Quite the weekend for our wounded warriors out in the land of great weather and a pretty lousy baseball team. As it turns out, the team from Flushing may be even lousier at this juncture. Even though the indispensable streak buster, Johan Santana, was able to salvage today’s tilt vs. the Padres and spare the team the embarrassment of suffering a the rare four-game sweep , it was a lost weekend for the Mets and they regressed in many areas.
First off, how the Mets hadn’t won a game in San Diego, against the woeful Padres, since 2007 is beyond me. I guess when it comes to this team, anything is believable….such as arguably the best closer in the National League giving up a walk-off grand slam to a light hitting rookie shortstop who has accumulated a whopping two home runs in 186 ABs this year. Friday’s game in itself sort of told the story of the entire Mets season. The Mets experience a bright, positive occurrence with Oliver Perez pitching by far his best game of the season (6.1 IP, 2H, R, 2BB, 7K). But, with a little bum luck in the form of horrific umpiring and a dreadful performance by one of the few stars the team has left, the result is another heart-breaking defeat.
Not to go off on a tangent here, but the umpiring this season in Major League Baseball has been beyond awful. The blown call by Marvin Hudson at the dish that allowed the tying run to score was caused by the home plate ump being way out of position to make the call. The error clearly unnerved K-Rod and and the rest was history. It didn’t help that Frankie walked three batters in the inning (one intentional), so in essence he really did himself in.
The Mets have been doing themselves in all season though by lacking clutch hits with runners in scoring position, making mental gaffes on the bases and in the field and this little talked about, but very important stat: walking more batters than any other team in baseball. After today’s relatively tame game as far as bases on balls go (Santana walked two in eight innings), the Mets have now issued 440 walks. Twenty of them came in the 36 innings of this putrid series against the Padres. In fact, the only item really worth paying attention to this weekend, besides watching Johan work his magic of course, was seeing how Bobby Parnell fared in his first career start. In typical Mets fashion, Parnell ran up his pitch count to 68 (he was originally scheduled to throw around 60) and only lasted 2 1/3 innings, walking three batters in the process.
Needless to say, we didn’t get a very clear idea of what Parnell could add to the starting staff the rest of the year and possibly in the future, except a bunch of free passes to the Mets league-leading total. It is going to be a very difficult and at times unwatchable final two months of the season. All you can hope for is that once a week, you get tune in and see a future hall-of-famer in Johan Santana toe the rubber and that guys like Angel Pagan and Omir Santos raise their value to the organization. It’s off to Arizona. I for one am looking forward to seeing Mark Reynolds mash the baseball, cause we the know the Mets certainly won’t.