The finish to tonight's game is the top story but there is plenty to say about the journey. Jenrry Mejia gave up a walk-off home run to Chris Iannetta in the bottom of the 10th inning to send Rockies fans home happy (paging Mets Walkoffs). The final pitch was a fat fastball up in the zone. That anyone can still think the Mejia bullpen experiment is a good idea is incomprehensible. At least he threw one changeup in his brief four pitch outing.
For the second night in a row, the Mets' starting pitcher struggled. Jon Niese threw five ineffective innings, giving up five runs on nine hits, including a three-run homer to Ryan Spilborghs. Swings-and-misses and groundballs were in short supply. The back-to-back short outings are particularly damaging because the Mets don't have an off day until April 29th. That's fourteen more games in a row without a break. Don't be surprised if Fernando Nieve's arm falls off by May.
Outside of home runs by Jeff Francoeur and David Wright, the Mets' bats had a quiet night. The Rockies tried their best to give this one away, committing three errors, but the Mets couldn't capitalize, going just 1-12 with runners in scoring position. Rockies reliever and Garden City's own Matt Daley struck out Wright in a big spot in the 7th, after Luis Castillo reached on an Ian Stewart error. This was disappointing, but if anyone has to strike out Wright let it be Daley, a good guy who has worked his butt off to get where he is.
I went to the gym tonight, planning to run a few miles on the treadmill. Absentmindedly, I put on my everyday walking shoes instead of running sneakers, but didn't realize it until arriving at the gym. Not a big deal, I drove home and made the shoe switch. Things like this sometimes happen--throwing dirty dishes in the garbage instead of the sink and forgetting to wear a belt to work are other examples of careless mistakes that I commit once in awhile. Jerry Manuel makes boo-boos like this quite often. At least, that's the only explanation I can come up with at this point for the things he does. The major difference is my mistakes are harmless while his mistakes hurt the multi-million dollar organization which employs him. Tonight in the top of the 10th, we were treated to vintage Jerry. With men on 1st and 2nd and one out, Jerry pinch ran Fernando Tatis for Mike Jacobs, who had doubled earlier in the inning. In a vacuum, this is fine for a variety of reasons. In this situation it was flat-out dumb. After Rod Barajas grounded out, the pitcher's spot came up. Jerry pinch-hit with Alex Cora, his last remaining non-catcher bench piece. You don't have to be a sabermetrician to understand that Tatis is a superior pinch-hitting option than Cora, no matter if it's against a lefty or righty. Predictably, Cora lined out softly and Iannetta ended the game about ten minutes later. Pinch-running with Cora and pinch-hitting with Tatis was the stronger move, except in the world of absent-minded Jerry Manuel.
It would have been preferable to see well-rested Francisco Rodriguez pitching the bottom of the 10th but it's not worth getting bent out of shape over. Regardless, Jerry continues to hurt the team's chances of winning with his in-game decisions. And it's worth documenting.
Mike Pelfrey faces Jorge de la Rosa tomorrow at 3:10 PM. Avoiding a sweep would be a nice boost heading into the weekend series with the Cardinals and their aces Chris Carpenter (pitching Friday) and Adam Wainwright (pitching Sunday). Be a stopper, Big Pelf.
Cheer up Mets fans. It could be worse. Could be Astros fans:
Clearly it would not be Niese
Who could make death spiral cease
Yes the Mets failed in the clutch
But with no one on, they don't hit much
In the tenth, they go to Mejia
And Iannetta quickly says "See ya!"
Big winners: Gary Matthews Jr. +25.2%, Ryota Igarashi +15.5%
Big losers: Jenrry Mejia -34.5%, Jon Niese -27.3%
Teh aw3s0mest play: David Wright two run homer +17.5%
Teh sux0rest play: Chris Iannetta walk-off homer
Total pitcher WPA: -35.7%
Total batter WPA: -14.3%
Nice job by bm01bath; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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