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
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.
In other news, while we are still looking for our savior at 1B, Jose Abreu has started out hitting .455. Only three games, so let’s see…
Lastly, I have only seen one complete half inning so far (the top of the ninth on Monday when Parnell blew the save) and bits and pieces of at bats, mostly Nationals. I must say, is it me or is there a lack of energy throughout the stadium; from the players, to the announcers, to the fans.
This season is over…….trust me
This debacle in the making (yeah, I know about 2005) is to be blamed not on TC but the front office, and that’s from the owners on thru Sandy Alderson and his staff. But TC will be the sacrificial lamb some where down the road.
The only reason the Nats got as many hits as they did is because they had the luxury of sitting dead red the whole time. They were so locked in on the fastball that Wheeler’s change-up was pretty effective, despite no movement and a modest speed differential.
If he doesn’t walk Leon, we’re looking at 6 innings and 1 run, so I have hopes for improvement.
I also looked at some of SNY’s slo-mo replays and tried to pause it to check out his motion. I think his arm wasn’t as late as we’ve seen it previously; or, at least, not on every pitch.
Velocity WILL drop when a pitcher tires — and that’s an immediate signal to remove him from the game. But Wheeler goes from 95 to 93 to 91 within 75 pitches, and he shouldn’t be getting tired after 75 pitches.
On another note, Jeurys Familia’s mechanics are downright frightening. No one should be surprised when he has another arm injury.
When they hit their pitch count for the season they can just call it quits?