Mets Game 48: Win Over Yankees

Mets 2 Yankees 1

Savor this one, Mets fans — it may be the highlight of the season.

Mets Game Notes

For the second straight game, the Mets won but the starter who deserved the win came away with a no-decision.

Jonathon Niese put forth perhaps his best effort of the 2013 season, and did so against one of the toughest opponents he’ll face all year. He allowed just one run on 8 hits and a walk in 7 innings.

The Mets did not draw a walk until Jordany Valdespin‘s pinch-hit base on balls in the 8th inning.

Daniel Murphy stroked a 3-1, chest-high, middle-of-the-plate fastball into centerfield to drive in the winning run.

The Mets were lucky to catch David Robertson on an off-night. Robertson had terrible command. No, I’m not going to give the Mets hitters credit — not after seeing them make Phil Hughes look like an in-his-prime-and-fully-juiced Roger Clemens.

Who the heck is David Adams and what is he doing batting fifth for the Yankees?

Why was Ruben Tejada leading off?

Shame on Brett Gardner for not running hard out of the box on his fly ball to left that got by a diving Lucas Duda. He should have been hustling, and if he had, there was an outside chance he could have collected an inside-the-park homerun.

Kudos to Brett Gardner for stealing a homer from Daniel Murphy.

Look at Bobby Parnell, all grown up and earning saves against the big bad Yankees. If he keeps this up through July and the Mets don’t trade him for players for their future, then there likely isn’t any plan other than cutting payroll and keeping costs down — because he’ll fetch a decent prospect if he continues to dominate, and the Mets won’t be needing a lights-out closer in 2014.

David Wright‘s solo blast tied the game, and it was a “no-doubter.” Or was it? It looked like it might’ve been an out if the fences were at their original dimensions. I think the Mets did themselves a disservice by moving in the fences. The current dimensions have done a pretty good job of limiting homer-happy offenses like the Yankees and Reds. If the fences were in their original position, and the Mets built a team based on speed, defense, and pitching, they might have had an extreme advantage at home — much like the St. Louis Cardinals of the 1980s and KC Royals of the 70s.

Next Mets Game

Game two begins at 7:10 p.m. on Wednesday night. On the mound is Matt Harvey and Hiroki Kuroda.

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. metsilverman.com May 27, 2013 at 10:35 pm
    I think if they DO trade Parnell then they have no plan. The Mets have waited on him like they did Jesse Orosco. Not comparing the two pitchers, but using historical perspective. Of course, Alderson is no Frank Cashen. And I agree that Alderson really made a shortsighted decision by moving the fences in and giving up a tremendous home-field advantage. Look what having all homegrown pitching, marginal offense, and a gigantic stadium did for the Giants.
    • Joe Janish May 27, 2013 at 11:20 pm
      Curious, why is that your opinion?

      Parnell is 28, will be 29 in September, so his peak theoretically is right now. The Mets supposedly will have “payroll flexibility” beginning in 2014, which tells me that they can splurge on a one-year or two-year deal for a closer — heck, maybe they can get Brian Wilson on a bargain deal. Since the Mets have few tradeable assets, they need to make the most of the few they have — and that includes Parnell.

      If the Mets were a year away from competing, I might think differently. But this long-term plan seems to be targeting 2015.

      • Izzy May 28, 2013 at 12:51 pm
        Some really crappy closer named Mariano Rrivera might beg to differ about your statement about peaking in your 20’s. I’m not sure he has ever peaked.
  2. Andy May 27, 2013 at 10:39 pm
    I’m all for trading closers for prospects (or other players with value) since it’s the most overrated skill in baseball, but I’m not sure about your comment. He’s not going to continue to be cheap, so I would argue that keeping him would signal trying to compete next year, while trading him is a way to cut costs under the guise of building for the future.
    • Joe Janish May 27, 2013 at 11:22 pm
      You think the Mets will compete in 2014? I don’t.
      • Andy May 28, 2013 at 8:48 am
        No, but I don’t see how keeping him signals cutting payroll and keeping costs down. To me, if they trade him then they are saying they don’t plan to compete next year, which would mean they aren’t going to spend any money on free agents. If they intend to go after Choo, Ellsbury or Cano then they need to keep him, right?
        • Joe Janish May 28, 2013 at 9:23 am
          If the Mets keep Parnell, it’s because they believe he’ll cost less than a similarly skilled closer on the open market.

