Mets Game 38: Win Over Yankees
Mets 12 Yankees 7
Mets beat the Yankees in the second game of the subway series, and for the sixth straight time that the two teams have met.
Mets Game Notes
I’m not going over all the scoring, so hopefully you saw it. To be completely honest, I was distracted by other things while this game was dragging on, and those other issues plus the snail’s pace of the game drained my energy. So what’s here is what I randomly typed up during the contest. Not much different from what I usually do, but, for those wondering where all the stuff is about the runs scoring, well, check the highlights on ESPN, I guess.
Except one thing, for Crozier: Daniel Murphy hit a majestic homerun off the right field foul pole to put the game away. That blast was the last nail in the Yankees’ coffin, as it took all the air out of whatever energy they brought to the ballgame. Further, the homerun was the result of smart hitting — I know this because Keith Hernandez said so.
Zack Wheeler was up to 90 pitches by the start of the fourth frame. It took over an hour for the first two innings to complete. Gee whiz. If this is how Adulterated League games go all the time, I don’t know how fans muster the strength to sit through them. Snoozefest for me, no matter how many balls fly over the fence and baserunners cross the plate.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi was ejected after the fifth inning for arguing balls and strikes. I’m convinced he did that purposely, so he could escape the agony of slogging through the second half of the marathon. By that point, the game was already more than two and a half hours old, and on pace to finish 9 innings in more than five hours.
After handing Wheeler big leads in several of the first five frames, the young phenom responded by walking the Yankee leadoff batter in the bottom of the inning, and letting the Bronx Bombers back in the game. At the beginning of the contest, the excuse was jitters and nerves associated with pitching in Yankee Stadium for the first time; understood. But when he walked the leadoff batter of the fifth, with an 11-4 advantage, well, something is seriously wrong. Why is Wheeler’s command so bad? I can assure you that he has a few mechanical flaws that are both preventing him from throwing strikes and also causing damage to his arm; I hope to discuss them in more detail in the coming weeks. Could it also be a mental / emotional / confidence thing? Maybe.
Also of note, Wheeler began the game smoking the radar gun at 96-97 MPH, and by the time he worked beyond 100 pitches, his velocity dipped to 92. Ron Darling said he “wasn’t concerned,” and I understand why — he’s looking at it from a game-performance standpoint. However, I’m looking at it from a physical-performance and safety perspective. To lose that much velocity is an indication of fatigue — a red flag that a) he needs to exit the game; and b) something is happening to cause the fatigue. Regarding the latter, is it a question of conditioning? Or is a mechanical flaw accelerating fatigue?
By the time Wheeler left the game, he had thrown 118 pitches in 4 1/3 innings. That’s awful. It’s so awful it makes Jenrry Mejia‘s 101-pitch, 4 2/3 inning effort seem not so bad.
In these two games in the Bronx, and the final game against Philadelphia, Ruben Tejada is hitting as well as we have ever seen him. That’s great to see, and simultaneously distressing, because it appears as though he’s motivated by being benched — and if that’s the case, will he ever be internally motivated? I do believe that there is a confluence of issues at play — it hasn’t hurt, for example, that he’s faced a few AAA pitchers. But throughout his career, Tejada has chronically required external motivation (a.k.a., kick in the keister).