Mets Game 14: Win Over Diamondbacks
Mets 9 Diamondbacks
Mets mash Diamondbacks early and don’t let up. This, my friends, is what we call a “laugher.”
Mets Game Notes
A three-hit shutout for the Mets. Are the Mets this good? Are the D’backs this bad?
Arroyo threw 3 1/3 innings of BP — I’ve never seen him this awful, and have to wonder if he has an injury or if it was simply one of the worst nights of his life. The Mets were ultra-aggressive in the initial inning, with three of the first four batters attacking Arroyo’s first pitch; by the time the half-inning was over, the Mets had a three-run lead. Strangely enough, despite Eric Young, Jr. reaching base on an infield single to begin the game, it took two more singles and a fielder’s choice to score him. How many more times will you see that anomaly?
Jenrry Mejia had excellent results, but left after five frames and 77 pitches due to what was described as a blister on his middle finger. Good thing it was a blowout, but the Mets bullpen didn’t need the extra work. We’ll have to see if this issue will affect his next start.
In a rout like this, details mean little, but I have to take issue with Keith Hernandez‘s criticism of Travis d’Arnaud on Eric Young, Jr.’s bloop single in the fourth. d’Arnaud was on third base with none out, and the ball was hit in the air to short left field. As Keith mentioned, Omar Quintanilla (on second base) got a good read on the ball and took off right away, while d’Arnaud went back to third base to tag. Keith said of d’Arnaud, “… he almost gets run over. That’s just not good right there, he did not read that good at all, he almost got embarrassed — you don’t want to have someone running up your back.” I disagree, strongly (not just with Keith’s butchering of the English language, but also with his baseball opinion). With the ball in the air, even if you think for sure the ball is going to drop, as long as it’s deep enough for you to score once it drops, you go back to the bag. The worst thing that can happen is not that the runner behind you is “up your back” — the worst thing is that the fielder makes a diving catch and you didn’t have time to go back to the bag and turn that out into a run. My opinion, anyway, and the way I was taught back in dinosaur times.
On the other hand, Keith echoed one of my strong feelings during the game, suggesting that MLB should get rid of four teams and “what a league it would be,” by eliminating 100 players from “the pool,” and, ergo, the true “cream of the crop” would be left in MLB. Heck yeah.
Oliver Perez now kind of, sort of, reminds me of Jesse Orosco. But not really. The Luis Tiant / Gene Garber spin is a nice touch. Now that the Mets aren’t paying him a crippling $36M contract, he’s entertaining, in a circus clown sort of way. Though, he remains a sh*t show.
Juan who? Who needs Juan Lagares when you have Kirk Nieuwenhuis? Nice to see Nieuwenhuis back in the bigs and making contact and making diving catches. Remember when he was the Mets’ center fielder “for many years to come”? Remember when Matt den Dekker replaced him in that role? Well, Captain Kirk is back. Can he keep it up? We’ll see soon enough.
Kevin Burkhardt did an interview with Zack Wheeler, and, while Wheeler said all kinds of exciting things regarding starting his hands over his head, using a three-quarter arm angle, setting up hitters, yadda yadda yadda, he sounded to me like a kid discussing he and a pitching coach walking around in a dark room, having no idea what he should be doing, with the pitching coach offering reassuring, but empty advice. It’s a shame that pitchers can be so clueless and have zero valuable direction provided by their management and ownership, which has millions of dollars to find the answers yet continue to rely on handed-down hearsay. Some day, maybe, MLB teams will consider getting advice from qualified people regarding the pitching motion. Though, probably not until the number of Tommy John surgeries increases from 30% to 75%. /off soap box
Eric Young, Jr. kept his streak going by striking out in the top of the fifth — he’s struck out at least once in every single game he’s played thus far. That strikeout was looking, and while it may have been a bad call — it looked like the pitch may have been outside, but Miguel Montero did a nice job of catching the left side of the ball — I’m getting really, really tired of Mets players beefing with the umps after seemingly every single called strike three. I don’t mean to single out Young here, because it’s endemic to the entire club, and, to an old-schooler like me, it’s annoying. Might the umpire make a few mistakes? Sure. How about you? When Young misplays a fly ball, does the umpire bark at him? May he without sin cast the first stone, the good book says. Beyond that, there is nothing positive that a player can do by arguing with an umpire — only negative. People who become MLB umpires do not have the type of personality that is susceptible to inspiring self-doubt — quite the opposite, actually. You’re called out on a bad strike three call? Turn around, away from the umpire mutter under your breath if you must, and walk directly to the bench. Do not confront the umpire and offer him your point of view. Do not “ask” where the pitch was — it was in the strike zone, per the man in blue, and you’re out. At some point in that game, or later that season, you’ll get a call that goes your way — if it didn’t happen already. Will you argue when the umpire calls a strike as ball four? /off soap box #2
The Mets struck out 10 times, yet again. But they won, so who cares, right? Hmm …
I have to admit, I turned the game off after the seventh inning. It didn’t seem like the Snakes were interested in fighting back, which is alarming and a shame considering that manager Kirk Gibson was known for the fire in his belly above everything else. Gibby must be completely exasperated. But jeez, so early in the season to go in the tank?
Next Mets Game
Mets go for the sweep — and the way the Snakes have looked in the first two, a sweep should be expected — as they send Dillon Gee to the mound against Brandon McCarthy on getaway day. Game time is 3:40 PM Right Coast Time.