Hoo boy, Daisuke Matsuzaka takes a long time in between pitches. If you've followed baseball at all since Matsuzaka came to the major leagues back in 2007, then this shouldn't be a surprise. But really, you don't appreciate just how long he takes until you're forced to watch him pitch. The Mets lost to the Phillies 6-2 as Daisuke tossed up 110 pitches over 4.1 strenuous innings and took a very long time to do it. In fact, SNY even created a graphic to show just how long Daisuke took in between pitches. Along with this, the Mets' offense did what they've done so often these last few weeks: they struggled. It was one of those games.
We start in the second inning with the Phillies at the plate. With one out, Cody Asche reached base on an Ike Davis fielding error and then Daisuke walked John Mayberry and Pete Orr to load the bases before striking out Cole Hamels and Roger Bernadina to close out the inning. The third inning played out somewhat similarly, with Chase Utley and Michael Young reaching on singles and Carlos Ruiz on a hit by pitch. Once again, with the bases juiced and one out, Matsuzaka got Asche to strike out, and then got Mayberry to pop out to Travis d'Arnaud to end the inning without a run scoring.
The Mets started the scoring by scratching across a run in the bottom of the third on Ike Davis' opposite field RBI single, an inning that started with a Daisuke single. Daisuke would get forced out at second on Eric Young's pop fly single but Young would make up for it. After stealing second base, Andrew Brown would hit a pop up in front of the plate to Carlos Ruiz. Noticing that nobody was covering third after the third baseman Asche ran in to try to catch the ball, Young caught the Phillies sleeping and tagged up, sprinted for third, and got in safely, beating both Jimmy Rollins and Ruiz to the bag. It was pretty incredible to see somebody tag up on a popup in front of home plate. Unfortunately, the Phillies would tie things up in the fourth when Rollins knocked in Pete Orr from second base with a double. Rollins would get thrown out at third trying to stretch the hit into a triple, his second mistake of the inning.
Things turned once again in the fifth when Matsuzaka again loaded up the bases. With John Mayberry at the plate, Matsuzaka hit him to force in the go-ahead run and that was it. The Mets summoned Robert Carson from the pen, his first appearance since June, and things didn't get much better. After striking out Darin Ruf for the second out of the inning, the pitcher Cole Hamels lined a two-run single into left field, putting the Phillies ahead 4-1. Carson would allow a line drive solo home run to Carlos Ruiz in the 6th inning, the 9th home run Carson has allowed in 19.2 big league innings. Yikes!
It didn't have a huge impact on the overall course of the game but Wilmer Flores made his first big league appearance at second base and it didn't go all that well. The first ball hit his way was a groundball early on that snuck through the middle for a hit, just past a diving Flores. It was a ball that a player with decent range at second base at least gets a glove on. In the seventh inning, Cody Asche hit a groundball that Flores should've turned into an out but the ball went under his glove and into the outfield. The play was generously ruled a hit but it looked to be a catchable ball. Finally, Flores moved over to third base in the ninth and whiffed on a groundball to him, which was correctly ruled an error.
SB Nation Coverage
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Daniel Murphy (3.2%), Ike Davis (3.0%)
Big losers: Daisuke Matsuzaka (-18.6%), Robert Carson (12.2%)
Teh aw3s0mest play: Ike Davis' RBI single in the 3rd inning (11.9%)
Teh sux0rest play: Cole Hamels' two run single in the 5th inning (17.8%)
Total pitcher WPA: -30.0%
Total batter WPA: -20.0%
GWRBI!: John Mayberry Jr