Mets Game 13: Win Over Diamondbacks
Mets 7 Diamondbacks 3
For all the lack of sleep, long ballgames, and difficult travel, the Mets put out a great effort in burying the snakes.
Mets Game Notes
Zack Wheeler started out throwing 95-96 in the first inning, and held 95 MPH through the third inning. His velocity started to drop to 94-95 around pitches 35-40, then it dipped to 93-94 right around pitches 65-70. He still hit 94 after pitch #70, and held that velocity through 90 pitches, touching 96 MPH at pitch #90. After pitch #90, though, his fastball dipped to 93 MPH and he lost command of all pitches. Terry Collins pulled him at that point (97 pitches), with one out in the 7th inning and men on first and second. I’m not sure if dropping from 95-96 to 93-94 is a big deal, but I wonder if Wheeler might be more suited to the bullpen if he’s going to continue to run out of gas at 90 pitches — which is something he’s been doing since we’ve seen him as a big-leaguer, so it’s not necessarily due to it being early in the year. We’ll see as the season wears on.
Wheeler’s curveball looked good in the first five innings, then it tailed off gradually.
Bobby Ojeda mentioned that Wheeler’s mechanics looked “great” and “consistent” and that “he wasn’t following through toward first base like last time.” To me, the mechanics were not “great” as his arm continues to be behind, particularly at foot strike. To me, his mechanics were not necessarily consistent — he occasionally had better timing, but only infrequently. As for following through toward first base, yes, he was, fairly frequently, and there is video to prove it. I hope people other than former MLB pitchers are looking at Wheeler’s motion and considering necessary changes that will prevent injury. According to their official blog, the Mets are using some kind of high-tech, cutting-edge, in-game biomechanical analysis. However, analysis is useless unless someone knows what they’re looking at and can apply fixes when needed. It’s kind of like having an X-ray or an MRI taken, and then not having a doctor to interpret the results, and/or a surgeon to perform the surgery.
And yes, it’s possible to perform well / put up good numbers with a dangerous process. MLB pitchers do it all the time (and then their arms blow out).
Eight-out save for Carlos Torres — talk about old school.
Good night for Lucas Duda, eh? Four for five with two RBI as he raised his average above .300. Maybe he should be installed as the everyday first baseman. Oh, wait …
Daniel Murphy shed the hipster beard, presumably to shed the slump, and it seemed to have worked. Perhaps having less hair on his face eliminated distraction from seeing pitches and allowed him to focus better. Or maybe less weight on the face led to quicker hands. Whatever — the beard was weird anyway, unless Murph planned on hanging out in Bushwick, Brooklyn sucking down local beer and nibbling porkbelly-kale-quinoa wraps while strumming acoustic guitar.
It seemed like every time Murphy came to the plate, Keith Hernandez said, “this game is about to be blown wide open.” Jeez, Keith, when are you going to admit that Daniel is your illegitimate son?
Murphy made multiple acrobatic plays in the field and is often looking somewhat natural at second base. Dare I say he’s on the verge of being adequate with the glove? It’s still early, but there’s hope. Again, maybe it’s the clean-shaven face that helps make him look better.
Pleased, but displeased, to see Curtis Granderson ram into the fence in the first inning. Loved the effort, of course, hated the result, which turned out to be left forearm, rib cage, and knee contusions. Grandy seemed to swing the bat OK afterward, but he was letting go of his top (left) hand, which was the side he jammed into the wall. Though I’m fairly sure his contract will be a bust, I still love watching Granderson play and see him as an ideal ambassador of the sport — one who we hope youngsters look up to — so I hope he can recover and get back on the field quickly.
One of Kevin Burkhardt’s pieces focused on Juan Lagares, and how Lagares has been working hard on swinging only at pitches in the strike zone. Burkhardt went on to mention that, according to fangraphs.com, Lagares swung at 35% of pitches out of the strike zone in 2013, but had only swung at 32% out of the zone this year. Um, really? We’re going to compare 421 plate appearances to 51, and make hay over a 3% difference? OK. Hey, I get it — Lagares is trying to be more disciplined, and he’s hitting really well thus far. But if you’re going to quote stats, maybe wait until there’s a slightly larger sample size, and a slightly more stark contrast in the numbers, OK? The conspiracy theorist in me wonders if SNY daily talking points include “pump up Juan Lagares in every possible way!”
Speaking of Lagares, he left the ballgame in the 7th with what seemed like a hamstring issue. As mentioned above, I enjoy watching Curtis Granderson and will be disappointed if he can’t play full-speed going forward. Similarly, Lagares has been enjoyable to watch thus far this year, and it will be another disappointment if he’s sent to the bench. Hopefully, it’s just a minor twinge (but, not the kind of minor twinge that used to keep Jose Reyes out for half-seasons at a time).
What are the odds on Kirk Gibson making it through the end of April as manager of the D’backs? What about making it through the end of this week? He’s been dealt a difficult hand, but, a GM can’t blame himself, can he? My guess is that Kevin Towers will pass the blame and therefore stave off his own forced exit by at least five months.
Wasn’t Ryan Rowland-Smith an ABC newscaster?
The Mets struck out 10 times in this game, so they’re keeping their 10-per-game average going. But who cares as long as they win, right?
Next Mets Game
The Mets and Diamondbacks do it again in Arizona at 9:40 PM Right Coast Time. Jenrry Mejia goes to the mound against Bronson Arroyo. So this is where Arroyo wound up? I guess I missed that over the winter; for some reason I thought the Dodgers signed him (they signed everyone else, it seemed like).