Mets Game 66: Loss To Brewers

Brewers 5 Mets 1

It was a lot closer than the final score would indicate. But, it matters not. In the end, the Mets lost the game, the series, and fallen 8 games below .500, avoiding last place by one-one-thousandth of a percentage point (I think that’s how to describe .001).

Mets Game Notes

Honestly, once this game went into extras, I thought for sure the Mets were going to win it. The Brewers weren’t hitting anything all night, they seemed tired and uninterested, and when they did show some energy, it was in ridiculously wild swings from the heels that were nowhere close to the ball. In other words, it was an off night for Milwaukee’s offense, and it felt like the Mets would find some way to scratch out a run to win the game. I was picturing a walk followed by a ball thrown away due to the wet weather, and then a Daniel Murphy half-swing duck snort into left field to drive in the winning run. But it was not to be.

Jonathon Niese was stellar for seven and two-thirds, and so was the bullpen (until the fateful 13th). However, Kyle Lohse matched Niese pitch for pitch, and the Mets hitters could do absolutely nothing against Milwaukee’s best bullpeners. (see what I did there?).

Did you read Niese’s lips when Terry Collins came out of the dugout? Looked to me like “What the funky monkey is going on?” Except, I don’t think it was really “funky monkey” he said; in fact it was a one-syllable word that rhymes with “truck.”

Shame on David Wright, who should have had a standup double in the fourth inning but was thrown out at second base on an excellent play and throw by Carlos Gomez. Wright wasn’t necessarily “Cadillacking” out of the box, but he also wasn’t exactly busting it the entire way, either. He watched the ball a bit, running about three-quarter speed out of the box, hesitated a bit going around first, then sped up. Again, I wouldn’t call it dogging, but I wouldn’t call it all-out hustle, either. Had Wright made it to second base safely, who knows? Maybe he scores the Mets’ second run, and the game never goes into extras. #littlethings

Anthony Recker struck out looking with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 11th. Strike two was a PERFECT “pitcher’s pitch.” Strike three probably was a ball, but home plate umpire Angel Hernandez rung him up, Recker went ballistic, and Hernandez threw him out of the game. I have to wonder if Hernandez truly believed that was strike three, or if he was feeling like me, and just so completely exasperated by Mets batters watching pitch after pitch after pitch go by with RISP that he rung up Recker out of principle.

In that 11th inning, the Mets had a runner on third with none out, then the bases loaded with one out, and couldn’t plate the winning run.

Mets bullpen retired 11 straight Brewers before Mark Reynolds finally broke through with a single up the middle off of Carlos Torres in the 12th.

Torres threw a perfect cutter to strike out Scooter Gennett with one out and the go-ahead runner on third. As long as Torres puts that cutter in exactly that spot, every time he throws it, he should retire most batters — righthanded and lefthanded. However, he is human, not a machine, and he’s not even Mariano Rivera, so he must throw other pitches to other locations.

Terry Collins and Dan Warthen have consistently ignored recommended recovery time for a few of their relievers, and Torres in particular. So it’s no surprise that Torres has had some rough outings lately. He tossed 27 pitches on Wednesday night, which meant he required at least one full day off to recover. I understand it was an extra-inning game, but I also saw Vic Black and Dana Eveland available with neither requiring a full day of rest. Some how, some way, Torres was effective for an inning despite the lack of proper recovery time, but to keep him out there for a second inning, and to push him to 38 pitches? Ridiculous. Irresponsible. Downright stupid. What Collins / Warthen are likely to do now is give Torres two or maybe even three days off, but it’s too late — the damage is done. You can’t just push and push and make your own recovery rules — the body doesn’t respond to the wishes of managers and pitching coaches, it responds to the way it’s taxed, and when it’s abused, it fails. I don’t understand why Gonzalez Germen wasn’t left out on the mound longer, as he was fresh and had a low pitch count. There are nearly 100 games left in this season that will require at least 300 innings of relief, but Collins is managing like it’s late September and the Mets are a game out of the Wild Card.

I don’t know if Ryan Braun is still injured or he’s deflated by the lack of PEDs, but he doesn’t look like the same hitter of the past several years.

