A lot of things went wrong for the New York Mets today against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Gary Cohen might have said it best in today's broadcast: "Gee didn't walk a batter—but maybe he should have." From the get go, it was obvious Dillon Gee was not going to duplicate the dominance he displayed in his prior four outings (1.53 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, and 8.00 K/BB). In the first inning, the right-hander let up singles to both Chase Utley and Michael Young, before allowing a two-run single to Ryan Howard.
After two scoreless innings, Howard belted a solo shot in the fourth, which was his fifth career home run against Gee. Gee had trouble bouncing back after the dinger, then surrendering a double to Domonic Brown followed by an RBI single to Ben Revere.
Even though the Mets scored a run in the third inning on a Jordany Valdespin fielder's choice, Michael Young and Howard widened the margin again with career-versus-Gee home runs number three and six, respectively.
Despite only throwing 67 pitches over five innings, Terry Collins lifted Gee for reliever Greg Burke to start the sixth.
Perhaps one of Gee's problems was keeping too many pitches up in the zone. According to Brooks Baseball, over his past four starts, the righty had placed around 38.6% of his pitches in the bottom part of the zone, which likely helped limit home runs (he had allowed 1.44 HR/9 before May 30, but 0.92 HR/9 after that point). Today, however, Gee left more of his pitches up in the zone, seeing about a 6% spike. It certainly didn't help Gee that Ryan Howard owns him (career .466 batting average). Gee's final line was eight hits, six runs (five earned), no walks, and four strikeouts over five innings.
Apart from Gee's struggles, the Mets also displayed poor baseball fundamentals.
While the first sign of lacking fundamentals didn't lead to a run, in the fourth inning, Daniel Murphy dropped what could have [arguably] nipped runner Ben Revere at first base. Gee made a perfect pickoff throw, but as Murph applied the quick tag, the ball fell out of his mitt. On the next pitch, Revere stole second base as catcher John Buck sailed his throw into center field. It was a double "SMH" for fans.
Later, in the sixth inning, Buck actually made a terrific throw down to second base to catch Revere [again], but Valdespin lazily dropped his pass, enabling Revere to land safely. Revere wasn't finished torturing the Mets, as the speedster stole third on the next pitch, and then scored due to Buck's wild pick off throw.
There were some positives, however.
After the Phillies were forced to remove starter Jonathan Pettibone, who had limited the Mets' offense to just one run over six innings, due to an apparent back injury, the Mets capitalized. Michael Stutes relieved the dominant Pettibone, but did not record an out. Stutes put two runners on (John Buck reached on an error, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis walked), before allowing an RBI single to Omar Quintanilla. Josh Satin continued the surge by taking a walk—which prompted Phillies skipper Charlie Manuel to replace Stutes with Justin De Fratus.
De Fratus, much to Manuel's dismay, could not stop the bleeding, and surrendered an opposite field double to Eric Young Jr., which brought home two runs. The Mets picked up an additional run off of Jordany Valdespin's second fielder's choice of the night, making it a 7-5 ball game.
The Mets would eventually tie the game in the ninth inning against closer Jonathan Papelbon with a solo shot from Valdespin (which could have been a two-run shot if Eric Young Jr. had been called safe at first base), and a Murphy RBI single.
But even with the Mets carrying the momentum going into the bottom of the ninth, Phillies pinch-hitter Kevin Frandsen quickly slugged a walk-off home run against Carlos Torres, ending any hope for a Mets victory in extras.
In a game the Mets truly didn't deserve to win, they in fact did not win it.
SB Nation Coverage
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Daniel Murphy, 29.3%, Eric Young Jr., 12.0%
Big losers: Carlos Torres, -37.0%, Dillon Gee, -31.1%
Teh aw3s0mest play: RBI single to center by Daniel Murphy, ninth inning, 35.6%
Teh sux0rest play: Walk off home run by Kevin Frandsen, 37.0%
Total pitcher WPA: -65.7%
Total batter WPA: -15.7
GWRBI!: Kevin Frandsen walk off in ninth