If I have one salient philosophy about baseball it's this: if you're going to lose, do us all a favor and get it over with quickly. The Mets did just that against the Pirates, tonight, going down like dogs in a svelte two hours, eleven minutes. The icing on this turd cake might've been Fernando Martinez, David Wright and Gary Sheffield requiring just five total pitches from John Grabow to get themselves out. The ninth wasn't much better, as Matt Capps -- and his 5.94 ERA and 1.92 WHIP -- was taxed to the tune of ten pitches in retiring Fernando Tatis, Omir Santos and pinch-hitter Wilson Valdez.
It all began tumbling downhill when Jeremy Reed was "tagged" "out" trying to score on a Luis Castillo single in the top of the third. To be fair, some replays appeared to show catcher Jason Jaramillo tagging Reed from behind, but one conclusive angle showed Reed successfully avoiding the swipe. Home plate umpire Ted Barrett didn't have the benefit of slow-motion replay and he probably made the same call as every other umpire under the same circumstances. The problem with this play started a few seconds earlier, as Razor Shines seemed to quickly -- and somewhat ambiguously -- turn his "go" sign into a "stop sign" as Reed approached third base. Reed either didn't see it, didn't care, or couldn't do anything about it, as he motored around the bag to meet his maker at the plate. Someone else will have to follow up on this one, but Mets baserunners seem to have been nailed at home with such inordinate frequency this season as to defy all reasonable logic. Maybe it's my own faulty memory here, or maybe they call the man "Razor" because of all of the blow he did instead of paying attention in coaching school.
Reed gets a tip of the cap for picking up three hits to raise his average to .328, but a wag of the finger for drawing just two unintentional walks and collecting just four extra-base hits.
On the pitching side, Johan Santana had another blah performance, by his own standards anyway. He gave up three runs on seven hits and a walk, striking out just three over six innings and just 85 pitches. Maybe he was still pooped from throwing 120 pitches last week, but he did get an extra day off in between so maybe it was just an off-day. His fastball averaged just 89.9 MPH on the gun, a couple ticks shy of his season mark.
Big winners: Jeremy Reed, +12.9% WPA, Daniel Murphy, +3.9% WPA
Big losers: Omir Santos, -19.7% WPA, Luis Castillo, -14.0% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jaramillo GIDP in sixth, +7.1% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Jaramillo homerun in fifth, -15.3% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -5.7% WPA
Total batter WPA: -44.3% WPA
GWRBI!: Nate McLouth
Nice job by future; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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