Archive: September 15th, 2008

Mets Game 149: Loss to Nationals

Nationals 7 Mets 2

The only positive in this evening was the fact the Phillies had the night off.

Still, the Mets lost not only the game but another half game from their NL East Division lead.

Pedro Martinez was OK — not great, but not bad either — but it didn’t really matter since the offense was paralyzed by Nats starter and winner John Lannan. Lannan allowed only one hit and one run through seven stellar innings, striking out seven. Meantime, Pedro gave up four runs on eight hits and four walks in his six innings of work — a decent enough outing for an explosive offensive team, but certainly not what we hope to get from Pedro Martinez. His fastball occasionally hit the low 90s, but his command was inconsistent. He’s become a fifth starter on a team that needs him to be a #4.

The Mets might have had a chance in this game, but Duaner Sanchez obliterated it by serving up a three-run homer to Elijah Dukes in the seventh. After Ricardo Rincon retired the two batters he faced, Mets manager Jerry Manuel saw fit to bring in Sanchez to face the righthanded batters. Duaner responded by allowing a walk, a single, and a wild pitch before the dinger.

In the bottom of the eighth, the Mets scared up a rally sparked by a Luis Castillo (!) double and scored a run, but David Wright killed the threat by bouncing into an inning-ending double play.


Bobby Parnell finally made his Major League debut, after pulling splinters from his keister the last few weeks. Parnell faced three batters and retired them all, lighting up the radar gun with a 95-MPH heater. Al Reyes was also spotted warming up in the bullpen, but did not get into the game.

Castillo and Ryan Church were the only Mets to reach base more than once in the contest.

The Mets have lost three of their last four and five of their last nine.

Next Game

The Mets and Nats do it again at 7:10 pm in DC, with Mike Pelfrey facing Odalis Perez.


Deja Vu All Over Again

Something seems awfully familiar …

The Mets in first place, with a slim lead over the Phillies in the final weeks of the season.

A bullpen which had been pushed pedal to the metal since Opening Day, suddenly faltering — and, amazingly, everyone wondering why.

A manager panicking in response to the above, and “going with the hot hand” without any other thought, reason, or logic.

Starting pitchers dropping like flies.

A glut of veteran and rookie pitchers hanging around the bullpen playing pinochle, with no real chance of ever throwing a meaningful pitch in a game. (Visions of Bobby Parnell starting a big game in the final week of the season keep pestering me.)

Hobbled veterans in and out of the lineup, most notably at second base.

Jose Reyes slowing down — in fact, almost grinding to a halt.

David Wright coming on strong in the final weeks, attempting to carry the team on his shoulders.

Yes, it’s beginning to look a lot like September 2007, but we do have a few differences:

1. A manager who may be just as numbskulled as his predecessor, but who gives the media plenty of quotes and sound bites (whatever that’s worth).

2. Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran helping Wright carry the team.

3. A fresh-faced kid named Daniel Murphy continuing to hit.

Yes, before we write off this season as another, albeit less dramatic, collapse, let’s take into consideration that this 2008 team is currently hitting. At no point in the last two years has all three of Wright, Beltran, and Delgado been hot at the same, and those three bats can obviate bullpen catastrophes and starting pitching breakdowns. And yes, you CAN hit your way into the postseason — just ask the 2007 Phillies (how far you get is another story). So as long as the big three keep whacking the ball, the Mets have a chance to stay atop the NL East.

I think.