Mets Game 19: Win Over Dodgers

Mets 7 Dodgers 3

Matt Harvey didn’t get the win, but remains undefeated. Jordany Valdespin still isn’t an everyday player, but continues to display a flair for the dramatic.

Mets Game Notes

Unfortunately, I missed this game, other than catching the first few innings on radio. Extracurricular activities related to my real job prevented me from seeing the game live, and I didn’t have the energy to watch it on DVR when I finally made it home (well after midnight). So, if you could be so kind as to provide your notes in the comments and get the conversation started, it would be greatly appreciated.

Next Mets Game

The rubber game is of the getaway variety, as the Mets and Dodgers go head to head beginning at 1:10 p.m. Thursday afternoon. Jeremy Hefner faces Hyun-Jin Ryu.

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. AC Wayne April 25, 2013 at 8:28 am
    A nice win for the Mets with the Braves, Nats, and Phillies losing yesterday. Score one for the Mets bench last night as Mikey Baxter led off the bottom of the 9th with a hustle-driven double, eventually scoring the tying run, and JV1, Mr. Excitement, clubbing a walk-off GRAND SLAM! HR to win it for the blue and orange in the bottom of the 10th. Harvey pitched well but again the long ball was his only blemish, this time a costly one, he was lifted for a PH in the bottom of the 6th with the Dodgers up, 3-1, Mets win another game when Harvey starts, 5-in-a-row
  2. Gabriel Pena April 25, 2013 at 8:31 am
    HARVEY DAY!!! Well Harvey proved to be human. He had nice velocity and his breaking pitches fooled the Dodgers hitters. He continued to do the same as he can locate the fastball and get outs of his curve, change up or slider.

    Tired of Mets hitters futility against Lilly Harvey took offense into his hands sending a ball to the wall for a double. He scored after Tejada singled, great at bat by Tejada as he went to the plate with a plan: putting the ball to the right side of the field.

    Mets put threats, putting runners on base but didn’t seem to find a way to score until the 9th inning after a heads up running by Baxter, a misjudged ball by Crawford and an opposite field liner by Wright tied the game.

    Mets bullpen looked surprisingly efficient and effective, nice to see that.

    Valdespin needs a chance to play more. He had a great approach in his at-bat with the bases loaded, didn’t look anxious and was looking to fly a ball deep enough to score Buck, but hey who does not like drama as he ended the game with a bang!

    • Joe Janish April 25, 2013 at 9:34 pm
      Gabriel, thank you for your notes. I agree with you re: Valdespin. Personally, I’m not a big fan of ‘spin, but I don’t understand how he’s not playing more. I get that part of it is the lefty vs. lefty thing, but when a guy appears to be in a zone, he should be getting as many opportunities as possible. It seems there is a lot of coddling with several Mets players, for fear of over-exposure, confidence issues, or whatever (i.e., Duda). I don’t get it — these are grown men and they’re being handled like 8-year-olds.
  3. argonbunnies April 25, 2013 at 9:38 am
    Joe, you’re right, Harvey doesn’t have much follow-through; looks like the deceleration is all on the arm. Yikes.

    He pitched great until he got too amped up trying to strike out Gonzalez to end the 6th. Badly fooled him with a 2-1 change-up, then tried to throw another one even nastier and missed a foot outside. The 3-2 pitch was 97mph, and also not particularly close to the plate. It seemed to me like he didn’t adjust well to not being out of the inning yet. With Gonzalez on first, his first two pitches out of the stretch were off, and then he threw a high fastball that tailed over the middle. That pitch generally works out fine for him, but not on 2-0 against Kemp, who just barely lofted it over the closest fence in the stadium. That home run pitch struck me as much less of a failure than the 4 pitches that preceded it.

    Ted Lilly made the Mets hitters look bad for 5 innings, getting quick outs by throwing a variety of junk that stayed mostly in the strike zone, then blowing 86mph fastballs by them inside. But then they had some better ABs against the hard throwers in the Dodger ‘pen, so perhaps it’s just something special about Lilly (and pitch-alike Eric Stults). I am not looking forward to facing Maholm this year.

    The Mets announcers were nice to Carl Crawford, only briefly mentioning his lack of hustle that cost the Dodgers the game. After he failed to catch Baxter’s ball, he jogged after it, and his subsequent throw to second was only a step too late for a play on Baxter. If he hustles, Baxter’s probably out. I’d hope the manager would bench him for not bothering to contest the tying run getting into scoring position. But managers are wusses these days.

    • Joe Janish April 25, 2013 at 9:42 pm
      AB, great notes (as always), and thank you for that.

      I have some calls in to my scientist friends and hope to get someone to take a look at Harvey soon to see what they think of his follow-through. It reminds me of Jake Peavy’s upright finish (though, Peavy also has an issue of his arm being behind at foot strike).

  4. Joe April 25, 2013 at 9:42 am
    Mets had a bit of luck — a catchable call was flubbed, Baxter hustling for a double off the closer. They couldn’t get a sacrifice fly (good catch of foul ball) but a questionable pitch to Wright tied it. The young reliever who the day before pitched in garbage time didn’t have it, loading the bases and getting behind V. Lilly was serviceable for five, ending on a high note. You appreciate that sort of thing.
  5. Jamie G April 25, 2013 at 9:46 am
    I’ve been reading this blog pretty faithfully for about a year now, but this is my first time posting. I really enjoy your writing, Joe, so thanks.

