Oh, wowie wow wow that was brutal. I'd like to say that you win as a team and you lose as a team, but that very often turns out not to be the case, and it certainly wasn't tonight. The Mets actually played pretty well collectively against the Pirates, with Livan Hernandez turning in another solid performance and the dregs of the lineup knocking in four of the team's five runs. The meat of the lineup phoned it in a bit, but when you've got ballers like Jeremy Reed and Wilson Valdez anchoring your crew you can afford the odd off night from your big bats.
No, this night was mostly about the ongoing crippling disappointment otherwise known at J.J. Putz's 2009 season. Overall, Putz has been bad at just about everything, excepting his longball propensity, which has actually been quite good. He has walked the same number of batters as he has struck out: 19. He has allowed 45 baserunners in 28.1 innings. His fastball velocity is down 1.5 MPH over last season, and he is throwing his splitter -- arguably his best pitch -- with far less frequency (15.4% of pitches versus 20.4% in 2008). The kicker is that he wasn't even especially good in 2008 (tRA+ of 97 last year; 85 this year). Needless to say this isn't the guy the Mets thought they were acquiring when they traded Mike Carp (.419 wOBA in Triple-A Tacoma), Endy Chavez et al to the Mariners this past offseason.
On this night, Putz faced four batters, walking one and surrendering hits to the rest. He allowed two of his own runs and a third he had inherited from Pedro Feliciano. Brian Stokes came on to relieve and basically did his job, but a Valdez spill and a sacrifice fly later and two more Putz runs were hung on the board. All told, Putz was charged with four runs, three earned, on four hits and a walk in no thirds of an inning. And Bobby Parnell was entrusted with only the final out of the always crucial sixth inning. I don't know if or when Putz is going to get his act together, but until he does we should all be seeing a lot more Parnell late in games and Putz in some lower leverage situations.
Let's just wash our hands of this one and come back out tomorrow with Johan Santana on the hill. He'll make things all better.
Big winners: Wilson Valdez, +19.9% WPA, Fernando Martinez, +7.5% WPA
Big losers: J.J. Putz, -69.2% WPA, Luis Castillo, -10.0% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Valdez RBI triple in second, +12.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Wilson RBI single in eighth, -26.0% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -58.5% WPA
Total batter WPA: +8.5% WPA
GWRBI!: Delwyn Young
Nice job by future; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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