Saturday, June 27, 2009

Mets back on 'E' train in Subway Series

The first Subway Series game Squawker Lisa and I attended this year ended with the infamous error by Luis Castillo. Tonight, Luis was flawless in the field, but EVERY OTHER MET INFIELDER made an error in the SAME INNING and the game was over by the middle of the second. The Lisa jinx is back!

As annoying as the errors were, I can't get too upset over them for a couple of reasons. First of all, CC Sabathia was going to win tonight whatever the Mets did. I'm just glad he didn't pitch a no-hitter.

Also, the errors came from players who belonged in the lineup and were playing at their proper positions, which has not always been the case this year with the Mets. The five-error L.A. game culminating in Jeremy Reed forced to play first base and making a bad throw to end the game was a lot worse. Tonight, you had David Wright, doing something that is all too familiar - a nice pickup followed by a bad throw. But Wright leads the league in hitting, which more than makes up for a few bad throws.

Alex Cora's error was particularly costly since it could have been a double play, but Cora gets a pass from me because of what he has meant to the Mets this year. When Jose Reyes went down, Cora filled in ably until tearing ligaments in his thumb. He was supposed to be out for six weeks. Instead, with apparently no other qualified shortstops in the entire organization, Cora rushed back as soon as his 15-day DL stint was up and has had only one day off since returning three weeks ago.

The third error came from Nick Evans, just back in the bigs and suddenly playing before a sellout crowd. And after the first two errors, bad fielding could have been getting contagious.

What's less excusable is Mike Pelfrey giving up a solid run-scoring single to an American League pitcher.

My biggest gripe of the game came when Jerry Manuel pinch-hit Argenis Reyes in the fifth with two on and two outs. The way Sabathia was pitching, it was the biggest opportunity the Mets were likely to have, and Manuel was right to hit for Pelfrey. But he had to use his best available hitter, and that was Daniel Murphy.

Murphy has consistently gotten pinch hits this year against both righty and lefty pitchers. In fact, Murphy's overall numbers this year are BETTER against lefties, against whom he is hitting .276 and slugging .414. His numbers against righties are .249 and .367.

Argenis Reyes is a career .218 hitter. And he's much worse against lefties, with a career average of .167 as opposed to .241 against righties.

There is no way A. Reyes was going to get a hit off of Sabathia. Murphy would have at least had a chance. But Manuel seems to have a blind spot with Murphy. It took him a long time to try him at first base, when Murphy was actually a better fielder than Carlos Delgado. And Manuel does not seem to realize that on this roster, Murphy is one of his better hitters, certainly a lot better than Argenis Reyes.

Murphy pinch-hit in the eighth with two outs, none on, and the Mets down, 7-1. He flied out.

The Mets were down 7-1 because mop-up man Elmer Dessens gave up three runs in the top of the eighth, including two homers. Note to Dessens: This game was at Citi Field, not Yankee Stadium. Start getting those headlines ready about Elmer going to the glue factory.

The worst thing about Dessens' lousy performance is that he made Lisa's prediction of a homer by A-Rod come true. (Granted, Lisa predicted a homer every time A-Rod came up tonight.)

The Mets are still only half a game out of first. But it's no fun to lose two games in a row to the Yankees by a combined score of 24-1. I'll be back out at Citi Field on Sunday night with Lisa the jinx, hoping for a better result.


Alvaro Fernandez Ravelo said...

Everybody and his mother in Red Sox Nation News, previously known as ESPN, were predicting the demise of A-Rod. Wish they all saw him last night!
Will this tick off Henry?

Paul from Boston said...

I guess not - nothing on Twitter! :)

Uncle Mike said...

The last two games, Yankees 24, Mets 1. Forget Ferris Bueller (besides, he was a Cub fan), this was Mets Defense' Day Off. They scored how many times? NINE TIMES!

Right about now, Jon, the Mets may be saying about the next two games, "You fellas have nothin' to worry about. I'm a professional." And it would be understandable if you and other Met fans said, "A professional WHAT?"

I love that movie. One of the things I like to remember about 1986.

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