Mets Game 13: Win Over Marlins

Mets 7 Marlins 6


As SNY’s Gary Cohen told us that Buddy Caryle “bent but didn’t break” at the end of the eighth to preserve the eventual 7-6 win, it was hard not to wince. The Marlins couldn’t beat the Mets in a single game but they managed to break a couple of them.

The loss of Travis d’Arnaud to a broken hand – albeit with Kevin Plawecki filling the void – is very harmful to the 10 and 3 Mets. d’Arnaud was hitting a groove with a nice, flatter swing and he’d improved on defense. Yeah, he just touched one of Matt Harvey’s up-and-in fastballs (official scoring: wild pitch… hmmm) but it’s been apparent his recovery from injury has meant his throwing improved dramatically. He also made a nice play on a pop-up on Prado in the fourth. Even d’Arnaud’s batting had improved and he ripped a couple of hits in this game. He has looked compact at the plate and the Mets will feel his loss, regardless of how you think he calls a game.

The loss of Jerry Blevins will get fewer headlines, but I’ll miss the guy and Mets’ fans should too. I’d written down how nice his glove flip play was and then it turns out he did it with a broken arm. His sweeping curveball looked unhittable (and actually was) to lefties and his body language displayed a guy who wouldn’t crumble under pressure.

A forearm break to Blevins’ pitching arm is terrible news. The knock itself looked pretty innocuous and Blevins was able to grip his hand afterwards. But – having broken my own arm and hand three times playing with damned leather balls – you don’t know about it until a half-hour later. The forecast is six weeks but it will be much longer than that. Even after the bone has healed, your arm feels like it’s burning if you move it a maximum speed. I’m hoping he’ll use the time off to strengthen up and post more comedic Twitter posts. blevinsI loved one with a portrait of him. Heal up quickly, Jerry.

The game itself showed the Mets’ politeness despite the Marlins attack on their players. When you know you’ll win in the end – and the Mets have that swagger about them – it’s only right you give the other guys a head start. The Mets didn’t bother to hit anything for the first three innings, wafting at pitches early in the count.

Even Matt Harvey (apparently laid low by illness) was leaving his fastball and change-up too high in the zone. Harvey did start to nail his pitches – especially his curveball – late in the 3rd and he’s mimicking Bartolo Colon’s approach of not walking anyone. Together they’re 6 and 0. I guess just throw strikes – and Harvey threw 63 of his 84 pitches for them – and let your opponent beat themselves. That says something about the standard of the NL East.

The Mets’ record is better than the quality of the team. But it’s fun to watch. Ruben Tejada even got in on the act, plating three with a muscled-up double. The Mets will regress (you think they’ll win 100?) but if they can get to 86-89 wins, I’ll get some money and they might make the playoffs.

It’s been strange to watch the Marlins. I didn’t think they’d be a great team despite their signings, but Marcell Ozuna’s lazy approach to Curtis Granderson’s single in the 4th shows you what the Mets have in Juan Lagares. Are the Marlins lazy? Giancarlo Stanton calling out the team might help. They have too many pieces to fail this badly. And Stanton – a computer generated version of the perfect baseball player – will carry them at times. Let’s hope when they get on their inevitable run they’ll be facing the Nationals.

Don’t call me a Pradophile but I love watching Martin Prado play. Ignore the fact he kinda botched Lagares’ double in the 9th. He barely ever screws up and his easy single off Harvey in the first shows what a natural hitter he is. I’d love to see him playing second base for the Mets, but maybe the price was too steep for the spendthrift Metsies.

Oh well. Daniel Murphy will probably heat up and he pulled a nice RBI hit to right. Before today, it had looked like he was been playing catch with left field because he’s been so late on the ball. But, except for his gaff in the first inning of the season, his defense has been almost acceptable. He should have turned the double play in the second but it wasn’t an easy one. Ultimately, I am tolerant and not a Murphophobe… so I hope for the best for him.

The sellout crowd was rocking and – even as the bones were breaking – the Mets keep rolling. Just, please, PLEASE, wrap all the Mets’ players in the padding that’s around Alex Torres’ head.

Let’s Go Michelin Mets.