          Choo, Ellsbury, or Cano are not going to make the Mets contenders in 2014. I’ll be stunned if they even kick the tires on Cano — if they do, then Sandy Alderson is more full of crap than he’s already proven to be, because Cano will get one of those long-term deals that Alderson has publicly denigrated on multiple occasions.

          The Mets are building for 2015 and beyond, but they have little to build with. They need more youthful talent, particularly position players, so they need to trade any valuable veteran players they have for top-flight AA players and use the spare cash to replace the veterans for the short-term.

  3. Joe May 27, 2013 at 10:54 pm
    This constant desire to trade anyone other than maybe three or four players for “decent prospects,” who continue to be a crapshoot, is a bit tiresome though it’s amusing it is applied to someone earlier scheduled to blow a lot of saves and step aside if Francisco comes back.

    The last month underlines that even a mediocre team needs to do something to stay watchable. Parnell is one of the few things consistently helping that. 40M is going off the books and they have numerous people they can trade for parts, down to maybe two starting pitchers if Wheeler and someone else comes up.

    Anyway, Duda looked like he was positioned pretty far back for a hitter like Gardner. Baxter was playing a bit far back too. Playing far back has bit them before.

    • Joe Janish May 27, 2013 at 11:27 pm
      Do you understand how the $40M coming off the books gives the Mets an opportunity?

      Closers can be purchased on the open market in the winter. Top ten prospects cannot. If Parnell continues at his pace, he can fetch a top-ten prospect at the deadline from a pennant contender. So, the Mets can trade Parnell for a prospect that they don’t have, and then use some of that $40M to buy a decent closer that will be good enough for the third- or fourth-place team the Mets will be in 2014.

      Do you find that “amusing” ? Or “tiresome” ? I’m incredibly curious.

      • Joe May 28, 2013 at 11:52 pm
        “Do you understand how the $40M coming off the books gives the Mets an opportunity?”

        They need starters. They need Infield. They need outfield. This costs money. You want them to give up one of the few things they have for a maybe and use limited funds for what they have. What “opportunity”?

        “If Parnell continues at his pace, he can fetch a top-ten prospect at the deadline from a pennant contender.”

        Prospects like the numerous ones that never went anywhere?

        I find it “amusing” that the same person you scheduled to be mediocre is now seen as possibly top trade bait.

        • Joe Janish May 30, 2013 at 4:15 pm
          Yes, they have plenty of holes to fill. How in the world does a closer help a team with so many holes? So they can win 70 games instead of 66? What’s the difference? By the time the Mets have a chance to be contenders, Parnell will be in his early 30s, and beyond his peak. If they are truly committed to this rebuilding process they need to trade any and all advanced-age, developed assets at their top value, in return for promising youngsters.

          I’m glad you find it amusing that I was wrong about someone. I’m always happy to put a smile on someone’s face.

  4. Wohjr May 28, 2013 at 12:10 am
    Joe: totally with you on the dimensions. In a way it is a pleasure to play the yanks. For example: girardi brings in a lefty to pitch to Dude. That makes me feel like out team is a real team with dangerous lefties. LOL
  5. AC Wayne May 28, 2013 at 1:12 am
    Can’t we enjoy the moment for a bit before we start devising ways on how to move Parnell. He could be ur Brian Wilson w/o having to sign a Brian Wilson. As for Tejada batting lead off, maybe Collins was already bored w/Murphy at the top of the order. What happened to Ankiel in the 2-hole? I thought that was wrking fine. Anybody remember Rey Ordonez? He had an awful BA. and still was able to help the team w/his glove. Keep Tejada down in the lineup and stop messing w/his head. He’s not Jose Reyes.
  6. Dan B May 28, 2013 at 7:00 am
    Every year that Alderson has been here, he has cut payroll and then we were told that now the Mets have money to spend and then they don’t spend it. Why is this offseason different? Why will the Mets spend when previously they cut spending? Has revenue gone up? Do we expect attendance to go up this year? The Met’s finances are still in shambles. There are still loans to refinance and debt to pay. When the Mets start spending then I will start believing the rebuilding is starting.
  7. DaveSchneck May 28, 2013 at 8:32 am
    Parnell is a keeper unless someone wants to overpay, like Texas offering Profar or the Cards offering Tavares…not happening. Tejada has no business anywhere near the top of the lineup, and never did. Biggest problem with him is his fielding, which has hurt the team. Omar Q is hitting .330 in Vegas, and has a reputation as a glove man. He needs to be called up, although Alderson’s “patience” will mean getting Q as he cools off. Despite Ike’s heroics Sunday, he is still lost. He needs time on the farm. Let’s go, Sandy, DO SOMETHING. Regarding 2014, it is way way way too early to write it off, regardless of finances, disappointing performances, etc. A GM that is effective will have a good shot at making the Mets competitive next year, but I’m not sure if we have one that is good enough.
  8. Walnutz15 May 28, 2013 at 8:43 am
    Wonder if anyone will take Hernandez to task, in the press, about referring to Daniel Murphy’s broken bat – early on in the game – as a “dead soldier”, on Memorial Day.

