Mets Game 58: Loss To Cubs
Cubs 2 Mets 1
Zack Wheeler pitches well enough to win, but Mets LOOGYs fail in their singular duty of retiring lefthanded hitters.
Mets Game Notes
Zack Wheeler, on the other hand, has been “putting it together” in his last two starts. Is it because he’s suddenly spectacular, or because the lineups he’s faced have been less than spectacular? Or is it a mix of both?
Usually, Daniel Murphy runs like his hair is on fire and finds success with that approach nine times out of ten. Remarkably, in the third inning, Murphy seemed to stop and think about what he was doing when Curtis Granderson seared a base hit to right field that should’ve scored Murphy from second fairly easily. But Murphy thought, hesitated, and advanced only to third. He was forced out at home moments later when top offensive free-agent signing Chris Young grounded to Anthony Rizzo. But I don’t want to get on Murphy for making minor mistakes on the basepaths, because little things like that rarely are the difference between winning and losing a ballgame.
Granderson was 3-for-3 and drove in the only Mets run with a sac fly, by the way, scorching the ball all over the place.
Matt den Dekker had two hits and scored the Mets’ only run, but admit it: you were wondering why he was batting leadoff, right?
Getting back to Chris Young, in the postgame, Bob Ojeda suggested that while Young is struggling, perhaps he should bat lower in the lineup, rather than in the middle of the order. Well, sure, but, who do you bat fifth in the meantime? It’s kind of like the late 1970s, when the Mets would bat Steve Henderson fourth or fifth — he was far from the ideal RBI guy, but the alternative was Bruce Boisclair or Joel Youngblood. So, sure, put Lucas Duda fifth instead of Young. Twelve of this, dozen of that.
Interestingly, the middle of the Cubs’ order makes the Mets’ “meat” look like the 2009 Yankees in comparison.
Do the Cubs have any righthanded hitters on their roster, other than Starlin Castro?
Back in the day, when most MLB games were decided 1-0, 2-1, 3-2, 4-3, pitchers were much better than hitters. Today, hitting mechanics are light years ahead of pitching mechanics, and as a result, hitters are better skilled in general than pitchers. But today’s hitters don’t use their skills as efficiently as those of the past, in my opinion. It’s not just the Mets who are clueless in regard to situational hitting — most MLB hitters have no idea how to (or refuse to?) cut down their swing and protect the plate on two-strike counts, hit-and-run, purposely go the other way, get the runner in from third, etc. Even the single by Nate Schierholtz that won the game was more about Scott Rice failing to locate than good hitting by Schierholtz. Had Rice spotted the slider on the outside half of the plate, the last pitch of the game would’ve been strike three. But because it was down and in — right in Schierholtz’s kitchen — it was a game-winning, walk-off single.
When is someone going to give Keith Hernandez a reality show? Listening to him discuss his traveling trials and tribulations alone is enough for a half-hour show. It’s not as though SNY has any worthwhile programming to keep it off the air. But then again, SNY shot down Wally Backman‘s reality show, so maybe providing quality entertainment is not the goal. Hmm … sounds similar to … oh, never mind.
So, here was the lede I wrote after the 7th inning:
“Mets win 1-0 in Wrigley for the first time since September 11, 1968, when Jim McAndrew, Bill Short, and Cal Koonce combined to beat Ferguson Jenkins. Jerry Grote drove in the lone run of the day with a double that knocked in J.C. Martin. Martin and Grote had 4 of the Mets’ 5 hits against Jenkins that day — Ken Boswell had the other. In the 1968 contest, the Mets were 1-for-7 with RISP and 6 LOB.”
Oh well. It would’ve been fun to open with that.
For what it’s worth, in THIS 2014 game, the Mets were 1-for-9 with RISP, and left 10 men on base.