Mets Game 44: Loss To Dodgers
Dodgers 9 Mets 4
Four hours and eight minutes to play nine innings of baseball? Really? Brutal. Absolutely brutal. So much for getting to bed early for once. Oh, and with this loss, the Mets drop to last place and four games below .500.
Mets Game Notes
Why was this game so goddamn long? The Dodgers saw 194 Mets pitches, and threw 176. Los Angeles batters walked six times, Mets batters, twice. Mets batters struck out a dozen times to the Dodgers’ seven.
Rafael Montero did not fare so well in his second MLB start. He struggled in the first three innings, had an easy fourth, then dam broke in the fifth. The issues included: he was throwing one speed; he couldn’t spot his fastball on the corners, and often left it over the middle of the plate; his slider was ineffective as a swing-and-miss pitch; he threw flat sliders over the middle of the plate; he didn’t throw inside at all; he didn’t throw his change-up more than a handful of times, so the batters just keyed on the fastball/slider; and he walked too many batters. But otherwise, he threw well.
Seriously, there was at least one positive: he kept his composure and worked out of tough jams in the first few frames. Montero does not panic and faces adversity with aplomb — that’s an important, and unteachable asset for a Major League pitcher.
Meanwhile, the reinvented Josh Beckett kept the Mets batters at bay until the sixth, when he started throwing BP. His transformation from flamethrower to junkballer is reminiscent, to me, of Frank Tanana.
Speaking of Centeno, early in the game Ron Darling made a comment that I’d like stricken from the record. After a poor throw to second base, Darling said that catchers need to “throw from their ear.” No, and I don’t blame Darling, because that is the advice/direction that every single coach in the history of baseball has offered, and Darling is merely regurgitating bad information that has been passed on far too long. “Throwing from the ear” is ridiculous unless one is heaving a shot-put. Whatever time that is saved by “throwing from the ear” is negated by the diminished velocity resulting from removing shoulder rotation from the equation (I’m not convinced it’s any faster than allowing the hand to go to a more logical location away from the ear, with the forearm at a more perpendicular angle to the ground). Additionally, throwing in such a way puts most of the stress of rotation on the elbow, in turn putting the UCL at risk. There MIGHT be some benefit to throwing the ball as you would a dart in terms of accuracy, but, with proper mechanics and repetition, it’s just as easy to control the baseball from a safer and higher-performance arm slot. The one thing Darling did get right is that catchers need to throw the ball “over the top,” meaning, overhand, putting a true, four-seam backspin on the ball.
Did it seem like a different game with someone other than Juan Lagares playing center field for the Mets? Did you notice any extra-base hits that you suspect may have been outs, if Lagares wasn’t home in the Dominican Republic? Did you notice any Dodgers runners taking an extra base that they might not have otherwise taken, or been thrown out?
Yasiel Puig is some kind of freak, isn’t he? Though, the Mets may have caught a bit of a break in this series, as it seemed Puig strained something in his lower half on the basepaths in the 8th inning — he may be limping or out of action in the final two ballgames.
If Dee Gordon ever figures out how to bunt for a hit, he’ll be able to keep his average over .300 for the entire season. Otherwise, I suspect that number will regress to a mean somewhere around .270-.280.
Brian Wilson has a bad beard, bad ink, bad bald head, and bad stuff. Though, the first three are subjective and debatable. Don Mattingly must be on pins and needles every time Wilson is on the mound — it must be the same feeling Mets fans get when Jose Valverde takes the ball. Why is Wilson unable to reach the 96-98 MPH range, and barely able to touch 92-93? Mechanics, which led to injury, and haven’t been corrected even after two Tommy John surgeries. The real shame? Wilson has been offered the chance for correction, but is too stubborn to listen. He’s lost, likely in pain, and refuses to seek outside help.
Keith Hernandez spent considerable breath lamenting that the stolen base and hit-and-run are lost arts in today’s game. I agree, and feel strongly that we’re starting to see their comeback.
GKR also discussed the Dodgers’ long-time air of arrogance. I agree with that as well — growing up, and through the years, I’ve always associated the attitude of the Dodgers with the Dallas Cowboys — a little too much self-confidence mixed with a bit of Hollywood.
Next Mets Game
The Mets and Dodgers do it again on Wednesday night at 7:10 PM. Jacob deGrom makes his second MLB start against Hyun-Jin Ryu.