    Real dopey move, Mex.

  9. Corey Gorey May 28, 2013 at 10:21 am
    Ah, Joe–don’t write off 2014 yet. I know IN THEORY it’s a crapshoot, but that type of far-flung conjecturing is just projected pessimism. We just don’t know.

    I understand what you’re saying about trading Parnell while the value is high–but on the other hand, there’s not much else going on with this team right now. And because I’m an idiot, I still want to see them win. If I have to watch another lost soul try to close out games (and blow them–obviously) on top of all the other misery, in favor of two kids in single-A who both turn out to be Lastings Milledge (at best)…I’m just going to cheer on my backup teams, The SF Angel Pagans and the TB Owner is a Mets Fan.

    Btw, I’m sick of even having backup teams.

  10. Quinn May 28, 2013 at 12:18 pm
    There seems to be mild hypocrisy with the ideology of us fans, we are upset the likes of Byrd and Ankiel are taking playing time away from younger outfielders who’s futures the FO should be assessing and yet the same fans are upset with watching the growing pains of our 22 year old SS. Prior to this poor stretch Tejada has been productive at the plate and reliable in the field. So lets not over react to Tejada’s struggles and give him this full season to iron out his problems, you never know he might get coached up. Rather than clamoring for a 32 year old journeyman SS to eat up PT.
  11. Steve May 28, 2013 at 12:21 pm
    HUH??? Am I missing something? So you want the fences moved BACK so that other teams will have HRs negated? Ok, so tell me, Oh wise one……who is going to race through the cavernous outfield to run down all the extra doubles and triples? What ‘speedsters’ does this organization have in the OF? Or anywhere on the roster? I can just envision Lucas Duda or Marlon Byrd rumbling back into the old power alleys, huffing and puffing…………this team has NO identity…no power/slugging……no defense/speed…………….and there have been plenty of METS hr that would have croaked at the warning track if not for the fences moved in……….
    • Joe Janish May 28, 2013 at 12:54 pm
      Young grasshopper, please finish reading the entire sentence, specifically: “… and the Mets built a team based on speed, defense, and pitching …”

      For example, perhaps they could have began with a speedy shortstop like Jose Reyes, and fleet outfielder such as Angel Pagan.

  12. NormE May 28, 2013 at 12:26 pm
    Parnell will “fetch a decent prospect if he continues to dominate” says Joe J.
    The problem is with the definition of “decent” and the eyes of the talent evaluator(s). Alderson traded for Wheeler, D’Arnaud and Syndegaard. The jury is still out.

    On a team with few tradable assets (you’re not trading Wright and Harvey) on the roster, and so many holes to fill (with little available minor league help) you have to consider trading Parnell for the right young talent.

    • DaveSchneck May 28, 2013 at 2:23 pm
      Norm,
      Every player should be considered for trade…and trading should be based on return value. If Parnell keeps performing at this level, he can be considered a proven MLB performer, controllable for two more years, and in his prime. Despite all the woes over the Mets inept hitting, they have given up the 2nd most runs in the NL. The Marlins have given up less. This implies that pitching continues to be the biggest problem at the MLB level (granted that offense and defense are big problems too). Yes, they have a lot of arms in the pipeline, but as you say, it means nothing until proven in the show. They need MLB-ready talent, not a ballers. I would keep Parnell unless overwhelmed with a stud that is very low risk to be an above average MLB player. I don’t see closers fetching that type of return in the trade market, but you never know.
  13. Larry May 28, 2013 at 4:42 pm
    I get a kick out of the constant Sandy bashing on this site. You people fail to realize how badly depleted the Mets farm system became during Omar Minaya’s tenure. Current players like Murphy, Parnell, Duda, Tejada and Niese are the best that were developed under Omar. The rest of the system became a refuge for over-the-hill, broken down latino players, who were given contracts by Minaya under the recommendation of Tony Bernazzard. And whatever became of the much heralded Mets player academy in the Domicican Republic? Seems the only player that came from there was Fernando Martinez.

