded.

By the time it was all over, the Phillies battered Mets pitching for 21 hits, including 19 singles. They scored 8 runs in the first and 7 runs in the ninth. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that before, except against my high school team in my sophomore year, when we were 4-20.

That reminded me of something: in these blowouts, and especially in those long, awful innings, the player on the field you need to “feel for” the most is the catcher. Catching is tough under normal conditions, but I can assure you that a marathon inning is one of the most brutal duties a catcher has to endure as a baseball player — mentally, emotionally, and physically. If you don’t believe me, rewind the DVR and watch the first inning again, sitting in a squat.

Prior to the game, I read or heard somewhere that Terry Collins announced that Collin McHugh would be ready to enter the game early in chase Jeremy Hefner ran into trouble. I thought, “gee, how could you say that publicly? Not exactly a vote of confidence for your starter.” Clearly, though, Collins knew something we didn’t. Or, maybe it was a case of self-fulfilling prophecy. Either way, it still didn’t make the announcement right. It’s fine if that’s the plan, but keep it to yourself.

In the ninth inning, Domonic Brown showed courtesy and class by sliding very short of second base on a potential DP grounder; the intention was to make certain there was no contact made with the person making the turn. Unbelievably, Ronny Cedeno and Jordany Valdespin not only didn’t turn the DP, but they very nearly blew the force-out — even with Brown finishing his slide a good three feet short of the bag! Cedeno made a terrible flip to Valdespin, who dropped it like a hot potato and then couldn’t pick it up; I thought he might have to step on the ball to make sure it was dead before picking it up. Brown actually had time to get up from his slide and crawl to second, but he seemed to be doing it mercifully slowly so as not to completely embarrass the middle infielders.

That play, along with so many others, made me wonder, “is this what Mets games looked like in 1962?”

After being given an eight-run lead to start the game, Phillies starter Tyler Cloyd walked leadoff batter Fred Lewis. Really? If I were his pitching coach or manager, I might have made a visit to the mound and strangled Cloyd.

However, Cloyd settled down after that and dominated a completely passionless, resigned, and impotent Mets offense. He cruised through eight innings, allowing just three hits and expending a paltry 88 pitches. Charlie Manuel sent in the ball boy for the ninth just to be nice.

The Mets used ten (10) pitchers. TEN!

One of those ten was Josh Edgin, who allowed a grand slam to Ryan Howard in the ninth — the second night in the row he allowed a homer in the ninth to Howard. I hope the Mets backpedal from their decision to make that his last outing of the season; not a great way to finish. Can you imagine the nightmares he’ll have all winter?

By the way, anyone out there still excited about Jeremy Hefner? Anyone still thinking about putting up Terry Collins for Manager of the Year?

I thought there was a point a few weeks back when the Mets hit rock bottom. Obviously I was wrong. Now I’m wondering if there are still depths to fall.

Hapless? Helpless? Hopeless? Which is the best one-word description for this game?

Though we saw dogs on the field in this game, “Bark in the Park” isn’t until Saturday. It’s sold out, by the way.

Speaking of dogs, and in all seriousness, my 12-year-old blind Italian Greyhound is currently recovering from major liver surgery. Please think good thoughts for her. Thank you.

Next Mets Game

The floundering Fish fly into Flushing on Friday for a three-game weekend series. Game one begins at 7:10 p.m. and will see Jonathon Niese facing Jacob Turner.

Mets 2012 Games

About the Author

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.

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