Mets Game 45: Loss to Padres

Padres 11 Mets 5

This was supposed to be the beginning of an easy, breezy weekend at home. The Mets were hosting one of MLB’s worst offensive ballclubs — and one that was further decimated by injuries to the few legitimate MLBers on their roster. To boot, the starting pitcher facing them had been released earlier in the year by a team whose staff is below average. However, this “easy” series did not begin as expected — much the opposite, in fact.

Mets Game Notes

Sloppy game, both literally and figuratively, for both sides. Wet conditions caused slipping, wild throws, and other oddities. Some miscues, though, could not be blamed on the weather — such as missed tags, poor slides, bad baserunning, misplayed balls, brain farts, and a steadfast refusal to keep runners close to first base.

The mistakes on the Mets’ side began with the decision to bat Ronny Cedeno leadoff. Really?

The scouting report on Jeremy Hefner was that he was a strike-thrower. Naturally, his first three pitches of the game were balls — almost certainly an indication of nervous excitement, as he didn’t throw another ball until the third inning. However, in that third — and immediately after the rain delay — the Padres pounded four doubles in the frame, plating four runs. You have to like the way Hefner attacks the strike zone, and that he can throw all of his pitches for strikes consistently, but as seen in that third inning, it is possible to throw too many strikes. Unusual, but possible. Still, I’d rather see too many strikes than too many balls.

If Hefner threw from a three-quarters angle instead of straight over the top, he’d be the spit and image (or spitting image, if you prefer) of Orel Hershiser. Hefner also might get a little more movement on the ball with such an angle — perhaps enough to make it slightly less hittable.

Eric Stults is not a great pitcher. But, he is a great-hitting pitcher. He is also a terrible bunter, as displayed in this game. Yet, Padres manager Bud Black inexplicably called on Stults to bunt time after time with runners on base — and he failed miserably. Does Black not realize that Stults might have been one of the best four hitters in his lineup? Just because it’s a pitcher at the plate doesn’t mean he can’t hit and the bunt call is automatic.

David Wright boosted his batting average back over .400 with a 3-for-5 day that included a double, a homerun, and two RBI.

Meanwhile, Andres Torres busted out of his slump with a single, jacking his average up to within eight points of the Mendoza Line.

Also seeing better results at the plate was Ike Davis, who rapped a two-run single in a pinch-hitting appearance. Maybe he can start pulling himself out of the ditch.

Manny Acosta was his usual terrible self, though he did strike out four in two innings. I’m beginning to wonder if inducing swings and misses is perhaps an overvalued asset; Oliver Perez, after all, is #8 all-time — yes, ALL-TIME — in K/9.

Unfortunately, rookie Robert Carson followed Acosta — literally and figuratively. Carson pitched after Acosta, and nearly as poorly. Like Hefner, Carson simply threw too many hittable pitches.

After seeing the Mets struggle to take two out of three from the lowly Pirates, and then watching the Padres trounce them, I really have to wonder how the Mets are over .500. Smoke and mirrors? Sheer luck? Voodoo?

Next Mets Game

Game two of this four-game set begins at 7:10 p.m. on Friday night. Dillon Gee faces Anthony Bass.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Izzy May 25, 2012 at 8:20 am
    Any time you start to disrespect the talent of any professional athlete you are setting yourself up for failure. Hopefully, the Mets don’t have the same attitude as the blogger world, acting as if the Pads are winless for the year.
  2. Corey Gorey May 25, 2012 at 9:10 am
    “After seeing the Mets struggle to take two out of three from the lowly Pirates, and then watching the Padres trounce them, I really have to wonder how the Mets are over .500. Smoke and mirrors? Sheer luck? Voodoo?”

    Yeah, I’ve had the same thought. David Wright’s bat and some bouts of decent pitching? I’m really pleased how this team’s been playing this year, generally speaking. If they can get their hands on another starter, reliever, and bat, they’re Washington Nationals. That’s a weird sentence.

    (By the way, if they don’t resign Wright I’m already planning on becoming a Giants or Rays fan full-time. I’m even considering Milwaukee.)

  3. gary s. May 25, 2012 at 9:22 am
    Any time that u can bat Cedeno leadoff and Hairston cleanup and still be 3 over .500 u might be practicing some voodoo.I have to agree with you Joe.The games are getting more and more boring to watch (no wright, little reason to watch at all) and the crowds are becoming smaller and smaller/On the bright side, only 4 more months till the Wilpons buy the full page ad in the local newspapers to aplologize to the fans for another crappy season.Can’t wait.
  4. Walnutz15 May 25, 2012 at 10:00 am
    My theory has been, “Once I stop watching hockey, and dedicating 100% of my sports-time to the Mets – they’ll go into a tailspin.”

    Waiting to see how that does or doesn’t play out, given the Rangers on the brink of elimination.

  5. Joe May 25, 2012 at 3:12 pm
    Eric Stults has an ERA of 1.54. In each start this year, he gave up two or less runs. Yes, some included subpar teams, but the Mets are subpar with Thole/Tejada/Davis (in spirit) out. And, one of those games was v. Cleveland.

    Anyway, didn’t the rain delay have an effect here? He got thru the first two innings with no runs and came back and gave up double after double. W/o the rain delay, the end result very well would have been different. The Mets had no long relief guy (Schwinden sent back) and took a risk. It didn’t pay off.

    The Pirates and San Diego are tossing out decent starting pitching. They can’t hit. But, the Mets are not hitting that well now either. The result won’t be easy wins. Why would one think they would?

    • HobieLandrith May 25, 2012 at 4:19 pm
      Rain delay didnt affect Stults
      • Joe May 26, 2012 at 12:11 am
        Someone who never in his career in the minors warmed up after a rain delay who was making his first start might be affected differently, perhaps.