Padres 4 Mets 2
Pedro Martinez made a valiant effort, but the Mets’ bats couldn’t support it.
The Mets bats were shut down by Cha Seung Baek, he of the 5.03 ERA and the same man who allowed 9 runs in the 9 2/3 innings he threw in his last two starts. But hand it to the Mets to be completely baffled by a no-name, never-saw’em-before hurler.
Pedro “Real” fought his way into the seventh before yielding to Pedro “Lite”. The final line for Martinez: 6 1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 3 K, 2 ER, 2 HR, 101 pitches. Certainly, a strong enough performance to win.
Unfortunately, the Mets could manage only two runs, despite a 3-for-5 day by rookie Daniel Murphy, who was hitting in the two-hole. The first three batters in the lineup reached base six times in the game, but hitters 4 and 5 — the two Carloses — were hitless. Hard to win games when you don’t push runners home.
Despite the relative success of his outing, I do NOT like the way Pedro looks. His arm angle is way too low on release, not unlike Aaron Heilman’s problem when he’s fatigued. Before the shoulder injury, Martinez had a low three-quarter release, but his fingers stayed on top of the baseball at release. In his last two starts, his elbow has dropped below shoulder level, making it almost impossible to keep his fingers on top of the ball at release. If the fingers are at the side, then movement tends to be side-to-side. More importantly, the fingers can easily get under the ball at release, which causes the ball to be up in the zone, with no downward movement whatsoever. That explains the gopher balls. Simple physics and biomechanics — when the fingers are on top of the ball, and the release point is out in front of the head, you get downward movement. Pedro is often off to the side or under the ball, and releasing a little early / behind the head.
Eddie Kunz gave up the first homerun of his professional career, and first since his freshman year at Oregon State, at age 19, in 2005. That worries me a bit — as a reliever, one needs to be unflappable, and be able to recover from adversity. Kunz hasn’t seen much adversity in his baseball career, and WILL see it at the MLB level.
Was David Wright on drugs during this game? Or perhaps he needs some (greenies) ? Wright made a critical error in the seventh to allow the Padres to score the go-ahead run, and an inning before was blazing around the bases thinking there were two outs on a pop fly (there was one). I vaguely remember Jerry “Jenius” Manuel talking about how all of his starters would be getting regular rest under his regime. Wright was given a day off on June 24th and had two homers the next day. Since then? No rest for the weary. Not for Wright, nor Reyes (who hasn’t rested since April 13th). Carlos Beltran has had one day off — July 3rd.
Wright must have gotten a cup of joe from the “special” pot between innings, because he made a great diving stab of a liner in the eighth to rob Luis Rodriguez of a hit.
The Mets and Padres finish the series in an early afternoon game at Shea. First pitch will be thrown at 12:10 pm, with Johan Santana scheduled to face Josh Banks.