Mets Game 73: Loss To White Sox

White Sox 5 Mets 4

Another barn burner, but this time, the Mets find themselves on the wrong end.

Mets Game Notes

It was a thrilling game that kept spectators on the edge of their seats until the final blow by Alexei Ramirez. Which means, of course, that I missed watching the contest due to a work thing. Don’t interpret that as complaining, because I absolutely love my job, and the after-hours events are part of why. But it’s amazing to me that some of the best games to watch just happen to occur on the nights when I can’t be anywhere near a TV (or the ballpark). C’est la vie.

I did watch a few innings via Tivo prior to retiring for the evening, and came away with a few observations. First, US Cellular Field seems like a small park as seen through the lenses of TV cameras — which is an interesting phenomenon, since the dimensions are fairly expansive. I suppose it has something to do with the placement of the cameras and the way they are set up. Or maybe I’m crazy. Second, though one might say that the Mets just needed a break to win this game, I did see the first frame and they definitely caught a few fortunate breaks that helped them score twice. So, it all evens out. Third, Chris Sale‘s awkward pitching motion is painful to watch. It sort of reminds me of a cross between John Candelaria and Ross Baumgarten — and only people of a certain age will know what I’m talking about. Fourth, can Andrew Brown do anything other than hit home runs? Fifth, Zack Wheeler certainly has a live fastball, but needs to work on repeating his delivery when throwing non-fastballs, because he’s telegraphing secondary pitches. His slider and change-up look promising in terms of movement, but he’s very deliberate in delivering them — making it easy to lay off of them and sit on the fastball.

That’s all I have for now. I will be missing Wednesday night’s game as well, as — weather permitting — I’ll be sitting behind the dish playing for the Livingston, NJ Dodgers.

Next Mets Game

The second and final game of the series will begin at 8:10 p.m. on Wednesday night. Shaun Marcum goes to the mound against John Danks.

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. meticated June 26, 2013 at 2:42 am
    Can you please contact me…I have a baseball related opportunity to relate to you….
  2. Shea Wert June 26, 2013 at 3:56 am
    Haha, I feel the same way. I always miss the good ones! Keep on keepin’ on brother. Love the blog.
  3. argonbunnies June 26, 2013 at 4:22 am
    Chris Sale was fun to watch. I’m amazed the Mets managed 4 hits off him. No one seemed to be able to read whether the ball was going to be inside, outside or down the middle. Lefty sidearmer with great velocity and a ton of horizontal movement on his breaking ball? The Randy Johnson comparisons are well deserved. Johnson did it without that crazy motion, though.

    Zack Wheeler lit up the radar gun, but he has so many things to work on, I wonder if pitching in games that count is the best place for him. I don’t fear any psychological damage from adversity — Wheeler doesn’t seem like a headcase — but rather a lack of opportunity to practice in games. In AAA, maybe you can focus on quickening up your curveball delivery — in the majors, you probably have to focus on, y’know, not throwing a hanger down the middle.

    Add Adam Dunn to the list of first basemen who’ve shown better range and quicker reactions in the field than Ike Davis. Also add Gordon Beckham to the list of infielders who, like Ike, are still moving their feet when the ball is put in play after holding on a runner, and thus can’t get to anything not hit in the direction they’re moving.

  4. argonbunnies June 26, 2013 at 4:26 am
    Hey Joe, do you know what the keywords are for getting a post flagged for moderation? I have no idea what in my comment triggered that. “Crazy”? “Headcase”?
    • argonbunnies June 26, 2013 at 4:28 am
      Hmm, I guess not. “Psychological damage?”
      • argonbunnies June 26, 2013 at 4:29 am
        “Hanger”? “Adam Dunn”?
      • Paul Festa June 26, 2013 at 2:03 pm
        “Ike Davis?”
    • Joe Janish June 26, 2013 at 4:38 pm
      Argon, I have no idea why some comments get caught up. I try to free them ASAP but don’t always get the notification in a timely manner.

      The keywords are mainly curse words and words often found in gambling/betting spam. I can’t figure out what caused your post to be held. Sorry about that.

  5. Walnutz15 June 26, 2013 at 7:59 am
    Bunnies — I’ve had many posts wind up in Moderation through the years. I don’t think there’s a strict “criteria” for it, just seems to happen at random.

    The probability increases any time I include a link in my posts, so maybe that triggers it as “spam”?

    Great Candy Man reference. I actually hung out with him a handful of years ago at my best friend’s wedding. He let me try on his ’79 World Series ring, and I asked him what it was like, playing with Pops Stargell….the handing out of stars for their caps, and whatnot. He’s a childhood friend of my friend’s father. Big, big dude.

