Archive: June 5th, 2014

Mets Game 60: Loss To Cubs

Cubs 7 Mets 4

Cubs sweep an opponent for the first time all year, and sweep the Mets at Wrigley for the first time in ten years.

Mets Game Notes

Jacob deGrom‘s dominance came to an abrupt end — and wouldn’t you know it, it ended on a day the Mets finally scored a few runs? Not enough runs, but runs nonetheless.

I like the way deGrom spots his fastball just at the edge of the upper strike zone, and just a few inches above it — it’s a stark contrast in elevation from his sinker, which makes both pitches more difficult for batters to judge. He didn’t really pitch badly, and if it hadn’t been for the umpire review system, the stat line would have looked decent. Oh well.

The NL really needs to implement the DH, so we don’t have to suffer through watching pitchers try to hit. Oh, wait…

Do we need to discuss the fact that the Mets had multiple opportunities to mount rallies and score runs, but squandered them? Nah, just listen to this song:

For the second time this year in a game started by deGrom, we saw an overthrow of 3B that resulted in a play at the plate. Anthony Recker appeared to be giving the runner an inside lane to the plate, up until just before he received the ball — when he put his right leg down in front of the plate. His tactic wasn’t that much different from Russell Martin‘s in Mets game #50, and I’m surprised it wasn’t reviewed by the umpires. I’m not sure it would’ve been overturned, but it seemed close enough when watched live to consider. More concerning to me was the way Recker positioned his right leg — he had the side of his foot in front of the plate, and the inside of his leg exposed. Had the runner gone right for his leg, he might’ve blown out Recker’s knee. Ideally, a catcher has the front of his knee facing the runner, to best and most safely absorb a blow from contact. But with this new interpretation of the rule, ironically, there isn’t enough time for the catcher to get himself into a safe position. The rule is supposed to be making the play less dangerous, but if the runner went right toward the plate, and busted through the side of Recker’s calf, it would’ve been completely clean and legal but Recker’s season likely would’ve been over.

Similarly, in the play at the plate in the second involving Travis d’Arnaud, it looked eerily similar to the play that knocked out Buster Posey. Like Posey, d’Arnaud put himself into a dangerous position by diving back toward the plate to stop the runner. Luckily, Luis Valbuena was sliding off to the side, but had he been going straight for home plate, and sliding hard into it, very bad contact between the two players could have resulted. I don’t know — was it the players observing the new interpretation of the rule that saved them from injury, or just dumb luck?

As a Mets fan, surely you’re wondering why Andrew Brown spent the last month and a half in AAA.

On a positive note, slugging Chris Young walked twice from the leadoff spot. Baby steps.

Geez, the Cubs didn’t even need their closer to finish up the sweep. And they beat up on the Mets’ current closer. One would never guess Chicago is 11 games below .500.

Like Keith Hernandez, I was disgusted with the lack of fundies in this ballgame, and particularly upset in the top of the fifth, when two bad things happened on the same play. With one out and men on first and second, David Wright lifted a fly ball to center field. Both runners tagged up, and the throw from Chicago center fielder Justin Ruggiano went toward third base. Why? Why, why, why? An alert Starlin Castro cut off the throw and flipped it to Darwin Barney, but Barney, instead of simply placing his glove down in front of the bag and waiting for Curtis Granderson to slide into it, chose to lunge after Granderson’s sliding body. Bad decision by Ruggiano, poor execution by former Gold Glover Barney. Not that it mattered, as the Mets couldn’t take advantage of the two-out, men on second and third situation.

Highlight of the game — hands-down — was Keith’s telling of the story when he almost died because of a bumblebee. Does Mark Burnett watch Mets games? Clearly not.

Three hours and 16 minutes and game over before 10:30 was refreshing. Still too long for a ballgame, for me, but compared to what we’ve been enduring lately, it was most welcome.

During the postgame, Bobby Ojeda suggested that Travis d’Arnaud be sent down to the minors to figure things out. Something to consider, I suppose, but the issue is that d’Arnaud has pretty much proven that he can hit minor league pitching at all levels. Now, he needs to learn how to adjust to MLB pitching, and that can’t be done in the PCL. Tough call, and I’m not sure where to stand on this, but my inclination is to keep him in the bigs. At the same time, Recker has been the better overall catcher so far this year, and the Mets are supposedly gunning for 90 wins so …

What’s your thought?

Next Mets Game

The Mets lick their wounds and move on to San Francisco to play the Giant. Oh damn, more late nights. Ugh. At least it’s the weekend, so we can sleep in. First game begins on Friday night at 10:15 PM Right Coast Time. Jonathon Niese faces Matt Cain.