Friday, May 4, 2012

Game #26: D-Backs 5, Mets 4

Mets catcher Josh Thole not pleased with flying out with two men on to end the eighth inning. (
I had a traumatic flashback tonight -- it was to last year around this time when we found the Mets' biggest weakness. Any guesses? Once again, Groundhog Day style, it looks like the bullpen will be responsible for transforming more than a fair share of Ws into Ls.

Arizona scored 3 runs in the 8th to take the lead and the Mets couldn't come back, falling to the Diamondbacks in a 5-4 letdown of a game, their 4th straight loss.

The Bad Stuff:
  • Choose any one of multiple games from 2011 and I could probably recycle the story from that. But let's get to specifics: the Mets were up 4-2 and Bobby Parnell had pitched a scoreless 7th but the first batter of the 8th got on via an Ike Davis error. Tim Byrdak was brought on and issued a walk. After striking out Miguel Montero, Jon Rauch was brought on to face the right-handed Paul Goldschmidt. On Rauch's first pitch, Goldschmidt blasted the game-tying double to center. Then on a 3-2 slider Cody Ransom poked the go-ahead single. Rauch even let 2 more runners get to second and third before getting out of the inning.
  • New York got 2 men on with 2 out in the bottom of the 8th, but Josh Thole's hard-hit ball to center was right in the path of Jason Kubel in left field. The Mets would go down 1-2-3 in the 9th, overmatched by 'Zona closer J.J. Putz.
  • Despite an RBI groundout in the 3rd, Ike Davis appears to have fallen back into a rut: 0-4 and hitless in his last 12 at-bats.
  • The Mets scored 4 in the 3rd but could not plate any other runs, leaving 7 stranded and hitting 2-11 with RISP.
The Good Stuff:
  • The biggest casualty of these bullpen struggles are the starters, who don't get wins for quality starts. Dillon Gee should have another W next to his name after tonight: 2 runs on 4 hits in 6 innings with 3 walks and 6 strikeouts.
  • David Wright scored once and got on base thrice going 1-2 with 2 walks.
  • Scott Hairston got the start against lefty Rookie of the Month Wade Miley and made it count with a 2-run double in the 3rd.
  • Andres Torres had a good night at the plate, going 3-4 with a double and an RBI.
  • Bobby Parnell went 1-2-3 in the 7th to drop his ERA to 3.09.
Final Analysis:
The downfall of the 2011 New York Mets was a bullpen whose foundations were shakier than the San Andres Fault, and it appears even the shopping spree Sandy Alderson went on in the offseason hasn't made it any better. Tonight it led to the 2012 Mets' 4th straight loss and dropped them back to .500 again. All the optimism of after the Miami sweep have been shattered in wake of this 2-5 stretch, and Met fans will wonder once again: is this the beginning of the end of the team's chances?


P.S. Speaking of deja-vu's, former Met great Darryl Strawberry was in town to honor David Wright for breaking his team RBI record last week. When talking about Wright, Straw brought up how much he regretted leaving New York after 1990 and how much he hoped David wouldn't make the same mistake he did. He made his appeal last year when another high-priced Met was about to make his departure...let's hope this time someone listens.

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