Tag: pat misch

Mets Game 126: Loss to Marlins

Marlins 5 Mets 4

So close … but it was a case of too little, too late. And a shame, too, because the Mets had an opportunity to gain another game on BOTH the Braves and the Phillies.

And we DO want the Mets to continue fighting for a playoff spot, don’t we?

Game Notes

Starter Pat Misch was not outstanding, but he wasn’t awful, either … he was about what you’d expect from a fill-in fifth starter who has spent most of the year in AAA: 6 IP, 3 ER, 9 H, 0 BB, 4 K. In other words, better than what Oliver Perez might’ve accomplished.

What DOES Perez do these days, by the way? He was seen shadow-boxing in the bullpen, which may be preparation for a new career. Maybe he can fight Mike Tyson, who can also use some work. Or maybe Chuck Wepner, aka the “Bayonne Bleeder”, who would then parlay the event into a Rocky 7 movie. Or perhaps into a “Real Rocky” movie, where Ollie stands on stilts and plays the role of Andre the Giant (and Ryota Igarashi can play Antonio Inoki).

Sorry, I digress …

Back to the issue that is irrelevant to game 126, Perez hasn’t pitched since August 1 — it’s been a full 24 days. Even Aaron Sele would’ve made an appearance by now. Heck, Wepner would’ve thrown an inning by now, even at age 71. But, the Mets are still in the race. Right.

Wait, why am I talking about Oliver Perez when David Wright went 2-for-4 with 3 runs and a homer, Josh Thole and Jeff Francoeur each had two hits, and Ike Davis hit his first MLB triple? Because that was the absolute, complete extent of the Mets offense, that’s why. Ain’t much more story to tell, unfortunately.

Next Mets Game

The rubber match occurs at 7:10 PM in Flushing on Thursday evening. Jonathon Niese faces Anibal Sanchez.


Mets Game 121: Loss to Astros

Astros 3 Mets 2

A split is like kissing your sister. Or something.

Game Notes

Tom Glavine Pat Misch hurled 6 innings, allowing 4 hits and 3 runs, walking none. Not a bad start by any means. But he gave up a monster blast to Carlos Lee that drove home all three Houston runs and that, my friends, was the ballgame.

Meanwhile, the Mets hitters could do nothing with the immortal Bud Norris — they managed three singles and four walks. The only reason they crossed the plate twice was because “shortstop” Angel Sanchez was standing between second and third base when the Mets came to bat. Sanchez’s inability to field adequately led to both Mets runs — first, he missed second base on a DP attempt which allowed a run to score, and minutes later, he couldn’t convert a Chris Carter grounder into an out, scoring the second Mets run. Do you know how hard it is for Carter to get an infield hit?

Did I mention that the Mets had three hits? Pat Misch rapped one of them. Carter’s was another. Jose Reyes had the third Mets hit, which was legitimate.

Angel Pagan stole his 30th base. That’s some kind of milestone, isn’t it? I know, I’m grasping for positives.

Rod Barajas came off the DL and started this game behind the plate. Why? No one is sure.

Jerry Manuel’s quote during the postgame, in describing the Mets offense:

“This is pathetic.”

For once, I agree with Mr. Manuel.

Next Mets Game

The Mets rocket out of Houston and move on to Pittsburgh to face the Pirates for a weekend series. Game one begins at 7:05 PM on Friday night and pits Mike Pelfrey vs. Jeff Karstens.


Pat Misch May Start on Saturday

Adam Rubin of ESPN-NY is reporting that Pat Misch was pulled after 55 pitches on Tuesday night and is likely to be promoted to the Mets to make a start on Saturday vs. the Phillies.

This possibility was furthered after Hisanori Takahashi threw a perfect 8th inning vs. the Rockies, prompting Jerry Manuel to announce that Takahashi would not make his Saturday start and instead remain in the bullpen.

On the one hand, it seems strange to move Takahashi out of the rotation after he struck out 10 and allowed only one run in 6 innings vs. the Braves in his last start (July 31). On the other hand, I don’t have confidence in Tak as a starting pitcher over the long haul — I truly believe a large part of his success has been due to hitters not being familiar with him. So, it wouldn’t surprise me to see teams who were befuddled by him in the past, have his number the next time he faces them (i.e., NL East clubs). I don’t know that a setup role is ideal for his repertoire and skill set but the Mets don’t have anyone better to audition in the role.

