Mets Games 152, 153 vs. Marlins
Marlins 4 Mets 3
Mets 9 Marlins 1
Mets follow up Wilmer Flores Day with loss to the Fish, losing the series and dropping to fourth place in the NL East.
Mets Game Notes
Excuse me for not posting sooner, and for posting so little. It’s September, which means that my job in the wine industry has become incredibly busy (about half of our revenues are generated in the final quarter) and the Mets are playing meaningless games.
Was it just a week ago that some Mets fans were dreaming of seeing a Wild Card miracle? Mathematically, it’s still possible, but the Mets are 9.5 games behind in the Wild Card race with 9 games to play. So, the Pirates would have to lose all 10 of their final games, and the Mets would have to win all 9 of theirs, AND the Mets would also have to jump over the Brewers, Braves, and Marlins, in order to gain that second Wild Card spot.
After Wilmer Flores went ape on Fish pitching, there was noise about him being an option at shortstop next year, supported by Terry Collins‘ positive statements about Flores’ defense and hype from spin doctor Sandy Alderson. In the past two days, nearly every Mets-centered media outlet has discussed the “possibility” of Flores being the “answer” at shortstop. Really? Is that what happens when someone hits two homers against a struggling pitcher in late September? Flores has played 49 games and 429 innings at shortstop in MLB this year. There were times when his defense was passable. There were times when he embarrassed himself. He’s made a few diving plays to draw oohs and aahhs. Has he looked like he can be an everyday MLB shortstop? I will be really, really nice and say that there isn’t clear and convincing evidence to say one way or the other; the sample size is too small. Certainly, there isn’t a Gold Glove in his future. I don’t think the vague comparisons to Jhonny Peralta are fair to either player. Peralta has posted a UZR in the double digits in three of the last four years — he’s not nearly as bad as people make him out to be. To be fair, Flores’ UZR/150 at shortstop this year is 12.8 — but again it’s a really small sample size. My eyes are seeing slow feet and a lack of athleticism for the position. I think Flores would have to be a 25-HR, .825 OPS hitter to make up for the subpar defense. Maybe he will be — we’ve been hearing comparisons to Miguel Cabrera for years. Color me pessimistic.
One “talent evaluator” in the NY Post article was quoted as saying “… they have bigger issues than shortstop. Left field is probably their biggest need.” I’d love to chat with that talent evaluator — if you’re out there, please connect in the comments section. For the last 35 years I’ve been under the assumption that shortstop is one of the most important positions on the baseball diamond, with left field one of the least important — which is why the very best athletes are always placed at shortstop (from little league on up), and the worst athletes are sent out to left field. But I guess if you think Flores is a great athlete and can handle shortstop for a championship club, then, yeah, maybe left field is more of a “need.” Here’s an idea: how about trying Flores in left field? At the very worst, a Flores platoon with Kirk Nieuwenhuis or Matt den Dekker could prove productive. And if Flores is enough of an athlete to be an everyday MLB shortstop, he should be athletic enough to play passable defense in left. He’ll have to hit like a left fielder to stay at shortstop, so …
Hey, Bartolo Colon has 14 wins. He’s had 26 decisions among his 29 starts. That’s a large number of decisions in this day and age.
Interesting factoid: the Mets are 39-60 against teams not from Miami, Philly, Texas, Colorado or Arizona. Well, games against those teams count too, but, it makes you wonder how the Mets will do next year against the better clubs.
Next Mets Game
Mets begin a three-game series against the Braves on Friday at 7:35 PM. Zack Wheeler faces Julio Teheran. Atlanta has lost 8 of their last 10, and suddenly has a .500 record. Four of those losses came to Nationals, and another three the result of being swept by the lowly Texas Rangers. The Bravos have scored 22 runs in those 10 contests, so their offense is slumping mightily.