Tag: pat misch

Mets Game 139: Loss to Marlins

Marlins 6 Mets 3

The carriage that transported Pat Misch from Buffalo to Flushing turned into a pumpkin.

Misch allowed four runs in the first frame, and five runs total in six innings, to trounce the sugar-plum dreams of Mets fans who thought he might be the next Jamie Moyer. Though, he does resemble this season’s, 46-year-old, underperforming version of Moyer.

With that quick deficit, it was hard to get anything going against Ricky Nolasco, who mowed down the Mets for a full six innings before finally cracking in the seventh. Though the home team plated three, it was too little, too late, as Nolasco earned his eleventh win of the year.

Notes

The Mets collected a grand total of four hits in the ballgame, and leadoff batter Angel Pagan had half of them.

This game was the Gary Cohenless broadcast — Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez called the game sans the regular play-by-play man. Personally, I thought it went fine, though I’m the type who prefers less noise. As long as the camera is following the ball, the play-by-play description is less vital. I did, however, get this vague feeling that something was missing — and I generally do enjoy Gary Cohen’s input.

Josh Thole caught another solid game behind the plate, save for a few feeble attempts at framing pitches that were nowhere near the strike zone. Stick to sticking it, Josh! The main thing to take away is that he looks comfortable back there — no jerking or jabbing the glove to get to balls, no getting handcuffed or fooled on pitches. He does look a little mechanical, but so did Gary Carter, so who cares? Of course, it was Thole’s second game with Misch, so there was the familiarity factor. I like that the Mets are easing him into the bigs this way — gaining confidence is key to success.

The first Mets run came on a double by Dan Murphy, who hit a poorly located change-up (which was also a poor pitch selection for that moment). This is the main difference between Murphy and a slugger — Murphy hits mistakes for bleeders, bloops, and occasional doubles, while a slugger hits mistakes over the fence. Not a problem, as long as Murphy whacks enough mistakes to drive in 75-80 runs and hit in the .300-.310 area over the course of 550 – 600 at-bats.

Next Mets Game

The series finale occurs on Thursday at 7:10 PM. Bobby Parnell faces Sean West. West stymied the Mets in his start against them on August 25th (1 run in 6 IP) but was blasted for 5 runs on 7 hits on September 4th against the Nationals.

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Mets Game 134: Win Over Rockies

Mets 8 Rockies 3

A successful day for the Mets, and a day of firsts for Josh Thole and Pat Misch.

Behind Misch, the Mets extended their streak of winning at least one game in a series to sixteen straight! That’s right, they haven’t been swept since the Phillies took three in a row way back in the first week of July, just prior to the All-Star break. Unfortunately, the Mets have taken more than one game in a series only once in the past month (thank goodness for four-game series!).

Misch was spectacular through seven, allowing only two runs on four hits and two walks, striking out three, en route to his first Major League victory.

Speaking of firsts, rookie Josh Thole made good in his debut, singling in his first MLB at-bat, stealing his first base, and stroking his first extra-base hit — a double in the top of the ninth. He also committed his first passed ball, but we’ll excuse him of that.

The Mets offense chased starter and loser Jason Marquis from the game after the fifth, and launched a 16-hit attack all told against seven Colorado hurlers.

Pedro Feliciano gave up a run in the final two innings in a non-save situation.

Notes

All three Rockies runs came on solo homers.

David Wright — sans his Great Gazoo headgear — went 3-for-4 with 2 runs scored and 3 RBI. Angel Pagan also had three hits from the leadoff spot and scored twice.

Dan Murphy provided the power from the cleanup spot with two extra-base hits — his eighth homer of the year and his 29th double.

Jeremy Reed collected another pinch-hit, a single up the middle against Matt Herges in the 8th. He now has 13 pinch-hits on the season, batting .310 in that role.

Jeff Francoeur led all Mets by seeing 25 pitches in his five plate appearances.

Next Mets Game

The Mets fly home to begin a weekend series against the Chicago Cubs. Game one is at 7:10 PM on Friday night, with Bobby Parnell facing Carlos Zambrano.

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Thole and Misch a Good Match

josh-thole-catchingThe highly anticipated debut of prospect Josh Thole could have been more difficult, but the Mets made the right move by matching him with lefthander Pat Misch.

Sure, I could be completely wrong — Thole could suffer seven passed balls and six stolen bases, while striking out five times. But I believe the Mets have given him a strong opportunity to succeed by choosing this game, this opponent, and this starting pitcher.

