Mets Game 10: Win Over Twins
Mets 16 Twins 5
On a bone-chilling night in the Twin Cities, the Mets are on the right side of a laugher — winning in Minnesota for the first time ever.
Mets Game Notes
Terrible pitching by Vance Worley combined with a defensive mistake in the first frame gave the Mets an opening that was pounded like Walter Payton through a hole in the late 1970s. The Mets hitters began mashing from the get-go and never relented, led by John Buck (a.k.a. Babe Ruth) who hit, yes, another four-bagger — and this time it was a four-scoring grand salami.
Worley was godawful, and Twins manager Ron Gardenhire left him out there to be feasted by the wolves, probably because he needed Worley to eat innings — however much indigestion that consumption might incur. I remember Worley’s surprising rookie year with the Phillies, when he was in the 92-94 MPH range, and thinking that his upright delivery and ensuing cut-off follow-through would eventually catch up to him. My guess is it has, since his velocity is now 88-89. He had some elbow issues last year, and it wouldn’t surprise me to find out there’s more soreness than that in his arm. When a pitcher cuts off his follow-through like that, putting much of the stress of deceleration on his arm, it’s only a matter of time before there’s a breakdown. Worley has to be experiencing discomfort, and could very well have been taking painkillers of one sort or another for the past year or so. In short, don’t pick him up for your fantasy team — his shelf life is limited.
Though he also struggled, Jonathon Niese was as effective as necessary, if inefficient. I didn’t like his arm angle, which seems to drop a hair with every outing. As always, Niese battled, and with a generous lead from the moment he stepped on the mound, did what he needed to do to get through five innings and earn the win. It was ugly — 9 baserunners, 4 earned runs, and 101 pitches in five frames — but it counts.
In addition to John Buck’s big blast, Daniel Murphy and David Wright were a combined 7-for-10 with 3 doubles, 8 RBI, and 5 runs scored. Jordany Valdespin reached base three times from the leadoff spot, scoring all three times.
There was a brief period of about five minutes when the Twins were still in the game, as they closed the gap to 10-5. But then Rule 5 pick Ryan Pressly came in to toss batting practice and the Mets were cruel to Pressly, shaking him up like a hound dog and extending their lead too much — to heartbreak proportions.
After the Mets scored their 10th run, the Twins more or less packed it in. At least half of the batters were swinging at first pitches, or the first pitch they could reach, to get their at-bats over quickly. Maybe that’s what they always do, but I bet the weather and the score had something to do with the aggressive approach. It’s bad baseball to swing at the first offering when your team is down by eight, and Ron Gardenire’s teams historically don’t play bad baseball. After the Mets scored their tenth run, I counted six times that a Minnesota batter swung either on the first pitch or before taking a strike.
Another throwing error by Ruben Tejada, his fifth of the year. The game was well out of reach by then (the fifth frame), but it doesn’t make it any less concerning. I can’t really make the excuse of the cold weather, because Tejada’s approach to the ball was terrible — yet again, he sat back on a grounder, and instead of getting in front of it, waited back and backhanded it. By doing so, the ball traveled further, giving the batter-runner more time to make it to first base, and lengthening Tejada’s throw. Additionally, because he backhanded the ball, Tejada then had to turn all the way around to make the throw. Had he take the time to get in front of the ball with proper footwork, he’d have been in a much better position to throw, his body momentum would have helped him make a stronger throw, he would have had more time, and would not have had to rush the throw.
There was also a hard-hit grounder in the first that Tejada should have at least knocked down, but it sputtered by him to the outfield, allowing a run to score.