Mack’s Morning Report – 10-11-15 - Game 2


Good morning.

As in yesterday, this morning's report is a blow-by-blow, inning-by-inning analysis of the Mets-LAD playoff series.

This is Game 2...  featuring the Dodgers' Zack Greinke vs. the Mets' Noah Syndergaard.

Pre-game note... I don't know if this is going to translate into anything tonight, but Michael Conforto has hit one tape measure shot after another out of the park during batting practice, including a shot that went over the right field roof and landed outside the stadium... FWIW, Syndergaard led all rookie pitchers this year with 166 strikeouts... I'll be off-line all day tomorrow so enjoy my breakout and I'll see you next Friday when my normal Mack's Morning Report returns.

1st Inning

I was wondering why someone like Curtis Granderson can't simply punch a ball into right field to break the shift, and then he singled over the head of the second baseman. My guess is players like Granderson and Lucas Duda would consider than the wussie way out... didn't matter... David Wright hit into a double play followed by a strikeout by Daniel Murphy. Soft start.

Noah Syndergaard caused quite the stir in the crowd with a 100 mph fifth pitch. 13 pitch inning included three 101-mph pitches. 

A 1-2-3 inning for the Dodgers. The battle is on.

2nd Inning

Yoenes Cespedes decided his wrist was healed and barely went yard for a leadoff 1-0 lead. He was truly pumped after that hit.  This was why the Mets traded for this guy. Let's see if this homer wakes him up now and he dominates the series...

Told you about what Conforto did in batting practice, didn't I? Tremendous line drive home run (only 42 feet off the ground) for 2-0 lead. He became the 2nd youngest Met (Wayne Garrett) to hit a post season HR.

Grienke finished the inning with a 41 pitch count.

Andre Ethier worked for a walk and got Thor's pitch count up in the second. Syndergaard did start the inning throwing multiple 100 mph fastballs, but they did begin to tail off to 98-99 by the time the inning ended... inning ended at a 36 pitch count (line drive to Daniel Murphy) but very little feel for the secondary pitches...

(I'm telling you... you're going to miss Murph... )

3rd Inning

Greinke has a 1-2-3 inning, but hits 56 in pitch count.

First three pitches by Syndergaard were curves and a change-up. Someone must have talked to him about throwing more secondary pitches... Thor was in trouble this inning from the get go... he did keep his poise, returning to his fastball to get himself out of a 2-hit inning... pitch count 58 with 6 strikeouts in 3 innings...

Syndergaard has a 91-mph changeup tonight. Jon Niese averaged 91-mph with his fastball in just 3 of his 29 starts this year...

4th Inning

At this point you want to either add to the lead or add to the pitch count. A questionable called third strike call to Duda prevented any chance of either. For some reason, the Mets call a hit and run with Murphy running and Duda doesn't swing... Murphy was out by a mile. Bad call here.

The Dodgers continue to get to Syndergaard a little more each inning. Two lead-off doubles generates the first Dodger run of the night but the bleeding ended there, for now. Great play by Syndergaard this inning for the first out, throwing out the lead runner at third with a come back gounder. Pitch count 77.

I don't expect to see much more of Syndergaard. His velocity is coming down and he still has no command of his secondary pitches. It's only a matter of time that he will lose this lead.

End of 4... Mets 2-1

5th Inning

An excellent inning for both Grienke and Syndergaard. Thor continued to rely on his fastballs which were now in the 98-99 mph range. You're just not going to see four better pitches than you've seen tonight and last night.

6th Inning

A  Granderson single goes wasted and the only good news this inning turns out to be Grienke's pitch count going to 101. 

Thor had another shaky inning, but Ruben Tejada started an inning ending double play. He continues to prove that his glove alone warrants him playing ahead of Wilmer Flores, especially in tight games like this. There's no room for defensive mistakes in one run games.

7th Inning

Another 1-2-3 inning for Grienke, which, I assume, will be his last inning. It's pretty tough to write this way about games like this. They just are too pitcher controlled.

It was great to see Chase Utley, but the last thing we needed was him to get a critical hit that put runners on first and third with one out. Syndergaard was pulled and replaced with Bartolo Colon. My guess it was TC's plan to use Colon to an ending of the 7th, then bring in  Addison Reed for the 8th and Jeurys Familia for the 9th...  the plan just simply didn't work... Colon threw what easily could have been an inning ending double play ground ball but Utley creamed Tejada who was attempting to turn it on second. The playoffs ended for Tejada in one swift play.

The score was 2-2.

LA then challenged the out and the Umps ruled that Tejada never toughed the base and Utley was safe. Addison Reed replaced Bartolo Colon and I was so pissed I took am Ambien... Adrian Gonzalez knocks in two more and the score is 4-2 Dodgers. Turner doubled in A-Gone and... well, you get the picture.

Dodgers 5, Mets 2 after 7

Iit will be interesting to see the reaction tomorrow on TC bringing in Colon. 

