The Mets got their brains beat in on national TV by the underachieving Cubs today. The biggest culprit was Bobby Parnell getting ripped in his third consecutive start. Today he gave up 8 runs in 4.2 innings. He’s not fooling anyone with his weak slider that only appears to break about half of the time he throws it.
The Mets managed 9 hits but only two were for extra bases. Those were only doubles by Jeff Francoeur and Brian Schneider. Although Schneider had a 2 for 4 day and raised his season average to .188.
The game was over in the bottom of the fifth inning when the Cubs scored 6 including a grand slam by Jake Fox. All of the runs were on Parnell.
We did get our first look at Lance Broadway today. He was acquired from the White Sox in the Ramon Castro deal. He gave up 2 runs in 3 innings of mop-up duty to finish off the blowout game.
The Mets have lost the first two games of the series in Chicago. They try to avoid the sweep tomorrow afternoon.
This is something that we’ve been talking about since spring training as Mets fans. Jerry Manuel seems to be a different person than he was last seasonwhen he took over for Willie Randolph in June. Now I can see why the Mets only gave Manuel a 2-year contract instead of the three years that he wanted. And I can see how Manuel lost the locker room in Chicago in 2003.
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports writes a pretty lengthy piece about how Manuel has thrown his players under the bus. He does fail to mention how Manuel threw third base coach Razor Shines under the bus this week for failing to point out the bad call at home plate that involved Fernando Tatis being called out when the replay showed he was safe.
From Fox Sports:
Manuel, in baseball parlance, “throws guys under the bus.” His candor appeals to fans who are tired of hearing excuses for overpaid, underperforming players. But such an approach rarely works long-term.
I haven’t been a major detractor of Manuel. I thought that he did a great job last season working without a bullpen. But he does seem to be different this year. It’s almost like he makes everything about himself.
His dealings with the players have become odd this season as well. He fell in love with Daniel Murphy way too quickly. And that hasn’t worked out at all. Manuel clearly dislikes Ryan Church and Ramon Castro. But I don’t think that he’s the only one in the Mets organization that feels that way about both players. So Manuel may not be as out of line on those players as he appears to be to us fans.
It’ll be very telling to see if the Mets allow Manuel to go into next season as a lame duck manager of this team. I doubt that will happen. If the Mets make the playoffs, I think they’ll give Manuel a one or two year extension. If they don’t make the playoffs this season, we’ll be talking about the new Mets manager in November.
The Mets have been rumored to be trying to trade catcher Ramon Castro since the off-season. Clearly, he’s not one of Jerry Manuel’s guys. There’s no doubt about that. For all of the denying that Manuel has done about not having a dog house, Castro sure appeared to be in it.
The Mets finally were able to unload Castro with Brian Schneider coming off the disabled list today, and Omir Santos hitting in the clutch like Johnny Bench.
The Mets acquire relief pitcher Lance Broadway (0-1 5.06) from the White Sox and assigned him to Triple-A Buffalo where to plan to use him as a starter. In a move that appears to degrade the value of both players in the trade, the Mets are also paying $1.4 million of the $1.75 million that’s owed to Castro this season, the last of his contract.
Tim Redding was doing pretty well until he lost it completely in the fifth inning. He ended up giving up 6 runs in 4.2 innings. Redding didn’t get any help from the bullpen either. Especially Brian Stokes couldn’t get anyone out. He gave up 5 runs in 1.1 innings. Overall, it was a poorly pitched game by the Mets.
The Mets offense was highlighted by Ramon Castro (2 for 4) who hit a solo homer in the second inning. They put up 5 runs but all of them were within the first five innings of the game.
Francisco Rodriguez was ready to pitch again today after being hospitalized yesterday with severe back spasms. He didn’t get into the game but should be ready for tomorrow night.
The Mets finish the long road trip at 5-5. Not bad for some tough teams and a west coast swing.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia
Brian Schneider is eligible to come off the disabled list on Sunday in Philadelphia. He’s been on the 15-day DL because of a muscle strain in his back. Apparently, he’s now having a calf problem that will keep him on the DL a little longer.
This isn’t a big problem for the team. Schneider has been an automatic out this season, hitting only .143. Combined with his lack of power and average defense, the Mets aren’t really missing him.
For now, Ramon Castro and Omir Santos will continue catching. It’ll be interesting to see if Santos continues to get the bulk of the playing time in Schneider’s absence.
I think at the end of the year we’ll look back at this game as one of the ugliest losses of the season. Oliver Perez was pitching pretty well until he completely lost it in the bottom of the fifth culminating when he walked light-hitting Khalil Greene with the bases loaded. Casey Fossum came in and threw gas on the fire by walking Joe Thurston with the bases loaded. Ugly!
We had catchers interference called on Ramon Castro. Daniel Murphy got picked off first base by the catcher, then botched two balls badly in left field. J.J. Putz got hit hard in the eighth, giving up 2 runs. Carlos Beltran inexplicably didn’t slide into home on a ball that he clearly should’ve slid.
This was just an all-around bad game.
Johan Santana threw seven shutout innings again only giving up five hits and no walks. His season ERA is down to 0.46. There’s no slow start to the season for Santana. Once again, the bullpen shut down the Brewers over the final two innings with J.J. Putz and Francisco Rodriguez combining to preserve the shutout. I can definitely get used to this bullpen!
The only run for the Mets, and in the game, occured in the bottom of the seventh. Omir Santos pinch ran for Ramon Castro and scored on a fielder’s choice by Jose Reyes. Scoring the run in the seventh earned a win for Santana.
The Mets go to 6-5 on the season and go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon against the Brewers.
The rubber game of the series started well for the Mets with Carlos Delgado hitting a 3-run homer in the bottom of the first. But it didn’t last long as John Maine fell apart in the third inning and only lasted through five. He gave up 7 hits and 3 walks totaling 6 runs.
Maine’s velocity looked good but his control wasn’t. His pitches consistently were over the middle of the plate. It was a poor outing especially considering the news that Mike Pelfrey may have to miss a start due to forearm tendinitis.
The Mets looked like they might come back when Ramon Castro hit a 2-run homer in the eighth inning off Duaner Sanchez. But the Mets couldn’t put anything else together to tie up the game.
The Mets lose their second series of the season. This one particularly hurts, losing a home series to a team from the west coast that doesn’t figure to contend this season is tough.
The Mets drop to 4-5.