Mets Game 139: Loss To Indians

Indians 8 Mets 1

For the first time in a dozen years, a pitcher threw six shutout innings and struck out twelve. Unfortunately, it wasn’t Zack Wheeler.

Mets Game Notes

Former Met phenom farmhand Scott Kazmir whiffed a dozen in a half-dozen innings. He was humming in the 93-95 MPH range, which is pretty impressive considering the injuries he’s had throughout his career.

Wheeler wasn’t quite as impressive, struggling in nearly every frame. He had no command of his fastball, which he was throwing mostly in the 91-93 range. What happened to the upper-90s fastball? Is he tiring due to it being his longest season ever? I’m not so sure. He was over-exaggerating keeping his front shoulder closed, to the point where it was preventing him from reaching full velocity. A pitcher needs to keep his front side closed as long as possible AFTER his front foot hits the ground. What Wheeler was doing was turning in his front shoulder at leg lift (over-rotating) and keeping it there to the point where it looked unnatural. The result was that his left arm was far behind the rest of his body — even moreso than usual — and his pitches were higher than intended. I also was concerned with Wheeler’s body language. He looked uncomfortable and frustrated from the get-go, which to me suggests he was either thinking too much about his mechanics, or, experiencing discomfort or pain.

While Mets pitching couldn’t keep up with Kazmir’s Ks, the hurlers in orange and blue were able to walk 8 batters.

It didn’t make a difference in the ballgame, but a little thing I noticed that could have been the difference. In the first frame, with Michael Bourn on first base, none out, and the Mets playing an extreme shift to the right side with Nick Swisher at the plate, Swisher hit a grounder through the shift (somehow … I suppose it had something to do with the combination of Daniel Murphy and Wilmer Flores), and Bourn rounded second but was looking behind him at the right fielder gathering the ball so he didn’t see that no one was covering third base — Justin Turner was doubling back there from his shifted position near second base. There’s no way Turner would have backpedaled to third in time to beat Bourn to the bag. I’m not sure why Bourn was looking behind him — he should have taken one quick look to see where the ball was, then had his eyes on the third-base coach for further direction. I did see Wheeler take off from the mound to cover 3B, but had Bourn not hesitated, I think he would’ve beaten Wheeler to the bag. Remember, too, that Wheeler not only would have had to beat Bourn to the bag, but also catch the throw from Andrew Brown and apply the tag. That takes time and precision — and I doubt Wheeler has much experience catching outfielders’ throws and making tags on runners.

Speaking of Justin Turner, he hit an absolute bomb well over the center-field fence for the Mets’ lone run. He had to be guessing fastball, he got it, and he crushed it.

In the DH role and batting third, Josh Satin whiffed three times, whining to home plate umpire Gary Darling after striking out looking in his final at-bat. I really like Satin, root for him, and want to see him succeed, but like Ike Davis, he’s only hurting himself by making enemies with umps so early in his career — and it just plain looks bad. Maybe it’s a PAC-10 thing.

Satin’s night, however, wasn’t as bad as cleanup hitter Andrew Brown’s. Brown wore the golden sombrero, striking out four times.

Am I being a conspiracy theorist or did it seem like there was a lot of artificially placed love for Terry Collins in the talking points of this broadcast? I caught a bit of it during the Tim Teufel interview and then after Gary Cohen caught Asdrubal Carrera loafing to first on a grounder, Cohen remarked, “Under Terry Collins we haven’t seen a single Met do that this year.”

I’m guessing that Andy Martino grew a beard to make himself look older than 13 years old, but now he reminds me of Michael J. Fox in Teen Wolf
.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Indians do it again at 6:05 PM on Saturday night. Jonathon Niese takes the ball against Corey Kluber.

Mets Item of the Day

If you live in the NYC area, then you know the temperature has changed quite quickly — it’s feeling like fall already. How much, exactly, though, has the temperature dropped? One way to know is by buying a New York Mets Thermometer from Amazon for only about sixteen bucks. Click that link to buy it, or the image below.

