Mets Game 139: Win Over Marlins

Mets 8 Marlins 6

Mets collect their first meaningless win of September.

Mets Game Notes

DISCLOSURE: Last night, I found something MUCH more interesting, fulfilling, entertaining, and better to do than watch the Mets play a meaningless game against the Marlins. So the following notes are based on a very quick zip through the game via the modern magic of DVR.

Jonathon Niese “earned” his 8th win of the season. Hmm … 6 earned runs on 10 hits in 6 innings? A win, sure, but a positive performance? Not quite. Depends on whether you want to judge the result or the process. I didn’t like the process — he’s still landing incorrectly (a correctable flaw), which puts a tremendous amount of stress on his already fragile shoulder.

Is it a coincidence that Brad Penny‘s initials are “B.P.” and that’s what he was throwing? Penny was living in the middle of the plate, which is generally a bad place to be. Usually, MLB pitchers like to live on the edges, putting the ball where it’s more difficult to hit. I think Penny and A.J. Burnett should retire together in mid-October.

Give credit where credit is due: Penny served up meatballs, and the Mets batters mashed them into flat, two-minute hamburger patties. Nice to see from a club that has struggled to hit for most of the second half. And the first half, for that matter. And all of 2013, as long as we’re on the subject.

In only the second game of September, David Wright has already doubled the extra-base total he collected in all of August, and matched his combined extra-base total since the All-Star Exhibition through Labor Day. As Mel Allen might say, “How about that?”

In addition to providing his world-class defense, Juan Lagares put on a clinic in the batter’s box, lashing line drives all over the field in a 4-for-4 day that included a walk, three runs scored, and an RBI. But a request to the people who develop the talking points for every Mets game: please, please, please, PLEASE stop the gushing over Lagares and the obvious politicking for a Gold Glove. It’s far overdone and now obnoxious, to the point where not only do I not want to hear it, I may start holding it against the young outfielder. I get that it’s necessary to hype individuals in a lost season, in part to provide some modicum of excitement and enticement toward season ticket sales for 2015. But every time I hear Gary Cohen talk about Lagares being up for a platinum glove as the best defender in the league, or Ron Darling blurting that Lagares is the best outfielder in baseball, I feel like I need to take a shower. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love watching Lagares (as stated many times previously), and I’m thrilled to see him becoming a complete player and possibly developing into a star before our eyes. But I really, really don’t like being told what to like. Just let it be, let happen what will happen. We can fully enjoy watching Juan Lagares be magnificent without anyone reminding us every time he appears on the screen.

Speaking of defense, it could be argued that the difference in this game was lack of execution by the Fish. In the first frame, Penny induced a routine double-play grounder from Curtis Granderson, but first baseman John Baker bungled the ball and could only get Granderson at first, allowing Lagares to reach second. David Wright followed with an RBI single and Penny allowed two more singles and another run before the third out was recorded. Of course, it could also be argued that, had Penny emerged from the first inning with the game scoreless, Miami manager Mike Redmond might have been fooled into thinking Penny was having an okay night, and thus may have left him in the game long enough for the Mets to batter him for another two runs anyway. Surely, Redmond did not want to make a call to the bullpen as early as the fourth inning.

Again, Giancarlo Stanton might have hit more than one homerun in this game. His long flyout to right in the initial inning might have been over other fences. He is a beast, and looks like a man among boys in a way we haven’t seen since the glorious days of PEDs.

Always happy to see a local guy get into the game. Colts Neck, NJ native Anthony DeSclafani hurled one inauspicious inning, allowing three runs on four hits. He did make Curtis Granderson look foolish, though, so there’s that.

For the curious, no, Jeff Conine did not make an appearance. However, it’s rumored that Robb Nen was warming up in the bullpen.

Next Mets Game

Mets and Marlins do it again at 7:10 PM on Wednesday night. Jacob deGrom faces Tom Koehler.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Walnutz15 September 3, 2014 at 8:38 am
    Good to see that even after all these years, Brad Penny can be counted on to get the Met bats going. He’s really been atrocious vs. us throughout his Major League career.

    Was funny to take this lil’ stroll down Memory Lane yesterday:

    September 02, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    MIAMI — It’s the top of the first as this is written and nothing has happened yet, but Marlins starter Brad Penny has a history with the club.

    Thirteen years ago, he was feuding with the Mets, and the Miami Herald recounted it today.

    It began in spring training in 2001. First, Penny hit Mike Piazza with a pitch. Then, he was angry after Tsuyoshi Shinjo homered off him and proceeded to crouch down and touch home plate.

    But the tipping point, Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald writes, happened on May 24 at Shea.

    With the Mets up eight runs, Shinjo swung at a 3-0 pitch, breaking one of the mystical unwritten rules of baseball. This angered the Marlins and Penny. He then hit Shinjo the following day.

    Then it got heated. Bobby Valentine came out and got into a staring contest with Penny. Next, Todd Zeile homered off Penny and ran off a bunch of words that can’t be printed here.

    It all resulted in bench-clearing situation, though nothing actually came of it.

    “I think Bobby Valentine had a lot to do with it, with the stuff he was saying in the paper,” Penny told the Herald. “And as a manager, you can say whatever you want. You don’t have to bat. I really would prefer him to have to step in at the plate.”

    Instead, he visited him in office the next day before the game.

    The feud seems to be over, according to Penny. But it will always live on.

    ………………he really sucks vs. the Mets.

  2. wohjr September 3, 2014 at 12:28 pm
    nutz, this is awesome! thanks for the trip down memory lane