I’ve never before seen a three-minute rain delay. You?

Next Mets Game

The Mets host the San Diego Padres on Friday night at 7:10 PM. Bartolo Colon heaves himself to the mound against Andrew Cashner. The Padres are pretty bad — they were just swept by the also-bad Phillies. Do the Mets have a shot at winning this weekend series? Hard to say.

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. david June 13, 2014 at 12:38 am
    Another tough loss for the Mets. I did not see the game, only Flores’ bouncng into a force out with bases loaded and 1 out in the 11th and the play where D Wright got gunned down at 2nd base. Niese is doing yeoman work. Quesiton – if a team continually fails in late inning situations, is it the manager’s fault? I am not saying this to put more heat on TC, but I have to wonder if the Mets tight play late in games is his fault. If nothing else, maybe his personality is such that the Mets feel like they are going to lose, and not win, because that is how they look from the casual observer’s point of view. The only other thing I can think of is the way the line up is constructed, or perhaps shuffled like a deck of cards, contributes to a sense of inevitbale choking. Tis a mystery and I don’t just chalk it up to bad players. It is players playing badly in crucial situations. Maybe its time for the Hypnotist?????
  2. Joe Bourgeois June 13, 2014 at 5:11 am
    God, that was horrible. Just horrible.
  3. Walnutz15 June 13, 2014 at 8:11 am
    The Mets played last night? *wink*

    ………..didn’t watch a single pitch. Thanks for the recap.

    • DaveSchneck June 13, 2014 at 1:55 pm
      I missed all of Monday and Tuesday’s games. I tuned in in time to witness the offense debacle ending with Recker’s whiff and ejection. I then turned to watch the news, virtually certain that the game would be lost. Memo to Fred, Jeff, and Sandy – I am considered a “loyal” fan and follower…this team is just fading into oblivion.
  4. DanB June 13, 2014 at 8:14 am
    Unusual lineup last night with Murphy leading off and Abreau hitting second. Could Murphy be the next Wade Boggs? Of course the Mets are missing Jim Rice. Is it any worse then having Tejada leading off? I haven’t been watching the games this week but I keep hearing about Wright being knocked down every game. Where is his protection from the Met pitchers? If it was me, I’d start bunting down the first baseline and make the pitcher field it in front of me.
    • Joe Janish June 13, 2014 at 10:06 pm
      I like Murphy at leadoff as long as he keeps hitting, though, he doesn’t remind me of Boggs. It makes sense to put the guy with the highest OBP at the top. I’ll never understand the “logic” behind putting Tejada or den Dekker there.
      • Dan B June 14, 2014 at 10:27 am
        I am sure you realize I was referring to how Boggs led off for the Red Sox at times because oof his OBP and despite not being having the look or speed of a leadoff hotter. I wish Murph could hit like Boggs. And that is the problem with having Tejada lead off. He might look like a lead off batter but he doesn’t get on like a lead off hitter. And Tejada will get a lot more ABs hitting first rather then eighth. Do we want him hitting more? Collins should think like a Little League coach and bunch the few batters who can hit at the top of the order.
  5. Bat June 13, 2014 at 11:53 am
    Joe, if Collins’ use of the bullpen continues throughout the remainder of the year and provided that the current group of pitchers remains largely healthy through such period, one has to believe that one or more of these pitchers will suffer the Byrdak / Feliciano fates of serious injury resulting from overuse.

    I have been saying for several weeks on this blog that Collins’ continued management of each game as if it was a playoff game – Captain Hook is my nickname for him – is going to unfold very badly for the Mets team and its individual pitchers later this year (team) and thereafter (for the pitchers).

  6. Victor Chu June 13, 2014 at 12:55 pm
    Another 0 for 7 night with RISP says it all … if I’m Matt Harvey, I’m thinking … “Gee … what other team do I want to play for as soon as I become a free agent?” … just sayin’ … ah, the exasperation continues …
    • Victor Chu June 13, 2014 at 12:57 pm
      Although Joe, as you pointed out, the called 3rd strike to Recker did not help matters … I would have settled for a walk-off walk … if that give you any sense of the desperation of us Mets fans for wins …