For one, it’s a day game, played outdoors and under natural light. Right there, Thole should be comfortable, as it is always much easier to see the flight of a ball in broad daylight than it is at night under artificial lighting. This is an advantage both in terms of batting and in receiving pitches behind the plate.

Secondly, the Mets have matched Thole with one of their easiest pitchers to catch. Pat Misch relies on pinpoint control, using a small repertoire of pitches that generally range from 70-85 MPH. If anything, he throws too many strikes and is always around the plate. He’s thrown only one wild pitch in his MLB career, and less than a dozen in close to 800 minor league innings. In short, he is a catcher’s dream in terms of receiving the ball. Additionally, Misch is a poised, unflappable, easygoing veteran — no worries about having to calm him down in times of adversity.

Contrast Misch with, say, Oliver Perez, and it’s easy to understand my point.

Loyal MetsToday reader “Murph” (of MurphGuide) posed the question:

“Do you think it is harder for a rookie to hit major league pitching, or to catch major league pitching?”

Neither is easy, but from my own experience, catching a pitcher whom you’ve never caught before can be much harder than hitting one you’ve never faced before — and it all depends on the pitcher’s command, velocity, and repertoire. Someone like Ollie Perez, John Maine, or Bobby Parnell — who throw at high velocity and tend to be all over the place — are extremely difficult to receive because the catcher may have no idea where the ball is going, nor what route it’s going to take, and he has little time to react. Remember the struggles of Brian Schneider early last season? Those were due specifically to the unfamiliarity with the pitching staff, and secondarily to a new glove.

As we’ve been told, Josh Thole has been catching many of the Mets pitchers in the bullpen since his promotion. And that’s good, but not necessarily enough — it depends on the pitcher. Some are around the plate and have pitches that run and break consistently, and you can get a “feel” for the distance they’ll move when they’re not on target. Also, it’s easier when the top velocity is lower, and there are less pitches to “learn” — for example Pedro Feliciano throws only an 87-MPH fastball and a sweeping slider, so he might be easier to catch than, say, Brian Stokes, who can hit 97 MPH with the fastball, and also has varying degrees of success with a curve, slider, changeup, and split. Francisco Rodriguez, I imagine, would also be difficult to catch, mainly because his pitches break so sharply and so late — and often into the ground and wide of the strike zone.

The pitcher’s personality is another can of worms which we won’t get into in depth. But consider this: what if Thole’s MLB debut came last night, and he had to deal with Mike Pelfrey’s case of the yips? Or if he had to get Oliver Perez back on track during one of those “Ollie Innings” ?

Another consideration is calling the game. I would bet that the pitches will be called from the dugout today. After all, Thole doesn’t know much about the strengths and weaknesses of MLB hitters, and isn’t yet familiar with Pat Misch’s game-time abilities.

We’ll see soon enough how well Josh Thole handles himself behind the dish. We’re told his best tool is his bat, and that he needs work on his catching skills. That said, the Mets have made his MLB debut as easy as could possibly be managed. For once, a logical decision based on thought and preparation.

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Mets Game 129: Loss to Cubs

Cubs 5 Mets 2

Waiting to lose … that’s what it looks like these Mets are doing lately.

Pat Misch was hit hard by the Cubs batters, but most were outs or foul balls, and others were knocked down by the crosswind. As a result, he managed to hang around for 7 innings, allowing only one run on six hits and two walks. All in all, an impressive performance.

Through six, soft-tossing Ted Lilly matched Misch pitch for pitch, and the game was deadlocked at one apiece. But in the seventh, the Mets finally broke the tie, scratching out a run thanks in part to the terrible fielding of Alfonso Soriano. Two balls hit Soriano’s way fell for doubles, Lilly was chased from the game, and by the time the dust settled, the score was 2-1.

Brian Stokes then entered the game to hold the lead, but unfortunately did no such thing. Instead, he allowed four runs on a walk and three hits, including a booming homer by Soriano, in one-third of an inning.

Notes

Soriano was absolutely horrendous in the field, and I’m not sure how he was absconded from being charged with at least one error in the seventh. He flat-out dropped a ball earlier in the game, on a fly ball that bounced off his glove.