As for Misch, one has to wonder why it took so long for him to return to the Mets. He pitched more than admirably through seven starts at the tail end of last year, and has been stellar in AAA this season. For a team so desperate for pitching, Misch should’ve been given another shot sooner than this. Maybe the Mets think he’s Nelson Figueroa.

I’m not going to predict a shutout by “Glavine Lite” vs. the Phillies on Saturday, but sending Misch to the mound is not the worst idea in the world. It’s either him or Oliver Perez at this point, right?


2009 Analysis: Pat Misch

misch-tholePatrick Misch’s singlemost important contribution to the Mets organization may have been enabling a smooth September debut for rookie catcher Josh Thole. For it was the easy-throwing, level-headed Misch who threw soft darts all around the strike zone, making Thole’s trial by fire a bit less stressful. Can you imagine, for example, if Thole was charged with catching the wild and unstable Oliver Perez in his first few starts behind the dish?

As it turned out, the Misch / Thole battery had its good days and bad days — culminating with the first shutout of the season in game 156 and an impressive five-inning, one-run performance that was cut short by rain in game 161.

Similar to many of the players performing in the late-season auditions, Misch gave us just enough information to


Mets Game 161: Win Over Astros

Mets 5 Astros 1

Only one more to go.

The suddenly inspired Mets took another one from the ‘stros in front of the hometown crowd, despite missing cavalry members Carlos Beltran and David Wright from the lineup.

Pat Misch was impressive once again, allowing one run on five hits in five frames.

The offense took advantage of the Houston outfielders’ unfamiliarity with expansive Citi Field, getting several extra-base hits resulting from poor positioning and judgment of balls off the outfield wall. Carlos Lee, in particular, had a rough afternoon, with several balls going off his glove and/or falling safely behind him.

Brian Stokes, Pedro Feliciano, and Sean Green threw 3 2/3 innings of scoreless relief before Frankie Fantastik came on in the ninth to get the last out of the game and earn his 35th save.


In a fabulous, heads-up play by Kaz Matsui early in the game, Josh Thole was thrown out at home on an infield ground ball that was knocked down by Lance Berkman. Catcher J.R. Towles did an excellent job of blocking the plate, and the SNY crew suggested that Thole’s best plan of action would have been to bowl over Towles. Gary Cohen added that the last Met to knock over a catcher in a play at the plate was Ty Wigginton in 2004.

Hard to believe, but I think Cohen’s right. Ballplayers today avoid contact at the plate as a rule; I suppose it comes from the fact that most youth leagues have rules that disallow physical contact, and players develop the instinct to slide at all times. Perhaps also, the players today are too palsy-walsy with each other and don’t want to be “a bad guy” by doing something that might incur injury on another player. That’s too bad, because that’s not the way baseball is supposed to be played. There was and should continue to be a physical element that includes contact. People are quick to point out the Pete Rose – Ray Fosse tragedy, and indeed there have been a few frightening and career-ending incidents, but a handful of those over the course of 100+ years is not enough reason to change the way you play the game. Once in a while, a situation warrants the runner attempting to clock the catcher — and in those situations, it’s usually more dangerous for the runner to be sliding. Personally, I’d prefer to see a little more passion, fire, and aggression when it comes to trying to score. (I’m not singling out Thole; you can point to just about every Met and most MLBers who have the same defensive, “always slide” approach — it’s the way the game is played today.)

Thole’s triple gave the Mets 48 for the season, breaking the old team record for triples in a season — which was 47 in 1978. Hard to believe that the ’78 Mets held that record, especially when you look at their roster that year. The only guy on that team that you would qualify as a legitimate “speedster” was Lenny Randle, who had 8 three-baggers. Remarkably, the team’s stolen-base leader in ’78 — John Stearns with 25 — had only one triple. (Stearns, btw, set a record for stolen bases by a catcher that season … what a bizarre year.)

Stearns also was the man who clocked Dave Parker in Gary Cohen’s “favorite home plate collision” (mine too). The 6’5″,240-lb. “Cobra” came steaming into home plate like a freight train but the 6′, 185-lb. “Bad Dude” held his ground and upended Parker — busting Parker’s cheekbone in the process.

