Tag: kyle kendrick

Mets Game 142: Win Over Phillies

Mets 4 Phillies 3

The Mets ran up a four-zip lead, and the Phillies were supposed to roll over and die. Strangely enough, they didn’t, and rallied late to give Mets fans a scare.

However, the home team held on in the end to take their 70th victory of the season and 40th win in The Field at Shea Bridge.

Game Notes

Mike Pelfrey was spectacular through seven, but showed signs of running out of gas in the eighth. His final line was 7 1/3 IP, 6 H, 0 BB, 5 K, 2 ER. Stellar, and a particularly impressive effort against a very talented and hot Phillies lineup.

That said, I wasn’t completely happy with Big Pelf’s mechanics, which are still inconsistent. He’s doing a better job of staying on a straight line to the plate for the most part, but could be using gravity more to his advantage — something he used to do, but lost at some point before the All-Star exhibition. The good thing is that he can still be effective without repeating his delivery; we can only hope that he is not doing any physical damage to his arm.

As noted by Tim McCarver, Pelfrey had his back to Jerry Manuel when the manager came to remove him from the game in the eighth inning. Pelfrey refused to acknowledge Manuel’s presence, and handed the ball directly to Bobby Parnell before leaving the mound.

This could have been interpreted as an expression of disrespect for the manager, and if it was, it may have been a response to the way the manager has treated Pelfrey and others on the club over the past two and half years. Manuel has acted similarly toward his players in the past, particularly when changing pitchers, and has not minced words when throwing players under the bus. We know Manuel is at the end of his tenure, and this display by Pelfrey could be a sign that the players won’t miss him when he goes.

Ike Davis was 4-for-4 with 3 RBI, and Jesus Feliciano added two hits and scored twice. Jose Reyes blasted a solo homer, his 9th of the season.

Next Mets Game

The rubber match occurs at 1:10 PM on Sunday afternoon. Jonathon Niese faces Roy Oswalt.

READ MORE +

Mets Game 117: Loss to Phillies

Phillies 3 Mets 1

At what point do the Mets do something about the offense? Even if it is “change for the sake of change” ?

The Mets lost a close one, but scored only one run against a very hittable pitcher in Kyle Kendrick. Even if this was 1968, you can’t expect the starting pitchers to throw a shutout every time they go to the mound. At some point, the offense has to score more than one or two runs.

Game Notes

The Mets wasted a very strong outing by Mike Pelfrey, who may be past his slump. Big Pelf worked 7 innings, allowing 3 runs on 7 hits, walking none. He induced 17 ground ball outs and expended 113 pitches. It appears to me that he has actually moved away from the “tall”, upright position during the leg lift, and is now hunching over consistently. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing — though I do not like the way it causes him to send his balance sideways rather than forward. The key is to remain consistent and repeat the mechanics, which leads to command. Staying more upright and falling toward home plate is more efficient, and would make him less prone to injury, but for the short term I’d rather see his mechanics consistent. At the same time, I would hope that he works on getting more upright again during the offseason, because the sideways momentum puts a strain on the shoulder and the elbow and takes away from velocity.

Jose Reyes knocked a ball off the right field foul pole for his 8th homer of the year. That was it for the scoring from the orange and blue. Reyes had two of the Mets’ six hits. He was thrown out stealing on a borderline call in the first, which turned out to be a really bad thing, since both David Wright and Carlos Beltran singled later that inning.

As much as I love to see Chris Carter getting opportunities, and as badly as Jeff Francoeur has been swinging the bat, if there was a night to play Francoeur it would’ve been this game. Why? Because Francoeur is 9-for-22 (.409) with a .955 OPS lifetime vs. Kendrick. But he’s a righthanded hitter and Kendrick is a RHP so, I guess that would’ve been a silly idea.

While we’re on the subject, Francoeur is 5-for-12 (.417) with 2 HR and a triple (and 1.512 OPS) lifetime vs. Wandy Rodriguez, who is pitching on Monday night. If he is going to hit anyone this month, it will be Rodriguez. And if he doesn’t hit him, there isn’t much point in giving him another shot to start in 2010.

It was a pretty wet, rainy night, and I was mildly surprised they started the ballgame more or less on time. The conditions were most difficult early in the game, and definitely was a factor.

The published attendance was 31,345 (74.6% full). Kind of light for a Phillies game, though the weather and the late start time surely had a significant impact.

The Mets scored a grand total of 9 runs in this 6-game homestand, hitting .088 with runners in scoring position.

The Mets are now 0-46 in games in which they are losing going into the 9th inning.

Next Mets Game

The Mets travel to Minute Maid Park in Houston to face the Astros on Monday night. Jonathon Niese goes to the mound against Wandy Rodriguez. Game time is 8:05 PM EST.

READ MORE +

Mets Game 23: Win Over Phillies

Mets 9 Phillies 1

Keep on rollin’ … Mets remain in phirst place as they parade past the Phillies.