Stokes’ appearance was Exhibit A of why he has not been more successful in MLB despite seemingly “good stuff”. With a man on third and RBI machine Aramis Ramirez at the plate, Stokes’ first pitch was left over the middle of the plate, and Ramirez drilled it into left to drive home the run. After doing that, he was inexplicably pitching around Jeff Baker. (Kids, take note. If you’re going to pitch around someone, make it in a situation where the go-ahead run is on third, first base is open, and the monster RBI guy is at the plate — not AFTER the run has already scored.) Then, with men on first and second, Stokes got Soriano to chase two breaking pitches in the dirt to get ahead 0-2. He hung the next pitch chest-high and over the middle of the plate, letting Soriano demolish it.

The Mets need to decide whether Stokes is a starter or a reliever. If it’s a reliever, he needs to cut his repertoire to a fastball and one other pitch — one that he can master. His biggest issue has always been trying to throw too many different pitches. All can look good at one time or another, but none are consistent.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Cubs do it again at 4:10 PM EST on Saturday. Bobby Parnell faces Ryan Dempster.

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Mets Forgot About Johan Santana’s Elbow

During the team’s conference call with the press today, Ben Shpigel asked Omar Minaya if Johan Santana’s elbow issue was related in any way to the discomfort he felt back in February. Minaya was stunned by the question — he had not remembered the elbow problem, stating that “spring training was a long time ago”. Later, Minaya said that the “spring training problem” had “more to do with Santana’s knee”.

Wow … and we wonder why the Mets’ medical issues have been such a problem this year. If the team can’t remember their $137.5M investment and ace pitcher had elbow issues, how can they possibly deal with the phyical problems of “lesser” players?

Now we understand why Jose Reyes played on a bad hammy, Carlos Beltran on a bad knee, and J.J. Putz with a bad elbow (among others) — the Mets simply “forgot” those players were injured!

Another strange quote by Minaya … after being asked why Santana wasn’t shut down earlier in the season — since he hasn’t thrown in between starts since June — Minaya’s response was:

“That’s why we’re shutting him down now. … After his last start is when he brought it up.”

Um …. huh?

In any case, Johan Santana was seen by Dr. David Altcheck, and the result of the examination is that Santana has bone chips in his elbow. He will have season-ending surgery to remove the chips.

There has been no confirmation one way or the other as to whether Santana had an MRI — only that he saw Dr. Altcheck. Strange, no?

Minaya also announced that Oliver Perez would be heading back to New York to have his knee examined. No word on whether Perez would also have his head examined, unfortunately.

Further, Minaya confirmed the Billy Wagner trade, and said that both Pat Misch and Nick Evans would be activated.

Finally, J.J. Putz will NOT pitch tonight in Brooklyn as scheduled. The Mets are going to “play it safe” with Putz and have him wait a little longer before throwing in a live game.

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Mets Game 124: Loss to Phillies

Phillies 9 Mets 7

You can’t say this game wasn’t entertaining.

What began as another circus-like outing by Oliver Perez turned out to be an unusually tenacious effort by the Mets.

Perez allowed two three-run homers in two-thirds of an inning and was on the verge of walking Pedro Martinez when he was replaced by Nelson Figueroa in the initial inning. Other than putting an end to the first frame, Figgy wasn’t terribly effective, allowing another two scores before yielding to Pat Misch. Misch proved he’s much better in the role of long man than LOOGY by holding the fort for four full frames, allowing just one hit and striking out four. His performance allowed the Mets to chip away and make the final innings interesting.

Meanwhile, Pedro Martinez’s return to Flushing was somewhat emotional and otherwise unimpressive — though he pitched well enough to earn his second win as a Phillie. He “held” the Mets to four runs in six innings, then let the Phillie bullpen finish up.

Going into the bottom of the ninth, the Mets were down by three but Angel Pagan led off with a triple by getting to third on a three-base error by Ryan Howard to spark a rally and ignite the Citi Field crowd. After two consecutive misplays by Chase Utley’s understudy Eric Bruntlett, the Mets had men on first and second with no one out and Jeff Francoeur at the plate. Perhaps to guard against a rally-killing double play, Jerry Manuel put on a hit-and-run — which did keep them out of a DP but created instead a TP. With the runners moving, Francoeur ripped a liner up the middle that was snared by previous goat Bruntlett, who stepped on second base to eliminate Luis Castillo, then tagged oncoming runner Dan Murphy to complete an unassisted triple play that ended the inning and the game.

Notes

Before Mets fans gripe that the triple play was “a lucky break”, they should remember that Pagan’s “triple” sneaked under Howard’s glove and that the Mets were “lucky” that Bruntlett muffed the next two balls to create the situation. If anything, the Mets’ luck was running out.

