Every Loss Should Not Ignite Panic!

An article by posted on May 10, 2010

Why is it that whenever the 2010 Mets win a baseball game, I feel like our fan base reenacts the final scene to “40 Year Old Virgin,” to the tune of Age of Aquarius?

Then, whenever the 2010 Mets lose a baseball game, our fan base does their best Ghostbusters impression? 

What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor. Real wrath of God type stuff! Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling! Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes and volcanoes, the dead rising from the grave!

Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… MASS HYSTERIA!

First, can we all agree that not every loss means the Mets have to make a roster decision or make a trade, or fire a GM or Manager?

I’m not a Gary Matthews Jr. fan, but when the Mets lost to the Phillies during Santana’s start, it seemed like nobody with two hands and a keyboard was willing to point a finger of blame to the guy who gave up 10 runs, but merely the fact that Gary Matthews Jr. was in the lineup meant the Mets lost, and he needs to go.

I am willing to bet that I can find a suggested roster move, firing, or trade after every single Mets loss. Whether it be Tatis, FCat, GMJ, Maine, Castillo, or Perez. It’s really becoming embarrassing. This team is giving you and me a better season than we could’ve asked for prior to Opening Day. This team is playing watchable baseball, which is something we haven’t had since 2008.

There are two sexy requests out there, and every single time the Mets lose a game they are screamed by Mets fans. The first is to replace Oliver Perez with Hisanori Takahashi. The second is to call up Chris Carter for either Gary Matthews Jr. or Frank Catalanotto. 

Now, first of all, when the Mets received Carter in the Wagner trade, the majority of you were probably calling for Minaya’s head. Secondly, not every roster move will have the same effect as Ike Davis’s call up. You have no idea what Carter can or will do in the majors. You also have to consider a backup plan for what happens with GMJ and FCat. Are either of them hurting the Mets so badly to the point where we can’t win games because of them? Of course not.

So why make the move now? Why not wait to see if Carter is just hot right now or if he really is proving himself to be a big leaguer. To have a public outcry over who should be the 24th or 25th man on the major league roster is just silly. Would I love to see Carter get a chance and see GMJ or FCat gone? Absolutely. But I can’t think of one time when the Mets lost a game where I thought and knew “man Chris Carter would’ve helped us win tonight.” 

The second move is of course my dear friend Oliver Perez. First of all, you can’t move Perez to the bullpen. If you think his lack of control hurts your eyeballs now, just imagine how you’d feel if he was coming out of the bullpen.

Everybody wants Takahashi to replace Perez. First of all, I love Takahashi. I may even get a Takahashi jersey. However, I find him to be of more of a value out of the pen than starting.

Think of how many times he’s come into a tough spot and kept the team off the scoreboard this year.

Furthermore, everybody is all over Perez after yesterday. Here’s a news flash for you my friends. So far, Perez has been more reliable than John Maine. Maine’s last two starts are the only reason you’re not asking for his spot over Perez’s. So if Maine lays an egg tonight, does that mean you want Takahashi to take his spot now?

On a previous blog, a kneejerk reaction, somebody asked if there is a worse pitcher in the National League right now than Oliver Perez. The answer to that is yes.

There is a stat that MLB has called Game Score. Yes, if you hate sabermetrics, please close your eyes…this may get scary.

What it does is it measures the overall performance of a pitcher. Is it perfect? No of course not. But, it gives you a good measuring stick to see how well a pitcher does every night he starts.

The formula has a pitcher begin with 50 points. From there you add a point for every out recorded. You add 2 points for each inning they complete after the 4th inning. Add 1 point for a K, and subtract 1 point for a BB. Subtract 4 points for each earned run, and subtract 2 points for each unearned run.

Now I’m not saying this is how you should *always* evaluate a pitching performance. However, it does paint a fuller picture of each starting performance. It certainly does not work in favor of a pitcher like Perez due to it’s subtraction of points based on Walks.

To give you an example, yesterday Dallas Braden’s perfect game was 9IP, 0H, 0ER, 0BB, 6K. He scored a 93. Oliver’s gem yesterday earned him a 37.

So who is worse than Oliver after May 9th on average? Well for starters, Perez’s average game score is a 46.8 through yesterday. Really not stellar at all. Here are some names of pitcher’s that have a lower average than him though.

Johnny Cueto 46.3
Bronson Arroyo 46.0
Chad Billingsley 45.3
Jair Jurrjens 44.8
John Maine 44.3
Vicente Padilla 43.5
Aaron Cook 43.2
Kenshin Kawakami 42.8
Carlos Zambrano 42.0
Derek Lowe 41.4  (Keep in mind it was either sign Ollie, or sign Lowe)
Doug Davis 35.5
Jeff Suppan 31.5
Jason Marquis 19.3

Those are just some notable names. There are 39 starting pitchers who have a lower average score than Perez.

For those who cannot stand Sabermetrics, I’ll break it down to you without it.

April 10th: Tavares hit a triple that scored 2 runs and then singled to drive in 2 more.

Perez gave up 4 earned runs in 5.2IP. When he left the Mets were only able to score 2 runs off of John Lannan. In the 3rd Frenchy GDP’d with Cora being out at home…Perez kept the Mets in the game.

April 16th in STL: Perez left the game down 1-0 after 6.1 IP. Faced Chris Carpenter.

April 21st: Oliver Perez leaves the game after 5IP, down 3-1 against Carlos Silva and the Cubs

April 27th: Went 3IP with a 3-0 lead, and then in the 4th got into a lot of trouble and was taken out for Takahashi. ets won the game 10-5

May 3 @ Cincy: Pitched 6 full innings and left the game with a tie score of 2-2.

And then yesterday.

So I’m sorry but he’s the #5 starter in the rotation and his job is to keep the team in the game and give them a chance to win. Can you honestly put your hatred for the guy aside and at least admit that in 4 out of his 6 starts he gave the Mets a chance to win?

So while yes, Oliver Perez is not pretty, and sometimes he’s frustrating and unwatchable. The truth is, if you actually examine his 2010 season against say a guy like Derek Lowe, you’ll see that Perez is clearly not the worst pitcher in the NL.

Does Perez need to perform better? No doubt about it. However, the Mets had opportunities to win that game yesterday when Perez wasn’t pitching.

Let’s remember that the next time the Mets lose, it doesn’t mean we need to trade for this guy or trade for that guy, or send this guy to the bullpen, or designated this guy for assignment.

If the Mets decide to call up Carter, awesome. If they decide R.A. Dickey is the right move to make in the rotation, then so be it. (Although I’d bet a lot of $ he doesn’t turn out to be any type of answer.)

It’s May 10th, and the New York Mets are 17-14. Enjoy it. If the Mets record dictates panic, then let’s panic. Until that day, take every game for what it is. Just one game.

About the Author ()

Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.

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