Mets Game 40: Loss To Yankees

Yankees 1 Mets 0

After beating the Bronx Bombers with big-barreled bats twice in Yankee Stadium, Mets offense gets quiet as a mouse and is shut out in consecutive games in The Field At Shea Bridge.

Mets Game Notes

After a bit of nervousness and overthrowing to start the game, Jacob deGrom was impressive in his MLB debut, throwing a ton of strikes, staying near the plate with all pitches, mixing speeds, and showing a sinker with nice tail into the righthanded hitter / away from the lefty. I liked that he kept his curveball in his pocket until the sixth, and it seemed to have good spin and 12-6 break — though it appears to be more of a “show” pitch to keep batters thinking than something he can use to retire hitters consistently. His change-up was his main secondary pitch, and he threw it for strikes and with decent movement — though he got away with a few that were up in the zone. Home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt definitely helped him out a bit by calling strikes (as he helped Yankee rookie Chase Whitley) — particularly a few called third strikes — but deGrom didn’t necessarily need the help. He worked quickly, stayed ahead of hitters, and occasionally surprised by touching 94-95 MPH in key spots. Could he be the next Dillon Gee?

If not, maybe Chase Whitley is the next Dillon Gee, because he also was impressive, offering up a similar array of sinking fastballs and change-ups. His stuff seemed more ordinary than deGrom’s, but it could play well in the National League — I’m not so sure he’ll be as effective in the Adulterated League.

Pretty cool that both deGrom and Whitley collected hits in their first MLB at-bats.

Speaking of Wendelstedt, he had a big zone, as he always does, and neither team’s hitters did much to adjust to it. Adjustments are part of the game, and while I understand that batters don’t want to expand the strike zone, sometimes, with two-strike counts, they have to if they want to avoid striking out.

Big, broad Dellin Betances struck out six straight Mets, mixing a filthy curve and a wipeout slider that set up a 96-98 MPH fastball. Yes, his mechanics look dangerous. Yes, they can be fixed. While he’s healthy, though, he’ll get his share of swings and misses.

Some sharp words from GKR, who as a group were incredulous that Juan Lagares did not start this game. Gary Cohen went so far as to wonder out loud, “I hate to think it’s only because they gave Chris Young seven million dollars, that he’s playing and Lagares isn’t.” Oh my. Ron Darling quickly changed the subject, knowing who signs his paycheck (though to his credit, he also was critical of the decision earlier in the ballgame). I don’t think it’s so much about the $7M as it is about the gentlemens’ agreement between Young and Mets management — from what I understand, the Mets promised Young a certain amount of playing time. Beyond that agreement, I see why Lagares sits: because the front office wants homerun guys like Young in the lineup, and Terry Collins wants the speed of Eric Young, Jr. in the lineup. Add in the fact that Lagares’ average has dropped almost 40 points in the last ten days, and it all adds up — if you ignore his value on defense. Me? I want as much speed and defense as I can get together in a big park like Citi Field — but that’s me.

The Mets struck out 14 times and saw only 136 pitches. That’s hard to do.

Next Mets Game

Mets head down to Washington, D.C. for a weekend series with the Nationals. Game one on Friday begins at 7:05 PM and pits Jonathon Niese vs. Tanner Roark.

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. DaveSchneck May 15, 2014 at 10:53 pm
    Agree with GKR and you; Lagares needs to be out there regularly. Betances was downright filthy. David Wright had a lousy game. His play on the DP that wasn’t wasn’t bad, it was little leaguish – shying away from the base and throwing to first with nothing on it. How a pitcher gets slapped with an earned run when he should be in the dugout is beyond me.
  2. norme May 15, 2014 at 11:42 pm
    It seems to me that Lagares has to show that he doesn’t belong before you ask him to sit. EYJ should be the situational sub. His speed is his asset, not his bat or his glove. TC is plain wrong. The only acceptable explanation is that Lagares is hurt.
    De Grom gave the Mets seven top-notch innings. That’s been a rarity for the staff.
    • Joe Janish May 16, 2014 at 12:28 am
      I think Lagares’ recent slump was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

      As long as the Mets are going to have an ineffective offense, and Lagares is going to be anything less than the on-fire guy he was in April, he won’t be an everyday player for them. That’s not to say he shouldn’t be — just that the circumstances and beliefs of those in charge are against him.

