Mets 14 Tigers 6
Usually, a “laugher” like this is fun to watch. But when there is a 58-minute rain delay in the middle of it, it can kind of drag on and put a “dampener” on the evening.
Though, I’ll take it!
If anyone can find something to complain about in a 14-6 victory, it’s me. And I’m steamed.
Why? Because Jon Niese was sent out to pitch the fourth inning after not only a 58-minute rain delay but a lengthy offensive rally by the Mets that made the score 10-zip. As a result, Niese sat for a good hour and twenty minutes or so between pitches. Anyone who has even a rudimentary understanding about how the body works (and how it recovers), knows that going back into action after that long a time is not only difficult, it’s downright dangerous. There are some chemical reactions and other things that happen inside the body, with lactic acid, glycogen, carbohydrates, and protein when the body is at rest after intense activity (yes, pitching a baseball repetitively at 90+ MPH is an “intense activity”). I’m not an expert on the subject but I know enough to know that by the time Niese went back to the mound, his body was in “recovery mode”, not “active mode” (if there is an expert out there who can support / deny this with specific details, please comment below). Workout buffs know what I’m talking about, and know the dangers of trying to do something strenuous while the body is in a “shutdown” / recovery period. Muscles are devoid of glycogen, lactic acid is building up, tissue repair is beginning, and the body is thereby vulnerable to injury. The Mets trainers should know all about this, and shame on Jerry Manuel / Dan Warthen for not seeking or heeding their advice.
As it turned out, Niese did not pitch well at all after returning to the mound in the fourth, yet Manuel sent him back out in the fifth. Why? I guess because he wanted Niese to pitch five full innings and thereby earn a win. Sorry, but padding stats is secondary to a) health and b) winning the game. Eventually Niese was removed, but not before allowing 6 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks in 4 2/3 innings. It could’ve been worse, as he left the game with the bases loaded but Fernando Nieve struck out Danny Worth to end the fifth inning.
OK, I’m descending from the soapbox. On to the positives.
Nieve was awarded with the win for his 2 innings of shutout ball.
Angel Pagan went 4-for-6, only a homerun shy of the cycle, driving in 4 runs and scoring thrice.
David Wright was 3-for-3 with two walks, two RBI, two runs scored. His first RBI of the game gave him 615 for his career, passing Ed Kranepool for fourth on the all-time Mets list. Thank goodness … seeing Kranepool anywhere in historical offensive records is an embarrassment.
Ike Davis drove in three runs with three hits. Jose Reyes scored three runs with three hits.
The top three hitters in the lineup — Reyes, Pagan ,and Wright, — combined for 10 hits, nine runs scored and seven RBI. Add in Davis’ 3 RBI and you could say that batters 5 through 9 were slackers!
Bobby Parnell made his first appearance of 2010, needing 21 pitches to get 3 outs in holding an 8-run lead in the 8th inning. He threw a lot of high heat, 95-97 MPH.
Jay Sborz of the Tigers made his MLB debut by hitting the first batter he faced to load the bases, then hit the next batter to force in a run. By the time he left the game, he allowed 5 runs in two-thirds of an inning (67.50 ERA). He looked very sad as he walked back to the dugout — like he was on the brink of tears. But I’m sure a graham cracker sandwich of roasted marshmallow and chocolate would have lifted Sborz’ spirits.
Next Mets Game
The Mets and Tigers meet again in Flushing on Wednesday at 7:10 PM. Undefeated R.A. Dickey faces Jeremy Bonderman. The game will be televised by ESPN.