When there is dominant pitching, you want to reward that with a win. You hope the offense stands behind their pitcher and score some runs. Last night the Mets left ten men on base losing to the worst team in baseball, the Chicago Cubs.
Zack Wheeler had a one run stellar outing in 6 2/3 innings. He threw 107 pitches with 67 being strikes. Only two hits got past him. The score was 1-0 Mets through 7-innings, then came the bullpen. The Cubs tied it in the eighth and won it in the ninth in part to a misread hop by David Wright. Maybe he caught what Chris Young had last week. The game should’ve gone into extras. Actually, the Mets should’ve won it way before.
The team had nine hits, but for the life of them, they couldn’t do a thing with that. They went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Looking at that is disheartening. Despite the amazing stretch of games they have won with the new hitting coach, that key hit is still lacking.
With a little over a month before the All-Star game, you have to hope that GM Sandy Alderson has something up his sleeve. Pitching performances like Wheeler’s last night cannot go in vain. You leave your pitchers unprotected and severely frustrated. You can hear it in Wheeler’s interview last night. Matt Harvey sure knows what that feeling is like. He’s been there where his teammates have left him hung out to dry.
What message does it send to those pitchers in the minors waiting for their turn? They will undoubtedly wonder what will happen to them when they come up the ranks. Will their GM protect them with quality players? Will they have guys behind them that will have their back in the field and the basepaths?
The next question is what do you give up for that big bat? Are you willing to sacrifice your pitching depth for that elusive bat? With so many pitchers going down for elbow surgery or some other surgery throughout the majors and minors, the question does warrant asking.
A pitcher can only control what he does on the mound. His job is to keep his team in the game. Wheeler did that last night. He is upset and rightfully so. Now the players need to step it up to get guys home when in scoring position and Alderson to do what he is paid to do. He needs to protect his pitchers.