Mets Game 56: Win Over Nationals

Mets 10 Nationals 1

Not even Bobby Parnell could blow this one. The Mets win in a laugher, sending the Nationals south of .500.

Mets Game Notes

Hey, where did all those runs come from? Finally the Mets erupt and score more than a pair. The rout was reminiscent of the wins by the Mets in the first few weeks of the season — and they did this with John “Babe” Buck on the bench.

Whatever happened to the Dan Haren who was one of the top ten pitchers in baseball just a few years ago? He was money in the bank for 33-34 starts and 210-220 innings per year, and often dominant. Now, he looks like a bad BP pitcher. I know he’s had a rash of nagging injuries, but gee whiz — he must be in more pain / have more maladies than we know. Haren was awful — as he’s been more times than not this year. I thought it was a good move for the Nats to give him a flyer, and he’s had a handful of

Nice to see Dillon Gee cruise through seven innings and give the bullpen a bit of a break. He struggled a bit in the first few frames, but once given a comfy lead, he went right down to business, throwing strikes and getting outs in an efficient fashion.

Home plate umpire Marty Foster had a very tall / vertical strike zone, which Gee took full advantage of, particularly with his curveball. Foster was calling Gee’s curve above the letters and below the knees, and that pitch was the difference between Gee pitching as well as he did and being knocked out of the game by the fifth frame.

David Wright should’ve been tossed for the game for his antics and jawing after being rung up on a checked swing in the sixth. He argued vociferously, got right in Foster’s face, and kept jawing when he was back in the dugout; Wright was angry that the ump didn’t appeal to the first-base umpire. You know what, David? He doesn’t have to. He was absolutely sure you swung, so, you’re out. It doesn’t matter if slow-motion replays show he didn’t swing (though, it’s too subjective a call to say one way or the other) — in the umpire’s view, he swung, and that’s that. This recent phenomenon of players playing umpire (see: Jordany Valdespin, Ike Davis, many other players around MLB) is increasingly annoying and classless. In Japan, by the way, there is no such thing as a check swing — your hands move forward, you swung. I’d love to see MLB adopt a similar policy, since, technically, that’s the way it should be called per the rule book — there is no definition of a checked swing.

Along similar lines, there was Ike Davis stopping at third base when Tim Teufel was waving him home on a base hit in the fifth inning. There were two outs, Gee was the next hitter, an infielder (Steve Lombardozzi) was fielding the ball, and the Mets were up by six — it was an opportune time to take a chance. But Davis completely ignored Teufel and put on the brakes. In the end it wasn’t a big deal because the Mets won in a rout. But it’s a symptom and evidence of the Mets’ culture — which is not a winning culture and hasn’t been for many years. This isn’t the first time a Mets player has ignored Teufel, and we’ll see it many more times since players never are disciplined for what should be intolerable acts. Between Ike’s horrendous offensive output, terrible defense, brain freezes, arguments with umpires, and now insubordination, what message is the organization sending to its players by allowing Ike to continue the luxuries of Major League Baseball? All of this is tolerated because “Ike is a great guy, and all his teammates love him”? Really? I’d hate to see what kind of power he wields if/when he ever starts producing the way people expect him to. It’s not unlike the ridiculous amount of influence held by people such as John Franco and Al Leiter in the past. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

But hey, Mets fans, don’t let me rain on the parade — your team beat the bejesus out of the mighty Washington Nationals, so be happy for the next 24 hours. Just don’t be surprised when the Mets continue to be a second-rate club, and lose games in maddening ways. It’s all about the little things.

Speaking of little things, shame on Ryan Zimmerman and Denard Span, both of whom retired themselves on first pitches leading off an inning while down by 6+ runs. It’s impossible to hit a five-run homer — especially with no one on base — and Gee is a pitcher who gets substantially worse as his pitch count rises. That’s bad, stupid baseball — or it’s selfish, “mail it in” action (though, it seemed like the Nats as a whole, including Davey Johnson, mailed in the game after the fifth inning). I suppose attention to details and playing the game the right way is an epidemic through MLB. And/or I’m getting old and curmudgeony. Whatever — I don’t like it and I don’t tolerate it in coaching kids, because what they learn in baseball is what they’ll carry with them in all other aspects of their lives.

Next Mets Game

The rubber match begins at 7:05 p.m. on Thursday night. The scheduled pitchers are Shaun Marcum and Gio Gonzalez.

FYI, I’m heading to British Columbia from Thursday through Sunday for a business trip, and though I may try to post an opinion piece or two, the game recaps will be handled by Dan Capwell and Paul Festa until next Monday. Enjoy the change in voice.

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. Happy59 June 5, 2013 at 11:44 pm
    Nice to see the Mets hitting as a team again, all contributing. Too bad it only happens every 3 weeks or so…

    The Yankees are surely looking to save the final $100 million on A – Rod’s contract………

    On another topic……. I detest the inter-league play almost on a daily basis. I am wondering if Selig and cronies are trying to blurr the lines between the two leagues to make significant changes in the future, i.e., one league with many divisions; teams changing/rotating divisions; other scenarios may come to mind. I like my traditional baseball, its been modified enough over the years. Just wondering if anyone else has considered the inter-league issue.

