Mets Game 78: Loss To Athletics
Athletics 8 Mets 5
Mets miss golden opportunity to sweep The Best Team In Baseball.
Mets Game Notes
Zack Wheeler was not quite as effective as he was in his previous start. Two innings, 6 earned runs on 6 hits and 2 walks. Ouch. The A’s hitters were aggressive and comfortable, leading me to believe that they received outstanding scouting reports on Wheeler, and/or were made aware of how Wheeler is tipping his pitches. Wheeler was gassing it up at 96+ MPH, yet the A’s were hitting both the fastball and the change-up like they knew it was coming. Maybe they did.
Kudos to the Mets for not going completely in the tank after falling behind 6-0 right away, and then 8-0. However, their five runs were scored so late in the game that the final score made this seem closer than it really was.
There was a conversation early in the ballgame by GKR that began with the announcement that Adrian Beltre collected his 2500th career hit, and that he was “absolutely” a Hall of Famer. Hmmm … I beg to differ, mainly because his biggest year came during the PEDs era, and all of his other best offensive years came in hitters’ parks — Fenway and the Ballpark At Arlington. In his defense, his years in Seattle weren’t as bad as people fault him for — I think he gets a bad rap as a Mariner because those years came after that monstrous 48-homer, .334 AVG, 1.000+ OPS season and as a result, expectations were astronomic. At the same time, there is that cloud of PEDs and offensive numbers padded by hitters parks that make his compiled numbers seem not quite as remarkable as if, for example, they were compiled in the 1970s. Toward that end, I was pleased that Keith Hernandez brought up Rusty Staub‘s career numbers, which to me always seemed borderline HoF, and, after seeing what he compiled in a more “even” time (meaning, pitchers were dominant, and/or balanced against the hitters), seem much more impressive in retrospect. Similarly, I have to start screaming “Steve Garvey!” upon suggestion that Beltre is a HoF candidate. Garvey played just about all of his home games in pitchers’ parks, at a time when pitchers were dominant, and was an absolute machine in his ability to put up rock-solid performances year after year. Was he a superstar? From 1974-1980, maybe. It doesn’t look that way when you compare his numbers to players of the past 20 years, but back then, he was the shiznit. I feel similarly about players like Reggie Smith, Ted Simmons, Ken Singleton, Staub and others from that era of balance who have been overlooked in the Hall voting. It still blows my mind that it took so long for Jim Rice to get in, and that Dick Allen never got more than 19% of the vote (not to mention my pal Don Mattingly from that era just a bit after). Allen, hands-down, was one of the most dominant hitters during one of the most pitching-dominant eras in history, putting up single-season performances that would look great in the height of the PEDs era. What the heck are voters looking at?
Another discussion among GKR was around the “embarrassment of riches” in regard to the Mets’ young catchers — Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki in particular. Gary Cohen pointed out that things can change quickly, and it reminded me of when the Texas Rangers and Philadelphia Phillies had remarkably sparkling depth of “future stars” behind the plate. It was the mid- to late 2000s that the Rangers had Taylor Teagarden and Jarrod Saltalamacchia banging the door on a still-youthful Gerald Laird, and a kid named Max Ramirez was supposed to be better than all of them. Similarly, the Phillies had Carlos Ruiz, Lou Marson, and a kid named d’Arnaud all stacked up and wondering which one would be the backstop of the future.