Friday, April 18, 2008

Happy Recap: Mets 3 Nationals 2

The Nationals completely gift-wrapped this game for the Mets, who were so bad offensively, that they almost didn't take it.

Let's examine how the Mets scored their runs:
First inning: Reyes singles then scores on a double by Church. But the double should have been a two base error as Wily Mo Pena dropped a very catchable ball by closing his glove too early.

Jose Reyes scores the Mets first run

Eighth inning: With 2 outs Church reaches on an error by Belliard, a ball that definitely should have been fielded, an absolutely routine play. But this was the one time the Mets actually did something to create their runs because after that error, Wright walked and Delgado came through in the clutch with an RBI single, breaking and 0 for 14 stretch.

Fourteenth inning: Easley singled, reached second on a pitch dropped by the catcher (technically a stolen base), went to third on a throwing error (botched pickoff attempt) and scored on a wild pitch.

Here comes the winning run

Obviously the Mets didn't earn any of those runs.

Now let's look at their missed chances:

First of all, after Church's "double" 16 Mets were retired in a row (10 strikeouts) by John Lannan, proving the old SUCKME (Some Unknown Chucker Kills Mets Everytime) accurate once again.

7th inning: Delgado walked, Pagan singled, Clark sacrificed, Casanova blooped out to third base and Castillo grounded out.

9th inning: Castillo singles and steals second but Beltran struck out. Not one of the more egregious offenses committed by the Mets in this game. You can't expect a 2-out hit every time.

10th inning: Church walked, Wright flied out, Delgado walked, Pagan lined out.

12th inning: Easley singled, Reyes got a bunt base hit on a horrible play by Ray King, so bad they really scored it an error, but it should have been a hit. Then Church made the biggest fuckup of the game. He bunted too hard, and right at the pitcher. You have to make the third baseman field that one. Yes, it was a bad call, Easley was safe at third but the play was very close and it should never have come down to that. Then Wright grounded into a double play to compound the problem.

13th inning: Sosa walked, Chavez walked, Casanova struck out, Castillo lined out.

But as bad as the hitting was, the pitching was awesome. Another great start for Nelson Figueroa who was damn near perfect other than that 2-run homer.

And even more impressive than Figueroa's 7 innings were the 7 innings turned in by the bullpen. 3 hits, 3 walks and no runs by 6 different pitchers.

The teams sacrificed (or tried to) 5 times in this game, and none of them helped produce a run. The sacrifice is usually a bad play. Trading a base for an out is a bad idea. The only time it should be used is when you have a man on second and none out late in a close game and a good hitter coming up next. Or when a pitcher is up. Most of the other times it just hurts you. For instance, in the 7th, the sacrifice was a bad move because Casanova and Castillo were up after Clark and Clark probably had the best chance of the three of them of getting a hit.

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