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. crozier September 7, 2013 at 12:13 pm
    From what I saw, Wheeler looked lost out there. I hope it was an off day, but he could be about done for the year; he is, anyway.

    Joe, I think you’re probably over-sensitive to hearing good things said about Collins; it triggers your venom into production (the same way praise, or even moderate defense, of Murphy does, ha ha). I’m no fan of Collins, but the players seem to like/respect him, and Alderson…well, we know he doesn’t like strong managers, so who knows what he thinks. But even on the generally cynical reddit, news that Collins would likely return was greeted with overwhelmingly positive comments.

    Often cited is that Collins has never been provided the talent with which to compete. That’s certainly a tough point to argue, but some of us don’t want to see what he does with the opportunity. Any manager can win with a great team, but it takes a superior strategist to compete with more marginal talent. And a decent — not great — aggregation of talent is the best-case scenario for 2014.

    I continue to hope that Alderson is paying lip service, while he waits to see who else is available in the off-season.

    • Joe Janish September 7, 2013 at 12:44 pm
      Thanks Crozier. I’m not sure it’s venom that ignites my conspiracy theories so much as the nature of my full-time job in public relations. Knowing what I do about the crafting of messaging, and in particular, the larger scope and breadth of controlling the message in today’s newspaperless world, I’m hypersensitive to any words communicated by a television station owned by a brand.

      If the Mets do intend on keeping Collins around, wouldn’t it make perfect sense to subtly talk him up through their various communications channels? I.e., their blog, twitter account, television station? Wouldn’t it make sense to “leak” positive info to the few beat writers still around?

      If I wasn’t in PR I likely wouldn’t think this way. But ever since the day 15 years ago that a writer reproduced one of my press releases verbatim as a newspaper article, I’ve been cynical of everything expressed in media form.

      • crozier September 7, 2013 at 2:44 pm
        Google search:

        “Terry Collins is a good manager”
        10,900 results

        “Terry Collins is a bad manager”
        7 results

        Conclusion: impossibly skewed results. You know something, Joe? You might be onto something here.

        • Joe Janish September 7, 2013 at 6:42 pm
          Ha! Interesting research. I don’t expect too many people to be writing “Terry Collins is a bad manager,” but I am a little surprised there were so many results for the other phrase.
  2. Izzy September 7, 2013 at 2:00 pm
    While I agree with your suspicions when the talk seems so fake, I have to say that all three have been supporting Collins all year.
    • Joe Janish September 7, 2013 at 6:43 pm
      Good point.
  3. NormE September 7, 2013 at 6:19 pm
    Alderson, I believe, subscribes to the theory that in-game decisions by a manager does not really win or lose a great many games. Therefore, he wants a manager who won’t make waves and will readily take direction from the front office. As long as the players respond to the manager in a positive way all is okay with Sandy. The casual fan pretty much supports this.
    TC’s problem lies with many of the intense fans who see his shortcomings as holding the team back. He abuses, at times, his relief pitchers. He plays too many lefty-righty match ups, disregarding other factors. He, often fails to give enough rest to his regulars (see D. Wright, J. Buck).
    All-in-all, the Mets lack the talent to be a contender, thus TC
    or not TC, the team is a below .500 club.
    • crozier September 7, 2013 at 7:20 pm
      To be fair, bullpen abuse predates Collins (reference Feliciano’s 2008 and 2009 GP stats, for example). When it comes to pitching, you can’t fault Collins without including Dan Warthen as well. Though, hmm, Rick Peterson was using Feliciano at the same rate up to his dismissal.

      What do I know, anyway? I’m just a dumb fan. So you know what? Let Collins come back to what one hopes is a better team, and we’ll see how he does. It’s not like there’s a choice in the matter.

      • crozier September 7, 2013 at 7:21 pm
        Though one won’t be able to help but wonder: how (or do I mean “what”) would Wally Backman do?