8th Inning

Just an observation... Travis d'Arnaud looks lost with a bat in his hand. He hasn't come close to producing a base hit these past two nights.

1-2-3 for the Mets in the 8th... I'm going to roll the dice and call it a night. We got the split we wanted and frankly, the Syndergaard lead never felt secure tonight. This was a los waiting to happen.

Night everybody.


Thomas Brennan said...

I have not read anyone else's articles today. Question: will Utley get suspended for a highly dangerous, intentional, out of bounds and awfully aggressive play...or will the Mets hunt for his scalp in Queens? Ruben never saw the truck, but I got a make and the plate....a Suburban with Hollywood bumper stickers and a PA plate with U..T..E...L...Y.

Oh, and Utley in Yiddish means Jackass. Suspend him for the rest of the playoffs.

Who will replace Ruben...Dilson?

Bad flip by Murph to Ruben sure did not help.

Bad signal calling by Travis when Thor lost the batter before Utley by throwing too many breaking balls. 100 MPH was the way to go.

Addison Reed is a bonehead for throwing an 0-2 meatball to Gonzalez instead of trying to get him to fish. Expanding the zone when ahead 0-2 is bAseball 101.

Thomas Brennan said...

Oh, but watching Thor throw 101 in the first inning was amazing.

Ernest Dove said...

Im really glad that major league baseball created rules like Neighborhood Play and the interference penalty in order to protect its players.....both rules worked really well last night.

Anyway Mets need to win both home games and move on. The Mets have proven in these two games that they are the better team.


Derek McKnight said...

I have not read any comments by coaches or players this morning, I did exactly what Mack did last night. I was disgusted that Ronnie and Cal didn't call out Utley last night. Especially when it was clear Tejada was injured.

Utley has always been a Met killer with the bat.

This game was lost by TC by leaving Thor in for the 7th. The plan was simple, 6 strong innings by the starter, then Reed, Clipper, and Familia. Why mess with success. Jacob is a much more experienced and polished pitcher to get through the 7th on a high pitch count than Thor is at this point.

The crowd should be amazing on Monday night.

Erik said...

I guess Dilson gets added to the roster. I don't think they have another SS they could add. So does that make Kelly Johnson the backup SS now?

Also saw this about the rules:
A comment in the Official Baseball Rules to Rule 5.09 (a) (13) says umpires could have called an inning-ending double play if they decided Utley had gone outside the baseline and interfered with Tejada fielding the throw.

“The objective of this rule is to penalize the offensive team for deliberate, unwarranted, unsportsmanlike action by the runner in leaving the baseline for the obvious purpose of crashing the pivot man on a double play, rather than trying to reach the base,” the comment says. “Obviously this is an umpire’s judgment play.”

Hobie said...

This is why I was (am) opposed to replay in game-continuing situations (tags, traps etc.). Initial judgement, fallible as it may be is replaced by some more abstract judgement as to what would have happened in some alternate universe if the call were different. Errors (player or umpire displayed) are part of a human game. The virtual reality of replay decisions are not.

GIVEN Ruben's foot did not graze the base (I think it did after the stop frame the TBS folks kept displaying); GIVEN the "neighborhood rule was voice by Murph's throw (don't think was, the throw did alter Tejada's left foot placement), and GIVEN Utley's slide was not interference (at the player without any any attempt to touch the base-which was within reach-was just that IMO); they STILL got the call wrong according to there own rules.

Quoted during the broadcast as placing runners where they would have been in that alternate universe of "correct" cal, that rule was violated by the man behind the curtain in NY. If the incorrect call of "out" was to be replaced by a correct one, it wasn't "safe," it was no call until Utley left the field, or touched second, or Tejada tagged Utley or the base. The first of those happened, none of the the last three did. The clairvoyant video game ump(s) evidently decided that had had the correct (no) call been made, Utley would have scrambled back to base and not left the field vs. Ruben tagging the runner or base under the same fantasy scenario. Since neither scenario has any real validity, the original call should stand.

The game should be replayed from that point (score tied, 2-out, Hendicks on 1st)) a la the pine tar bat misinterpretation of rule. "Good luck with that," says my wife.

Alexander Han said...

Utley went too far and even he looked a bit sheepish in his post-game interview even while he kept repeating his line which actually sounded a little coached. He should be suspended. How the umpires allow Utley to not slide under double-play rules, but don't give Ruben the neighbourhood play under double-play rules beats me. But it is done.

There was just no way that Utley or Rollins would not stir up some kind of bad blood is there.

A lot of us are baying for revenge now, including myself, but I'll leave that to the pros. Revenge is best served cold. I just hope it doesn't result in angry Mets swinging wildly at bad pitches. A well-aimed pitch at someone's head would be welcome on the one hand but not if it ends up losing us key player and the series.

Time for Harvey to put this right on Monday with a 1-hitter or something of the kind. All the elements are here - injustice, injury, a chance for redemption. Surely Harvey will smell the glory and take it.

