Mets Game 67: Win Over Padres

Mets 6 Padres 2

Mets take care of business in a situation where taking care of business was an absolute necessity.

Mets Game Notes

Early on, Bartolo Colon had a hard time hitting his spots, suggesting that something is wrong (meaning, an injury) — which isn’t surprising considering This mechanics, age, and PEDs testing. Ron Darling astutely pointed out that Colon’s elbow was low, and ahead of where it should be, and he could’ve stopped there with his analysis. Likely without realizing it, Darling was describing a mechanical flaw that is a precursor to UCL injuries: “leading with the elbow” — a flaw that Colon has been exhibiting for at least the last three years, and which becomes more glaring when his arm angle drops. The irony is that Colon is leading with the elbow because of a shoulder issue — in addition to leading with the elbow, Colon is also angling his forearm too drastically in, with a “dart-throwing” motion, in which the baseball passes very close to his ear. This flaw is almost identical to Johan Santana‘s issue, and will lead to major shoulder problems — if it hasn’t already. Here’s my guess: the low arm angle was due to shoulder fatigue, and the dart-throwing action may lead to an elbow injury if the shoulder doesn’t blow out first. I saw three red flags from Colon: the low arm angle, the ball flying up instead of sinking down (the result of the hand being at the side of, or under the ball at release), and frequent arm shaking by Colon in between pitches — which to me suggested discomfort.

However, after allowing a two-run homer to light-hitting Rene Rivera, Colon retired the next 18 San Diego batters. I think Colon got away with facing a terrible lineup; a decent offense would have crushed his belly-high meatballs over the middle of the plate in the first three innings. The Padres are really, really bad.

Sure, the results were good for Colon, but I’m concerned with the process.

The first four Mets runs scored on two-out hits.

After Lucas Duda dumped an opposite-field, one-hop blooper near the foul line and into the left-field stands for a ground-rule double, Darling opined that “… if they don’t play him (San Diego left fielder Carlos Quentin) closer to the line, that’s gonna be a hit all night long. So not shifting with your outfield at all, cost Cashner and the Padres.” What? I’m not sure what he was trying to say. Quentin WAS shifted toward right field, and yeah, it’s a hit all night long. And in fact, if Quentin were playing at a normal position, that’s still a hit all night long — it was a ball that bounced about three feet inside the left-field foul line and took a big hop right into the stands. The only way an outfielder gets to that ball is if he’s guarding the line AND has Billy Hamilton / Eric Young, Jr. speed. But why would any left fielder be hugging the line against a lefthanded hitter who tends to pull? I do enjoy Ron Darling’s commentary, but sometimes he comes out with quips that make no sense at all — and gets away with it because he speaks so eloquently and with conviction.

Later, after Ruben Tejada hit a double, Darling remarked that over the last month, Tejada has “completely changed his swing” and “has been hitting like he did in 2012.” Another head-shaker, or I’m really missing something. What I see from Tejada in the past month is a .220-.230 hitter who has been lifting a few too many balls into the air — not unlike when Rey Ordonez fell in love with displaying warning-track power.

Bobby Abreu was four-for-four batting fourth, driving in two and scoring two.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Padres do it again on Saturday at 4:10 PM. Zack Wheeler goes against Jesse Hahn. The Mets really need to sweep this series, if they have any hope of retaining Terry Collins as their manager.

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. Joe Bourgeois June 14, 2014 at 12:42 am
    Really think Collins is in that much trouble?
    Or was that basically a joke about the Pad’s lousiness?
    • Joe Janish June 14, 2014 at 1:54 pm
      I think Terry is definitely on thin ice — bright red flag #1 is the almost-daily assurance from the GM that Terry’s job is secure.

      Further, that same GM made 90 wins a goal — and reaching that goal is not possible with a losing record. What happens if the Mets get to 10 games below .500, which is a very real possibility? That’s a huge hole to dig out from. Let’s not forget that teams managed by Terry Collins tend to finish poorly — that fact can’t be ignored by those in charge.

  2. DaveSchneck June 14, 2014 at 10:17 am
    Give Ronnie a little break. He actually has to sit throgh most of theae games and find things to say. That alone ciuld make a mortal man punchy at times
    • Joe Janish June 14, 2014 at 2:05 pm
      Dave, I type up whatever pops into my head / strikes me at any given moment during a game. The action (if you can call it that?) on the field wasn’t terribly interesting in terms of blogging, so Darling’s illogical banter was glaring.

      Trust me, I’m CONSTANTLY giving Darling breaks. His daily diatribes on pitching mechanics make me want to jump off my balcony. Saying completely vague and often incorrect things like “if Colon stands a little taller in his motion, he’ll be able to get his pitches down” is not only irresponsible and disrespectful to specialists, but can be harmful to the kids and parents who think Darling knows what he’s talking about (Colon’s issue was that he couldn’t fully rotate his shoulder because it was tight, and it took three innings for the heat of pitching to loosen it up — in a bad way, because with his awful dart-throwing mechanics, the extra range of motion means that something that shouldn’t be stretched was being stretched. Stay tuned for a bicep tear and/or labrum issue in the near future). Darling and other former MLB pitchers on TV are perpetuating the fallacy that pro pitchers are experts on human kinetics, and in turn, parents and kids are turning to other former pro pitchers for pitching lessons, which leads to many kids throwing with incorrect and often dangerous mechanics. The cycle has to be broken if we have any chance of ending the pitching injury epidemic.

      • DaveSchneck June 14, 2014 at 11:14 pm
        I was just busting on you with a little sarcasm. Ronnie is getting a paycheck to watch and opine on this second division baseball. He is fair game,
  3. Bat June 14, 2014 at 1:16 pm
    Wow, I’m really glad the Mets signed Jose Abreu and TDA has developed into the top-flight catcher he was projected to be.

    Oh…that was Bobby Abreu with four hits last night and journeyman Teagarden on base twice.

    Well, it worked for one night anyway.