Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mets Struggles Continue, Drop 8th of Last 9 Games

Saturday July 21st, 2012
Final Score: Los Angeles Dodgers: 8 New York Mets: 5
Mets Struggles Continue, Drop 8th of 9 Games

The Mets struggles continued Saturday afternoon as they were beaten again by the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-5. The loss drops the Mets to .500 for the first time since their record stood at 13-13.  This was the eighth loss for the Mets out of nine games since the All-Star break, putting even more distance between them and the last wild card playoff spot.  This will also be the fourth straight series loss for the Mets. 

The starting pitching along with the bullpen was once again a problem for the Mets.  Miguel Batista was taken out of the game before he took his first turn at-bat, as he most ineffective in three innings against the Dodgers.  Batista labored through the three innings, needing 81 pitches. 

Batista needed 33 pitches to get through the first inning alone, walking three Dodgers and giving up one earned run.  He actually threw a 1-2-3 second inning, but was unable to get through the third inning with as much ease.

Batista needed 34 pitches to get through the third inning, which was highlighted by a two-out two-RBI double by Juan Uribe.  Batista was pulled in the bottom of the inning for pinch hitter Jordany Valdespin, who was able to get a bunt hit and come around on a Scott Hairston bloop single.

Batista finished the game with a line of three innings, five hits, four earned runs, three walks and two strikeouts.  Earlier in the week Batista called the Mets “the best team in baseball,” a team he may not be a part of for much longer.

 Jeremy Hefner relieved Batista and was not much more effective after arriving from Triple-A Buffalo.  Hefner gave up two earned runs in his two innings of work, and is tentatively scheduled to start Wednesday for Johan Santana who was placed on the 15-day DL prior to the game.

Highly touted prospect Matt Harvey is a long shot option to start Wednesday for the Mets, as he starts for Buffalo tonight.  GM Sandy Alderson says that Harvey is a viable option for the Mets rotation soon though.

Chris Capuano threw a strong game against his former team, striking out nine in seven innings, giving up three earned runs on eight hits.

For the Mets offense, Ronny Cedeno hit his second homerun of the season, landing in the second deck in the sixth inning.  He finished the game 2 for 3, adding a double in addition to the homerun.

Scott Hairston was also able to get two hits in the game.

In addition to Valdespin’s pinch hit single, the Mets got more production from their bench as Daniel Murphy knocked a pinch hit triple into right center in the 8th inning.

The Mets had a surprise player come out of the bullpen today in All-Star R.A. Dickey.  It was his first relief outing of the season. He retired the first two batters of the inning quickly, but surrendered a two-out single to James Loney followed by a deep homerun to leftfield by Uribe.  Uribe entered the game 1 for his last 38 at the plate, but was able to knock in four RBI’s this afternoon en route to a 2 for 3 performance in which he also walked twice and scored three runs. 

With another series loss already guaranteed, the Mets will look to just salvage a win out of the series and avoid dropping under .500 Sunday afternoon.  Jon Niese (7-4, 3.58 ERA) will take the mound for the Mets and be opposed by Dodgers starter Nathan Eovaldi (1-6, 4.33 ERA).

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