Mets Game 102: Loss To Nationals

Nationals 14 Mets 1

Mets start and end the series with laughers. Unfortunately, the Nationals got the last laugh.

Mets Game Notes

Not a good day for Carlos Torres. Similar to his previous starts, he relied heavily on his breaking pitches — mainly the slider. Unlike his previous starts, the opposing hitters were expecting him to rely on sliders, and they stayed back, letting the ball “get deep” before committing. As a result, many of Torres’ sinking sliders were taken for balls as they slid out of the strike zone, while others were poked to the opposite field. In short, Torres wasn’t fooling anyone.

After falling behind 8-0, I was actually a little surprised to see Torres removed. The game was far out of hand by that point, and Torres had only thrown 59 pitches — may as well leave him in there to eat up a few more innings and “take one for the team.”

As it was, reliever Gonzalez Germen was no better — he allowed two runs on four hits and a walk in his two frames.

This game lasted far too long.

Well, at least the Mets scored one. I guess.

The bottom of the Nats lineup provided most of the firepower — slots 5, 6, 7, and 8 went a combined 12-for-15 with 11 runs scored and 11 RBI. Wow.

Anthony Rendon was only 1-for-13 in this series but he hit everything hard. I mean, some blistering shots. He’s also 3 for his last 39, and though I have no idea whether all of his outs previous to facing the Mets were hard outs as well, he doesn’t look like a guy in that deep of a slump. It will be interesting to see what the Nats do with Rendon, Ryan Zimmerman, and Adam LaRoche during the offseason — and where/if Steve Lombardozzi, Chris Marrero, and Danny Espinosa fit into the plans.

Denard Span — who I keep confusing with Ben Revere — hit his second homerun of the season.

Cool seeing Davey Johnson remove Ryan Matteus after the righthander loaded the bases with a 13-run lead in the ninth. That’s no situation to be fooling around — throw strikes, dammit! Johnson had to pry the ball out of Mattheus’ hand, as the pitcher seemed surprised he was being taken out. Son, that’s called delusion, and perhaps the reason you have a 6+ ERA and likely on your way to the minors.

Next Mets Game

The Mets move on to Miami to start a four-game series with the Marlins. Game one begins on Monday night at 7:10 PM. The pitching matchup will be Jeremy Hefner vs. Jacob Turner.

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. AC Wayne July 28, 2013 at 5:59 pm
    I agree with you, Joe, on leaving Torres in. No off-days to speak these next seven days. They practically used up their BP, not sure why Parnell was in there? And to top it off, he gave up a run. I hope the Mets rethink this 6-man rotation non-sense. Not only does Torres belong in the BP but it just screams meaningless games for the next 2 months. Today’s loss was very disappointing to say the least. Further exposed the Mets flaws.
    • DaveSchneck July 28, 2013 at 10:55 pm
      Agreed on ‘t’orres. Collins should have let him take a little more for the team. He is clearly a bullpen pitcher, but
      I think he has value there despite today’s bad outing.

      I also don’t like the 6 man rotation. I can cut them slack with this post all-star run with no off days for 3 weeks, but once that passes, pitch 5 and find a replacement.

      There are no meaningless games for the next two months. They have great significance for the playoff push, in 2014. I hope the Mets management handles them in that manner.

  2. Steven July 28, 2013 at 6:47 pm
    I know this is not news but it now is clear that there is basically no rational reason to think Ike will find his stroke as a Met. An automatic weakly hit ball out of the fifth spot in lineup will keep this team from scoring more than three runs on a consistent basis. I think the plan has to be to platoon Duds and Satin when Duda is back and then figure things out in the off season. There is really nothing to be gained from playing Ike the rest of season since even a good August will be discounted by other teams and Sept really doesn’t count. Would like your take Joe
    • Joe Janish July 29, 2013 at 12:21 am
      I think the Mets are hoping against hope that Ike returns to the form of his 2012 second half. Then they have something of value in an offseason trade. They have invested too much in him over the years to give up on him — which is a shame.

      I’d be very curious to know what would have happened if Duda never went on the DL. Would he have taken over at 1B and never looked back?

      The worst thing that can happen is Ike get hot in September, giving hope that he’s “back” and then penciled in to the 2014 starting job. If the Mets have all the money they’ve been bragging about when Bay/Santana come off the books, then they should go after a legit first baseman over the winter.

      • crozier July 29, 2013 at 9:30 am
        I think Ike could succeed somewhere else; it’s possible. I don’t see how the Mets continue to invest in him after 2013. No team interested in contending should risk another year like this.

        Ike’s 3-run homer in the 9th inning of Friday afternoon’s game matched the Mets’ run total over the next 3 games. Should this be the beginning of a long slide, his homer could be seen as the reverse of Kurt’s 3-run walk off on June 16.

        Ike Davis: the anti-catalyst.