    I currently live in Boston, so I don’t get many chances to watch the Mets live, but jumped at the chance to see Harvey on ESPN. Still, I miss Gary, Keith, and Ron.

    After Wright’s great hit to tie the game, he got caught stealing second to end the 9th. I understand that he’s trying to make something happen and seize the momentum, but he was out by a mile. Would love to hear what people think of this: did he get a bad jump? Was it obvious he was going? Good idea or bad idea?

    Also, it’s being reported that this was the Mets first walk-off grand slam since Kevin McReynolds hit one in 1991. While I enjoy the opportunity to reminisce about one of the players who was on the Mets poster in my room as a young child, this”fact” ignores a famous hit by Robin Ventura. I know that was technically a single, but it seems silly not to at least mention it.

    • Quinn April 25, 2013 at 11:59 am
      It was a good idea. If he succesfully stole second all he needed was buck to get a hit to drive in the winning run rather than relying on Buck (who looked awful) and below the mendoza line Davis to get back to back hits and drive him in. So in short good in theory poor in execution.
    • Joe Janish April 25, 2013 at 9:45 pm
      Jamie, thank you for your loyal readership and kind words. I hope that by “breaking the seal” we will be seeing more of your comments going forward.

      I didn’t see the Wright steal attempt but as Quinn says, probably a good idea, but bad execution. One has to wonder if Wright is pressing and trying to do too much, especially now with the big contract and captainship.

  6. Dan B April 25, 2013 at 9:55 am
    Who here is beginning to worry about the Mets putting too much emphasis on Harvey to sell tickets? I feel like he needs to pitch a shutout or else it is a disappointment. I hope they don’t wreck this kid.
    • Joe Janish April 25, 2013 at 9:46 pm
      The exact same thing ran through my mind when I heard about the T-shirt promo.

      And the meager offense doesn’t help; Harvey probably figures he has to throw a shutout every time out.

  7. TexasGusCC April 25, 2013 at 10:04 am
    Hi Joe, bulletpoint style, here what I saw:

    – Umpire was giving the high strike and I think Lilly got better use of that (but he struck out there later, ironically).
    – Dodgers scored in the first when Ellis got a hit, went to second on a groundout by Gonzalez, and scored on a single to right center by Kemp.
    – Mets tied it on the aforementioned Harvey double off the wall and Tejada hitting behind the runner singled down the right field line. Tejada also made some nice plays on the field.
    – Dodgers got a two run homer by Kemp to go up 3-1.
    – Mets got a run in the sixth when Byrd walked, Duda walked, Legares with no one out was swinging and hit a ground ball to the left of second that Lilly got a glove on and slowed down. A double play ball guaranteed if Lilly doesn’t touch it. GKR showed an overview and agreed the SS was right there to glove it, step on second and throw to first. But, only Legares was thrown out; so now second and third, one out. The next hitter was Turner pinch hitting for Harvey, he sacrificed flied to right center, run scored, 3-2.
    Bullpen pitched well, Mets had chances to score, but it’s still 3-2 going to the ninth.
    – Baxter pinch hits and fouls off the first pitch, then the second. Down 0-2, he takes a ball and then hits a dying quail to left field. Crawford comes running in, slides, and as he tries to catch it, it hits off the palm of his glove and falls. He gathers to throw to second, but Baxter hustled all the way and was safe. Tejada sacrifices him to third on the first pitch.
    – Murphy takes two balls and on the third pitch gets jammed on a high inside fastball popping out in foul ground to the third base camera area, on a play Hairston made a nice play on. Two outs.
    – Wright lines the first pitch to right center for a hit, tied game. Clutch hit, big time. He tried to steal second a couple of pitches later, perfect throw, out.
    – Tenth inning, Buck gets on, Davis gets on, Byrd sacrifices them over, Mattingly takes out Crawford from left lield and brings in a fifth infielder. Duda is walked intentionally to load the bases with one out, Valdespin is up next. The 1-0 pitch almost hit Valdespin in the foot, how he got out of the way is impressive. The 2-0 pitch went out of the park.

    • Joe Janish April 25, 2013 at 9:47 pm
      Good stuff, thanks Gus!
      • TexasGusCC April 26, 2013 at 12:13 am
        My pleasure, Joe.
  8. Eric April 25, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Need a little love for my boy Scott Rice. Come on – another scoreless effort for the 31 yr old rook in a must-hold, 8th inning situation. Does anyone doubt Edgin or Carson in the same scenario wouldn’t have given up at least 1?

  9. Paul Festa April 25, 2013 at 11:34 am
    Harvey had his best secondary stuff of the year. In particular, his curve had more bite, and his change was consistent. A walk to Gonzalez, the falling behind on Kemp did him in in the 6th. When he attacked the zone and stayed ahead, he was his usual dominant self.

    If 3 runs in 6 innings is an off night for Harvey, that’s not too bad.

  10. Joe Janish April 25, 2013 at 9:30 pm
    Thank you, everyone, for great recaps and analysis. I couldn’t have done it better myself!