Sunday, May 20, 2012

Too Little Offense Too Late

Yesterday in Toronto, the Mets got absolutely overpowered by Blue Jays pitcher Brandon Morrow, and without David Wright in the lineup, it was too much to take, losing the game 0-2.

There was some controversy at the end, however, as Mike Baxter, after hitting the ball down the right field line, inducing an awesome throw from Jose Bautista, was called out by the 2nd base umpire, who was in no position to witness a tag. The replay showed none had been made, and instead of 2nd and 3rd and 1 out (Scott Hairston walked to lead off the inning), it was a runner on 3rd with 2 out. Still, the hits came too late to put on an attack, and the way Morrow was pitching, you could tell early the Mets needed to exchange zeros to have any chance.

Miguel Batista looked good early, working the corners well and not giving the Blue Jays anything to square away on. His back flared up in the 3rd, however, and Jeremy Hefner entered the game. Hefner was recalled from Triple-A after the bullpen was strained Friday night, and in his 2nd Major League stint he pitched real well, going 5 innings, striking out 5, giving up 2 earned runs and 4 hits. Only 1 of those runs should have been earned as far as I am concerned.

In the bottom of the 5th, Hefner got Rajai Davis to strike out swinging and Yan Gomes to ground out to 3rd. He then gave up a single to Jeff Mathis and a double to Kelly Johnson. Johnson hit it to the right-center field gap, and Andres Torres went to get in front of it. He didn't do so, however, taking a route to the ball that allowed it to bounce over his glove, and Mathis rounded 3rd on his way to touching home for Toronto's 1st run. Johnson took 3rd on the play. If Andres Torres gets in front of this ball the way he should have, there is no way Mathis scores all the way from 1st. The official scorer, however, awarded Johnson with the RBI and said he took 3rd on the error. I'm being very picky here, wanting Hefner's early career Major League ERA to stay lower than it is with the play having been scored that way. I was most certainly perturbed with Torres, who has not played well of late, and if he prevents the run from scoring in that sequence who knows what happens next. I hope Andres corrects his play soon, because he is normally a great outfielder, but his average has plunged in the last week, and a lead-off hitter batting .200 obviously ain't gonna cut it.

Jeremy Hefner, however, does impress, and will start the next couple of 4th-starter games with Miguel Batista off to the DL. Looking forward to seeing how he fares.

Does anybody else notice how far off the plate Ike Davis is? I noticed it in the top of the 7th, after Lucas Duda doubled with 2 out. Every pitcher is going away against him, and since he's that far off the plate he has no way of shortening his swing to at least make some sort of contact. He also keeps swinging at those inside breaking pitches. I know baseball is hard, and I’m not up there seeing how easy it can be to NOT lay off pitches such as those, but they keep coming at him with the same sequence: outside breaking, fastball outside end of the plate, then inside breaking pitch that he swings through (something along those lines.) He could take the effectiveness of the inside pitch away some if he crept up a little bit on the plate. Why he is still as far away as he is, I have no idea. But hey, they’re the professionals. He is just such a rally killer right now. Jason Bay is looming and we need his righty bat in the lineup. If Kirk Nieuwenhuis keeps hitting, there is most certainly a possibility that Ike gets sent down when a roster move is made. It might be the best thing for him right now, and I brought this up a while ago when the season was early. Now, it's getting a little too late to not have him right. Maybe sending him down gets his head straight.

The Mets will try to salvage the series today at 1:07PM. Dillon Gee sans his Goatee will pitch for the Mets (single tear; I would rather him pitch better, however, than have long hair on his chinny-chin-chin) and Henderson Alvarez will pitch for the Blue Jays. Let's gain some momentum as well roll into Pittsburgh.


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