Mets Game 3: Loss to Nationals

Nationals 8 Mets 2

It was a fairly interesting game until the seventh inning.

Mets Game Notes

Zack Wheeler produced the Mets’ second straight “quality start,” only to see the effort go for naught thanks to a combination of a lack of offense and a miserable bullpen. Though, maybe the bullpen gave up five runs because they knew it wouldn’t matter — if a team can only score two runs, wins will be hard to come by.

For the record, I don’t place much value in the “quality start” — but I’m trying to be positive in these first three debacles games.

Wheeler wasn’t great — he allowed the leadoff batter to reach base in every inning he spun — but all things considered, the fact he allowed only three runs is either luck or a testament to his ability. Wheeler threw 114 pitches before exiting, following Bartolo Colon‘s 110-pitch effort in game 2, and suggesting that Terry Collins (or the Mets front office?) may be establishing a precedent for their starting pitchers. I’m fine with higher pitch counts than we’ve seen in the past 15 years, but, at the same time, there are two things to consider: first, it’s the first week of the season, and I’m not sure that any of the starters are truly ready to throw 110+ just yet. Second, it’s not the pitch count with which to be concerned, but the amount of rest after the outing. If Colon and Wheeler will get a full 5 days of rest — which is possible considering the unusual schedule and unpredictable weather in April — then, OK. If they will be getting only four days’ rest before their next start, well, that’s not enough.

How much pitching do the Nationals have, for goodness sakes? Ross Detwiler came in relief in what seemed to be an insignificant role — he was a pretty decent starter not long ago, and would right now probably slot in as the Mets’ #3 or #4 starter if he pitched in the orange and blue.

In contrast, are the Mets relievers simply in a rut, or do they really stink? Hmmmmm … I’m going to be really fair and forgiving and suggest that it’s too early to tell. But my brain and my gut have different opinion.

Ryan Zimmerman is some kind of hitter, isn’t he?

On a positive note: Curtis Granderson mashed two doubles. He needed that.

Another positive note: the Mets hitters whiffed only 8 times. With every game, they strike out less.

Juan Lagares remains hot — he hit a double and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. But, why the heck was he batting 6th and not leadoff? Because Eric Young, Jr. runs fast? Lagares is on fire — it makes sense to give him as many at-bats as possible until he cools off. Young, meanwhile, is still looking to reach base for the first time in 2014.

Daniel Murphy stroked a single in his first game of the year, and turned two double plays, but he also committed a throwing error (one that might not have been, if a more talented athlete were playing first base). No brain locks on the basepaths, but the Nats did take advantage of his weak arm when Bryce Harper scored from second on a deflected single into shallow RF. I’d say his plus-minus is even.

Speaking of not-so-talented athletes playing first base, Lucas Duda makes one good defensive play for every three not-so-great, but not-charged-with-error plays. And he’s not doing much with the bat. That said, his plus-minus is currently in the negative.

It’s only three games, Mets fans. Please keep in mind that the 2005 Mets began the season 0-5, and they still managed a winning season. It wasn’t 90 wins, but they did win more than they lost.

Mets pitchers have thrown 180, 160, and 174 pitches in each of the three games, an average of 171 per game; the NL average thus far is 144. I’m not sure what that means, but it’s interesting — right?

Next Mets Game

The Mets host the Reds for a three-game weekend series in Flushing beginning at 7:10 PM on Friday night. Jenrry Mejia goes to the mound against Mike Leake.

Mets 2014 Games

About the Author

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.

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