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.