    Wheeler’s thrown a lot of balls out of the zone during his first 2 starts. Guys that get called up with tags such as his are going to go through the inevitable “throw it through a brick wall” phase…..and he’s been way off when he’s tried putting guys away. His ball’s sailed way out of the zone when he tunes it up to 98 w/2 strikes.

    I think he’ll learn to become more efficient with his pitches, and figure out what’s going to work for him. At this point, everyone in Metland is expecting him to be Harvey — and really, I don’t see how anyone could replicate the success he’s had thusfar.

    It doesn’t bother me as much, since I’m really just looking more for another mainstay in the frontline of the starting rotation….than I am a guy who’s going to strike out 13 guys every night.

    His movement looked good last night, but he wasn’t on top of it – command-wise.

    I’ll be more interested in his National League starts, as he won’t be pitching to an extra hitter a few times through the order.

    Very interested in his development. They’re definitely going to have to make adjustments to the way he’s tipping his off-speed stuff…..but maybe working with Buck for a bit will help. Always tough working with a guy for the 1st time in awhile.

  6. James June 26, 2013 at 8:36 am
    Hmmm wild pitcher throwing 98 miles per hour. Shades of Nolan Ryan or Sandy Koufax? I don’t mean he will be as good as those guys, just that the development time could be long – at least 2 years.
    • Walnutz15 June 26, 2013 at 8:49 am
      To me, his development will be tied directly into……gasp……Dan Warthen’s work with him.

      If it’s hitters “expecting command issues” from a rookie pitcher in his 2nd start, then I’m a bit more relieved.

      If it’s a situation where they’re seeing an outward blemish in his delivery, that tips them off to what’s coming — then it’s a bit more concerning – simply because I have no faith in our current pitching coach to have a clue about guys and their mechanics.

      I’m actually scared to death of what Warthen will attempt to implement, since he’s already said it’s “obvious” that he has different arm angles for different pitches — meanwhile, it’s actually his delivery that slows-up.

      “Adam Rubin ?@AdamRubinESPN

      Dan Warthen told me it was “pretty obvious” Zack Wheeler had different arm angles for different pitches. Will work on it between starts.”

      ……..maybe he’ll just scare him into throwing more strikes, like he told us he’d do with Ollie Perez, John Maine, and Co. years ago. (Moron.)

      In all sincerity, I’ll be more interested in discussing Wheeler once he settles into a Major League schedule.

      – The back and forth stuff between here and Vegas.
      – Not discussing his 1st outing/reviewing video with his pitching coach in-between starts since he wasn’t with the team.
      – Not working with Buck since ST.
      – American League lineup, with extra (now Major League) hitter to face.

      …….all things to consider about last night. Fans looking for Harvey 2.0 are the ones that’ll be flipping out over his 2nd outing.

      • DaveSchneck June 26, 2013 at 9:54 am
        Agree with all your comments. As Bob Gibson once said to McCarver “the only thing you know about pitching is you can’t hit it”. That would describe me quite well, and even I can see that he is tipping the secondary stuff with a slowed-up delivery. I am indifferent to Warthen, but he should at least be able to recommend a fix for that, and Wheels ultimately needs to get that physically right no matter what the coach tells him. He clearly still needs work, but he also looks good enough that he needs this work at the major league level, not AAA. That is one benefit of being a bottom 5 team…90+ more spring training exhibition games for 2014. Watching some kids, especially Wheeler, interests me more than watching a team whose GM is pretending to compete for the playoffs.

        Great Candyman reference, remember him as a dark-period Met fondly.

  7. argonbunnies June 26, 2013 at 8:45 am
    Hey Joe, your numbering is 1 off. You listed both games 71 and 72 as 71, and now you’ve listed 73 as 72.
    • Joe Janish June 26, 2013 at 4:29 pm
      There’s more than just my numbering that’s off, LOL!

      Thanks AG – it’s fixed.

  8. MsMet1 June 26, 2013 at 12:06 pm
    People are screaming for Backman to be the next manager. He is the one that proclaimed Wheeler ready. I certainly didin’t think so. He does have the stuff. No doubt about it, but I did not like the way the game was called whether by Buck or Management. He should have used far more fast balls. Also he has not developed a throw to first. I know he has not worked with Warthan much. To be determined. If he was tipping his pitches, why was that not brought to his attention sooner? He seemed more comfortable with Recker. In closing, thanks Terry for bringing in Hawkins to blow the game. That move might have been correct a few years ago but not now. Aardsma was warming up. Should have come in.
  9. Dan B June 26, 2013 at 9:46 pm
    Hey Joe, as someone who just moved, you must of seen for yourself have realtors use camera lens to make small rooms look big. A Tv camera far away with a long lens will squeeze the image and make the park look smaller.