    It takes at least 5 years to develop a minor league system that consistently churns out major league caliber talent. The system needs to be fed by a combination of draft picks and minor league free agents, but the key to getting the right players is a pool of dedicated scouts scouring the country/world for talent. That’s what the Mets lacked most during the Minaya years.

    The Mets of 1984-90 were fueled by a minor league system that developed players for the big club, like Strawberry, Gooden, McDowell, Wilson, Backman and Dykstra and highly touted prospects that garnered established stars like Hernandez, Carter and McReynolds. But it took 7 years of losing and drafting the right players to get them those 7 years of winning baseball. There were no free agents signed during that period..

    Like Frank Cashen before him, Sandy Alderson is on the right track. It’s understandable that he seems uncomfortable answering questions about “when”, because it’s a work in progress. Everybody needs to just be patient. The Mets are one quarter through what will no doubt be their fifth consecutive losing season. That’s okay. It’ll be another 2 years before the prospects from the farm system start delivering the goods.

    Patience, my friends, patience.

    • DaveSchneck May 28, 2013 at 9:47 pm
      Larry,
      I get a kick out of folks that get a kick out of the so-called Alderson bashes, preaching patience and citing the Cashen run as “proof”. It is also in vogue to trash the Minaya-led farm system. You neglecting to include Harvey, perhaps the top prospect produced by the Minaya system, or the fact that two of the top three current Met prospects were acquired by trading the Cy Young winner that Minaya signed off the scrap heap at no cost. Your comments suggest that Alderson’s scouting dept. is more dedicated than the previous staff, but how you conclude this is a mystery. Lastly, I have no idea where an arbitrary 5 or 7 year time table comes from. The Pirates are on a 20+ year timetable and the Cubs are on a 100+ year time table. The baseball world is very different now that in 1977-83, and Alderson gets well deserved criticism for his shortcomings, namely failing on his trades and signings, and failing to improve the major league team in any facet his three seasons at the helm. There is no evidence to suggest a large or mid market team can’t restock its system while remaining a decent team, and there are plenty of examples, such as the Cardinals, the Braves, and the Yankees.
      • Larry May 30, 2013 at 10:14 am
        You bring up examples of two teams that have excelled in replenishing their parent club with talent from the farm system, the Cardinals and Braves. Both seem to have a never ending supply of major league ready talent that become everyday players or are traded for established ones. The few free agents they have signed have been complimentary rather than cornerstone players.

        The Yankees had their “core four”, but still spent millions on stud free agents. I guess you can’t argue with 5 championships since 1996, but, I can see that formula coming to an ugly end, as the Yankees are an old team and lack the talent in their system to replace their aging superstars. Guys like Overbay and Wells have done a nice job filling in, but they are certainly not long term solutions.

        The Pirates are akin to the Expos of the 90’s. They can develop talent, but when the player becomes arbitration eligible, he’s dealt away for prospects. The Cubs always seem to have a plan, only to blow it up 3 years later and start over again.

        I see I hit a nerve blaming Omar for the Mets lack of developement, and yes, he drafted Harvey in 2010, but probably would have dealt him by now for the likes of Wandy Rodriguez or Ubaldo Jimenez. And Dickey? Please! That was a one in a million shot and let’s not forget, he was the first player Minaya cut from the roster in Spring Training 2010.

        In disagree that the baseball world is that different today than it was during the Cashen regime. Cashen would have been crucified daily on WFAN for his handling of the team pre-1984, as there was little evidence of improvement shown during the first few years of his tenure with the Mets. And many of the young players that fueled the Mets winning years from 84 on were drafted and developed before Cashen came on board. But we had to endure 7 losing seasons to obtain them.

        Finally, you mentioned Sandy’s failings to sign/trade for players. Exactly what players have been out there that would have significantly impacted this team and what would we have to give up to get them? You want to pay Micahel Bourne $15 million dollars a year? Is he a difference maker? IMHO, he’d be the second coming of Vince Coleman, an aging base stealer who can’t get on base.

