August 10th, 2011
by Andrew Rizzi

There were no magical heroics Wednesday night at Citi Field. A comeback win was not in the cards. Instead of celebrations and cream pies the Mets were left shaking their heads after their 9-5 loss to the Padres, and they had no one to blame but themselves.

A bad outing from starter R.A. Dickey, failed clutch hitting, and a total lack of fundamentals all doomed the Mets, as the Padres led from start to finish and finally notched a win in the 4-game series.

Will Venable paced the Padres with a 4-5 effort, including a triple to lead off the game followed by the first run to make it 1-0. R.A. Dickey got pounded to the tune of 6 hits and 5 runs (3 earned) in 5 innings. He suffered his 11th loss of the season, and raised his ERA to 3.75. There have been a lot of nights when R.A. Dickey took a loss he did not deserve. Tonight was not one of those nights, as he put the Amazins in a 5-0 lead by 8:15pm.

On a night when the Mets made mental mistakes as a team, Parnell was the biggest culprit of them all.

Still, despite falling behind big the scrappy Mets kept fighting back. They scored one in the 4th on an R.A. Dickey single, and 2 in the 6th on RBI hits from Jason Pridie and Nick Evans.  The Padres extended the lead to 6-3 in the 7th, but the Willie Harris countered with a run scoring single in the 8th. Things seemed to fall apart for good with Bobby Parnell on the mound in the 9th, as the Padres put up 3 more runs in a wacky inning, and the Citi Field faithful booed loudly when the inning ended as it was 9-4.

And yet, the Mets were still somehow able to get the tying run to the plate in the 9th off Heath Bell. They loaded the bases, and then Logan Forsythe booted the potential game clinching out. Jason Bay scored to make it 9-5, the bases remained loaded, and Willie Harris came up with a chance to knot it up with one swing. Forsythe made up for the error by snagging a high line drive from Harris, and the game was over.

The positive from this game is the fact that the Mets gave it away time after time, but still kept fighting back and stayed in it till the bitter end. But ultimately it was a disappointing game. Had the Mets played solid fundamental baseball, the outcome could have been much different. Here is an outline of the many poor mistakes the orange and blue made in the 9-5 loss:

- Mike Baxter misplayed the first at-bat of the game off the right field wall, quickly turning Venable’s double into a triple.

- Bad throw by R.A. Dickey in the 2nd, taking a potential double play and ending up with 1st and 3rd.

- Bad throw by Pagan in the 2nd trying to nail Aaron Harang off 2nd, his 8th error of the year from the outfield.

- Ruben Tejada not sliding trying to score from 3rd on a sac fly. He would have been safe, but came in standing and was tagged out. An UNACCEPTABLE move by the young kid.

- Bobby Parnell missing 1st base covering with 2 outs. The 9th would have been over. It ended up getting much uglier.

- Immediately after missing 1st, Parnell had Jesus Guzman caught off 3rd. But despite David Wright’s screaming he never threw the ball. Guzman was able to scurry back.

- Josh Thole threw through to get Aaron Cunningham at 2nd, but Guzman took off from 3rd and stole home on the play.

- Overall the Mets left 13 men on base, and failed to get the big hit seemingly every inning.

The Mets can put this ugly loss in the past with a win tomorrow afternoon, when they have a chance to take the series 3 games to 1 with Jon Niese on the mound.

Three Up:

1) Josh Thole- Always a second half hitter, Thole has looked much better at the plate lately. He is showing off power too. He drilled a deep pitch to right in his 2nd at bat that just missed a homerun foul, then crushed a double to deep center in his next AB. Overall Thole went 4-5, and had his best offensive game of the season.

2) Will Venable- A 4-4 night with a triple, 2 doubles, a single, and run scored. Not too shabby for the Padres leadoff hitter.

3) Ruben Tejada- He had a deplorable base running blunder, but Tejada looked great at the dish. He had 2 doubles and a single, scored a run, and should have scored another…

Three Down:

1) Angel Pagan- First, Angel made an error trying to nail Aaron Harang at 2nd base. Then, he struck out with the bases loaded. And then he left the game due to injury with lower back spasms. Just an awful night everywhere for Angel.

2) R.A. Dickey- The mountain climber did not have it tonight. His knuckle ball was flat and he got peppered for 6 hits and 5 runs. This may have been his worst outing of the year.

3) Bobby Parnell- The “closer of the future” was once again a big dud. Parnell came in to pitch the 9th with the Mets down 2 runs and still in the game. That quickly changed, as Bobby gave up 3 runs and 4 hits, giving the Amazins virtually no chance in the bottom of the 9th. To make matters worse, Parnell did a terrible job missing 1st base with his feet to keep the inning alive, then had Jesus Guzman dead to rights between home and 3rd but didn’t throw the ball! He ended up allowing 2 more runs after the play, and his ERA has now nearly doubled in his last 13 innings, from 2.66 up to 4.38. Awful, awful job by Parnell tonight.

Rizzi’s Rants:

- This was a rare off night all around for the Mets under Terry Collins. The defense was soft, the bats went quiet in big spots, and the fundamentals were piss poor. The Mets deserved to lose this game, and they did just that. Thank God they won in such dramatic fashion two straight nights, or this team would be facing a 4-game sweep at home to a last place team.

- Another night, another injury for the Mets. Angel Pagan left with back spasms, and there is no word on how long he will be out yet. He said he is going to try to play without missing a game, but then again so did Ike Davis. What a freaking disaster. The only question to ask at this point is, “who’s next”? I will guess that it’s time for a pitcher. Give me Jason Isringhausen in the “Mets Injury Pool.”

- Mike Baxter looked a little spooked playing right field in his home town. Will Venable led the game off with a shot off the wall, and Baxter had a lot of trouble with it. It ended up being a triple, and Venable soon scored the 1st run of the game. He did have a nice opposite field single later in the game though on the positive side.

- David Wright’s 5th inning double tied him with Ed Kranepool for the franchise record in total bases with 2047.

- The SNY text poll was about whether the Mets should move the walls in at Citi Field. I was against it for 2 years, but now I think they need to move left field in a little bit, and eliminate the Mo’s Zone. I personally like the aesthetic look and feel of the “Great Wall of Flushing,” so I would keep left field as a high wall. This would keep Citi Field as a pitcher’s park, but make it a little more fair for hitters at the same time.

- Gary Cohen claims to be a big Jets fan, but he can’t be a very big NFL fan. He didn’t know who Rex Grossman was, and when it finally dawned on him he said, “Oh yeah, he’s on the Bears, right?”

It was a bad night for the Mets and their fans, but David Wright's double did tie him with Ed Kranepool for the franchise record in total bases

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