Mets Game 85: Loss To Braves

Braves 3 Mets 1

Mets swept by Braves and are oh-for-July. At least it wasn’t another one-run loss(?).

Mets Game Notes

Jacob deGrom very nearly worked out of a very difficult initial inning, and in fact, seemed to have ended the frame unscathed on a two-out, two-strike curveball to Chris Johnson that just missed the outside corner. Moments later, Johnson ripped a hot shot down the third base line that skipped past Eric Campbell and cleared the loaded bases. Might David Wright have stopped that ball? Maybe? Maybe not. It’s why they call it the “hot corner,” and it would’ve taken excellent reactions to glove that scorcher. It’s a game of inches, as evidenced by the near-strike-three and that batted ball.

What needs to be pointed out, however, is not how those inches went the wrong way, but how the inning started. As deGrom began delivering his first pitch of the game, Ruben Tejada had his back to home plate, seemingly looking at or talking to Eric Young, Jr. in left field. By the time Tejada turned around, the pitch was on its way to the plate and hit by B.J. Upton. Of course, Upton grounded the ball in Tejada’s direction — what are the chances? Out of position and not properly set, the grounder barely eluded Tejada’s backhand stab. Would he have fielded the ball cleanly had he been set? I sure think so. The inning fell apart from there, and you have to wonder what might have transpired had deGrom began the inning with an out. #littlethings

Other than that rough first frame, deGrom pitched well. Can’t really blame him for the loss, but unfortunately, he gets another “L” added to his record.

Eric Young, Jr. and Juan Lagares combined to go 4-for-8 at the top of the lineup, setting the table for the big bats down the order. Unfortunately, only one other Met collected a hit. Difficult to win with that kind of offensive showing.

Brilliant, web-gem-worthy, clutch play by Tommy La Stella to get a fielder’s choice and the second out of the 8th inning on a bounding ball that could have leaked into the outfield and created a one-out, first-and-third situation. Instead, it was almost an inning-ending double play. La Stella dove to stop the grounder just behind the second base bag, then flipped it directly out of his glove without an exchange to Andrelton Simmons to retire the lead runner. #jerseystrong

What else to say? I got nuthin’.

Next Mets Game

Mets get a day off on Thursday, then head home to host the Texas Rangers in a weekend series. Game one begins Friday night at 7:10 PM, and features Jonathon Niese vs. Nick Tepesch (no relation to Vlad).

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 July 3, 2014 at 6:32 am
    The fans can only be blamed for so much. At some point the manager has to be accountable, and that point is now (let’s avoid trying to turn back time and leave that to Cher). In what business does this sort of failure not have consequences?

    On the subject of business, how can Mets fans expect to be told this team is being built like Oakland and Tampa Bay? Both of those teams play in lousy stadiums with much lower ticket prices, and much smaller fan bases. The Mets also get Billions in TV revenue that the other teams can only dream of. So why on earth should the fans be patient with play that is mediocre at best. They should not.

    There was no better place than Shea when the Mets were on top. The fans will come out and support a Good team and management that is serious about winning. I can’t see how this team qualifies at present.

    Again I say it is time to make a grand bargain. Change has to come, sooner or later.

  2. DaveSchneck July 3, 2014 at 7:08 am
    The GM likes the team, citing the run differential. “What
    else to say? I got nuthin”.
    • Chris B July 3, 2014 at 8:31 am
      Sandy: “If you look at the run differential, we should be a .500 team. We’re not. At the same time, it doesn’t mean we should throw everyone overboard.”

      OMG!!! Now I blame the Wilpons. They should have boarded their private plane, flown to Atlanta and slapped him straight for that comment. Or, because I live in Atlanta, they could have called me and I would have done it for them. I didn’t know I was rooting for a positive run differential this season. Stupid me!

      • friend July 3, 2014 at 10:01 am
        Notice that the primary goal has gone from “90 wins” to “run differential of a .500 team”. After a few more games the team will have “90 games completed”. Maybe they can celebrate that.
        • DaveSchneck July 3, 2014 at 1:56 pm
          For all that fancy Ivy League education and decades in the business, Alderson just doesn’t get professional sports in NYC. I’m not saying that fandom in NY is the right, or better than anywhere else, but it is what it is. Fans are intense, they are educated, and there are many alternatives for the entertainment dollar. I’m not sure he even realizes that he sounds like a total loser. From his comments last year about “for 100 games we played .500 ball” to his “aspiring to 90 wins” to his “the run differential shows we are a better team” the comments are basically pathetic. Now, I’m not sure what else he or Collins can say. They are in a results based business, and the results are determined by wins and losses. The team is bad this year, and has been bad since 2008. Worse off, it hasn’t shown any improvement, and there is no reason, youth or no youth, to think it will be any better any time soon. It could improve, but it could just as likely remain a 70 win team, even when Harvey returns.
  3. Bat July 3, 2014 at 10:41 am
    David, this part of what you wrote is something that I have been saying for a long time now.