      • Dan42 May 16, 2014 at 1:55 am
        That thinking probably cost them the game. a stronger throw than what CY could muster from Laguares in CF could have prevented the only run, and he couldn’t have been any worse offensively considering the complete lack of production from Y,Y&G.

        Also, when the play the shift against a LHB, why not just move the 3B player to short RF, so only one player is way out of position to avoid situations like Wright attempting a DP from 2B?

      • gary s May 16, 2014 at 4:04 pm
        I thought the idea was to develop young players for the future.Lagares has one of best gloves in MLB in CF. Both of theYoung’s best days are behind them are were never very good. What is going on here. Flores’s sitting the last 4 games for that puke tejada is even worse..
        • Joe Janish May 16, 2014 at 4:25 pm
          Gary, the future is now – remember, the goal is 90 wins this year.

          heh heh

  3. Mic May 16, 2014 at 1:58 am
    Contrasts abound. Yesterday’s excitement comes from young stars giving awesome performances. Yet Lagares sits.
    Terry is Sandy’s puppet. But as we all know terry can derail a young hitter faster than curt schilling. Fact is an injured Chris young was the best medicine to this offense. Capt Kirk and Lagares led a nice surge.

    Anyway, I can only hope as June and July approaches young and young can net prospects.

  4. DanB May 16, 2014 at 1:50 pm
    The solution to the Young’s/Lagares problem is to acquire a true leadoff hitter. Then you don’t need EY every day and Lagares’ bat gets moved down the lineup. Some make it sound like the Mets have a wealth of outfielders (just like we had a wealth of first basemen in spring training). They don’t. They just have a lot of outfielders on the same level.
    By the way, Young’s $7 million is a fixed cost. Whether he plays or not, he is owed $7 million. Revenue is based on attendance which can change. The more they win, the more the revenue increases. Playing Young because he is owed $7 million is financially foolish if it means less fan interest.
    • DaveSchneck May 16, 2014 at 2:18 pm
      You nailed it. EYjr is the “closest” thing to a leadoff hitter, and Sandy “promised” C Young his ABs. It is the latter point that disturbs me the most, as it puts team second and player first. If Alderson had to make that “promise” to C Young, he should have passed. Baseball is a game of inches, and the run the Mets gave up yesterday can be attributed to plain bad D by DW on the DP, and likely lesser D by C Yooung on the double that netted the RBI.
  5. argonbunnies May 16, 2014 at 2:35 pm
    deGrom’s fastball, slider and change-up all looked nasty at times! If consistency increases with experience (he hasn’t pitched much yet), we could really have something here.

    As for the OF, scoring a run in the first inning isn’t generally a repeatable skill, but EY has done it often enough that I can’t fault Terry for getting his hopes up. What I can fault him for is not having the balls to sit veterans in CY and Grandy. Amazing that Sandy explains the Mejia move and Montero promotion by saying, “We always ask ourselves, what gives us the best chance to win today,” and then Lagares sits. Ridiculous. If CY and Grandy just need time to get going, why doesn’t Mejia?

  6. argonbunnies May 16, 2014 at 2:45 pm
    Oh, also, speaking of giving your young players the best chance to succeed: we heard you were hot in Vegas, Wilmer Flores. Some time on the major league bench should make sure that’s over with.
    • DaveSchneck May 16, 2014 at 5:20 pm
      Excellent point. Same old same old with the youngsters. Also agree with your comments above. deGrom looked real good. Yes, Yanks line up was diminished, and MLB hasn’t seen him yet. But, his pitches looked MLB quality, his changeup looked like a plus pitch, he looks like an athlete, and he looks like he belongs. I guess that means he’ll have to sit next to wilmer and Juan and watch Colon pitch for the next year plus.