Mets Game 90: Loss to Pirates

Pirates 4 Mets 2

The Pirates advance to 20 games over .500, while the Mets drop to 10 games below .500.

Mets Game Notes

As expected, Carlos Torres wrung 5 innings out of his arm, and did as well as anyone could have hoped. Five full frames, one run, five hits, no walks, five strikeouts. He was clearly out of gas in the fifth, but wormed his way out of a one-out, bases-loaded situation by inducing an inning-ending double play. Torres relied mostly on pitches that swerved — sliders and what I’m guessing were cutters. He threw plenty of strikes and did exactly what the Mets needed him to do.

Also as expected, the Mets bullpen was spent, and as a result, blew the game. It’s difficult to fill four innings one night after providing four in extras. Greg Burke was the loser, but David Aardsma and Josh Edgin — the two relievers who threw an inning-plus on Friday night — were just as guilty for the loss. Aardsma allowed a game-tying solo homer to Andrew McCutchen and Edgin walked two — the second with the bases loaded, forcing in Pittsburgh’s insurance run and the final nail in the coffin.

On the bright side, Bobby Parnell came into a meaningless situation and pitched a perfect eighth.

After the game, it was announced that Scott Atchison would be re-joining the club, while Jordany Valdespin is on his way to Las Vegas. I’m not sure why it took this long for Valdespin to be demoted, since he’s done absolutely nothing other than pinch-hit for the past month. If ‘spin isn’t going to get at least two starts a week, it makes no sense to keep him around the big club — he needs to get reps at a defensive position to be determined by the geniuses running the Mets organization. Second base? Outfield? Who knows? But it’s high time he plays regularly with the goal of developing some kind of value.

Hmm … one slight concern with ‘spin going down: who is the backup shortstop if something happens to Omar Quintanilla? Granted, Valdespin is hardly a shortstop, but he can be plugged in there for a few innings if something happened. I don’t think Josh Satin can fill the position, nor can Eric Young, Jr. I guess David Wright would shift over in the event of an emergency?

Ike Davis‘ hot streak ended an hour after his first game back from Vegas. He’s 2 for his last 20 since that game, and it’s not just about the numbers — he looks awful at the plate. As he did prior to being demoted, Ike looks confused, is way ahead of pitches, and when he does make contact, it’s weak contact. He’s not driving the ball at all, and not even getting lucky to run into a mistake with his bat head in the right place. His weight is shifting drastically to his front foot far too early, and as a result he’s “front-foot hitting” — which might on occasion result in a long fly ball but usually means weak ground balls and meek popups. He’s no star on defense, either — though he wasn’t charged with any errors in this game, an official scorer from a decade ago might’ve given him two. Not hitting, not fielding, not running … one has to wonder how long the Mets can wait for Ike to start hitting. Also, how is Josh Satin feeling right now?

Next Mets Game

The final game of the series — and the last game before the All-Star break — begins at 1:35 PM on Sunday afternoon. Dillon Gee goes against phenom Gerrit Cole.

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. Sidd Finch July 14, 2013 at 12:06 am
    Terry Collins poor bullpen management cost the team the first two games of this series. As for Ike, the team is better without him at this point. He is a black hole offensively and inconsistent in the field. I see that Turner and Duda will be returning soon. My guess is that Turner will most likely replace German when he is called up.

    Let’s hope they put Duda at 1B and nowhere near the OF. It will be interesting to see who they send down when the call him up. Davis is the logical choice but instead they’ll probably defy logic and common sense by bouncing either Satin or Lagares to Vegas. Both of whom should be starting in Flushing right now.

  2. TexasGusCC July 14, 2013 at 12:30 am
    I am not surprised that the Mets lost two in a row because the Pirates seem to be playing emotionally charged baseball all year while the Mets just do what they do until something happens. I think the Pirates are a little better, and so they won two games by a little.

    I’m going to skip the bullpen issue as y’all have heard my take on Collins many, many times.

    I apologize for the length in advance.

    Yesterday, Ron Darling on WFAN said that if Ike Davis doesn’t pan out, then the Mets are further away than they thought. I never felt that way, but I respect Darling and have to give weight to his thought. I checked the stats of all first baseman and was shocked to see Davis with 18 RBI. That’s less per game played than Matt Harvey. Then, I asked myself how many first baseman are clearly better than Davis and I came up with twelve and maybe another twelve he should be just as good as, like Moreland, Rizzo, Hosmer, Morneau, etc.