Steve Hussy has been a Mets fan since 1984. An insomniac as a kid, he watched baseball highlights at 4 AM on British TV. He credits Darryl Strawberry's long homers as the first cause of his obsession with the Mets. Now he gets to watch Mets games that finish at 3 AM and teach bleary-eyed lessons to his film students the next day. He also gets to shell out hundreds of pounds to fly over to New York and watch the Mets occasionally win. Steve Hussy's other job is as a writer and editor for Murder Slim Press, which specialises in confessional and crime literature. You can find out more about him on Just no threats, please.
  1. Colin April 20, 2015 at 9:58 am
    Next man in. Lots and lots and lots of young Mets getting a chance to prove they belong. Lets see how they handle it.
  2. Extragooey April 20, 2015 at 11:55 am
    Don’t forget the top of the 6th on Saturday when Murphy got deked out by Gordon on a bluff steal and ended up out of position Yelich’s ground ball got through the vacated area for a single. Ended up not hurting the Mets, but it was another WTF Murphy defensive moment. By the way, Yelich just had a brutal series. I know what we’re getting with Murphy, but the long cold streaks kill me. Stay with him, but please, Collins, bat him lower in the lineup until he gets hot.
    • Murder Slim April 20, 2015 at 12:06 pm
      I couldn’t agree more, Mr Gooey.
      • Extragooey April 20, 2015 at 2:57 pm
        Another WTF Murphy defensive moment was when he ran in front of Tejada to turn a 1-4-3 double play when it should have been a routine 1-6-3 double play. I think it was a Niese start against the Philies. So yeah, more than just the gaffe in game 1. There have been others, just lucky they haven’t cost the Mets yet.
  3. Surly Duff April 20, 2015 at 1:02 pm
    I’m more worried about Blevins than TDA. Plawecki hit better than D’Arnaud in spring training, and I’m optimistic he’ll have a better initial transition to the big leagues than Travis did. But rock-solid LOOGYs like Blevins are hard to come by. Gary and Ron were just saying what a steal he was from the Nats when the bone-breaking line drive came. They were right. We’ll miss him, but it’ll be great to have him back for the second half of the season (and beyond…)
  4. Bat April 20, 2015 at 10:42 pm
    It’s kind of funny to see Blevins referred to as a “rock-solid LOOGY” by Surly Duff, and for him to say he’s more worried about the loss of Blevins than TDA.

    Sure, Plaw has generally hit in the minors and spring training, but TDA hit in the majors in the 2nd half of last year and in the first 12 games of this year.

    I know Blevins retires the first 15 batters he faced this year, but let’s not make it like we just lost Harvey. He’s a LOOGY with a mediocre track record for a career, and both Janish and I thought the Mets could have gotten someone just as good off the end of the spring training waiver wire when teams were paring rosters.

    If Blevins had retired 10 of the first 15 batters he faced instead of 15 of 15, would everyone be making such a fuss over this loss? Obviously he didn’t retire 10 of 15, but 15 of 15, but my point is that it is such a small sample size – equivalent to just 5 innings – that we shouldn’t overemphasize this small sample size: the guy isn’t Aroldis Chapman or Craig Kimbrel and I’m sure he would have gotten shelled a couple times in the near future. In fact, his track record as a journeyman left hander in his 30s practically guarantees that would have happened.

    Blevins’ loss is Robles and even more Gilmartin’s gain as Gilmartin will become the second lefty out of the pen after Alex Torres and his goofy hat.

    And if Gilmartin can’t hack it, then Scott Rice and Leatheritsch will get an opportunity (although Leather Rocket’s career numbers indicate a reverse split).

    By the way, does anyone else think Gilmartin looks more like a male model modeling the Mets uniform than a major league player? Gilmartin has this Cole Hamels-type face and is short and skinny – he looks like he is 5″9, 170 lbs regardless of what his stats say. He looks like a Calvin Klein model showcasing the Mets uniform more than a MLB player.

    By the way, sis

  5. Bat April 20, 2015 at 11:09 pm
    Also with respect to Plaw being a supposedly better receiver than TDA:

    You know what they say: the devil you know is better than the one you don’t.

    TDA is no great defensive catcher, but I think he’s improved and I think he’s adequate defensively with a plus bat.

    We’ll see soon enough if Plaw’s total package of defense and offense can be at least a minimal downgrade from TDA.

    And just to be clear, I wasn’t trying to pick on Surly Duff in the above post. It isn’t just him but all types of people on Mets Blog, Amazin Avenue, and Metsmerized Online going nuts about the loss of Blevins.

  6. argonbunnies April 21, 2015 at 7:49 am
    If we lost Blevins while he was actually allowing those baserunners he’ll inevitably allow, it wouldn’t sting so bad. But he was red hot right now. You hate to lose ANY player when they’re red hot. That combo of big breaking balls — a diving curve and a sweeping slider — was utter death to lefties as long as he kept them in the vicinity of the outside corner. I think that should be the goal for Gilmartin, to develop into that guy.

