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Athletics 7, Mets 3: Mets Pitchers Misinterpret 'Moneyball', Walk Nine Batters

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Walks are good -- except when your team is in the field. It's right there in chapter six of Moneyball. Dillon Gee walked six batters in four forgettable innings, and D.J. Carrasco followed with two free passes of his own in two innings of work. When Carrasco exited it was 7-1 A's and a repeat of Sunday's debacle was at hand. Much like Sunday, the Mets mounted a mild comeback attempt late in the game. Jason Bay hammered a solo home run (note: !!!) in the sixth inning and an RBI triple in the eighth. Josh Thole batted with the bases loaded and two outs later in the eighth but grounded out weakly to second base against intense A's reliever Grant Balfour.

Bay was the Mets' offensive hero, going 3-for-3 with a homer, triple and a walk. He raised his OPS to .642 and notched his first extra base hit since May 19th. Baby steps. Angel Pagan continued to reach base, going 1-for-3 with a walk. Everyone else was more-or-less the suck.

Back to Gee. He threw 52% of his pitches for strikes (45 out of 87), well below his season strike rate of 64%. First strikes were an issue as well -- he threw just 9 to 21 batters faced, or 43%, below his season mark of 54%. He couldn't command his vaunted changeup from the first batter of the game. I remember hearing Mike Mussina say something like* "In 10% of starts you're unhittable; in 10% you have absolutely nothing; the rest are somewhere in between." This was clearly a nothing start for Gee and hopefully one he won't dwell on.

* - Paraphrased from memory

The series continues Wednesday night at 7:10 PM, with R.A. Dickey vs. Gio Gonzalez the pitching matchup.

"Keith Hernandez Unplugged" Quote Of The Game: "If he [Josh Outman] walks Tejada he should be shot... I don't mean that literally."