Mets Game 71: Loss To Cardinals

Cardinals 5 Mets 2

Mets find yet another way to lose. They’re running out of ways.

Oh, by the way — with this loss, the Mets are now in sole possession of last place, and have two more losses than the phourth-place Phillies. You can always win more games, but you can never lose less. Just sayin’.

Mets Game Notes

It’s hard to harp on one particular play, or inning. All I can say is that throughout the entire game, from the initial inning, it felt like the Cardinals were in command and the Mets had little to no chance of coming away with a victory.

Jonathon Niese’s stat line didn’t look bad — 3 ER on 8 hits in 6 innings. But it belied the fact he was scorched by Redbirds batters in the fifth and sixth (the second/third time through the order). Most of the St. Louis hits came in those two frames, but they were also ripping numerous foul balls — they were hitting Niese’s pitches squarely, and hard. I still believe that Niese is pitching in pain, and gutting through every start, and will be surprised to see him finish the season without a DL stint.

Niese didn’t get much help from his defense, and none from the offense. Physical errors, mental errors, brain locks … you name it, the Mets did it.

At one point in the game, I feared for Daniel Murphy‘s safety. An errant, softly hit baseball was trying to sting Murphy as a hornet might. Murphy covered his face, tried to sidestep it, and ultimately avoided contact with it, thank goodness. After the blooping beast of a ball came to rest in the grass, Murphy picked it up and was about to throw it to first base, but Lucas Duda — well aware of the danger of that particular piece of horsehide — was nowhere near first base. Instead, Duda pulled an iPhone out of his back pocket and took a nice video of Murphy avoiding the ball, which he posted on Snapchat and Instagram. You can watch it if you follow @dumbbaseball.

During the postgame, Terry Collins explained that Duda did not necessarily need to be covering first base, because if the ball got by Murphy, someone needed to cover second base. That’s RIGHT! I had forgotten that the shortstop is always removed from the game in the sixth inning. Collins went on to suggest that Niese needed to retire the next batter. Ouch.

A few minutes later (and with that baseball safely removed from the field of play), with men on first and third and two out, the man on first attempted to steal second. Anthony Recker made a perfect throw to nail the runner by about five feet, but Murphy cut off the throw in front of the base and threw a seed to third base in an attempt to retire the runner who was straying too far from the bag. I’m not sure why Murphy thought a more complicated out at third base was more preferred than an out at second, but, that’s the way the play went. Moments later, an infield hit scored the man on third. No error could be scored on that play, and I have no idea how such a decision is tallied in advanced defensive metrics — maybe a stathead can enlighten me?


I recently watched a movie featuring Matt Dillon and realized THAT’S who Daniel Murphy reminds me of.

I know, you think I’m a “hater” on Murph. I’m really not. I believe he tries very hard, and I’d never, ever question his effort nor his desire. Further, I give him MAJOR props for answering the questions during the postgame, and taking full responsibility. He admitted to simply dropping the fluttering badminton ball, and on the steal attempt, he admitted to making “… a bad decision.” He’s a standup guy. But that doesn’t make the situation on the field any better, unfortunately.

The Mets scored both of their runs on solo homers. They were 0-for-9 with RISP. But they only struck out 8 times, so there’s that.

Terry Collins astutely pointed out that the Cardinals were getting big hits — and not necessarily home runs — to drive in runs, and inferred that his Mets needed to emulate that strategy. Hmm … I think that goes against his boss’s theory that stacking the lineup with high-OBP guys and homerun hitters is the road to success. Could there be a difference in philosophy?

Next Mets Game

Mets and Cardinals do it one more time on Wednesday afternoon at 1:45 PM. Bartolo Colon faces Lance Lynn.

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. meticated June 18, 2014 at 12:27 am
    the American Heritage Dictionary as:

    Argumentum ad nauseam or argument from repetition or argumentum ad infinitum is an argument made repeatedly (possibly by different people) until nobody cares to discuss it any more. This may sometimes, but not always, be a form of proof by assertion.

  2. DaveSchneck June 18, 2014 at 8:23 am
    Thanks again for your recaps. I really admire your dedication. My wife asked my last night if I was going to watch the game, and I told her that I can only take the Mets in very small samples, no bigger than 2 innings at once. Just too difficult to watch not so much losing and lesser talent, but the poor play and especially the poor mental play.

    I usually spend my MLB viewing time on Met games, but over lthe last couple of days I have preferred to watch some other games. The sample size is real small, but I just don’t see as much lousy vapor lock play. I know today’s player is not as good mentally as the old schoolers, but my question to you is do you find the Mets to consistently be an extreme example of poor MLB fundies, or do you think we see so much lousy fundies from the Mets just because we focus on them, and/or that they have been a poor team the last 6 seasons?

  3. Bat June 18, 2014 at 9:24 am
    Murphy is something of an airhead as a baseball player – often making foolish mistakes in the field and as David Wright once said: “Murphy often thinks he’s invisible on the base paths.”

    BUT I think we can all agree that while Murph is well known for bone-headed plays, at least he is one member of the team that is not afraid of Citi Field.

    I used to think he was suspect as a major league starter, but now I am confident that he is far from the Mets biggest problem and you could go the playoffs with a guy like Murphy at 2B.

    Duda at 1B? Tejada at SS? TDA’s current production at C and some mix of EY, Campbell, CY, or Andrew Brown in LF? Not so much.

    But I totally agree Joe that Murphy could be and should be more fundamentally sound. I suppose the 2B stuff you could give him a bit of a pass and say “Well, he never played the position until a few years ago.” But what about the baserunning blunders?? Definitely zero excuse for those boneheaded maneuvers.

  4. friend June 18, 2014 at 10:07 am
    … and then Charlie Brown, standing limply on the pitching mound, stared down at is cleats and muttered, “GOOD GRIEF”!
    • friend June 18, 2014 at 10:09 am
      HIS cleats (sorry I Murphyed that one)