Again, is it safe to say Pat Misch is better suited to multiple innings, than to be used as a per-batter specialist?

Pagan hit an inside-the-park homer to lead off the first, though it would’ve been a triple had the ball not lodged under the padding in centerfield, causing Shane Victorino to give up on the play and raise his hands to the umpires. Apparently, Victorino was not cognizant of the ground rules at Citi Field.

Luis Castillo continued his hot-hitting, going 3-for-4 and raising his average to .321. He remains in fourth place among NL hitters — three points behind the disabled David Wright.

Dan Murphy also had three hits, hitting out of the three-hole (“I bat third”). His efforts also produced a run scored and another driven in. Murph is now 10 for his last 30 with 4 doubles and 2 RBI.

Next Mets Game

The final game of this four-game series begins at 1:10 PM on Monday afternoon. Bobby Parnell begins the game against Cliff Lee.

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Available Players to Consider

Do the ailing and injured New York Mets need to bring in outside reinforcements? If so, a few have become available. One by one:

Vicente Padilla

The righthanded pitcher was waived by the Rangers after a miserable 3-inning, 7-ER start against the Yankees. He’s 3-3 with a 5.97 ERA and a 1.52 WHIP through 9 games and 53 innings.

He must be really bad, if the Rangers are willing to eat his $12M contract to get him off the roster; few teams will be willing to take on the $8M he’s owed between now and the end of the season.

But, he has shown signs of effectiveness — for example the three starts prior to the Yankees massacre, in which he pitched 23 innings and gave up only 12 hits and 4 earned runs. Think about that — in his last four starts, he’s pitched eight innings twice and seven innings once.

Though he hasn’t allowed a ton of homeruns — 4 total, and none in his last 5 starts — he does give up a large number of fly balls, something unusual for a sinker-slider pitcher such as himself. In his 8-inning win over the Angels two weeks ago, he allowed 21 airballs. Strangely enough, he’s had one game in which he induced 14 ground balls (also an 8-inning victory).

A move to the NL and a spacious ballpark could be a good thing for Padilla. But, he’s an eternal enigma, often beating himself and crumbling in the face of adversity (see: Oliver Perez). Additionally, he’s been fighting a shoulder issue for the past month. Is he worth the headache? Tim Redding’s next start may provide the answer, though I might prefer seeing Nelson Figueroa on the roster.

Wilson Betemit

Oh how quickly and how far mighty talents can fall. It wasn’t so long ago that Betemit was a phenom in the Atlanta organization, a sure-handed, switch-hitting shortstop with corner-infield power. A few years and four organizations later, he finds himself DFA’d by the White Sox, dragging with him a .200 average in 50 at-bats.

Is he worth picking up? If this were two weeks ago, when Jose Reyes first went on the DL? Probably. One week ago, when the Mets were scrambling to find someone better than Ramon Martinez to play SS? Definitely. Now, with Alex Cora back, Wilson Valdez playing well, and Martinez on the DL? Absolutely.

Here’s why: Betemit is a natural shortstop who can play all four infield positions and both outfield corners. He hits from both sides of the plate, and shown a bit of power in the past. He’s 27 years old. Need I go on?

The negative is that he swings and misses — a lot. Last year he struck out 56 times and took only 6 walks in 204 plate appearances. So you can compare him to Billy Hall — a super utilityman with a little pop and a lot of whiffs. I still like him better than some of the other 25th-man options that we’ve seen thus far.

Tom Glavine

We discussed this yesterday. On paper, he might be worth a try, and the Wilpons love him. I don’t think the fans can stomach his return, however.

Jorge Julio

15 walks and a 7.79 ERA through 17 innings was too much for Milwaukee to handle. Rick Peterson’s tight leash made him almost valuable as a one-inning guy, but I don’t think he’d flourish in the Dan Warthen era. He still throws in the upper 90s, so someone will take a chance. No thanks.

Pat Misch

Who is Pat Misch, you ask? He’s a crafty lefthanded reliever most recently employed by the San Francisco Giants. He’s not particularly good — a career 5.20 ERA through 97 MLB IP (and double that this year) — but he’s slightly more effective vs. LH hitters than righties. As long as Ken Takahashi continues to struggle against lefthanded hitters, the Mets need to at least take a glance at any and every southpaw on the market. Maybe he’s worth giving a look-see in AAA.

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