Mets Game 86: Cubs

Cubs 7 Mets 0

At least they lost quickly.

Mets Game Notes

This game did not start well, and never got better. The only saving grace was the pain lasted only two hours and eight minutes — pretty impressive considering seven runs were scored.

It looked as though Jonathon Niese might not escape the first inning, as the Cubs jumped on him for four quick runs. Niese then settled down — or maybe the Cubs were just tired from swinging? — and threw five shutout innings, keeping the Mets in the game. Until the seventh, that is, when Starlin Castro‘s two-run dinger put the game away.

I didn’t see anything different from Niese than what I usually see and comment on — his arm angle was inconsistent. He wasn’t keeping his fingers on top of the ball. As a result, his fastball was flat, with no sink, and his curveball worked infrequently.

On offense, the Mets did nothing. What is there to say? They were shut out. Daniel Murphy had three hits that would make Luis Castillo blush. The one extra-base hit came from Scott Hairston, a triple; obviously, he was left stranded. The closest thing to excitement came from Jordany Valdespin, who hit the ball fairly hard, had one of the Mets’ 8 hits, and looked like a natural in center field — impressive, considering it was the first time he’d played there as a MLBer. If there was any takeaway from this series loss to the Cubs, it was that it behooves the Mets to give Valdespin an extended look after the break. Maybe he can be in a Chone Figgins-type of role, where he plays a different position every day, but is in the lineup every day. I can’t see how the Mets can be hurt by giving Valdespin a two-week audition to see what happens.

By the way, no walks drawn by the Mets in this game. None. Actually, no walks for the Cubs, either. That’s how you play a two-hour game. It was reminiscent of a lazy Sunday afternoon ballgame from the mid-1970s.

Next Mets Game

The All-Star Exhibition occurs this week, so the next Mets game won’t be until Friday the 13th in Atlanta. The scheduled starters are Johan Santana and Tim Hudson.

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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. micalpalyn July 8, 2012 at 4:51 pm
    – Agreed. I think JV should be getting more reps in CF.

    – As much as I hate to say it…Kirk may need some time off, and in Buff he could play everyday in LF.

    – Ramon Hernandez? Is there anyone else we think would be a better fit, at less cost?

  2. SiddFinch July 8, 2012 at 6:55 pm
    Losing 2 out of 3 to the sad sack Cubbies is not the way to enter the break. I hope I’m wrong, because they are a resilient bunch, but this team might’ve peaked. The two post-break series on the road in Atl. and Wash. are crucial. In fact, the rest of the month (with a majority of games on the road) looks to be challenging. But this team has been full of surprises this year, so LGM!
  3. Steven July 8, 2012 at 7:40 pm
    I agree that the six games in DC and Atlanta will set the tone for the team, and more importantly, the front office. If the Mets can manage to win 4 our of six, I think the FO should make some trades to improve the bullpen and the catching. I think that a stint in Buffalo may be inevitable to Kirk
  4. James July 8, 2012 at 8:11 pm
    Don’t get me wrong, I like this team. I mean, I really like this team. They play with lots of gusto. However, they have 4 really big problems right now that simply cannot be overcome except at the expense of valuable minor league prospects, in this order:
    1. the fielding and base running (i.e., poor fundamentals!!!!)
    (duda will be in american league by 2014, and lots of stupid base running mistakes, poor outfield fielding, etc)
    2. 7th inning is 2nd biggest problem (no relief)
    3. 8th inning is 3rd biggeset prob (no relief)
    4. 9th innning is 4th biggest prob (though Francisco has at least been about average when healthy)

    So I ask you, is this team really any better than the team that was 48-40 at the break in 2010, also upstarts, etc? I don’t think so.

    • Joe July 10, 2012 at 9:42 am
      1. Repeatedly, there is also some good fielding & the baserunning mistakes are exaggerated.

      2-4 FF has consistently closed and now Parnell has too. Other teams have had problem with closers too. Relief has been a problem though there have as a whole been few blown saves. You basically need to find a way to get at least three more outs on a regular basis. Beato might help. As might be someone new, but it’s often a crapshoot.

  5. Joe July 10, 2012 at 9:35 am
    Scheduled or not, WFAN said Gee is starting.

    Niese has one of his bad innings, Mets couldn’t do anything with some good pitching from a bad team, game quickly lost. I have been seeing the game played and replayed for over a decade now.

    V. is someone I would like to see more of Again, need to get rid of Bay. Sunk costs. If you get nothing for him but the sort of toss in for K-Rod, fine. What do you have now? Someone to take bats away from people like V?

    Castillo and Perez are gone. Bay has a better personality but sorry, you need to go too.

    • Joe July 11, 2012 at 3:33 pm
      Last I heard, it’s going to be Young.