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.