Let's Go Mets!

Stubby said...

Hobie, not that it makes any sense, but the umpires' argument is that Utley gets the base under the rules--even if he never touched it--because the reason he left the field is that he was called out. According to them, the rules say--even if he never touched the bag--he shouldn't be penalized for their screw-up. My question would then be, OK, but why are you penalizing the guy who has to go to the hospital when the same logic should apply to him? There's no reason for Ruben to tag Utley (assuming he even could, physically) because you called Utley out and he left the field. This kind of tells me, as a player, that I should go ahead and do as much physical damage to the fielder as I can because all "mistakes" will be resolved in favor of the runner. So, heck, I'd be sharpening my cleats this morning and start going straight for the jugular on every slide. Just playing hard, you know. Yeah, its a shame that guy bled to death, but that's baseball.

MLB totally f%#ed up on this one. There is no question Utley was deliberately going for the injury. He changed his trajectory away from the bag and towards the fielder and I don't even think he started his "slide" until he was already past the bag.

I don't want the Mets to go head-hunting. I think that just takes us out of the mindset we need to be in. Just win. But, next year? Maybe I'm ending the careers of as many middle infielders as I can with every slide. Apparently MLB is OK with that.

I do like your suggested remedy--treating it like the pine-tar game. But I doubt that POS Torre (yeah, I didn't even like him when he was a Met) has the balls to do the right thing.

Michael S. said...

Ronnie was restrained at first but he was livid. At one point he sounded like he wanted to punch Ripken for his devil may care attitude but still had to keep himself professional.

Ripken on the other hand proved himself completely useless.

Michael S. said...

Torre will do nothing he's a company man.

Harvey should start every LA hitter up and in. They're all a little worried that their going to get chosen for payback. Keep them off-balance all game.

Adam Smith said...

as terrible as the play, the umpiring, and he league's non-response was, and as much as it hurts to lose Tejada, it's somehow fitting that Flores, nearly abandoned heading into the series, will now end up playing every inning at SS for the remainder of the post season. Really, on this roster, there is no plan C. I won't be surprised if the kid wins us a game or two along the way. Heck, I won't be shocked if he ends up the MVP of a series before this is over. It's been that kind of season.

Michael S. said...

That's exactly what should happen but never would. If it went to game 5, replay the 8th and 9th first, Mets up 2-1 with a fresh Thor. Oh well.

Alexander Han said...

Yes, I kinda expected Wilmer to hit a game winning homer last night. Maybe he's keeping it for Citi Field.

Hobie said...


Exactly my point. The "correct" call was was "no call" until something else happened. The on-field judgement of base contact/non-contact (and chance of err therein) was replaced by a less resolvable judgement of what might have happened next (who would have touched 2B firs, runner or damaged fielder). with no possible observation--PURE supposition.

This cannot stand as "replay" since the supposed actions, a closed set of possibilities, cannot be observed only supposed and determined by whim. The more I think about it, the pine tar incident is germane. Terry did not protest the game however as KC had done,

Uribe replaces Ruben on the roster if healthy IMO.

Anonymous said...

Matt reynolds is joining the roster, pending petition to league.

Anonymous said...

No more cuddyer playing the field with flores and murphy playing, defense at a premium.

Thomas Brennan said...

Matt Reynolds. How wild is that...frustrated with lack of call up in 2015, makes major league roster for first time IN THE PLAYOFFS!

Dallas said...

I'm still seething. I couldn't sleep last night I was so angry. MLB looks really really bad last night. No one is talking about the Dodgers "win" because everyone knows its horse shit. Focus is squarely on bad officiating and the tackle. Black eye for baseball. MLB gets more money from more play off games though so good for them.

Matt Reynolds is not a good baseball player. The man couldn't hit in AAA at all this year in the thin air of Vegas. I hope he is only for emergency and doesn't see time because it would mean things are really not going well.

Stubby said...

Maybe he's here for payback. Gee, ya know, that kid Corey Seager's a nice looking ballplayer. It'd be a shame if anything were to happen to him. (PA Announcer: Now running for Matt Harvey....Matt Reynolds!!!!)

I do agree, though. As much of a d-bag as Utley has been his entire career (which ended like 5 years ago...somebody should really tell him), MLB and Torre came off much worse and much more the villains of the piece. Honestly, giving Utley second base because the guy with the broken leg didn't tag him after you called him out....that's the stupidest, most "let's make sure the Dodgers win" call I have ever seen in nearly 60 years of watching baseball. The fix was in. Anyway we can get Joe Torre on the basepaths and take him out with a dirty slide, too? Or are we just going to have to settle for disabling an umpire?

I'm against it all. I hope none of it ever happens. But I can't say it hasn't been the constant thought on my mind since last night.

Dallas said...

Checkout this Eric Brynes reenactment of the Tejada takeout


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