Bulleted epilogue to last night’s 6-4 loss to the Mets, focusing on pitching and catching.
- Looking back, here’s my biggest issue: Mike Lieberthal needed to speed up the game during the seventh and eighth innings. Notice how the crowd came alive when the pace of Ryan Madson and Ugueth Urbina slowed. Every pitch became tedious, they missed their spots, and hitters had the upper hand each pitch. Speed it up, and it gives control back to the pitcher.
- Urbina has an 89-90 mph fastball and depends entirely on hitting his spots. When he doesn’t, even Ramon Castro can tag him. Eye-opening point raised by Mike Cunningham in the comments from last night. Urbina leads the team with five blown saves. Home runs have killed him, as predicted by sabermatrician Mike Berquist of A Citizen’s Blog, who analyzed the trade back in June. Urbina continues to be an extreme flyball pitcher.
- Ryan Madson’s changeup isn’t a secret anymore, but control was his primary issue last night. Larry Andersen has talked about his mechanics being off this season. Madson has a good fastball, great changeup and a breaking pitch he rarely uses. It’s a nice package, but it’s worthless if he’s not in control. Notice Aaron Fultz and not Rheal Cormier was warming up in the seventh. I'd use Fultz instead of Madson some nights depending on the opposition, just to throw a left-hander in a game late to keep the opposition off balance.
- With the way Madson, Urbina and Wagner have been pitching, it appeared to be a smart call replacing Robbie Tejeda – but only on paper. I remember hearing the philosophy this season would be "decisions based on instinct." It's been the opposite. I could picture Tejeda going the distance last night. He was getting better as the game wore on, as many young, strong pitchers often do. Besides David Wright, I don’t consider the Mets smart hitters. They’re the perfect opponent for "effective wild" Tejeda.