Mets Game 117: Loss To Dodgers
Dodgers 4 Mets 2
A rare outing by Matt Harvey — and not in a good way. Though, if players with the last name of “Ellis” were banned from MLB, Harvey might have won the game.
Mets Game Notes
Harvey pitched well enough through the first four frames, but the Dodgers hitters — particularly A.J. Ellis and Mark Ellis — solved him in the fifth and six innings. Harvey just wasn’t sharp — and hey, that happens to mere mortals every once in a while. But there were a few issues that weren’t “right” about Harvey on this evening.
For one, maybe my memory is awful, but he looked like his follow-through was going more toward first base than I remember — which almost always means there’s too much initial rotation during the leg lift. I tried looking for over-rotation, but didn’t see it. Of course, I don’t have the benefit of several angles and high-speed film — only the depressing, useless, off-centered, and over-used center-field camera. I’m wondering if his arm was feeling weak or fatigued (or in pain), and so he was consciously trying to use his lower half more than usual as compensation. I didn’t like Harvey’s body language — it was screaming discomfort, and/or frustration. Even when he had hitters in 0-2 counts, he didn’t have that “rip his heart out and crap down his throat” look that we’re used to seeing when he has his foot on a batter’s neck. Maybe Harvey is hitting a wall as he approaches the 170-inning mark — consider that the 169 innings he threw in 2012 was the most he ever threw as a pro. And/or, maybe that Sunday-football, super-amped mentality he uses as his edge every five days is causing burnout. Maybe he didn’t sleep well the night before. Maybe it was a combination of all those elements, as well as pitching to a team that is currently as red-hot as any team has been in about fifty years.
One thing that prevented Harvey from being as successful as Jenrry Mejia the evening previous — he stayed in and around the strike zone too much. Generally, that’s a good thing, but throwing strikes is never a good thing against a terrible hitter like Juan Uribe, who was as comfortable against Harvey as Bob Uecker was against Sandy Koufax. And why wouldn’t he — Harvey was offering pitches he could reach. The book on the butt-flying-out Uribe is simple: put the ball in the dirt, over his shoulders, or two feet outside, and you’ll retire him consistently. Harvey’s command is so damn good — even on a bad day — that he’s incapable of throwing pitches that poorly. It’s interesting that a pitcher with great command is actually at a disadvantage against this Los Angeles buzzsaw compared to a pitcher who averts the strike zone. Shaun Marcum likely would have gone seven strong against these Dodgers.
Again, the Mets defense was no help behind Harvey, though the mistakes weren’t as glaring as game one. Despite all the praise lavished on Eric Young, Jr. by the cheerleaders in the SNY booth over the past two months, the fact is, he’s not a very good outfielder. He’s fast, and his legs get him to balls that others wouldn’t, and make up for his inadequacy in reading balls off the bat. His legs are his one plus tool, and if an MLBer is going to have only one tool, that’s the one you want, because it helps in every facet of the game and it’s the tool most likely to outlast all the others (despite popular belief — just ask Rickey Henderson or Juan Pierre). Unfortunately, EYJr’s stick is so-so, his fielding fundamentals are awful, and his arm is flat-out bad. His erratic throws in the fifth and sixth allowed runners to score and take extra bases.
By the way, not-fuh-nuthin, but, the Dodgers lineup did not include Hanley Ramirez, Andre Ethier, nor Matt Kemp. Yes, the Mets were without David Wright and Wilmer Flores, but just wanted to point out that fact.
Next Mets Game
The final game of the series begins at, yes, 10:10 PM on Wednesday night. Dillon Gee goes against former Met Chris Capuano. I will also be playing a night game, and depending on my mood and clarity, may or may not be watching the Mets and writing a detailed recap. I’ll try to at the very least put up a brief post to get the comments going.