When we're sifting through this season's games come October, this one might go under "Missed Opportunities", and it'll have plenty of company. The usual suspects conspired to deal the Mets' another loss: iffy starting pitching, lots of baserunners but few who actually crossed home plate, one spotty relief appearance spoiling the others' hard work.
Tim Redding impressed nobody but the local Beard Club, allowing four runs on eleven baserunners in 5.1 innings. He struck out two and only three of his 95 pitches resulted in swinging strikes (3.2% versus 7.8% for the average starting pitcher). In six starts this season, Redding has had two good, one so-so and three woeful outings. His ERA is up to 6.27, though is tRA is right around the league average of 4.73. As long as John Maine and Oliver Perez remain on the disabled list Redding isn't going anywhere, so we'll just have to take what we can get with him.
Twelve hits plus two walks equals four runs? When you leave nine runners on base, I guess so. Every regular reached base at least once excepting David Wright, who saw just one pitch in the top of the ninth before flying out to center to end the game. Fellow superstar Carlos Beltran had one of his worst games in recent memory, going 1-for-5 with a single but seeing only nine pitches in those five at-bats and, like Wright, required just one pitch of Orioles' closer George Sherill to induce a harmless flyout.
There were some bright spots in the lineup, as Ryan Church collected two hits and Daniel Murphy added three of his own. Meanwhile, Gary Sheffield smacked his eighth homerun of the season, tying him with Beltran for the team lead, and Alex Cora did a workmanlike job as the leadoff hitter, reaching base twice and seeing 32 pitches in five plate appearances.
While perhaps not up to his usual retarded standards, Jerry Manuel used questionable judgment in pinch-hitting Fernando Tatis for Fernando Martinez with the bases loaded and one out in the sixth. The Mets had just tied the game on Cora's bases-loaded walk, and Orioles' manager Dave Trembley called for lefty Mark Hendrickson to relieve inept righthander Brian Bass. Manuel opted for the platoon advantage, passing over Martinez's .398 OPS in 18 plate appearances against lefties this season. I would have liked to see him show a little bit of confidence in the kid, who has been mostly withheld from playing against southpaws to this point. I can't really lose any sleep over this one because Tatis probably did give the Mets a better chance of knocking in some runs there, but of course the move looked terrible after Tatis grounds into a rally-killing double-play. The Mets would manage just one baserunner in the final three frames and that would be that.
Big winners: Daniel Murphy, +14.6% WPA, Bobby Parnell, +11.8% WPA
Big losers: Pedro Feliciano, -32.1% WPA, Tim Redding, -19.6% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Cora bases-loaded walk in sixth, +13.8% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Huff two-run homerun in seventh, -28.3% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -37.1% WPA
Total batter WPA: -12.9% WPA
GWRBI!: Aubrey Huff
Nice job by MetsGeek; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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