Mets Game 159: Loss to Cardinals

Cardinals 3 Mets 0

Pedro did his job, holding the Cardinals to just three runs and pushing through seven full innings. However, the offense — which had been averaging about seven runs per game lately — did not show up to work.

Joel Pineiro — the guy who had a 6.36 ERA last year, and was dumped by the Red Sox (and who I clamored for both over the winter and after he was DFA’s) — pitched the game of his life, allowing only three hits and no runs over eight innings. You can’t really fault the Mets offense for this one — Pineiro was marvelous, with pinpoint command of every pitch in his repertoire. Oh, and the Cardinals defense collected about fourteen web gems (can’t decide who I loathe more, David Eckstein or Miguel Cairo).

Meantime, Rod Serling showed up in Citizen’s Bank Park to narrate the Braves-Phillies matchup. John Smoltz — a.k.a., Mr. Stupendous — pitched an awful four innings before being knocked out. Gold Glover Mark Teixeira made a critical error (as did Smoltz). When it was all over, the Phillies breezed to a 6-4 victory (it wasn’t nearly as close as the final score), and the phabulous Phillie phans were waving towels in jubilation at their team’s entrance into first place for the first time all year.


The Mets have zero passion, and are devoid of intestinal fortitude. Feel free to make plans for October — there won’t be any games to miss.

Keith Hernandez reminded me today of why I hated his announcing when he first came on board as a color man a few years ago. He started commentating when the Mets stunk, and he’s more of a bandwagon jumper than a homer — pointing out all the great things that the winning team is doing and criticizing the losing team’s shortfalls in any particular game. And often, the criticism is baseless or illogical. For example, he was getting on the Mets in the later innings for not being aggressive and swinging at first-pitch strikes. Hello? Keith? Have you watched the first 158 games of the season? If you paid attention, you may have noticed that the Mets were the most over-aggressive team in MLB, and routinely swung at first pitches regardless of the score. It was just their dumb luck that it took them 158 games to finally take a sound fundamental approach, and they happen to run into a guy who’s pitching the best game of his career.

Next Game

Does it matter? Oliver Perez will lose tomorrow against Byung-Hyun Kim in a 7:10 PM start at Shea. I will be in the Loge Level, Section 20, two-fisting adult beverages until I can’t see. Please feel free to stop by and swat me over the head with a toy bat.

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. sincekindergarten September 28, 2007 at 3:54 am
    With 17 left to play, the Mets were 7 games up. Then the Phillthies came to town. When Paul LoDuca got thrown out in the eighth that night, arguing the called third strike, and Willie didn’t go charging out of the dugout to get tossed himself and maybe, just maybe light a fire under his team, what he was saying to the team was this: “You’re on your own out there–I’m not going to protect you.” The next night, when Marlon Anderson got tossed (the same Marlon Anderson who said, “I want to play for Willie Randolph”) and Randolph wasn’t out on the home plate umpire getting thrown out of that game, the writing was on the wall, and we as fans didn’t see it. I think that the players might have, but the fans, by and large, didn’t.

    The worst part of this is that we’re stuck with Willie for at least another year. Remember 1998, when all the Mets had to do was to win one game over the last six to get the WC, and they lost all six to end the year? If you don’t remember it, don’t worry–it’s happeneing again.

    What’s management’s motto–“Your postseason has come”? It sure has. Unless the Phillthies have a monumental collapse with Hamels and Moyer this weekend, the postseason won’t see us.

  2. joe September 28, 2007 at 10:49 am
    I don’t think you blame the collapse on Willie for his refusal to run out and support his players — he’s been that way from the beginning, and isn’t going to change anytime soon. The Mets won handily in 2006 and I can’t remember one time that Randolph ran out to argue with an ump and/or speak up for a player in an argument (I’m sure it had to happen once or twice, but the point is, it was rare).

    However, if you want to blame Randolph for irresponsible use of his bullpen arms from Opening Day forward, I’m with you. If you want to blame him for creating and fostering a panic mode when the team was still 4 games up, I’m with you there too.

    Bottom line to this season is: 1) the bullpen was completely exhausted as of August; and 2) the team started choking and pressing when their lead was trimmed to 3 games.

  3. sincekindergarten September 28, 2007 at 1:03 pm
    Yet, even though I’m pessimistic as all Hell, I’m not giving up. If I were giving up, I wouldn’t watch the game tonight.
  4. joe September 28, 2007 at 1:17 pm
    The “Oliver Perez will lose … ” was negative juice, intended to confuse the baseball gods (like the choke collars from last week) and work in reverse.

    Luckily the baseball gods can’t read the comments so it’s OK I told you.