        • Joe Janish May 30, 2013 at 4:48 pm
          First off, it’s irresponsible to suggest that there weren’t any players available over the winter that were worth signing. I can easily rattle off a dozen non-compensation players who could have improved the Mets 25-man roster and made them at least competitive — i.e., better than the Phillies.

          Secondly, your comparison to the Cashen-built Mets is akin to apples and oranges — and if you want to go forth with it, then Alderson has REALLY been a miserable failure.

          Cashen took charge in January 1980. He had a 90-win team by 1984 and a stockpile of pitching prospects, as well as a handful of position prospects. 1980 to 1984 is not “7 seasons” according to my math. Alderson took during the fall after the 2010 season, so he had a full winter’s head start on Cashen’s clock. If he follows the Cashen route, he should have a 90-win team and a boatload of prospects by 2015. The former MIGHT be possible, but the latter is a crapshoot — especially since the Mets haven’t been terribly active with international signings in Alderson’s regime, have failed to sign several top10 draft picks, and are now subject to draft/sign/budget rules that are much more limiting and constricting than in the past.

          As for the “many of the young players that fueled the Mets winning years from 84 on were drafted and developed before Cashen came on board” statement, I’m curious as to who you’re talking about. I see Mookie Wilson and Wally Backman as the only significant “home grown” players on the ’86 and after clubs. I suppose you can throw in Jesse Orosco, since they acquired him for Jerry Koosman in ’79. I’ll also hand you the gift of Hubie Brooks and Mike Fitzgerald, since they were integral in obtaining Gary Carter.

          So, Cashen inherited Brooks, Orosco, Backman, Mookie, Fitzgerald, and not much else. Alderson, in comparison, inherited Ruben Tejada, Dan Murphy, Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, David Wright, Bobby Parnell, Matt Harvey, Jeurys Familia, Jenrry Mejia, R.A. Dickey, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, Josh Thole, Angel Pagan, Mike Pelfrey, Jon Niese, K-Rod, and Dillon Gee — among others. What has he done / turned these players into, thus far?

          Bottom line is this: Cashen did a remarkable job of drafting (and signing) amateur talent from 1980-1987 — while also adding pieces to the MLB club. Both the MLB team and the organization improved dramatically during the first 4-5 years of his tenure. Alderson is going to have to make up an incredible amount of ground in the next year / year and a half to come close to what Cashen accomplished. To this point, Alderson hasn’t made any impact at all on the 25-man roster, and we won’t know if his drafts/signs will make a difference until at least 2015 — when, perhaps, Brandon Nimmo or Kevin Plawecki may be ready.

        • Larry May 30, 2013 at 11:12 pm
          The Mets had 7 straight losing seasons, from 77-83. That’s seven years of futility. The 1979 team’s poor finish allowed Cashen to draft Daryl Strawberry as the first selection in the 1980 draft, plus John Gibbons and Billy Beane later in the first round, as compensation for Boston siging Skip Lockwood and Pittsburgh inking Andy Hassler.

          You’re forgetting that Cashen also inherited Lee Mazzilli, who he traded to get Ron Darling and Walt Terrell and Terrell brought them Howard Johnson, and Neil Allen who went for Keith Hernandez.

          Joe, I’d be curious to see your dozen non-compensation players who could have improved the Mets 25-man roster and made them at least competitive.

        • Larry June 1, 2013 at 9:14 am
          Took a look at the roster Cashen inherited. He had a lot more to work with than you give credit for:

          Roy Lee Jackson > Bob Bailor (Bailor & Carlos Diaz later dealt for Sid Fernandez)
          Steve Henderson > Dave Kingman
          Mark Bomback > Charlie Puleo (Puleo traded for Tom Seaver. If Seaver had been on the 84 team and not left unprotected and selected by the White Sox, in what turned out to be a major embarassment for Cashen at the time, Doc Gooden probably wouldn’t have made the roster)
          Jeff Reardon > Ellis Valentine
          Doug Flynn > Jim Kerr
          Alex Taveras, Greg Harris, Jim Kerr > George Foster
          Lee Mazilli > Ron Darling, Walt Terrell (Terrell later dealt for HoJo)
          Joel Youngblood > Tom Gorman
          Tom Hausman > Carlos Diaz (Diaz included in deal for El Sid)
          Mike Scott > Danny Heep
          Neil Allen > Keith Hernandez
          Hubie Brooks > Gary Carter