Mets Game 38: Win Over Yankees
Mets 12 Yankees 7
Mets beat the Yankees in the second game of the subway series, and for the sixth straight time that the two teams have met.
Mets Game Notes
I’m not going over all the scoring, so hopefully you saw it. To be completely honest, I was distracted by other things while this game was dragging on, and those other issues plus the snail’s pace of the game drained my energy. So what’s here is what I randomly typed up during the contest. Not much different from what I usually do, but, for those wondering where all the stuff is about the runs scoring, well, check the highlights on ESPN, I guess.
Except one thing, for Crozier: Daniel Murphy hit a majestic homerun off the right field foul pole to put the game away. That blast was the last nail in the Yankees’ coffin, as it took all the air out of whatever energy they brought to the ballgame. Further, the homerun was the result of smart hitting — I know this because Keith Hernandez said so.
Zack Wheeler was up to 90 pitches by the start of the fourth frame. It took over an hour for the first two innings to complete. Gee whiz. If this is how Adulterated League games go all the time, I don’t know how fans muster the strength to sit through them. Snoozefest for me, no matter how many balls fly over the fence and baserunners cross the plate.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi was ejected after the fifth inning for arguing balls and strikes. I’m convinced he did that purposely, so he could escape the agony of slogging through the second half of the marathon. By that point, the game was already more than two and a half hours old, and on pace to finish 9 innings in more than five hours.
After handing Wheeler big leads in several of the first five frames, the young phenom responded by walking the Yankee leadoff batter in the bottom of the inning, and letting the Bronx Bombers back in the game. At the beginning of the contest, the excuse was jitters and nerves associated with pitching in Yankee Stadium for the first time; understood. But when he walked the leadoff batter of the fifth, with an 11-4 advantage, well, something is seriously wrong. Why is Wheeler’s command so bad? I can assure you that he has a few mechanical flaws that are both preventing him from throwing strikes and also causing damage to his arm; I hope to discuss them in more detail in the coming weeks. Could it also be a mental / emotional / confidence thing? Maybe.
Also of note, Wheeler began the game smoking the radar gun at 96-97 MPH, and by the time he worked beyond 100 pitches, his velocity dipped to 92. Ron Darling said he “wasn’t concerned,” and I understand why — he’s looking at it from a game-performance standpoint. However, I’m looking at it from a physical-performance and safety perspective. To lose that much velocity is an indication of fatigue — a red flag that a) he needs to exit the game; and b) something is happening to cause the fatigue. Regarding the latter, is it a question of conditioning? Or is a mechanical flaw accelerating fatigue?
By the time Wheeler left the game, he had thrown 118 pitches in 4 1/3 innings. That’s awful. It’s so awful it makes Jenrry Mejia‘s 101-pitch, 4 2/3 inning effort seem not so bad.
In these two games in the Bronx, and the final game against Philadelphia, Ruben Tejada is hitting as well as we have ever seen him. That’s great to see, and simultaneously distressing, because it appears as though he’s motivated by being benched — and if that’s the case, will he ever be internally motivated? I do believe that there is a confluence of issues at play — it hasn’t hurt, for example, that he’s faced a few AAA pitchers. But throughout his career, Tejada has chronically required external motivation (a.k.a., kick in the keister).
Next Mets Game
The Mets and Yankees move on the Flushing on Wednesday night at 7:10 PM for game three of the subway series. Rafael Montero makes his MLB debut against Yankees rookie Masahiro Tanaka.
“… don’t change it if it isn’t broken philosophy”
MLB managers and coaches are concerned with results. Plus, they don’t understand enough about human kinetics to make changes. Nor should they be expected to. Baseball teams need to recruit more help from the scientific community.
Further, while I agree that children with developing growth plates may be putting their bodies in danger today, this idea that MLB is purchasing “damaged goods” because all the wear and tear is happening while pitchers are amateurs is complete bunk. OK, maybe it’s a tiny part of the problem. But amateur wear and tear doesn’t explain SECOND Tommy John surgeries, does it?
What would happen if Wheeler dialed back on his fastball at the beginning of the game? Would it improve his stamina? Does he not have confidence in other other pitches?
Back in the day (love that phrase) you would have pitchers like Seaver, Jenkins, Gibson, Marichal who all seemed to get stronger as the game went on. The feeling was that you had to get to them early or you were in trouble. Chris Carpenter and Roy Halladay may have been two of the last of that breed.
Some of the blame goes to the radar gun, the huge amounts of money and the vulture player agents. I’m sure there are many other valid components in the blame game.
Joe are you concerned with Travis’ lack of production?
I’m not concerned about d’Arnaud. He shows skills that to me suggest he’ll be a .270-.280 hitter with some pop — maybe 10-15 homeruns a year as he matures. He may not show that production this year but he will eventually, in my opinion.
But seriously. We’re a quarter way through the season, and David Wright’s numbers are positively anemic. He’s hitting well and driving in runs, but his .736 OPS has to be one of the lowest for a #3 guy in the league. Murphy’s OPS is 100 points higher. I suppose it would be unimaginable to flip Murphy and Wright in the order. Or would it?
And has anyone paid attention to EYJ’s numbers? His OBP isn’t stellar at .338, but it isn’t horrible, either, and he’s currently fourth in runs scored, despite significantly fewer plate appearances than anyone else in the top 10. For what it’s worth, his 1.4 WAR tops the other three Met OFs. Last night’s performance – 0 hits, 3 runs – may not be typical, but it didn’t surprise me. I dunno; I’d look to keep him in the lineup as much as possible for the time being.
Joe, I completely agree (in case you wondered if we agree on anything; we do, actually) about AL game length; it’s atrocious. But more than anything else, this game’s potential for enjoyment was ruined by pitch counts.
That said, I’m concerned with D-Wright’s big arm swing and this new thing where he collapses his bottom half Reggie Jax style. I also don’t like his approach and pitch selection most of the time. He seems obsessed with jacking the ball.
As for Eric Young, Jr., I see a streaky hitter who can play well in spots, but with regular play, his flaws will show ugly. His offense would play fine for me if he was a shortstop — it would recall old Cub/Phillie Ivan DeJesus. But as a left fielder on a team that’s desperate for offense? I’m not sure it makes sense.
It’s funny to me to hear Terry Collins talk about his “dilemma” of having three OFs for two spots. It’s not like he has Puig, Kemp, and Ethier — it’s three flawed players who, in the end, are maybe average, maybe mediocre, yet all equal in their mediocrity. It’s like choosing between a bologna sandwich, chicken salad, or PB&J, when other people are choosing among steak, sushi, or chicken paillard for lunch.
I’m out of the country and did ‘t see the game but glad to see a Met win even if Adulterated. Wheeler’s line in combination with the pattern of lost velocity is quite concerning. Like Mejia, I am still not sold on him as a starter. And back end bullpen arms need to throw strikes not just throw hard
Seems eons ago …
But tell that to the GMs, executives, scouts, coaches, managers, etc., who continue to drool over radar readings.
2012 New York Mets National League 74 88
2011 New York Mets National League 77 85
2010 New York Mets National League 79 83
2009 New York Mets National League 70 92
Records since the Mets moved into Citi Field…..
I know we are built to win in 2015, but ya still gotta hit & score runs.
Do we wait for 10 years of below .500 ball to do something different?