Hard to believe that Sammy Gervacio had a 1.15 WHIP and 2.25 ERA through 28 appearances coming into this game. His mechanics make it almost impossible for him to command his pitches — his front shoulder flies open way early and stride foot lands a good three feet to the left. As a result he has no balance, his momentum is going sideways rather than toward the plate, and his release point is wildly inconsistent. I suppose the wacky motion throws hitters off, but how long will that last?

I like Sean Green’s new submarine style, though he’s having trouble adjusting to it. His command is not great with it but with time it should take some strain off his elbow and thereby allow him pitch more often without a loss in effectiveness. If you are a longtime MetsToday reader, you know I’m a big fan of the submarine arm motion for several reasons.

Fernando Tatis and Cory Sullivan had a combined 9 plate appearances while Nick Evans remained on the bench. Perhaps Jerry Manuel wants Evans to finish the season on a high note, and feel good about Friday’s triple all winter.

Last Mets Game

For the first time since 2005, we know for sure that game 162 is the last one of the season. Brooklyn native Nelson Figueroa faces Nicaraguan Wilton Lopez in a 1 PM start on Sunday afternoon.


Mets Game 156: Win Over Marlins

Mets 4 Marlins 0

Payback’s a beach …

It wasn’t quite as dramatic as the Marlins’ extinguishing of the Mets’ playoff chances at the end of the 2007 and 2008 seasons, but this game more or less put the kibosh on Florida’s shot at the Wild Card.

Patrick Misch used magic, voodoo, smoke, and mirrors to get through the first five frames, in which he allowed 11 baserunners — yet not one scored. After that, though, he set the Fish down in order, finishing his second MLB win, first shutout, and first complete game.

Meanwhile, the Mets scored four despite the absence of the cavalry — David Wright and Carlos Beltran both had the day off, and well, Carlos Delgado and Jose Reyes still aren’t back. So Jeff Francoeur picked up the slack, blasting his 14th homerun of the season (9th as a Met), and Anderson Hernandez of all people hitting a solo shot. Those two dingers and a sac fly by Josh Thole accounted for the day’s scoring.


Francoeur also reached over the rightfield wall to snare a fly ball off the bat of Chris Coghlan to prevent a homerun and preserve the shutout.

Wilson Valdez had three hits and played fine defense at shortstop.

Ronny Paulino drives me nuts; he might be one of the most athletic and skilled catchers in the National League, but his lapses in focus and bouts of laziness make him an enigma. He reminds me of Javier Lopez in a non-contract year.

The Marlins have so much good young pitching, but those youngsters can’t seem to put it together. I wonder if they would benefit from a veteran backstop like Pudge Rodriguez, or a different pitching coach / manager. There seems to be a lot of untapped potential on the Miami mound.

Next Mets Game

The Mets move on to Washington, DC to face the Nationals on Monday night. Nelson Figueroa faces Ross Detwiler in a 7:05 PM start.


Mets Game 151: Loss to Braves

Braves 11 Mets 3

Thank goodness this game was played on the same night as the premiere of House MD. And thanks to Patrick Misch for allowing the score to get out of hand with minutes to spare before the 8 PM start time for House.

Unfortunately, the first episode of House MD was nearly as bad as the game. So it was a tough night all around. The good news for Dr. Gregory House is, he’s out of the mental hospital. The bad news for the Mets is, there are still 11 games to play in 2009.

Misch was blasted in his 1 1/3 innings. Three of the first dozen batters he faced hit homeruns. I won’t get into the gory details.

Meanwhile Derek Lowe and Kenshin Kawakami combined to allow three runs on seven hits in nine innings, walking none and striking out eight. It took the Mets six pitchers to give the Braves eleven runs.


Even my wife wanted to know why it took so many Mets pitchers to finish this laugher. No one could play the role of sacrificial lamb? The only surprise was that we saw neither Sean Green nor Pedro Feliciano.

It’s games like this when I wonder, “where the heck is Adam Bostick, and if he’s not here now, why is he taking up a spot on the 40-man roster?”

