Friday, July 04, 2008

This Fourth Firecracker Is A Dud

If somehow the Mets lose the fourth of July matchup with starts out as Johan Santana vs. J.A. Happ, I may never watch baseball again. -Metstradamus, yesterday
Did I just lose a retirement match? Do I need a parental control on my baseball package?

What's tonight's excuse? Pitchers with initials give you trouble?

So how did we know this one was over? Well outside of not hitting J.A. Happ for four innings and Chad Durbin for two and 1/3, for me it was when Carlos Beltran swung at ball four by his eyes with the bases loaded up 2-0 in the fifth. Beltran was 0 for 4 with two K's. I guess he needs more flippin' rest.

Or maybe just the pure ironic fact that Filthy Sanchez got through Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell in the ninth with no problem, but somehow not Pedro Feliz and Shane Victorino. But having said that, Victorino, a fast lefty with first base open, should have been walked. No doubt about it. Victorino is a pest who strikes out at a lower rate than Chris Coste, who was on deck, or anybody they could have pinch hit for him such as Greg Dobbs or Geoff Jenkins.

But why bother with even that little analysis. The Mets lost the one game in this series they had no business losing, after Johan Santana pitched a whale of a game. And of course, it's not only a loss, but a brutal loss ... because what other kinds of losses are we going to see in Philadelphia?

And since it's now July 4th, the magic day that people like to point to and say that teams in the lead on this day make the playoffs a certain amount of time, it's now the first day that I can say without fear of backlash that you're going to have a tough time convincing me that both this team and this season aren't a complete waste of time.


weesle909 said...

I'm gonna get killed for this, but...

The "Ace" of your staff needs to outpitch his opponent. Period. That means sometimes he can't afford to pitch great for a few innings, then give up hits in bunches, then pitch great again.

When you have great stuff (as Johan did tonight), pitching good is not good enough. You need to pitch great. Giving up the lead with back-to-back two out hits is not great.

I mean, they DID give him a 2-0 lead...

Look, it's easy to look at the offense. It sucked tonight, and missed chances to make this an easy win early. And the team has given him no support all year. But just once can he get a win in this type of game?

THEN I'll start to say 'poor Johan'...

Metstradamus said...


I think that's more than fair to say on your part. I would like to see him win a game like this. The Mets are paying him a lot of money to do so.

But they're also paying Carlos Beltran a lot of money to get a hit with the bases loaded off of Chad Durbin. On the baseball scale, that should be easier to do than holding the Phillies to two runs in eight innings in Citizens Bank Shoebox.

Santana has to match up better against the various aces he's been up against, and yes, should have gotten a win off of J.A. Happ. But I gotta place blame on this offense and especially Beltran.

Anonymous said...

And David Wright a lot of $ to drive in guys from third base with less than 2 out. I knew we were in trouble then. They looked tired.

Gotta question resting Church as well. 4 games against the division leader in July - is this really the time to rest our most consistent hitter?

Anonymous said...

Beltran is the least clutch player in Mets history.

katherine said...

There was an article in the Times last week about how there is a significant effect on W-L performance of baseball teams from crossing time zones.

This year, in games, either at home or away, where the Mets crossed even ONE time zone without a day off, their record is 2-8.

For games when they crossed a time zone but had a day off (either a rain postponement or scheduled) their record is 5-1.

I was assuming the Rangers and the Diamondbacks are in the same time zone. I was too lazy to actually look that up. If they are not, then there would be one extra W.

If this was already discussed on air, I apologize - I oftentimes have to listen to the opposing announcers.

Anonymous said...

Even before they started their march of mediocrity last season, I had stopped enjoying watching this team. They gave too many at-bats and too many games away. They constantly won the first two games of a series and just mailed in the third. It was apparent even then that they had become complacent. My question is: how can they remain 'complacent' after a year of mediocrity? What do they have to be complacent about: their mediocrity? The blame is on Omar. This team gave up on their manager last year for no good reason. It is the makeup of the team that is in question. Unfortunately, I fear that we are in for at least another year of Omar. The Wilpons, after firing Willie, said that Omar is doing and "oustanding" job (????????) Oh well, what can you expect from a guy who once claimed that
Art Howe "lit up the room!"

chuckm said...