        • Timo July 29, 2013 at 3:21 pm
          I agree with you Joey. I’m scared about Ike doing well at end of season. They love him like they love Murphy. We should go around the league and swap #1 rounds busts. One place is the Rockies. We need OF help and they need a 1B. Their outfield is full and their young guys will not come up. Maybe Tim Wheeler would be a good fit with the Mets for Ike. I like Duda at first but his DL stint really messed things up there. He is NOT an OF.
          Also, good track record with the Rockies. Colin Mchugh didn’t pitch well in his spot start and Jr has been one of our best outfielders. We need to shake things up.
          I’m hoping for some deadline deals but highly doubt it. I only watch games our young guns pitch (now include Mejia). Actually I watch more games now than I did in the beginning of the year because of our future pitchers. I could care less if Byrd is on the team. I don’t the Mets to see him play right field. Send him to the Rangers.
        • Timo July 29, 2013 at 3:24 pm
          Sign Morales to play 1B next year and Choo to play RF.
  3. TexasGusCC July 28, 2013 at 7:08 pm
    I saw three batters today. The first was a single to right by Werth. Brown charges, throws a low throw to the plate, but Davis is standing on first, not in position to cut it off. Ball goes through to the plate.

    The next was a base hit by Desmond into center and Lagares charges and holds Werth at third. The Nats broadcasters were raving about Lagares playing short and charging hits so well. Lagares held the ball a second, then threw it in to a running Davis who was late getting to the mound to field the cut off throw.

    The third was a grand slam. Shut it off.

  4. TexasGusCC July 29, 2013 at 2:44 am
    The bright side?
    • Izzy July 29, 2013 at 6:13 am
      You know what Tex….Pirate fans did the same thing you just did for 20 years. Its meaningless crap supporting a failed front office that spews out minor leaguer names like they are all going to be in the Hall. Just imagine two three years ago your list had the great Ike, the great Captain Kirk the great Thole and on and on and on. winning organizations go out and win, losing orgs brag about guys who they promise are going to the Hall. By the way in 1963 the Mets list was headed by Ed Kranepool, whom they had Lindsey Nelson, Bob Murphy and Ralph Kiner compare daily to Hank Greenberg. So your list is an old worn out game played by orgs with hapless teams. Judging by the emptiness of the city morgue, most fans ain’t buying Tomoorrow from Wilpon/Alderson.
      • TexasGusCC July 29, 2013 at 9:17 am
        Izzy, I know you hate Alderson and there are things about him that tick me off too, but I have read in sites like Fangraphs and MLB that the Mets pitching depth is impressive. I am no scout, so that is nice to hear from impartial parties. Also, I only listed pitchers, not Flores, Puello, etc. because I agree with you that hitters are harder to project at the MLB level than pitchers.
      • crozier July 29, 2013 at 9:37 am
        I hear you Izzy, but you just aren’t a credible witness; your bile runs too deep. The Mets aren’t Pittsburgh, and they will contend again in the near future, because of – not in spite of – Alderson’s efforts. Syndergaard and D’Arnaud for Dickey may turn out to be one the smarter trades in the organization’s history. And I say this as someone who continues to follow Dickey and wince at every line score (how bad is his season? John Buck alone is more valuable to the Mets than Dickey has been to the Jays).
        • DaveSchneck July 29, 2013 at 10:45 am
          I agree that while Izzy makes legit points, he is so anti-Alderson that his objectivity is suspect. and, I agree that the Dickey trade has the makings to be a winner, but we won’t know until these guys prove they can do it in the bigs. Yes, the Mets have stockpiled pitching depth in the minors, but I cannot accept it as a given that this will translate into them competing regularly. Tampa is the model here, but Alderson still has a ton of work to do to get to their levle of performance. And, many Met fans look past the fact that the Braves’ “plan” has whooped the Mets for two decades, the Nats have a ton more talent than the Mets and an owner with BILLONS to spend, the Phillies just spent $50 million on the chance that a risky Cuban kid will pan out, and are on the cusp of a TV deal that will provide them with enough money to fund a $200 million payroll annually. There is reason for optimism (Harvey, young ptiching, etc) but there is a great deal of uncertainly, and frankly Alderson has collectively done nothing to separate himself and this regime from any of the other GMs in the division. Heck, the Marlins have stockpiled more prospects than the Mets, and they have a 20 year old ace and the big cleanup hitter to build around, a young closer outperforming Parnell, an outfield crowded with prospects, and no money problems. Why should we think the Mets’ future is any brighter than the Marlins’, no less the Braves, Nationals, or Phillies?
        • crozier July 29, 2013 at 12:07 pm
          Hmm…I see why you named yourself after a much-vaunted but failed prospect. Okay, I’m joking. Shoot, I’d probably call myself Danny Heep, and he wasn’t even a prospect.

          I don’t think the Mets’ future is necessarily brighter than their rivals, although the Phillies are currently saddled with an awful lot of dollars on their payroll, and the team is old. I never count them out, but their future depends on a lot of things going right. The Marlins can’t be depended on to build anything that will last. Washington could go either way; I wouldn’t be surprised to see them bounce back or struggle.

          I’m not saying the Mets will build a Braves-type model; only that they’re in a position to compete effectively. If their pitching pans out, it will take much less than many people suspect to get there. But I also I know how much good fortune is required to build and maintain good pitching. So we’ll see.

