The Mets five game winning streak came to an end in Washington tonight at the hands of Nats starter Yunesky Maya. Jason Marquis was supposed to start but got traded to the D-Backs right before the game. Maya held the Mets scoreless into the sixth inning and the Nats bullpen continued the shutout.
Obviously, there isn’t much offense from the Mets to talk about. But Josh Thole was 2 for 2 and got hit twice so he was on base four times. And the Mets did manage to load the bases with 2 outs in the ninth inning, but Willie Harris struck out looking to end the game.
The Mets and Nats will play the rubber game tomorrow at 1:35.
During last night’s game against the Marlins, Johan Santana visited with the Mets. He’s been rehabbing from shoulder surgery in Port St. Lucie and even threw a three inning simulated game this week. Santana will be throwing a bullpen session for the Mets front office tomorrow at Sun Life Stadium to gauge his readiness for pitching rehab minor league games.
Unfortunately, Santana isn’t going to make it back in time to have a positive impact on the season. The rumors are swirling about Carlos Beltran trade partners. And Fox Sports reported that the Mets want to trade Beltran early next week so they can work on trading away some other players like Chris Capuano, Willie Harris, Scott Hairston, and Tim Byrdak.
Even without having an impact on 2011, it sure would be nice to see Santana back and pitching well for the Mets in August and September. It would certainly instill some confidence going into the offseason that 2012 won’t be another wasted season.
The Mets lost a terrible game in the late innings again after a solid start by Chris Capuano although his line doesn’t show it. The Mets were up 2-0 after six innings. In the seventh, the Pirates strung together an inconceivable number of infield hits. They scored 5 runs in the inning. It was compounded by a couple of bad plays at third base by Willie Harris. Granted, he’s not an everyday third baseman. But he looked like it was the first game he’s ever played there tonight.
On offense the Mets had 10 hits and 2 walks but they left 7 runners on base. They’ve had a lot of trouble scoring lately and that didn’t change tonight. Although Justin Turner hit a garbage time home run in the eighth inning to break the Mets 10 game homerless drought. Jason Bay and Willie Harris were hearing the boo’s tonight too. Bay was 0 for 4 with 2 K’s. Harris was 1 for 4 with 3 K’s.
The Pirates are 2-1 in the series and the Mets need a win to split the series tomorrow afternoon.
When I think of offensive ineptitude, I think of the Mets bench. When I think of a career minor leaguer who can possibly serve a valuable purpose for the Mets down the road, I think of Jason Pridie. Since being called up, Pridie has turned heads by belting a few home runs in clutch spots, something that the every day players have rarely done so far this season. I think most fans can agree that the Mets are far from a playoff caliber ball club. There are gaping holes in the starting rotation and the lineup does not produce consistently enough to contend. With that said, I think that this year, seemingly more than ever, the Mets bench has left so much to be desired. Whether its Willie Harris grounding out softly with a runner in scoring position or Scott Hairston swinging out of his shoes leading off down 2 runs in the 9th, the bench players on this team have just not come through.
Bench players in baseball are some of the most under-appreciated athletes around. When called upon off the pine, they are basically thrown to the wolves and must perform with far less comfort than someone going up for their 4th at-bat of a game. In addition, they usually find themselves in crucial situations of games. It is a role in which failure requires a player to wait another night for redemption, but if a big hit is delivered, an invaluable source of energy is ignited and can carry over.
The Mets have had some very reliable pinch hitting specialists in the past. Rusty Staub was a feared pinch hitting dinosaur in the 70’s and early 80’s. In one of the most significant trades that the Mets made in the 80’s, they sent pitcher Mike Scott to the Astros for outfielder Danny Heep, who would prove to be a vital player off the bench for the team’s storied run of ’86. More recently, Matt Franco established himself as a feared bat off the bench in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. His claim to fame was in the subway series at Shea in 1999 when he laced a 2-run single with two outs in the 9th to win a game off Mariano Rivera. And of course, the all-time pinch hit leader himself, Lenny Harris, had two separate stints with the Mets and hit .302 as a bench player during the 2000 season.
Jason Pridie is a player I’d like to see succeed as a pinch hitter for the Mets in the future. Of course, I’d like to see, Hairston, Harris, and company succeed right now but in my mind they are just not good hitters and have not displayed an ideal approach in critical spots. Pridie hasn’t shown us that he can be that elusive, Matt Stairs’esque pinch hitter but I like him for his sneaky power, his eye at the plate, and the fact that he hasn’t really looked over-matched yet since he’s been called up. If a relief pitcher makes a mistake, especially over the inner half of the plate, I like Pridie’s chances of making the most of it and doing damage, all with lunch pail in hand. His potential might seem minor, but if the Mets can put together a winning formula in the near future I’d be happy to see Pridie be a part of it.
The Mets lost to the Rockies for the fifth straight time this year but this time it was in Colorado for a change. Chris Capuano pitched a really nice game going 6.1 innings and allowing only 2 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks. He got chased in the seventh inning when Chris Iannetta hit a solo homer down the line in left field to give the Rockies the lead.
The Mets had very little offense with only 5 singles and 6 walks in the game. They had plenty of chances but left 10 runners on base. Willie Harris had a check swing single in the ninth to get something going. But he got thrown out stealing with one out that killed any chance of starting a rally.
The Mets and Rockies do it again tomorrow night at 8:40pm.
In this week’s Mets Weekly Report video with Kerel Cooper of On The Black, we talk about the current Dodgers series. The Mets have won the first two games and go for the sweep today. We talk about beating the teams from the west coast and the Dodgers lineup and finances.
We also get into the frustration of Chris Young pitching well but missing last night’s start at the last minute. He appears headed for the disabled list for the second time in the first six weeks of the season.
Kerel brings up the issue of what to do with Jason Pridie when Angel Pagan comes back from the disabled list. Do the Mets release Willie Harris and keep Pridie as a bench player?
The Mets lost their third consecutive game to the Rockies tonight. Mike Pelfrey pitched poorly but not as poorly as his two prior starts. Pelf reduced his ERA to 10.80 by throwing 5.1 IP and allowing 4 runs (3 earned). He gave up 6 hits and 4 walks in the game. Way too many baserunners to be successful.
Despite Pelf’s start, the Mets had a tie game going into the 8th inning. They were stringing together hits to score. They had 10 hits and 1 walk as a team with 2 RBI’s apiece by David Wright and Willie Harris.
Bobby Parnell blew up in the 8th inning throwing a wild pitch, making an error on a throw to home, and allowing a 2-run homer to Troy Tulowitzki. It was a complete disaster of an inning and Parnell was boo’d off the mound after the inning. His ERA is an awful 8.31 now and he just can’t get it done in the 8th (or any other) inning right now.
The Nationals took the series today at Citi Field with a win in 11 innings. Chris Young had an excellent start going 7 IP and only allowing 1 run. The Mets offense only managed 8 hits in the game and struck out 17 times including 4 by Willie Harris alone.
Blaine Boyer blew another game in the 11th inning today raising his ERA to 10.80. That earned him a quick trip to the waiver wire being DFA’d after the game. Ryota Igarashi and Jason Isringhausen were called up and will be with the team tomorrow.
Lucas Duda, hitting .118, blew a fly ball in the 11th inning and he earned a one-way ticket to Triple-A Buffalo.
Overall, it’s a poor start to lose a home series to the Nats. That shouldn’t happen. But the Rockies come to town tomorrow and it doesn’t get any easier because they’re playing well so far this season.