Phils fan here (in peace), I can understand the ire Mets fans have at Carlos Beltran but it seems that the most overlooked blunder on the Mets part last night was that Jerry Manuel and staff neglected to send Johan Santana whatever signal that says "Do not even think of swinging until you have 2 strikes" when he was at the plate with the bags packed and a 2-0 count against an obviously skittish AAA call-up. Santana proceeded to swing through balls 3 & 4, costing the Mets a run and an out and helped stunt what should have been the 1 big inning the Mets needed to win this game. There was no way he should have had any green light to swing in that situation whatsoever...As far as the pitching to Victorino decision, I was actually hoping the Mets were going to give him a pass as Victorino has been slumping lately, doing little else other than getting under balls and hitting pop flys and at that time I would have much rather seen Chris Coste come to the plate in that situation. The decision worked in favor of the Phillies but I wouldnt consider it
to have been an egregious move.

Mike said...

Santana should've pitched the 9th.


Metstradamus said...


They talked about the Santana swings during the postgame show at length last night. That's a fair point.

Anonymous said...

How can you rest Ryan Church (the Mets most consistent player) when you're playing the division leader? Not only did it leave a huge hole in the lineup, but in the 6th inning, if Endy Chavez would've been in LF instead of RF, he may have thrown out Utley at the plate on the Phils second run.

chuckm said...

Mike- No doubt. No disrespect to Sanchez, but I was relieved and a bit surprised that Santana didnt come out for the 9th. I had went into the game figuring that the only way the Phillies would take this one would be if the Mets handed it to them, and that is what they did. Even though the Mets offense came up small, the previously mentioned neglect with Santana at the plate in the 5th and the decision not to bring Santana out for the 9th go beyond 2nd-guessing and would be considered gaffes.

Anonymous said...


I'm also of the belief that if Church was in the game and Endy in left the first single would not have fallen in. Aguila played that soft liner too passively, something Endy would not have done

Krup said...

mets meet fork. unless there are some major pickups/trades (and i'm not talking trot nixon-type pickups), you're done for the season.

JMP said...

Maybe this has been discussed before, but I don't get a lot of time to browse the 'net these days: why is Beltran hitting cleanup and not Wright?

katherine said...

And another thing (re my earlier point about how badly we do after travel):

The manager frequently juggles the pitching rotation to have Johan pitch the first game of a series. If we're losing a lot of those games because of Katherine's patented "time zone factor", then that explains why Johan has such a terrible record.

Those are the games that Tony Armas, et al, should pitch.

Now, don't fall all over yourselves to congratulate me on my brilliant theory. I will settle for a personal note of thanks from Jerry Manuel.

Anonymous said...

You know ... I was at the Nats/Reds game tonight. Adam Dunn is Carlos Beltran, an overpaid easy out. Someone has GOT to work with CLUTCH Beltran or he's going to be remembered as Dave Kingman, only far less fondly.

Let's see how he did tonight.

Happy Fourth all!

Anonymous said...

Carlos Beltran ... not the least clutch player on the Mets by a long shot. Exhibit 1 of about 10,000,000, he and Wright were the only ones who hit down the stretch last year when everyone else was tanking.

I have no idea why a segment of Mets fans hate on Beltran, but I know that it embarasses me as a Mets fan and definitely makes potential free agents think twice before coming to the Mets.

Metstradamus said...

Keyser, and I ask this respectfully: who would you say is the least clutch player on the team?

Because if you're going to give me somebody like Marlon Anderson or Fernando Tatis, you're missing the point. Beltran is a player in the prime of his baseball life who's the clean-up hitter for the New York Mets getting paid a lot of money to not only put up good numbers, but to get a clutch hit every once in a while.

His stats were good in September of '07, but I can't remember a BIG hit that Beltran got in that month like I remember some BIG hits that David Wright got that month. And have you seen his stats with RISP with two outs last year? Or his close and late stats? Look 'em up. They're awful. And this season they're worse.

I'm not "hating" on Beltran. I like the guy. He's a good player who busts his ass in the outfield. But "clutch", he just hasn't been this season, outside of one home run he hit at Shea against L.A. Stats, like my heartburn, doesn't lie.

And I've gotta say I highly doubt that a free agent is going to think twice about going to any team because they have a group of fans that don't like a certain player. You think Mark Teixeira isn't going to consider the Yankees because some of their fans boo Kyle Farnsworth?