Thursday, June 07, 2007

Unhappy Recap: Phillies 6 Mets 3

Another disastrous loss for the Mets. The bullpen stinks and the offense can't hit but the starting pitching has been so good. Let's start at the beginning.

In the first inning, Ben Johnson singled and then Delgado ripped a double to right. With two outs, Ben Johnson did not try to score. This was a huge mistake. Obviously, they were afraid of Victorino's arm, but the possibility of a bad throw is probably higher than that of David Wright getting a hit, which didn't happen.

To make up for it, in the second inning, LoDuca tried to stretch a single into a double, and since he's slow as shit he got thrown out. This was a bad risk to take with nobody out even though the bottom of the order was coming up.

Maine pitched pretty effectively in this one and for the 14th straight game a Mets starter allowed 3 or fewer runs. And now the Mets are only 7-7 in those games. Half the teams in the league would be on a 14 game winning streak with that kind of starting pitching. The Phillies touched up Maine for two runs, both times aided by the stolen base.

But then the Mets showed some life in the 6th. Delgado crushed a homer, then David Wright hit one deep to center that was ruled a triple. But the ball actually hit the Wise potato chips sign, above the wall. The Mets saw the replay on the Diamond Vision and went crazy. The umpires reviewed it and called it a home run. Then the Phillies argued that the umpires shouldn't use replay to overturn the call. But the home run stood, rightfully so. After a long delay, Paul LoDuca hit the first pitch for another home run. Back to back to back. The first time the Mets have done that since Strawberry, McReynolds and Hernandez in 1989. Keith disagreed, saying he must have been batting third, and gone first. "I would have choked if I was last." But they checked the box score and he was hitting fifth that day.

Then Maine did something Tom Glavine can never seem to do, and shut the opponent down after a big inning by the Mets.

So they turned it over to the bullpen. Feliciano got Rollins and Victorino but when he walked Utley, Willie called on Wagner to get Howard. He walked him instead, but struck out Rowand to end the inning.

The Mets had another chance in the 8th after Gomez led off with a bunt single. He ran to first completely out of the baseline. He was two feet on the grass. Hamels had no angle to throw, but if he had drilled Gomez in the back they would have had to call Gomez out. Reyes was intentionally walked (please Willie stop batting these schmucks behind him), and Johnson and Beltran couldn't get a hit.

Wagner had not blown a save in 31 chances. But he was facing Pat Burrell the Met killer who had a feud with Wagner starting when they were teammates and escalating when Wagner left. Burrell deposited one in the left field stands to tie the game, his 37th career homer against the Mets. You knew it was going to happen to Wagner eventually and you can't really blame him because he was on borrowed time, it's too hard to save every single game. But why did it have to happen with a 3-game losing streak to a division rival?

I can't say whether it had anything to do with him coming in for one out in the 8th but I think Willie should avoid asking him for 4 out saves in the future. But at the time I thought it was a good move. I usually feel that bigger outs come in the 8th or even 7th, and I thought once Wagner got Rowand he could cruise through the bottom of the Phillies order. But Pat Freakin Burrell ruined the Mets again.

In the 10th things got even worse for the bullpen. Schoeneweis who sucks and should never be used gave up two hits and a walk to score one run. Joe Smith came in and got roughed up for two more runs.

Here's the difference in the series:
The Mets bullpen pitched 10 innings allowed 15 hits (5 in each game), 7 walks, 3 HR (1 in each game) and lost all three games. The Phillies bullpen pitched 10 scoreless innings.

Hopefully the bullpen blowup is only temporary, but I am very worried about an offense that can't generate more than 3 runs in a game. They've scored 20 runs in the last 8 games and lost 6 of those. Exclude the 7 run outburst on Saturday and the numbers look even more putrid.

It's not time to worry yet, but that time is coming soon.

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