Mets Game 50: Loss To Pirates
Pirates 5 Mets 3
Jacob deGrom pitched well enough to earn his first Major League win. However, the Mets offense didn’t hit well enough, nor did the Mets bullpen pitch well enough, to support him.
Mets Game Notes
Jacob deGrom hurled yet another game which was worthy of a win, but, alas, there is more to earning a win than simply pitching well — unfortunately, a starting pitcher cannot have much effect on the game after he’s been removed and is sitting in the dugout. And not for nuthin’, but he’s been hitting .800 so far a big leaguer, making the other eight guys in the lineup look foolish.
Though deGrom shut out the Pirates through 6 2/3 innings, and has put up great numbers in his brief MLB stint, I’m not yet ready to proclaim him the next Matt Harvey — nor the next Dillon Gee, for that matter. He struggled throughout the afternoon, getting into trouble and then working out of it. Was it because he’s a battler, or because the Bucs are as futile on offense as the Mets? Hard to determine, but one has to consider that Pittsburgh’s record is startlingly similar to the Mets’ — and why is that? Could it be because they’re not getting big hits in big situations? I haven’t seen enough of the Pirates to know for sure. Maybe it was a combination of deGrom’s ability to battle and inefficiency by the Pittsburgh Lumber Company.
There wasn’t a clean inning for either side until deGrom set down the Pirates 1-2-3 in the top of the sixth.
It’s still early, but my initial comp for deGrom is Mike Leake.
Tough call on Russell Martin in the fifth inning, who, after replay review by the umpires, decided that he had illegally blocked the plate on a throw from foul territory off the third base line. I’m not sure where Martin was supposed to be set up in that situation — was he supposed to be outside and to the left of the baseline? I guess so, but I wonder if that play has ever been considered or practiced. Apparently, what hurt Martin was his leg dropping down in front of the plate, but it seemed like he was doing that in order to catch the throw — and, to me, it looked like he was giving Juan Lagares an inside lane to run. But, maybe not — this new interpretation of the rule is confounding, and it may cause more injuries than it prevents, because neither the catchers nor the runners are quite sure what they’re allowed to do.
For the record, I think Lagares might have snuck his hand under Martin and touched the plate before being tagged — but that wasn’t the reason the call was overturned.
Ironically, had the throw from the outfield gone straight to home in the first place, it might have beaten Jacob deGrom and prevented the first Mets run from scoring (and, the second, because presumably, Lagares would have stopped at third). It was hard to tell, though, because the SNY camera direction was more focused on getting close-ups of the right fielder and runners than on viewing development of the play.
Nice to hear the crowd welcome Ike Davis with warm cheers rather than boos. I don’t like booing, unless it’s in response to a player not giving 100% effort. Davis never lacked for effort, he simply wasn’t very good.
Great to see Bobby Abreu producing with the bat as a 40-year-old. Without him swinging his hot stick, the Mets might be in last place, instead of last place. Well, I guess if he keeps hitting, maybe the Mets can deal him at the deadline to a contender for an A-ball pitcher with high upside.
Speaking of Abreu in right field, I wonder if Curtis Granderson, Chris Young, Matt den Dekker, Eric Campbell, or Kirk Nieuwenhuis (for that matter) would have caught the line drive off the bat of Jose Tabata in the 8th? Or would each of those young men allowed the ball to bounce off their shoe top, as was Abreu’s fate?
How did Granderson not throw out Neil Walker at home in the top of the ninth? He was charging the ball and picked it up about 110, maybe 120 feet from home plate as Walker was rounding third — with all of Granderson’s momentum going home, and being that close, Walker should’ve been out by fifteen feet. Maybe Grandy didn’t get a good grip on the ball? Also, not sure what Jose Valverde was doing backing up only about five feet behind catcher Juan Centeno. Kids, if you are the pitcher and backing up home, you need to give yourself plenty of room behind the catcher — at least 10-15 feet — because you don’t know where an overthrow may wind up and so you have to give yourself depth for extended range.
Lucas Duda hit a bomb to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Any Mets fans wonder why he was able to do that, but couldn’t get a bloop single in one of the last 38 times he came to the plate with RISP and the Mets either tied or behind by one? What’s the secret to comedy? Timing.
Gaby Sanchez still loves hitting against the Mets, eh?
I could talk about Jose Valverde, but what’s the point? He’s been released, after all, so why discuss a problem that has been removed from the club? I must say, though, that it’s interesting to see someone anointed “closer” (if only for the afternoon) released immediately after an outing (for the second time in a month, no less). I only have experience coaching at the amateur level, but what we’ve done is this: the best pitcher on the team who is not a starter, is the closer. MLB is a bit more complicated, I supposed, but I still don’t understand allowing someone to close who is less than one of your very best pitchers. But then, maybe the Mets believed Valverde was one of their very best pitchers? In which case, this season may turn out to be much longer than it’s already shaping up to be.
As long as we’re not talking about Valverde, I suppose we shouldn’t discuss the Mets’ hitting approach, either, since hitting coach Dave Hudgens was fired immediately after the ballgame, and replaced by longtime organization man Lamar Johnson. Ironically, it was Johnson, Wally Backman, and George Greer who promised to get Ike Davis “right,” and got Davis hitting in AAA, around this time last year.
Weird that both Valverde and Hudgens were cut loose within minutes of the end of the ballgame. I suppose the decisions had already been made, and Sandy Alderson was merely waiting for the “right” time.
Whatever it’s worth, Mets hitters saw 120 pitches, while the Bucs batters saw 195.
Next Mets Game
The Mets and Bucs square off again on Tuesday night at 7:10 PM. Jonathon Niese faces Edinson Volquez.