    Well, if Darling is right, then we have a problem because what my own eyes are telling me is that we have a problem RIGHT NOW. I work in a workplace that needs several people to do different jobs well for the success of the business. Whenever we have someone that is pulling us down, we recognize it and don’t like it.

    I think it’s no coincidence that the Mets played better ball when Davis went down. They got tired of seeing his crappy results. Now, he is back doing the same stuff and I wonder for how long they will be able to overcome. If, in fact, the front office is depending on him, LOL, but it’s not funny. If they are trying to showcase him, LOL, it’s hysterical. They are hurting their product because they think some dummy will give them something for him? What prospect are they really expecting? Now that they brought him back up and he is still lost and immobile on the field, he really got sunk because had they kept him in Vegas they could have said Satin is so hot they can’t bring Davis up. Now…

  3. nwaldrop July 14, 2013 at 6:24 am
    I too am perplexed about what they are doing with Ike Davis. If Joe or someone could do a post about what the clubs options are going forward with his contract maybe it would make more sense. I think they are hoping that he has another good second half and can be traded over the winter. I’m not sure if he is under club control after this year so I don’t know if that is what they are doing.
    They may think Ike’s problem is mental and if they do let him go he may become Chris Davis for another team so they are playing it safe.
    Management has given up on this season and really doesn’t care if the team wins or loses this season. If they did care they would leave Davis in the minors until he becomes too hot to stay there or Satin cools off. They have put so many resources into him they can’t afford to leave him in the minors because that decreases his “value.” And the fans and the team and Josh Satin have to suffer so management won’t lose face.
    • Dan42 July 14, 2013 at 7:47 am
      Considering where he was playing, Ike wasn’t doing much in LV, making his recall mind boggling especially considering what Satin was doing. Paying him 3M in Reno may hurt, but if he can’t rake there he doesn’t belong in the Majors at all.

      2013 Status 1st Year Arb Eligible (Super 2), Earliest Arb Eligible: 2014, Earliest Free Agent: 2017

  4. NormE July 14, 2013 at 6:53 am
    If TC feels that he wants/has to play Ike, why is he batting him fourth? The righty-lefty-righty logic won’t wash.
  5. Jon C July 14, 2013 at 9:55 am
    A lot of hate for terry—I’m no fan, but its hard to justify putting this all on him. Pitchers got to pitch, you put in edgin for a lefty-lefty matchup and he proceeds to walk the guy, and then the next with the bases loaded for good measure. Collins aint the one out there throwing those pitches. He hardly “cost” the team either of these games.

    Collins also didn’t call up Ike, and I’m not sure what hes supposed to do with him now that hes with the club. Can’t exactly call him up and stick him on the bench (again, from collins’ standpoint). This was a terrible decision by the front office, he was clearly not ready to be called up, satin was white hot, and yet they for some mind boggling reason decided it was time for Ike to come up.

    Again I’m no collins fan but lets not jump on the scapegoat, which is essentially what he has become at this point.

    • Dan42 July 14, 2013 at 10:36 am
      After watching game #89, and reading Joe’s post after that game you should see that the criticisms are honest opinions based on observation.

      All are entitled to disagree, but the hate label doesn’t apply.

  6. The King July 14, 2013 at 1:23 pm
    The black hole at 1st, which actually closed for awhile, has reopened. Ike should spend the rest of July and August in Vegas. See you in September.
  7. TJ July 14, 2013 at 3:38 pm
    DW will back up SS for one game, Turner should be back by Friday. I agree with your comments and most all others regarding Ike – the trip to Vegas really didn’t change anything. The Mets brass needs to forget about Ike’s 2nd half last year, he is the new Jason Bay and they need to move on. Duda will return shortly and I’d give him the job for the rest of 2013. Satin deserves ABs and can spell him and Murphy vs. tough lefties. Fair or not, as was the case with Spin, it is time to give someone else a chance. I disagree with Darling, Ike is an illusion and it actually helps to open up another position to recruit the much needed cleanup hitter.