Game Notes

Jon Niese couldn’t have pitched any better in a tough park against a tough lineup. Niese spun 7 (count ’em, 7!) innings, allowing only one run on four hits and a walk, striking out 7. His delivery is starting to look the same throughout his pitches, making it difficult for opposing batters to pick up what’s coming. In the past, the speed of his motion and his arm and body angle varied depending on the pitch, which would tip off hitters who could quickly decipher the subtle differences. Further, Niese had better command than he’s shown before — maybe another result of the consistent delivery / release point. A great night overall for young Jon Niese.

Rod Barajas hit many high, high fly balls over the fence — including two in fair territory. His two taters and two-bagger produced 3 RBI and 3 runs scored.

Jeff Francoeur played like he was back in high school, on the gridiron — banging into things, getting hit, throwing on the run. He also mashed a solo homer, stole his first base of the year, and played a strong game overall but left early due to a bruised elbow that resulted from a 95-MPH fastball from Danys Baez.

Phillies pitchers were pounding the ball inside to the Mets batters, and Jennry Mejia retaliated with a cut fastball to Chase Utley’s calf. I’d prefer the Mets pitchers throw inside as a routine rather than only when they feel the need to “retaliate”.

Angel Pagan went 3-for-5 with a triple, double, 2 RBI, and a run scored. If he hits like that I don’t care where Jerry Manuel puts him in the lineup.

David Wright went deep, then disappeared. No worries, his offense wasn’t needed beyond that.

Raul Ibanez hit a long drive for an out in the second and a hard single in the ninth. I get the feeling he’s emerging from his slump; I hope I’m wrong.

The Mets did not hit a single until the seventh inning — it took 30 batters and 7 runs scored before Jose Reyes struck an RBI single to drive in Angel Pagan.

Next Mets Game

Who’da thunk Mike Pelfrey would be part of a “marquee matchup”? Big Pelf goes against Roy Halladay at 3:10 PM on Saturday afternoon in Philadelphia. And yes, unfortunately, that bizarre time slot means the game will be on FOX.

READ MORE +

Mets Game 143: Loss to Phillies

Phillies 5 Mets 4

The Mets magic number is down to one; that is, any combination of one Mets loss or one Phillies win mathematically eliminates them from the NL East Championship. Though, my calculations may be incorrect.

Despite another ninth-inning rally against the Phillies bullpen, it was too little, too late for the Mets.

John Maine made his long-awaited return, and gave up one run on two hits and a walk in three innings; he threw 57 pitches. Not a terrible outing, but unfortunately bad enough to be saddled with the loss.

Tobi Stoner relieved Maine but was hammered by the Phillies, who blasted two homers and scored three runs in his three-inning stint. Lance Broadway allowed the fifth Phillie run, but it could’ve been a lot worse — he wiggled his way out of a bases-loaded situation in the seventh without yielding a run.

The Mets, however, couldn’t do much against starter and winner Kyle Kendrick, reaching him for two runs in his 7 1/3 innings of work. Their best chance to win the game came when Brad Lidge entered the ninth; they scored another two off the Phillies’ closer but he escaped with his 29th save.

Notes

In the second inning, John Maine threw four straight balls to Pedro Feliz, but Feliz remained at the plate. I watched the replay on DVR three times to confirm — four straight balls, no walk. On ball four, Ben Francisco “stole” second base, which may have confused things. The fifth pitch was called a strike, and Feliz hacked at the next several pitches before flying out to left field. Big difference between no outs, men on first and second, and one out, man on second. Though, the next batter, Paul Bako, hit a grounder to second that would’ve been a DP ball. Of course, we don’t know for sure if the pitch sequence and outcome would’ve been exactly the same.

Maine threw as fast as 91 MPH, but, as usual, had a difficult time throwing strikes to the outside part of the plate to RH hitters / inside to lefties. That’s a function of his mechanical flaw.

Citizens Bank Park makes power hitters out of everybody. David Wright broke out with two bombs yesterday after going homerless for over a month, Anderson Hernandez hit a dinger to dead center this afternoon, and punch-and-judy Josh Thole hit a ball to the base of the right field wall.

Thole, by the way, went 4-for-4 with an RBI and run scored, and caught another solid game. Jeff Francoeur was 3-for-4. Those two hitters more than doubled the output of the rest of the team, which combined for three hits total.

A return to the Fall Classic by the Phillies would seem to be dependent on whether they can find someone to close out the ninth inning. However, their 20 blown saves thus far this year has had little impact on their ability to remain at the top of the standings. Remember last year, when everyone blamed the Mets’ bullpen for their second-place finish?

The biggest differences I see in Brad Lidge compared to his successful times are: a) inability to get ahead of hitters 0-1; and b) a few MPH shaved from his fastball and slider. Those two factors probably go hand-in-hand, since in the past he got more swinging strikes on sliders that had a bit more oomph, and froze batters with faster fastballs. I seem to remember his fastball being in the 96-97 range, occasionally touching 98, and the slider running in around 93-94. Now his fastball is 92-94 and slider in the low 90s.

Lance Broadway has nice run and sink on his sinker, but has problems placing it inside the strike zone. If he can find a slightly higher release point, many of those balls at the ankles will turn into strikes at the knees.

Next Mets Game

Different bat time, different bat channel, but the Mets and Phillies are playing again later this evening — 8 PM, on ESPN. Tim Redding faces Pedro Martinez.

READ MORE +