    • Joe Janish June 6, 2013 at 2:05 pm
      I think you’re on target re: interleague play. Soon enough the DH will be universal and I’ll start following golf.

      They’ll probably add one or two more pitchers/players to the roster, too, and MLB talent will be watered down further.

  2. TexasGusCC June 6, 2013 at 1:37 am
    Come on Joe, be nicer to Parnell 🙂 One game, geez.

    Didn’t see the game, but your description of Davis’ base running play caught my interest for two reasons:
    1. I like to monitor third base coaches because the position requires quick and sound decisions based on multiple factors in a given instant, and I feel it’s the hardest coaching position in baseball. Tuefel seems to do a very good job. In personality, Tuefel is intelligent and has a quiet, studious demeanor that I would like the next Mets manager to have. Hint, hint…
    2. Yesterday I made a comment about a certain, stoic GM. Don’t know whose place it is to do this, but I cannot recall a single Met disciplined (other than Tejada and Valdespin) or made an example of (other than Tejada and Valdespin). Between, Buck, Davis, Murphy, and Wright, it seems the inmates are running the asylum.

    Now, if they were 38-18, I would say “great leadership”. But, if they were 38-18, they would be making so many fundamental mistakes without even the threat of accountability. Very disturbing.

  3. Jacobson June 6, 2013 at 6:26 am
    Just a nitpick: Actually (you might say unfortunately), Japan league adopted check swing rule now,
    • Joe Janish June 6, 2013 at 2:01 pm
      Thanks for th update!

      Do you know if it’s defined in some way?

  4. Izzy June 6, 2013 at 9:11 am
    Enjoy beautiful BC. much nicer than watching Met games, even if they looked like a team for a game… Even our beloved 62 Mets looked like a team 40 times.
    • Dan B June 6, 2013 at 10:08 am
      Izzy, at least the 62 Mets were lovable and forgivable. Until Jeff Wilpon stops running the team and until fixing the finances stops being the franchise’s top priority, this team will not be lovable.
    • NormE June 6, 2013 at 11:27 am
      Izzy, this is the most positive statement I can remember you making. I hope you are not getting soft.
      • Izzy June 7, 2013 at 10:55 am
        When I see a real team on the field, an owner who is not always associated with cheats and scoundrels, and a GM who acts as if people are people and not machines I’ll be real soft. I was real soft in 84-88, and in 98-2001 or so, and early Minaya years. If only he would have taken a little more time getting good he might not have made those panic moves to stay on top. He was a victim of quick success. We won’t ever have that problem with Alderson and his band of merry failed GMs. .
  5. Jon C June 6, 2013 at 9:31 am
    Ike also looked back over his shoulder TWICE while running from second to third—just pick up teufel and go man. Maybe hes rusty its because he’s only rounded the bases a handful of times this year…

    DW seems to be doing this more and more. I feel like umps give him a long leash because hes a good hitter, well known, seemingly well like player. If he did this once a year it would be one thing, and he’d get more respect. My biggest problem is the EXAMPLE he sets for the rest of his team. This is only going to send the message to guys like Ike that its ok to act that way.

    While I love to come here and read what you thought of recker/lagares. I’d like to hear your mini-analysis on Recker (maybe you’ve done it before and I missed it).

    I’d love to see Collins just trot out the same lineup today and send a message to some of those “starters” that no one’s spot is a given right, but must be earned…but it’ll never happen 😀

  6. Joe June 6, 2013 at 11:41 am
    Ike Davis finally gets on base and he still screws up. Oh well. Wright was over the top there especially in a blowout game. I understand giving him a bit of a pass but he also has to serve as an example. I don’t recall the referenced increase of such acting out by him personally & if nothing else it was particularly blatant here.

    Big picture, the important thing here is that Gee had another good game. Why it took so long is unclear (mention was made that he said he finally decided to risk things — well, it’s only June … no rush).

    And, I’m all for sending a message here. A couple times at least on Twitter another Mets writer was basically screaming that Tejeda had to be taken out of the game after some major screw-up. Yes.

    Anyway, this game underlines that it’s quite possible for the Mets to have won a noticeable number of more games. The Nats are flawed this year. The bottom of their line-up, e.g., looks fairly weak. They in effect handed a game to the Mets before Parnell gave it back.

    The ASTROS are in midst of a long winning streak. Come on. BTW, that 16 inning game in Chicago was something. 0-0 until the 15th, then it’s 5-5. Former Mets Bay, Perez and Chavez all played a role in the game. Seattle lost in 16, 7-5.

  7. Joe June 6, 2013 at 11:43 am
    And, yes, Recker is intriguing. Is he now Gee’s personal catcher? Should he get a bit more playing time?
  8. Happy59 June 6, 2013 at 3:28 pm
    Since Buck’s hitting has leveled off to his normal stats why not give the kid Recker more playing time? Find out what he can do before d’Arnaud is brought up and takes over the daily catching duties.
    If Quintanilla keeps it up Tejada might find AAA home for awhile after the DL. Hopefully he’ll wake up and concentrate more upon returning.
    A previous poster was correct, DW needs to show more restraint, arguing with Umps isn’t the right message to send to team mates.