Mets Game 27: Loss To Rockies

Rockies 7 Mets 4

The final score was much closer than the reality of the ballgame.

Mets Game Notes

As mentioned several times by Keith Hernandez, the Mets were sleepwalking through this game. In fairness, they had a rough time traveling into Colorado; it’s damn difficult to walk around, much less play Major League Baseball, in the thin air; and it’s really hard to stay motivated when you fall behind 6-0 by the fourth inning.

For the first time all year, a Mets starter didn’t complete five innings, as Bartolo Colon allowed 7 runs in 4 2/3. Though Colon occasionally dialed it up to 93 MPH, he mostly stayed in the 87-89 MPH range, with awful command, often missing high. When he wasn’t missing high, he was missing over the middle of the plate on pitches that needed to be off an edge (i.e., on two-strike counts). Hey, it happens — especially at Coors Field. However, I have to wonder if Colon’s extremely dangerous mechanics are finally catching up to him. His motion is similar to dart-throwing (and not unlike the mechanics that have destroyed Johan Santana‘s shoulder) — he brings the ball to his ear (like a catcher might), and puts almost all of the strain of acceleration on the elbow, while also tightening the shoulder muscles and ligaments. Lack of command, to me, screams of a forearm and/or elbow issue — the fingers are too fatigued to release the ball properly and get the intended “run” (or sinking / lateral movement).

In contrast to Colon, Colorado starter Juan Nicasio had his best two-way game since little league, hurling 7 shutout innings and driving in three runs.

Remarkably, despite the Mets having only 4 baserunners in the first 7 2/3 innings, they struck out only twice all night.

In his first day off the DL, Juan Lagares didn’t miss a beat, staying red-hot by going 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI.

The Mets scored all four runs against reliever Chad Bettis, who ran out of gas quickly. The highlight was a three-run tater by Travis d’Arnaud, his second homer of the season.
While we may be out of the Performace-Enhancing Drugs (PEDs) era, we most certainly are knee-deep in the Performance-Enhancing Official Scoring (PEOS) era. In the 3rd inning, Troy Tulowitzki nubbed a cue shot to the right side that Lucas Duda tried to field with his bare right hand. It bounced off his fingertips, Tulowitzki was safe. The official score? Hit, of course. An inning later, Corey Dickerson drag-bunted down the first base line, Duda fielded it fairly quickly and cleanly, turned and threw it over and past Daniel Murphy, who was covering first because Bartolo Colon couldn’t move his hefty body fast enough. Once again, the official scorer ruled the play a hit. Remarkable. These were plays that high schoolers are expected to make.

Powerful statement by Keith Hernandez: “Juan Lagares has a chance to be one of the best players in the game.” Whoa. Really? Um … OK. Hey, I love Lagares in the field, and while his hitting has been hot in the first few weeks of the year, I’m far from ready to anoint him the next Willie Mays — or even, Carlos Gomez (who has evolved into a very good player, but even I, who loves Gomez, wouldn’t identify as “one of the best players in the game”). Maybe Keith meant that statement in the same way that Casey Stengel described Greg Goossen as a twenty-year-old who one day has a “chance to be thirty.” Or, perhaps, in the same way that I believe I have a chance to win the lottery (even though I’ll never buy a ticket). Don’t get me wrong — it’s not that I don’t like Lagares, because I do enjoy watching him play. But I don’t like excessive statements applied so easily, because it sets an expectation that is almost impossible to achieve — so if Lagares becomes anything less than a superstar, he could be seen as a disappointment. It’s similar to Keith’s perpetual belief that Daniel Murphy will one day be a #3 hitter and win a batting title. But, I suppose that’s why Keith is in the broadcast booth, and not employed as a scout.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Rockies do it again in Colorado at 8:40 PM Right Coast Time on Friday night. Zack Wheeler faces Jorge De La Rosa.

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.
  1. NormE May 2, 2014 at 7:36 am
    It amazes me that more teams don’t bunt on Colon.
    • DaveSchneck May 2, 2014 at 8:25 am
      Agree 100%. Ditto vs. the shift. Bartolo should see a ton of those until he proves he can defend them, and Duda isn’t very good at defending bunts either, regardless of the pitcher’s capabilities. For whatever reason, modern day hitting seems to have gotten so complicated that the obvious escapes some of these guys. When I hear the commentary that a hitter “shouldn’t give in” to the shift (or bunting vs. a bad fielding pitcher) it makes no sense. Taking what they give you, so long as it fits the situation, achieves two goals. If effective, a hitter raches base safely and avoids an out. Additionally, with bunting but especially with the shift, it will effect what the defending team does in a future situation, which pitches are thrown, to shift or not to shift, and that will ultimately benefit the hitter.
      • DanB May 3, 2014 at 2:01 am
        Could not agree with you more, Dave. If the batter bunted for hits enough, teams would be forced not to shift. Once they stop shifting, the hitter has the advantage. Isn’t it better to force the defense to play where they don’t want to be, especially if all it takes is a few easy bunt hits? Sometimes I think egos are running baseball more then winning and losing.
  2. friend May 2, 2014 at 9:52 am
    ‘Powerful statement by Keith Hernandez: “Juan Lagares has a chance to be one of the best players in the game.”’

    “If you like your doctor …” No, wait, that wasn’t Keith Hernandez.

  3. Colin May 2, 2014 at 9:56 am
    It looked to me like most of the Mets had sampled the newly legalized plant out there in Colorado. I think Lucas might have had a hefty sampling of some pot brownies, as it looked like the first time he ever played baseball. Tough night for the old man.
    I’m never one for a grand statement of a player early in his career, but I too think Juan is a real special talent. What to do with EY…..
  4. Jason May 2, 2014 at 11:49 am
    EY has played a few games at SS in his career… Does Terry consider sacrificing defense for a significantly more dynamic bat? The difference is EY getting four plate appearances versus one.
  5. argonbunnies May 3, 2014 at 7:52 pm
    Maybe Keith is brushing up on WAR, which claims that Lagares contributed more with his glove last year than many solid MLB players contributed in total. Juan doesn’t need to hit like a superstar to provide superstar value (though he does have to hit a lot better than he did in 2013).