Archive: June 13th, 2010

Mets Game 63: Win Over Orioles

Mets 11 Orioles 4

This is the way to beat the worst team in baseball — handily, in a “laugher”.

The Mets finally pasted the Orioles, as the offensive went ballistic on Baltimore pitching, en route to a three-game sweep on the road.

Game Notes

Mike Pelfrey struggled for the first time since May 1 at Philadelphia, but this time I don’t think it was because the hitters knew what was coming. His command on all pitches was off, he couldn’t get good rotation on the curve, and he wasn’t driving hard off the rubber. Why? My eyes saw him hunching over slightly in his leg lift, just before the left leg began its descent. As a result his upper body was leaning toward 3B ever so slightly, throwing off his balance just enough to affect his release point and control. Additionally, it’s hard to “get on top” of the curveball when the body is leaning to one side — so it wasn’t surprising that Pelf’s deuces were moving more sideways like sliders. Pelfrey has had this minor mechanical issue on occasion in the past, but it was more prominent in the first three innings of this game than it’s been in a long time.

As it was, Pelfrey hung in there long enough to grab the win, allowing 3 runs on 9 hits and 3 walks in 6 innings, striking out 1 in a 101-pitch effort. Those numbers could’ve been uglier, but Baltimore couldn’t capitalize on several opportunities in the early innings.

David Wright blasted two homers and a double and drove in 4 runs. He looked quite comfortable at the plate.

Jason Bay was supposed to get the day off, but played instead and went 4-for-4 with 4 runs scored. Among his hits was a double and a homer over the wall in dead center.

Chris Carter also homered, a three-run shot that put the Mets up 5-zip in the first frame. I see no reason whatsoever to remove him from the lineup while playing in AL parks — I don’t care if Sandy Koufax is pitching.

Alex Cora quietly drove in two runs with a 3-for-4 day and made several sparkling plays at second base. If he could do this over a full season he might be worth $2M with an option that automatically kicks in after 80 games.

Jesus Feliciano collected his first MLB hit, a single to center in the first inning. He rapped another single in the seventh.

Next Mets Game

The Mets get Monday off to travel to Cleveland, then take on the Indians on Tuesday night at 7:05 PM. Johan Santana faces Justin Masterson.

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Mets Game 62: Win Over Orioles

Mets 3 Orioles 1

Two down, one to go …

The Mets beat Baltimore for the second straight night, behind the brilliant pitching of Hisanori Takahashi and the general lack of interest by the Orioles.

To me, the O’s resemble the Mets of late August 2009 — a team waiting for the season to end. Unfortunately for the Orioles and their fans, there are a hundred games left. That’s a long time to be wallowing.

Game Notes

Hisanori Takahashi hurled 7 frames of one-run, 6-hit ball, walking only one and striking out 2. Before you get all excited that Tak has “re-discovered” his form, temper the enthusiasm and realize that a) the Orioles are a bad offensive team — 29th out of 30 in MLB in runs scored; b) the O’s are completely unmotivated and disinterested; c) the O’s never saw Takahashi before. All three of those factors played significantly into Tak’s success. That doesn’t mean he won’t pitch well again five days from now, but it does mean you shouldn’t be surprised if he gives up 5 runs and 10 hits in a five-inning stint. Sorry to be a downer, but that’s my style.

Jose Reyes led off the game with a homer, the 15th time he’s done that in his career. He also hit a single, sacrificed, and was picked off.

Jeff Francoeur continued his hot hitting, blasting a solo homer to provide an insurance run in the 8th.

Reyes and Francoeur accounted for over half the Mets’ hits — they managed only 5 all told against Brian Matusz, who pitched 8 brilliant innings in a tough loss.

Ruben Tejada scored the Mets’ second run, but really shouldn’t have. He misread an Angel Pagan hit and therefore didn’t score from second base, and eventually scored on a double play that should’ve been off the bat of David Wright — but first-base ump Ron Kulpa blew the call and called Wright safe, thereby giving the Mets a run instead of ending the inning. A small thing, and Frenchy’s homer would’ve been the difference anyway, but it is these small things that eventually catch up to a club. Again, you’re probably wondering why I’m being a Debbie Downer, but I’m a bit miffed that the Mets are only barely beating the worst team MLB has seen in ten years — maybe closer to 50 years, considering that the O’s current record compares to the 1962 Mets over the same number of games.

As predicted, Pedro Feliciano pitched again, tossing 16 pitches in his MLB-leading 37th appearance. Again, I’m a bit miffed that Jerry Manuel felt forced to “go to the well” for his lefty specialist yet again, to make sure the Mets beat the worst team in baseball. What happens in August when the Mets play the Phillies and Braves a dozen times? Will Feliciano’s left arm still be attached to his body?

Next Mets Game

The Mets go for the sweep on Sunday afternoon at 1:35 PM. Mike Pelfrey goes for his 9th win against Kevin Millwood, who has yet to earn a win and has lost seven.

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