April 8.10: About Last Night – Flashback, 2009.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think back to last night was the comeback, how it was generated by good, patient at-bats. Considering how they played overall, the Mets had no business playing baseball in the tenth inning last night.

The rally was encouraging because we saw too little of that last season.

However, and you knew there would be one, last night was a reminder of last season in several ways.

First, there was the horrid starting pitching of John Maine. We heard during spring training that his shoulder was fine, and maybe it is, but there’s something definitely not right with his pitching. Ninety-two pitches is way too many for not getting out of the fifth. His location was spotty (he missed on the homer by a foot and a wild pitch set up another run) and his velocity is down.

Will Maine improve? I really don’t know. You would hope, but maybe the 15 wins in 2007 was his ceiling.

Secondly, there was the offense, which mustered only six hits. They were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine. One or two more hits and this was a win.

Finally, the bullpen gave up three runs. When your starter won’t give you five, giving up three in the pen is too many. Jenrry Mejia’s outing made you wonder if the Mets jumping the gun with him, but the performances by Sean Green and Hisanori Takahashi makes one think they might not have had a choice. Oh yeah, last night would have been perfect for Nelson Figueroa.

There was the Fernando Tatis play, which was boneheaded for sure. A reminder of how sloppy they were on the bases last night. But, you can’t hang the game on that one play. Afterall, there was no guarantee David Wright would have come through.

Of course, no guarantee he wouldn’t have, either.

31 thoughts on “April 8.10: About Last Night – Flashback, 2009.

  1. I said it before. Warthen is ruining their pitching. he drills them with “new” improved pitches and the lose track of their bread and butter.
    Mets management have no clue how to handle injured players this we have experienced now for how many seasons?
    Tatis should be sanctioned the same as pagan for his bonehead runs. it was pagan right that mis ran bases due to inexperience?
    Wright is swinging and batting like the old wright tatis should have hung in there..
    The 10th inning was handed to them. watched shaking my head going now thats the M&M team I know.
    No one is afraid of our number 4 hitter. they fear 3,5,6 more.
    so just when do they reach the point of letting M&M go? “willy was let go for less.”
    This should be the new chant.

  2. I don’t know who is worse Willy or Jerry, but I know they are both really really terrible managers.

    Last night was disappointing on many levels, but at the same time we almost won a game we had no business winning. Both teams will have a lot to take out of that game, I don’t know that either of them will be able to learn the lessons that they need to though this year.

  3. JamesSC: Jerry is worse. Willy’s issue was he was a quiet manager. but he did manage. Mets need a noisy manager though.. But jerry, god only knows what he is thinking and if he just sist back and lets minaya get the players and has no input, shame on him.

  4. SteveC (1): Warthen is Jerry’s guy. Personally, I liked The Jacket. That’s when Maine and Perez were at their best. Pelfrey was making strides, too. …. Tatis should be chewed out for his play. I’m sure he was. … You’re right about DW. He looks so much more comfortable at the plate.-JD

  5. I liked the jacket too. and you are spot in, our pitchers did much better under him because he didnt force a change he worked with what they had.. and maybe added but never let them forget the bread and butter.

  6. It is too early to draw conclusions of this team 2 games into the season, but..

    How much are we going to miss Figgy this year? I have been saying all week that we need him. Someone the other day was defending the decision to let him go. Essentially saying he was useless. Game 2 into the season and his absence is telling.

    As steve mentions above and in another thread, Tatis is a vet. He should know better. You go from 3rd when you are sure you will score. He didnt and apparently wasnt.

    Will Sybill come to his senses and banish the #4 guy to further down the lineup?

    I saw Jenrry not panic. That is a good sign. I still would rather he not be in Queens and certainly not near the cancer we have as manager.


  7. Dave –

    I will also miss Figgy, as I miss Pedro. Two guys who know what they are doing and how to be a Big League baseball pitcher on and off the mound.

    This team really needs a new Manager, now.

  8. Maine – I would take 15 wins from him every year. Hell, I would take 10 from him this year.

  9. Annie,

    I think Pedro’s ship has sailed. I am not convinced he can finish 6 innings every 5 days.


  10. Pitching: we need fresh young pitchers. and we need pitchers with strong arms that can go the distance.
    we need a pitching coach not a mouth piece.

  11. Dave –
    I’m not either, but his knowledge and experience around MLB is invaluable both in the clubhouse and on the mound.

    Using the 6 innings every 5 days criteria – who on the pitching staff now can promise that besides Santana?

    Looking forward to Jon Niese tonight – I remember the gem he pitched last fall in Florida on a sunny Sunday afternoon….

  12. With the pitch count solid at 100. almost no one in the major leagues. especially if they have a shaky start. and forget having a few runs against ya. there’s no leaving the guy in to figure it out. Its day 2 in the season, this was the time to leave maine in for 7 .. no matter what he did to himself.
    Send them out early on going I expect a minimum of 7 out of you .. now stay in and pitch.
    It happened to Ronnie, he talk about it all the time.
    This is what we need to get back to.. the starters being accountable for the bulk of the game.

