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
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.