Gut Reaction: Nationals 3 Mets 2 (9/24/17)

We got what we pretty much expected on this beautiful Sunday afternoon. Marquee pitching matchup? Check. Washington beating the Mets? Check. Nationals taking their final series of the year vs. New York? Check.

Max Scherzer and Jacob deGrom matched each other pitch for pitch, but better, more timely hitting by the Nationals allowed Scherzer to come out on top. deGrom pitched six innings, giving up five hits, walking none, striking out 11 and giving up two earned runs. Scherzer went the same distance, giving up two fewer hits, walking one more, striking out one less and surrendering only one earned run, which the Mets got in the first inning. Brandon Nimmo drilled a 2-0 slider over the right centerfield fence. In the third, the Nats’ Trea Turner matched that poke with a man on to give Washington a lead it would not relinquish. They tacked on a run in the fifth, when the speedy Michael A. Taylor beat out a dribber up the third base line, stole second and advanced to third on Travis d’Arnaud’s errant peg and scored on a dunker of a single to left by only-good-against-the-Mets Jose Lobaton.

After that, the Mets specialized in stranding runners and bad judgment. They left runners on in the fifth and sixth, and had Phillip Evans doubled off first in the seventh. It got better the next inning, though. In the eighth, the Mets clawed back a run when Juan Lagares led off with a base hit off Ryan Madson, and after Asdrubal Cabrera struck out pinch-hitting for Robles, consecutive singles by Nori Aoki and Jose Reyes brought Lagares around. Nimmo struck out on a tough 3-2 pitch, but d’Arnaud walked to load the hassocks. That was it for Madson. Sammy Solis came on to face pinch hitter Kevin Plawecki, who worked the count to 3-2 before striking out to end that part of things. Hansel Robles and Paul Sewald each delivered one of their best respective outings of the year, but to no purpose, as the Mets could not deliver enough runs against the Washington bullpen, either. And for good measure, the Mets left two runners in scoring position in the ninth.

Double header against the Braves tomorrow, Lucas Sims and Max Fried taking on Chris Flexen and Seth Lugo.

12 comments for “Gut Reaction: Nationals 3 Mets 2 (9/24/17)

  1. 1999
    September 24, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    It was kind of weird how Collins said in the post-game interview that DeGrom “became the ace” with all of the injuries that surrounded him this year. He has been the ace since the year he arrived.

    How much validity do people here think there is to Keith’s complaints about the farm system teaching the kids to look for walks?

    • September 24, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      How can you watch the club’s two top prospects, Amed Rosario (3 BB in 149 PA) and Dominic Smith (9 BB in 160 PA), and conclude that there’s too much emphasis in the farm system on drawing walks?

      • 1999
        September 24, 2017 at 10:41 pm

        Maybe he figures that not getting the walks does not necessarily mean that they are not looking for walks, or that they are just exceptions. I would think that it is a flawed approach to evaluate a farm system by its best output.

        • September 25, 2017 at 8:12 am

          “Maybe he figures that not getting the walks does not necessarily mean that they are not looking for walks”
          I sure hope this isn’t what he’s thinking because this is, um, not good.

          “I would think that it is a flawed approach to evaluate a farm system by its best output.”
          Yes, pay no attention to Mike Trout or Jacob deGrom or Bryce Harper – let’s focus on Joe Shlabotnick, instead.

          Are Rosario and Smith the exceptions? Perhaps. What do we see when we look at the BB% of the guys in the majors now when they played in Las Vegas this year?

          Nimmo – 16.7%
          Taijeron – 13.1%
          Reynolds – 11.1%
          Evans – 8.2%
          Cecchini – 8.0%
          Smith – 7.8%
          Plawecki – 5.8%
          Rosario – 5.4%
          Rivera – 4.5%

          There’s no discernable pattern to me here. If there’s an exception, it’s Nimmo, who had the largest percent difference between he and the next closest person.

          The Mets pay lip service to emphasizing walks but after they’re in the system, there’s no visible sign that promotions or playing time are based on them in any meaningful way. Rivera is ahead of Reynolds in the pecking order, despite Reynolds being a high draft pick and Rivera a NDFA and despite Reynolds having a healthy walk percentage and Rivera being outright bad and despite Reynolds’ clear defensive advantage.

          There’s a perception that the Mets value OBP. It’s just hard to see in reality.

          • Eraff
            September 25, 2017 at 9:20 am

            Nimmo arrived at his first professional stop as a guy who looked at a lot of pitches. His walk rate has always been relatively high.

            I believe most players are predisposed by personality in their general approach.

            Swing Mechanics have become a huge part of “teaching hitting” at all levels….. against higher pitching levels (especially at MLB) the reality of hitting situations becomes extraordinarily important to the success of any hitter. I hope that is “what to work on” for Nimmo and Rosario and the rest.

  2. MattyMets
    September 24, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    The way the rotation is falling into place we could close out the season with Syndergaard, Harvey and deGrom in the last 3 at Philly. That would be nice to see.

  3. Metsense
    September 25, 2017 at 7:37 am

    A tough loss for deGrom that could have been avoided with some clutch hitting. He is a pleasure to watch pitch. He is having a very good season and with Syndergaard coming back in 2018 the Mets will have a formidable one-two punch. The Mets priority should be to get a top of the line starting pitcher to slot in with these two and also another back end reliever as good as Ramos. Good pitching keeps a team competitive.

    • MattyMets
      September 25, 2017 at 7:59 am

      Metsense – That plus one of J.D. Martinez, Jay Bruce, or Mike Moustakas to solidify the middle of the order and we’re back in business.

      • Jimmy P
        September 25, 2017 at 10:02 am

        Moustakas: just say no.

        But I’m not alarmed, because no way it’s happening.

        You should be worried about the knee, the declining defense, the horrid OBP, the juice year HR numbers, the extreme cost.

        Extend Jake.

  4. Jimmy P
    September 25, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Keith is funny. He doesn’t always articulate these fine points all that well.

    Let us remember: Keith walked a lot. He was a smart, selective hitter.

    He senses, I believe, an approach that is over-taught and leads to passivity. He misses the aggressiveness of a dangerous guy at the plate. But I don’t think this is a Mets problem so much as an MLB issue.

    I mean: He’s wrong in what he says, as Brian clearly points out. But I think he’s trying to get at some deeper dissatisfaction with the game today and can’t quite identify it.

    • Metsense
      September 25, 2017 at 11:06 am

      Keith could foul off a pitcher’s pitch with two strikes against him or if the pitch was too close to take. Right now Nimmo is taking the close pitches for strikes without swinging. Nimmo, with batting experience, should be able to make this adjustment.

      • Jimmy P
        September 25, 2017 at 1:23 pm

        I also think he doesn’t like the passive approach on the “cripple counts,” 2-0, 3-1, where hitters are looking for the perfect pitch and taking too many for strikes.

        The reality is that if getting walks is part of your game, you must take strikes, you must force pitchers to throw at least three strikes.

        Nimmo absolutely looks for walks, and it’s not wrong of him to do that. Like Eraff says, it’s a situational adjustment that he’ll have to make.

        He’s played about as well as anybody could have hoped.

        Lagares still can’t hit. All he’s done is further cement that perception.

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