  13. (7) Dave: Figgy is a spare part. He’ll look good for one or two starts and then turn into the AAAA pitcher he has always been. Geez, the man crush on this guy is too much sometimes. There is a reason why someone is called a journeyman. The best thing about Figgy signing elsewhere was that he signed WITH the Phillies. They can have him.

  14. I think all our pitchers can do 6 innings every 5 days. The problem is they may give up 8 runs in doing so.

    I think at this point in time Niese may end up being our second best pitcher in that we can probably run him out every 5 days and we will know what to expect from him.

    The other vets we can run out every 5 days, but we have no idea what to expect from them when they hit the mound.

    As for Pedro, I fear he cannot be trotted out every 5 days. So although I like his attitude and he has a wealth of experience, his skills may work better as a coach rather than a player.

  15. To me all Maine proved last night is that he is the same pitcher he has been for the last few years…doesn’t have a put away pitch and because of that can’t finish off anyone. Hopefully Niese gives us a glimmer of hope.

  16. Steve O

    I have no man crush on him. My point – and the one I have been making all post-season – is that our rotation is a rotation of long relief pitchers masquerading as starters. Figgy is definitely a long relief/spot starter.

    Since 4/5 of our starters have issues going 5 innings I think it prudent in building the staff to have at least 2 long relief guys in the pen. Someone pointed out we have nieve. Who else can fill that role? Everyone else pitches to one hitter or at most goes an inning.

    When your pen has to finish 5 innings a game, every game how many wins can we expect this year?

    I have said this for 2 years now. We have a critical need for starting pitching that can give you a solid 200 innings a year. Even if that pitcher sucks. How many pitchers do we have on our staff that can give us 200 innings?

    What did our team do to fill this hole this year and last?

    We had our choice of a few pitchers this year who could be had for 5 mil or so. Did we get any of them? Why not?


  17. John,

    I know. I just replied the same.

    This has been the weakness of the pen. It is not that they all suck. It is that our rotation sucks.


  18. Steve C (13): I don’t have a problem with that. It’s the best way for them to learn and build themselves up. It would also spare the pen.-JD

  19. Green’s pitching changed. everyone noticed. so whats going on their?
    I have no clue what warthen is doing but its as consistent as M&M. NOT!

  20. SteveC

    Apparently they changed his arm angle or something. I hope it gives him better control. Last spring I noticed he threw away a lot of pitches. He sucked for a good part of the year and was decent for the other part.

    If he can learn to not throw the ball away the staff could use a submariner. However we need better starters.

  21. I’m sure you all remember Tim McCarver who caught some very famous pitchers during his career which spanned four decades. This story stars Bob Gibson – if you don’t know who he is, you should. He was famous for not letting Timmy – or any catcher -come to the mound. However, one afternoon Gibson was hit on his leg by a returning pitch and McCarver got up to go and take a look. He stopped short when he heard the familiar Gibson voice – with expletives – telling Timmy to turn around and catch and leave him alone. Tim did. Gibson finished the game – he always finished the game.

    If you want to learn about pitchers and pitching, I recommend Timmy’s Book “Oh Baby, I Love It” which covers pitchers from Gibson to Carlton to Gooden and others in between. Pitchers are another species in the world of baseball and they’ve all got a story.

  22. dave thats the point. he’s no longer the submariner he was going to be. his arm was up. Ronnie noticed it.
    They have been twiddling all the pithers to the point that Ronnie looks and sees, well thats different. Maine: he is using the new changeup too much where’s his fast ball.. etc etc.
    so instead of making the pitchers more solid. they just try to make them different pitchers all together.

  23. You are all mentioning Ron Darling and you should, not only is he a fine pitcher, but he is a serious baseball man and studies the game constantly.

    He’s also a nice guy and hasn’t changed a bit since he was a Yale freshman and a four sport athlete.

    He and Frank Viola pitched a baseball game that still gets mentioned and has had books written about it.

    I’ve thought for a long time that MLB should hire him as the new Commissioner when they get rid of Selig – the car dealer.

    His book is called “The Complete Game”

  24. I said this last year. I will be happy if the mets win the series against teams. 3 games. we win 2. 4 games we win 3.
    I can live with that …

  25. SteveC (26): Shouldn’t each pitcher have an identity? Other than Santana, the identity of the other four is mediocrity. I don’t know anymore what they are supposed to be doing or look like. Yes, that’s an oversimplification, but not too far off.-JD

  26. 29. yes they would :-)

    yes, the days of an identity are over.
    The Kooz, Tug, Tom terrific

    Doc,el sid.. Ronnie

    all fleeting memories.
    our last identity was let go. old shark necklace Turk Wendell.
    Talk about a spark on the team..
    even Pelf had the tongue sticking out.
    but this organization squashes identities and they want all the pitchers pitching their way, the same way.
    chad bradford the submariner, they get rid of .. not sure why. he was a good pitcher. compared to what we have now..