    Alex Torres is not, and never will be, that guy. At his best, he could be like Carlos Torres, a multi-inning guy who’s solid against either hander. That’s how the Rays used him in his one good year, and after watching how shaky his control has often been upon first entering, I think I see why. He may be that rare reliever who needs a batter or two to get in a groove but then actually will if you give him the chance.

    Plawecki’s on-base ability has been drastically over-hyped (based mostly on getting hit by pitches at lower levels) and a “below average” reported arm in the minors can look pretty bad in the majors, so yeah, I’m not assuming we won’t miss d’Arnaud, big time. At the same time, though, I am excited to see what Plawecki can do, which is more than I can say for Hansel Robles (who Terry will presumably ignore along with Erik Goeddel unless the Mets find themselves facing a 10-run deficit).

  7. Bat April 21, 2015 at 9:12 am
    I’m not sure I’d agree that Blevins is “utter death” to lefties. Again, I think you might want to look at his career rather than a total of 15 batters.

    Maybe I’m not saying it clearly, but in response to your comment that: “You hate to lose ANY player when they’re red hot,” I would say with a high degree of confidence that Blevins’s hot streak would have ended very soon, and he would have soon come back to earth.

    Very, very soon – as in within the next game or two.

    We shouldn’t make Blevins out to be something that he’s not. He’s been great for 15 batters over the course of a 12 game season, but he is not some dominating reliever who would have maintained this pace.

    History has shown that mediocre guys who start out the season like a ball of fire – Tuffy Rhodes way back when, Emilio Bonifacio a couple years ago, and Dee Gordon last year (just to name a few) – usually come back to earth and hit the ground pretty hard.

    The baseball season is a long one, and the good players that start off poorly (think Yelich this past weekend if you watched the games) eventually get to the top, and the mediocre players who soared at the beginning of the season eventually come back to the pack.

    The Mets will survive without Jerry Blevins.

    • gary s April 21, 2015 at 9:39 am
      I agree Blevins is not tat great and would have come back to earth. The problem is we have no Loogy to replace him with
    • Extragooey April 21, 2015 at 12:02 pm
      This is Blevin’s career line against lefties .206/.257/.322 according to baseball-reference. I’m not exactly sure what about that line you don’t like. To date he’s had 761 appearances against righties and 613 appearances against lefties. in 2014, he had 123 appearances against righties and 117 against lefties. The numbers suggest he hasn’t been used as a LOOGY until this year. I’m not exactly sure if his career numbers against lefties are “good” for a LOOGY, but he’s been doing well so far. This seems like a new role for him, and he’s been good at it so far.

      The issue isn’t Blevins. The Met bullpen was suspect before we lost Blevins and perhaps after losing Mejia to the suspension. They were already giving up runs before Blevin’s injury and did so as well on Saturday. I’ve always looked at it as we just need to holdout until we get Black and Parnell back. Now that’s looking less and less like it will be soon. Yes, the bullpen is more of a worry than the offense, and not just due to Blevins.

      • Bat April 21, 2015 at 2:10 pm
        Gooey, there is nothing I “don’t like” about Blevins’ career line.

        But guess what?

        Most LOOGY’s have a similar line to .206//.257/.322 when they are facing lefties.

        That’s why they’re called Lefty One Out Guys!!

        I agree that the issue is the whole pen because the Mets have a fairly good, entire bullpen on the DL:


        That’s five relievers on the DL that would combine to be a fairly formidable bullpen.

        • Extragooey April 21, 2015 at 3:11 pm
          Then what’s wrong with categorizing him as a “rock-solid LOOGY”? While I understand people are perhaps overreacting to losing a LOOGY as something that may sink a bullpen when it’s not and that’s probably what you are objecting to. On the other hand, it is a component of a good bullpen to have that lefty specialist. Losing Blevins loses that key guy you bring in to face the Freemans of the league. Give Blevins some credit, he’s good against lefties and has excelled so far in that role, albeit in limited sample size. We may all have nightmares from Freeman this coming series against the Braves.
  8. Bat April 21, 2015 at 5:01 pm
    The guy’s a decent piece to the pen, but let’s not exaggerate his importance to the team – that’s all I’m saying.

    Hopefully one of these righties on the team like Goeddel or Robles has reverse splits and can neutralize Freeman and similar lefties.