Mets Game 159: Loss To Brewers
Brewers 4 Mets 2
Really? The Mets take two out of three from the Reds in Cincinnati, and then fall flat against the Brewers at home? Opposite week continues …
Mets Game Notes
I did actually watch this game — the first I’ve seen since last weekend. But to be honest, it wasn’t holding my attention. It was one of those cases where my eyes were on the screen but I found my mind drifting elsewhere much of the time, and then other things easily distracted me, such as the hamburger on my plate or spotlights shining above the 59th Street Bridge.
Maybe it was because it was so hard to believe that this same Mets team that shut out the Reds couldn’t muster a fight against the PEDless Brew Crew. With Prince Fielder gone for a couple years now, and Ryan Braun suspended, who is left in the Milwaukee lineup? Is Jonathon Lucroy their star hitter? At the corners they have Yuniesky Betancourt and Juan Francisco? Gee whiz, it makes the Mets lineup look like a AAA All-Star team. Yet, four runs did those Brewers score — against Mets de facto ace Dillon Gee, who finished the season allowing 4 runs in 6 innings in 4 of his last 7 starts, and ending the year three outs short of 200 innings.
The Mets had Milwaukee starter Johnny Hellweg on the ropes from the get-go, but couldn’t step on his neck. Somehow, they allowed the seemingly confused giant find his way back to the strike zone, instead of making the first frame his last one of the day. Both the first and third innings were shaping up like huge innings for the Mets offense, but they came away with only one run total — and it came on an infield ground out. Perhaps the adage “a walk is as good as a hit” doesn’t apply in all situations, despite what Brad Pitt claims in that movie about that team with the little budget.
Funny, I thought it was one of those situations where my mind was playing tricks on me — you know, when you think the Mets are leaving the world on base, but then you look at the boxscore later and realize the actual number wasn’t nearly as high as you thought? Well, in the end, the Mets left 11 runners on base, and were 0-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
A scary moment came when David Wright was drilled in the skull in the third inning. What is it with Wright and late-season beanings? I know, it’s easy to ask, “why is Wright even participating in these meaningless games when he just came off the DL?” An equally easy answer: because no one is going to keep David Wright off the field, if David Wright wants to be on it. End of discussion.
Later in the game, David Aardsma appeared to intentionally plunk Lucroy — perhaps as retaliation. If indeed Aardsma threw a purpose pitch — and it certainly looked that way — I’m not on board with it. Wright was hit — and Duda moments later — because Hellweg had zero control of his pitches. You don’t hit an opposing player as revenge in a situation like that. If retaliation is ever appropriate, it’s when you believe the opposing pitcher is purposely knocking your guys down, or purposely “moving their feet.” Hitting someone on the other team because their pitcher has no idea where the ball is going is bush league.
That’s all I have.
Next Mets Game
The Mets and Brewers do it again at 7:10 PM on Friday night. Carlos Torres takes the ball against Yovani Gallardo.
His non-play on a slow roller up the middle (to no one’s surprise, non-charged error) opened the floodgates to a 4-run inning for Gee. He picks up a force out there, for the 2nd out of the inning – and who knows what kind of ballgame it is?
Yeah, who cares — but again, symbolic of something that doesn’t show up in the boxscore “against” Murph…..that wound up putting the game outta reach.
And for whatever reason, he chose to swing, 3-0 down 4-runs, leading to an RBI groundout on 3-1….rather than taking the walk, followed by 2 HBP’s.
Which is not to say Mr. Hellweg would have continued along the same exact path, hitting both Wright (in the head) and Duda —- but it was clear that he was nowhere near the zone that inning.
Good job, Murph.
2-for-2 in keeping them outta this series so far.
Hellweg: Career – 30.2 IP, 8 HB
Since the pitching (starting and relief) should be better with Thor, Montero, and/or Mejia starting and maybe Harvey, the staff should be in good shape (Gee and Niese will need to lead the kids). With Vic Black, Parnell, Hawkins, Edgin, Rice and the kids coming from minors they should be good.
Here is where I would spend: sign Choo to play LF or RF. Sign Peralta to play SS. Try to sign Beltran as well. If Choo is too expensive, resign Byrd. Other than Choo, no one should get more than a 2 year offer. These moves would help the offense a lot. It would take the pressure off Wright and allow everyone to help. Starting lineup:
Ike/Duda or better yet someone new 1B
Backup Young IF/OF, Brown OF, Tejada IF, Satin IF, Turner IF
SP Harvey (maybe), Niese, Wheeler, Gee, Mejia-Thor-Montero
CL Parnell, Hawkins, Black, Rice, Edgin, Torres (others from minors)
This group should win 85+ games which gets them in the hunt
I’m upset that Gee got pulled one inning short of his primary goal for the year (200 innings), so Lutz could pinch hit with a man on 1st and 2 out in a meaningless game. It’s not a bad strategic move, but it’s not a “must” move either, so Terry should err on the side of rewarding the guy who’s given the team a nice season. But I guess that’s only for stars like Reyes, who can sabotage the team’s chance to win by skipping 4 ABs (and waste every attending fan’s money) by pulling himself for the sake of a batting title.
If I was David Wright, I’d be in Collins’ office right now lobbying to give Gee the opportunity to pitch an inning on Sunday. It’d be nice for the players to know that while they’re being asked to play hard on an awful team, they won’t have extra carrots taken away from them.
It’d also be nice for the fans — in the absence of success, story lines are all we have, and a likable career Met reaching a personal milestone is a nice story line. Seriously, I only watched this game to see if Gee would pitch 7.
If it’s a personal goal, then I call nonsense; he’s proven his value this year. But if it triggers an incentive bonus in his contract, then good for management for letting him achieve it.
Collins would have to be deaf, blind and dumb not to realize this. So I guess he just doesn’t care.
This would be okay if he always operated that way, but he hasn’t. He’s allowed stars like Wright, Reyes and Santana to dictate what they do, he’s always had an anointed closer who gets every save chance, etc. Do you think Collins would have pulled Santana at 199 innings in a marginal situation? Of course not. Zero chance. Zero. But because Gee has no clout and is a mild-mannered good soldier, Collins feels free to pinch-hit when he feels like it, no matter how small the advantage, no matter how large the cost to Gee. I don’t like this at all.
Maybe Collins wants to send an “it’s all about team, not personal goals” message? If so, then doing it to a quiet guy like Gee is a wuss move. Absent any message, it’s simply a bad move in that it’s tone-deaf to his players.
It’s also a bad move for the fans. Who still cares about the Mets? Fans who root for the underdog to show character and overcome adversity. We want good things for people who do that. Who’s done that on the Mets this year? Dillon Gee. Did any big, tangible good things happen for him? No, his manager yanked him an inning short.
It’s a metaphor for why being a Mets fan is not merely trying, but actively painful at times. Plenty of teams lose. The Mets lose ugly. The only thing they didn’t screw up in the last 7 years was Dickey’s 2012. That was a rewarding thing to follow as a fan. Everything else has been “so close” and “if only”, and that’s not enough to make fans feel good about a team that doesn’t win.