    On the subject of business, how can Mets fans expect to be told this team is being built like Oakland and Tampa Bay? Both of those teams play in lousy stadiums with much lower ticket prices, and much smaller fan bases. The Mets also get Billions in TV revenue that the other teams can only dream of. So why on earth should the fans be patient with play that is mediocre at best. They should not.

    I agree wholeheartedly but unfortunately Mets fans are paying the price for the Wilpons shortage of cash due in large part to the Madoff debacle.

    ChrisB, I too was bothered by that quote from Sandy. I’m something of a statistics guy, but I don’t understand how run differential can exactly equate to a rough determination of what a team’s record *should* be? If the Mets have been, for example, 15 runs worse than the other team but then they win a couple consecutive games by blowout of 7 and 8 runs, respectively, that immediately eliminates the run discrepancy so then all of the sudden the team is even in run differential whereas before there was a relatively significant gap? I suppose the counter to that is that sometimes – over a statistically relevant period of time – you get blown out and blow people out so again the issue is examining the evidence over a statistically significant period of time. But when Alderson says things like this it bothers me…I feel like he makes comments a lot that essentially say “We’re not that bad” but at the end of the day you are what your record says you are and again I get tired of being a New York sports fan and seeing the Mets run like they are a team based in some puny media market.

    • Chris B July 3, 2014 at 11:04 am

      It’s like a slap in the face of all of us that love this team. I’ve grown tired of his schtick and his saber-metrics. Bases per out, run differential, BABIP, etc. does not win World Series’. Good talent does and I have doubts he knows what good talent is anymore. And sometimes it is necessary to go above and beyond (spend $$$).

      • friend July 3, 2014 at 11:27 am
        I propose the term “crypto-metrics”, the black-art/pseudo-statistics practiced by unqualified mathematicians who have no respect for formal methods of proof, yet expect us to take for granted, their biased conclusions, and who denigrate us for showing the slightest bit of skepticism.

        In the larger picture, this institutionalized ignorance/dissonance is far from unique. Witness Joe’s continuing exposures related to kinesiology. I hereby invite the promotion of the term “crypto-kinesiology” as well.

  4. meticated July 3, 2014 at 3:11 pm
    You didn’t mean that friend!…are you suggesting that Mr Janish valiant efforts to inject rational science into the dialog are a former of voodoo or pseudo science?…because if you are meaning to demean then you’re no friend!…go take a long cold shower and when you’re done go roll in the snow…what Angel and Joe are injecting is no crypto science but carefully derived technically accurate data which apparently flew right over your coconut head. ..tell me I misread your little diatribe!
    • friend July 3, 2014 at 3:48 pm
      I don’t know what you’re smoking. If you want to berate me for agreeing with Joe and Angel, you are a coward! You should direct your criticisms directly at them. I have no patience trying to defend science from hotheads like you. Perhaps Joe will be more indulgent.
      • Joe Janish July 3, 2014 at 8:51 pm
        Whoa guys, I think there’s been a miscommunication somewhere. Unless I’m incorrect, I think we’re all on the exact same page.

        I *think* friend is suggesting we use “crypto-kinesiology” to describe the ignorant people in the broadcast booth who are unqualified to speak about human kinetics (i.e., Mitch Williams and other former pro pitchers with no formal education in kinesiology / body movement).

  5. Kent July 3, 2014 at 3:57 pm
    Sabermetrics are NOT pseudo-statistics, and I’m not sure what’s your definition of “qualified mathematicians”‘since sabermetrics models are developed by actual mathematicians, and all statistical model should satisfy some testing which I think they did else other statisticians would call out on it. The danger is taking any one particular stat, be it traditional or sabermetric, and made it an “be all, end all”‘stat, you need to look at a full picture.

    Kinesiology’s picture is a little murkier since it’s not a licensed/regulated/professional designation. However, there are plenty serious doctors that do focus on and study the body movements. so as long as Joe is getting his kinesiology lessons/explanations from a reliable source, I see no problem with it.

    • friend July 3, 2014 at 4:11 pm
      It sounds like you think that you are saying something that I disagree with?

      I’m not going to pretend to argue.

    • Joe Janish July 3, 2014 at 9:01 pm
      “Kinesiology’s picture is a little murkier since it’s not a licensed/regulated/professional designation.”

      I don’t understand this statement. Kinesiology is a distinct science with plenty of research happening in it. Kinesiologists can earn advanced degrees such as Master of Arts and Doctorate. So, not sure what you mean by it being not regulated/licensed/professional.

