Mets 6 Brewers 5
The much-anticipated debut of Jonathan Niese was less than auspicious. However, it was pretty obvious that the kid was shaking in his boots — I believe he’ll show us a much better performance in future starts, when he’s more relaxed and tense-free.
After being handed a 5-1 lead, Niese couldn’t escape the fourth inning, allowing four runs to tie up the game. He exited with the only possibility a no-decision — so it was up to the Mets bullpen and the bats to take the game from there.
Not surprisingly, the offense pulled their sleepwalking routine for the next six frames. Surprisingly, the relief corps did more than an admirable job of keeping the Brewers at bay.
The game remained tied until the tenth, when Daniel Murphy started things off with a single up the middle. Jose Reyes followed with a sacrifice bunt that catcher Jason Kendall threw into right field, allowing Murphy to scamper to third. Endy Chavez (remember him?) then followed with a long fly to right to score Murphy easily and put the Mets ahead.
Joe Smith threw three pitches for the win, and Luis Ayala earned his fifth save — though not without a little bit of stress.
Keith Hernandez keeps harping on the fact that David Wright has a “curveball swing”, is “flying open” with his front side, and not going the other way. It looks to me like David is “loading up” more than usual — meaning, he’s bringing his hands back and up further than earlier in the season. The telltale sign is that you can see his entire name on the back of his uniform, and his right elbow fly up above his head as the pitch is coming in. Some rotation is vital to generating power, but too much can be detrimental (though, there is one school of thought led by former MLBer Mike Epstein that believes “rotational hitting” is the best way to generate power). For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, so Wright’s over-rotation in his “load” is likely causing his front side to fly open. Those who are paying attention will recognize this is the exact issue that caused John Maine’s shoulder problems. Luckily for a batter, over-rotation means you’ll be pulling everything, but not hurting yourself.
Keith also pointed out two terrible slides by the Brewers — one on a play at the plate that cost them a run, and one at second base that cost them a runner in scoring position in the 8th inning. Excellent analysis by Keith, and shame on big league teams for not stressing the fundamentals and/or teaching their players how to properly slide. It’s the little things that win and lose ballgames.
I distinctly heard “Hava Negila” played during the seventh inning by the Milwaukee organist (while Guillermo Mota was pitching). Nice to hear, since they don’t play it at Shea since Shawn Green retired.
Is it me, or does Jon Niese slightly resemble Michael Phelps?
Carlos Beltran was 2-for-3 with a three-run homer, and is smoking the ball all over the place. Can you say, September 2004?
Some strange moves by Jerry Manuel that could be criticized after the fact. For one, he chose to let Fernando Tatis swing away with no outs and men on first and second with the score tied. Tatis bounced into a double play. Later, Manuel allowed Nick Evans to hit with Argenis Reyes on second base with two outs in the seventh, Guillermo Mota on the mound, and five lefthanded bats waiting on the bench. In a stunning about-face, Manuel replaced Evans with Endy Chavez as a defensive replacement immediately after Evans grounded out to end the inning.
Wednesday’s game is an afternoon affair, as they celebrate the day after Labor Day as Labor Day in Wisconsin (or something). First pitch is at 2:05 pm EST and will be thrown by Dave Bush. Oliver Perez pitches for the Metropolitans.