Diamondbacks 14 Mets 1
Since the second half began, the Mets could not blame the pitching for their woes — it was the offense that was sputtering while the starters and relievers did their darnedest to limit scoring by the opposition.
The thought has been that eventually, the offense would come around and, combined with the stellar pitching, the Mets would start winning again.
On Sunday afternoon, however, the Mets couldn’t blame the offense for losing. They received neither hitting nor pitching.
Thankfully, the Mets Hall of Fame induction occurred prior to this laugher, because during the TV broadcast, the inductees regaled us with stories in the SNY booth to distract us from the disaster occurring on the field below.
The Diamondbacks were not nice to Jonathon Niese, hammering him for 7 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks in only 4 1/3 innings of work. Adam LaRoche in particular was a problem for Jon, as he blasted two three-run homers against the young lefthander.
In the postgame, Jerry Manuel mentioned that Niese’s curve looked “slider-like”. Interesting, since I have been pointing out exactly that as an issue in nearly all of his previous starts. To succeed, and get good bite on all of his pitches, Niese has to stay on top of the ball, with a more overhand arm angle and release point.
Elmer Dessens fared no better, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits and a walk in 2 2/3 innings. Oliver Perez came in as the mopup man and “limited” Arizona to 4 runs on 5 hits and a walk over the final two frames.
On offense, the Mets managed five hits — two of which came in the last inning against Esmerling Vazquez. They couldn’t do anything against starter Daniel Hudson, who tossed 110 pitches in 8 innings.
Angel Pagan scored the Mets’ lone run on a sac fly by Ike Davis.
The Mets remain the only team the Diamondbacks have beaten since the All-Star Exhibition.
Who knows, maybe the Mets were “playing down to their competition” against Arizona — the second-worst team in the NL. Maybe when they go up against better teams — like first- and second-place teams — they’ll step up their game. Oh, and that theory will be tested immediately, if you look below …
Next Mets Game
The Mets shove off to Atlanta to begin a three-game series with the Braves on Monday, followed by a weekend series in Philadelphia — so no more “home field advantage”. Monday night’s contest starts at 7:10 PM and pits Johan Santana against Tim Hudson.