      Thank you for the last sentence, though. Yes, the scientists I confer with all have advanced degrees as referenced above. Angel has a M.A., for example. Some of the biomechanists I speak to have doctorates. All have published scientific papers, conducted extensive research, and spoken at conferences attended by other scientists, medical surgeons, certified sports trainers, etc.

      Additionally, every single explanation given by Angel during our podcasts come directly from years and years of research conducted and supported by the scientific community.

  6. Kent July 3, 2014 at 10:13 pm
    Hi Joe, what I mean is…exactly what I said
    Currently, you don’t need a license to call yourself a “kinesiologist” in the United States, and you only need to earn a license in Canada if you are in Ontario, as a result there are some fake kinesiologist out there. Of course, there are serious doctors that focus their studies on body movements/biomechanics/kinesiology, hence my “reliable source” part. (For example, if a “kinesiologist”‘earned his/her degree in American university of Antigua I’ll be very skeptical)

    A little off topic, but same kind of problem exist in nutritionist field which is also not been regulated very efficiently and certainly produced some fake nutritionist, even some famous one that talks on TV a lot.

    • Joe Janish July 4, 2014 at 12:39 pm
      Kent, first off, I agree with you 100% in that too many people walk around calling themselves “kinesiologists.” Further muddying the waters are people like Tom House making up new fancy-sounding titles for themselves every two weeks.

      At the same time, is “mathematician” a licensed / regulated / professional designation? Or a “sabermatrician”?

      I do realize you are not attacking my sources, and I appreciate that. What I want to point out is that there are fields of study where there can be ambiguity in discerning who are actual “experts” — but that doesn’t mean the science behind it is ambiguous.

      In other words, if a person without a masters degree nor any formal education calls himself/herself a “kinesiologist,” that doesn’t mean the science of kinesiology is flawed or incomplete. Kinesiology exists, it is studied, researched, and tested through the same scientific method as other fields of study, and, WHEN INTERPRETED BY QUALIFIED PEOPLE, can help explain (among other things) how and why athletes perform well (or poorly), and how/why athletes suffer specific injuries.

      As you point out, identifying the “qualified people” can be a problem.

      • Kent July 4, 2014 at 5:30 pm
        Actually, Joe, while “mathematician” is not a licensed/regulated/professional designation, if you are actually doing mathematic jobs, they are usually highly regulated. Acturaries needs recognition from American Society of Acturaries or Society of Acturaries; statisticians usually needs recognition from American Statistical Association; and pure mathematicians whose doing researchs are usually professors or people that’s receiving “XXX fellowships”.

        Sabermetricians actually originally specifically refers to people works for Society for American Baseball Research, which are most, if not all sabermetrics statistics comes from.

        My point being Kinesiology is not as regulated as some other study in medical field, and I would bet there are certainly more people pretend to be kinesiologist than the people pretend to be sabermetricians.

        So to clear some possible confusion/misunderstanding, I never said that Kinesiology is pseudo-science or there are some fatal flaws with it or Kinesiology concept is ambiguous, but I would be extra-careful that my sources are reliable. You said yours are, that’s great and I’m looking forward your next post/discussion involving it.

        • Joe Janish July 5, 2014 at 6:59 pm
          Kent, I swear I’m not being obnoxious with this request — I’m genuinely curious: could you name a few people who claim to be kinesiologists, are publicly talking about kinesiology in regard to baseball, and may not have suitable qualifications?

          I am very curious to see what these people are saying, and what their motivation might be.

          Many thanks.

  7. Kent July 3, 2014 at 10:22 pm
    In the above comment, I meant to say University of Health Sciences, Antigua, sorry about the mixed-up
  8. Gabriel July 4, 2014 at 10:37 am
    Hello Joe. Browsing some Mets news I found this article:

    It talks about hoe Vic Black, Jon Niese and Carlos Torres feel they all get benefited from long toss. You have always been against long toss and with very valid reasons and explanations. Is that results overcome sense? or science?

    Your thoughts.

    • Joe Janish July 4, 2014 at 12:59 pm
      Egad. That article is awful, and I fear that thousands of parents, coaches, and kids are going to think long toss is a great idea. It’s not. Especially not the kind of long toss Black does (high-arc), because all it does is make him good at long toss, while also putting undue stress on his elbow. Start the clock for a UCL injury / TJ surgery.

      Black’s belief that long toss was the reason for his success is about as plausible as Wade Boggs’ belief that eating chicken made him hit better: if anything, it’s all in his head.

      Niese’s comments display the absolute ignorance of most MLBers.

      Thank you for sharing, this gives me plenty of fodder for future articles that hopefully will help the kids.