          As to your money comments, I’m certainly not sold on a club’s ability to spend translating to success. For example: $70 million on four years of Ethier? I won’t be impressed. Smart, precision deals will give the Mets all the offense it needs if the pitching is good. I still think Alderson can do it.

        • DaveSchneck July 29, 2013 at 2:09 pm
          Danny Heep was a fine piece on a very good team, acquired by trade. Unfortunately, the Mets have produced many more Dave Schnecks, but nonetheless I remain loyal to him as he was there when I first took interest. Oh, to be a Met fan. You are right, Alderson can still do it, but he is behind schedule and his little margin for error.
        • crozier July 29, 2013 at 3:58 pm
          I pulled for Dave Schneck as well. And Lee Mazzilli. And god help me, Mike Vail, who was perhaps the Ike Davis of his time.

          Now see? Those were the really dark days.

          I was at Vets stadium the night after the Phils beat NY 26-7 (Von Hayes: 2 home runs, 7 RBI in the first inning alone). Danny Heep homered to tie it and later hit a SF to put them ahead for good. One of my favorite just-okay players.

  5. Dan B July 29, 2013 at 8:01 am
    Joe, the money the Mets have coming off the books is just like the list of prospects that Izzy was talking about — they are, as you know, selling their money as having potential. I want less potential and more actual. Already we are being told the team won’t improve at the trade deadline. Next will be the stories of how any available player is over paid. It is time for results.
  6. Dan B July 29, 2013 at 12:44 pm
    My problem with the Met’s pitching prospectsis not how good they are but how the rest of the franchise was sacrificed to achieve it. The Mets traded their best hitter and their best pitcher away for prospects. They stopped trading prospects for major league help. They have no position players near the majors. To win, you need pitching AND position players. On top of this all are owners who still are in financial trouble and fail to invest in the team on both the major league level and minor league level. I am routing to be wrong but I keep seeing the Mets every year shedding payroll, letting players go, and finishing in fourth.
  7. Dan B July 29, 2013 at 1:49 pm
    By the way, over the past couple days people commented about the Dickey trade. I liked it then and I still like it. But there is plenty of time for Toronto to come out on top. Buck was supposed to be a mentor and a trading chip. He hasn’t been either. Our two prospects are still prospects. And would anybody be surprised if Dickey wins 20 games next year? Let’s not hurt ourselves patting each other on the back yet.
    • DaveSchneck July 29, 2013 at 2:14 pm
      Very very true. Time will tell, and it will take more than a few months and some good AA starts. Ditto for passing on Bourn. I like the look of Lagares, and Bourn has been just ok in Cleveland, but it is way too early to judge on these moves.
  8. Timo July 29, 2013 at 8:31 pm
    Tex — remember Generation X? How did that pan out for the Mets? I’m not saying the that will happen again ( I hope not) but we may want to think about trading our pitching for quality position players. The Angels have a middle infield and center fielder that would be perfect! I like Lagares but he’s not the answer. He’s another Captain Kirk.
  9. TexasGusCC July 30, 2013 at 12:37 am

    Generation K, not X.
    That was three minor league pitchers that didn’t have great stuff, but were ballyhooed. On this list of 24 pitchers, 4 are already in the majors. That leaves the other 20 of which to find one, 5%. One out of twenty? I think they will find one.

    The Angels want to trade Aybar. I like him. Good defense, good speed, ok bat. You can get him reasonably. I don’t know the other players you are referring to, but always open to a better plan.

    Lagares to Kirk? I think you’re wrong, but we’ll see. If he absolutely bombs offensively, defensively he can be Peter Bourjos, and Bourjos is better than Neuwenheis. So, even if he bombs offensively…which, he’s not doing lately.

  10. mic July 30, 2013 at 2:57 am
    Mets have some holes to fill and reported money to spend(?). Izzy is the best authority to react to that statement.

    We need an rbi bat/LF-RF. Byrd is very solid there, but an interesting name that could fit is …..Carlos Beltran.

    We need a good SS. prefereably with speed. good bat. …someone like …..JOSE REYES maybe.

    The young guns are great, some may stay some may be packaged…(hopefully well). I see Harvey, Syndergaard. Then comes Gee, Wheeler, Niese, Montero and Fulmer. Who will stick? Niese has suitors every year. But I think a veteran lefty starter with somewhat of a power arm could well get a shot. ….johan Santana? Coming off injury he will be cheaper, he is proven starter as a Met and would probably not need a lot of years. Plus there are all these youngsters coming through.

    RE: list above:
    How about letting us see them!!!!
    -Juan Centeno & Francisco Pena: Playing very well at AAA after starting at AA. It is not like our major league catchers are that great. Pena in particular (TONY PENA’s) son has worked his way through the system.
    -Syndergaard. Has done as well if not better than Harvey and Wheeler. Does he need to play AAA ball? Maybe not, but Wally might ask for him so LV pushes for AAA title.
    -Wilmer Flores:

    OUT: Atchison, Turner, Murphy (?) LaTroy, John Buck/Recker.

    MANAGER: Wally Backman: Is there a link between the upswing in performance of Tejada, Jordy, Ike, Satin, Kirk, Duda, et al ewhen they play for him? Is there something about Wally that would give us some clues to this….hmmm