The one bright spot of the ballgame was Daniel Murphy, who is on fire. He hit another double — his 36th — and another homer (11th). He is now the Mets’ most ferocious slugger and maybe all those nasty bloggers need to pipe down about his perceived lack of power. Oh wait, that includes me, doesn’t it?

Though Murphy jacked one, no other Mets did. Hmm … every other team can hit balls over the fence at Citi Field …

I feel like every time Bobby Parnell takes the mound, Ron Darling can’t prevent himself from saying “the kid’s got GREAT stuff”. Ron, please elaborate. I see a “live arm”, meaning, he can throw the ball in excess of 95 MPH. Otherwise, I’m not seeing much at all in the way of “stuff”. No sharp breaking ball, no hellacious change-up, no outstanding movement (nor command) on the fastball — nothing that I would define as “great stuff”. Great arm, yes. Great stuff, no.

Brian Stokes is doing this strange extra-rotation thing when he lifts his leg, which I’ve never noticed before. I guess he’s trying to get a little extra on the ball, since he’s no longer hitting 97-98. Or maybe it’s been a while since I’ve seen him on the mound. He’s thrown 62 pitches in the last two days — which is like a K-Rod four-out save attempt.

The Mets have now lost 14 of their 20 games in September. That’s exactly 70% of their ballgames. But here’s one way to look at it: they’re failing as often as the best hitters in the game.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Braves do it again at 7:10 PM on Tuesday night. Nelson Figueroa faces Jair Jurrjens.


Mets Game 145: Loss to Braves

Braves 6 Mets 0

The Mets couldn’t lose this game fast enough.

Tommy “Gun” Hanson handcuffed the Mets hitters through seven frames, allowing them only three hits and three walks en route to his tenth victory of the season.

Pat Misch accomplished a typical fifth-starter job — 4 runs allowed on 8 hits and a walk in 5 innings. Nothing spectacular, nothing terrible, either.

Braves first baseman Adam LaRoche was a one-man wrecking crew, going 4-for-4 with two homeruns, 4 runs scored, and 3 RBI. That “strong finisher” theory that moved Atlanta to acquire him from Boston continues to ring true.


The Mets were shut out for the 11th time this season.

Atlanta leadoff batter Nate McLouth was 2-for-5 with 3 RBI.

Hanson has one of the best overhand curveballs in baseball today. It has excellent, tight, 12-6 to 1-7 rotation, consistently drops it at the bottom of the strike zone, and throws it at two speeds — around 85 MPH and around 76 MPH. He mostly kept it toward the middle of the strike zone, with a “yellow hammer” vertical drop of 3-5 feet, and if he ever learns to spot it on the corners, he’ll be a regular no-hit threat.

I bumped my head after falling off the chair with laughter when Bobby Ojeda and tried to compare Bobby Parnell to Hanson. Forget mentioning them in the same sentence — Parnell doesn’t belong in the same PARAGRAPH as Hanson. I like Parnell, am rooting for him, but that’s like comparing apples to ribeye steaks.

The Mets had four hits on the night, two by Dan Murphy, who is making a case to be penciled in as the 2010 first baseman.

Braves did a nice job of picking up lefty reliever Eric O’Flaherty for nothing at the beginning of the season; he has a 3.14 ERA and 1.25 WHIP through 69 games. Kind of like how the Mets were smart to take Darren O’Day in the Rule 5 Draft (though, not smart enough to hang on to him).

Today’s Baseball Lesson

The first two pitches of the ninth inning resulted in outs. Dan Murphy and Jeff Francoeur should be ashamed of themselves — that’s selfish and unintelligent baseball. I don’t care if you’re down by six in a meaningless game — you still play the game right. For you youngsters, the “right” way to play the game is to TAKE A STRIKE when your team is losing by two or more in the late innings and there is no one on base. Why? Because you can’t hit a three-run homer with no one on. In the cases of Murphy and Francoeur, they couldn’t hit a 6-run homer to tie the game. Their best chance of winning was to try to build a rally, and walks are almost always a part of building rallies (often a big part). Let the other team make mistakes, make them execute and beat you — don’t make it easy for them. See more baseball playing and coaching tips at OnBaseball.com.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Braves do it again at 7:00 PM on Wednesday night. Bobby Parnell faces Derek Lowe.