Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorable, but not in a good way

I couldn't understand why the Mets-Padres game was a night game on Memorial Day.

No baseball games should be played at night on Memorial Day. Same with July 4th. It's a holiday. Lots of people have off from work. Games should be played during the day, not only because it's a throwback to a time when most games were actually played in sunlight, but because that's the time to have a ballgame on a holiday.

Who wants to spend their day doing other Memorial Day activities, then when the day is over, sit down and watch a game? We've got work the next day, and we're toast after spending the day at the beach/pool/park/barbecue. Who has the energy to watch a night game, especially if it's on the West Coast?

Monday's game should have been a 4:10 p.m. PT start at worst. Then, you could either watch/attend the game live, or DVR it and watch it at a reasonable hour when you're home. Instead, I was stuck struggling to stay awake for a game at 10 p.m. at the end of an exhausting three-day weekend.

So I should be glad that the Mets chose this game to implode. I didn't miss much.

I know all about regression to the mean, but I thought we got that out of the way in the 8-6 loss to the Padres on Saturday. This was ridiculous.

Did we really expect Hisanori Takahashi to do something -- three straight six-inning scoreless starts in his first three starts -- that no one has done since 1906? No, and we knew he was going to get hit at some point.

Takahashi had a chance to escape, but hung a breaking pitch that was hammered for a grand slam. He clearly didn't have his up-to-now normal stuff, having trouble locating for strikes. But six runs was surprising, as was the beating absorbed by Raul Valdes, who had been pitching pretty well. You get two of those performances in the same game, you just write it off.

More concerning was the work turned in by Ryota Igarashi, who again was hit and hit hard. He has not shown the same ability as he did before he got hurt. He needs a couple of scoreless appearances before Jerry Manuel allows him to come into a tight game late with a lead.

The road record is also a concern, but if you look beneath the 7-17 record, you'll see that 11 of those games have been decided by 2 runs or less, including 6 one-run games (with several walk-off losses). That's a bunch of close games.

Sure, close losses usually mean the bullpen failed, or the team couldn't get a clutch hit, but at least it shows they're not completely helpless on the road. Hopefully the Mets can start getting some of those to fall in the other direction, and move toward a .500 road record by the end of the season.

Pelfrey and Santana will face off against LeBlanc and Richard to try and win the series and salvage a split. Both should enjoy pitching in Petco, which should be like a home away from home.

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