Mets Game 91: Win Over Pirates
Mets 4 Pirates 2
Mets finish their road trip 6-3 heading into the All-Star break. Is it good to finish on a high note or bad to have their momentum stopped?
Mets Game Notes
Dillon Gee was sparkling once again. Coming into the 2013 season Gee was projected by me to be a fifth starter, and Jeremy Hefner, a poor man’s version of Gee. Over the past month and a half, however, both are proving me wrong. Will they keep it up? We’ll see. It would be nice to see them continue to establish themselves.
The Pirates had one shot to break it open against Gee, in the third inning, but could only muster one run. After that, Gee cruised and pitched efficiently before running out of gas around the 95-pitch point in the seventh.
LaTroy Hawkins has been averaging about 92 MPH on his fastball this year, but turned it up a notch in throwing 95 beginning with Pedro Alvarez and through the end of his one frame. I guess he’s been saving that velocity for just the right time? He allowed a run but stranded Andrew McCutchen on third to end the inning.
It looks like John Buck has finally shaken off his 2 1/2 month slump. The key is being patient against inexperienced pitchers and going to the right side with two strikes.
Speaking of inexperienced pitchers, Pittsburgh rookie Gerrit Cole has raw talent but not yet polished — I understand completely why the Bucs left Cole down on the farm when spring training broke, and it wasn’t only due to starting the arbitration / free agency clock Cole throws hard — he was humming in the 97-98 MPH range — but his location is sporadic and he needs a lot of work on the mental game. Throughout his stint his body language was terrible — he was clearly uncomfortable and/or frustrated.
Pirates catcher Michael McKenry did a nice job blocking balls in the dirt. For the kids watching, hope you took note of McKenry’s method of using his hands to go after the ball, and letting the rest of his body move behind the hands. Contrary to Keith Hernandez‘s comment that McKenry was using “quick feet,” he actually was using quick hands. Wherever your hands go, your body will follow, so it’s best to move your hands first and get them to the ball on pitches in the dirt.
Ike Davis hit into a double play as a pinch-hitter in the ninth. It didn’t look like he was running hard out of the box. Acceptable?
By the way, Josh Satin went 1-for-3 with a walk facing righthanders in Ike’s stead. Just sayin’.
In the top of the seventh, Daniel Murphy was tagged out by Pedro Alvarez on a ground ball by David Wright. It was described as a “tough play” for Murphy, a “reaction play,” and the only criticism offered by Keith Hernandez was that “he should’ve gotten into a rundown.” Well, I’m going to go ahead and disagree. It was yet another terrible running gaffe by Murphy, and here’s why: the Pittsburgh infield was drawn in. When the infield is in, as a runner on third you have two choices: either you’re going to stick close to third and wait for a ball to enter the outfield, or you’re going to run home on contact. By Murphy’s aggressive lead, it is assumed his choice was the latter. The moment Wright made contact, Murphy should have head home and dealt with the consequences. Instead, he paused, then reneged on his original decision to go home on contact.
When Bobby Parnell entered the game in the bottom of the ninth, the SNY crew wondered aloud about the rumors Parnell could be traded at the deadline, scoffing at such a suggestion, because “why in the world would the Mets trade him when they finally found a closer?” Um, because closers aren’t terribly helpful for teams destined to finish last or second-to-last — not much value in someone who can close games unless there are games to close. Hmm … sound bite planted by Mets management? If so, expect another ho-hum trading deadline in Flushing. It sounds like Marlon Byrd will be sticking around, too, because the Mets reportedly want to “finish strong and build momentum into 2014.” Or, maybe they just need to keep momentum going after the All-Star game and sell as many tickets as possible before the end of 2013 — you make the call. This nonsense of keeping Parnell was further “explained” by Andy Martino, who still looks and sounds 13 years old despite the facial hair. Not that there’s anything wrong with being 13.
Speaking of planted sound bites, could Keith Hernandez gush any more about the “great” job being done by Terry Collins to “get everything out of his team that’s possible”? Really? If that’s truly the case, then should Sandy Alderson and his dream team be fired? Because last I checked, the Mets have been about ten games under .500 for the bulk of the season — and Collins is 30 games under .500 as a Mets manager (192-223). Every day I’m more amazed by the warped reality spewed by SNY. People wonder why I have a hard time calling myself a “Mets fan” — it’s garbage like this, in which we are expected to be morons and digest the absolute bull being shoved down our throats. I guess it works on those who don’t follow the games as closely (which is about 90-95% of the people who buy tickets to Mets games and buy David Wright jerseys).
I must confess to rooting for a Pirates win, because it would’ve been cool for them to have 57 wins at the All-Star Break, three years after winning only 57 games ALL SEASON in 2010.
Next Mets Game
The All-Star Exhibition is played on Tuesday at Taxpayer Field. The Mets next play next Friday night, July 19, hosting the Phillies. Game time is 7:10 PM and Jeremy Hefner is listed as the scheduled starter for New York; not sure who will be chucking for Philadelphia.