Mets Game 22: Loss To Marlins

Marlins 7 Mets 3

It was a close game … until it wasn’t.

Mets Game Notes

I didn’t see the entire ballgame so will be brief based on what I saw.

Dan Dunn should get glasses, not only because he can’t seem to find the plate when handed a lead and walks the leadoff batter, but also because if he gets the right frames, might resemble Walter White — and THAT would be intimidating.

dan-dunn-walter-white-2

Speaking of semi-doppelgangers, every time the TV cameras veer into the Mets dugout, I have to look twice to decide whether I’m viewing Michael Cuddyer or Kevin Long. The trick I’ve figured out is that if the man is wearing a jacket, it’s probably Long. Usually.

From the bits and pieces of Mets games I’ve seen this year, the Wilmer Flores / Daniel Murphy tandem up the middle so far is not quite providing enough offense to make up for the other deficiencies in each player’s game (which includes baserunning and mental execution in addition to defense). Of course, that judgment is based entirely on my non-scientific, non-statistical, eyes-only analysis, with no numerical measurement nor backing. It’s also a very small sample size.

Toward the previous comment, my curmudgeonly attitude toward official scoring continues as hits continue to be awarded on plays that should be errors. Also, there are many cases in which no error is marked in the box score, even though an error is made. For example, Murphy committed at least three “errors” by my count during this ballgame, but was charged with none. That was mostly due to official scoring rules, but just because something doesn’t show up in the boxscore, doesn’t mean it doesn’t negatively affect the game and, either directly or indirectly, the final score.

Going back to Dunn, the Mets had him on the ropes and he somehow managed to squeak out of it. He couldn’t buy a strike yet found a few somewhere, then was bailed out by a double play. The game could’ve turned out soooo differently had Lucas Duda not swung at ball four. No criticism on Duda, who should have been swinging there if he felt comfortable doing so on that pitch, but it’s amazing how razor-close to disaster Dunn was, and moments later escaped. That’s baseball, right?

More on the Marlins bullpen in this series, not necessarily in this game …

A.J. Ramos has an outstanding stat line in his career against the Mets, yet it seems like every time I see him pitch against them, he’s awful. Must be dumb luck.

Say this seven times fast: See sidearmed Steve Cishek stink by the seashore.

As for the Mets bullpen …

Has Alex Torres‘ effectiveness been tied to batters being distracted by the Elephant Man protective hat? Is it possible the hat provides a “batter’s eye”-like effect, making it easier for batters to see the ball out of his hand?

Hansel Robles whiffed Giancarlo Stanton in a big spot. I liked Robles in that spot because he provided an element of mystery. If you go back in the archives here at MetsToday, for perhaps 7 years we’ve been advocating the use of rotating bullpen arms that shuttle back and forth from the minors as a means of being effective by virtue of mystique. I’d love for some stathead to test the theory of batters facing pitchers for the very first time in the pitchers’ careers, and whether there is indeed an advantage for pitchers who are “unknown” / unseen / have incomplete scouting reports. If there’s any credence to the theory, the Mets would do well to tap their minor league pitching depth and constantly overturn bullpen arms with an eye toward limiting exposure.

Ichiro Suzuki is a treasure. Never mind the homerun he backspun into the right-field seats with a perfectly level swing — he’s one of those players at the tail end their careers for whom I drop everything and watch intently. Off the top of my head it’s Ichiro and Chase Utley in that realm, and can’t think of any others who are in that part of their career where I want to make sure I see every at-bat before they leave the game.

Next Mets Game

Mets head back to home sweet home to face the suddenly slugging Nationals for a four-game weekend set. Game one on Thursday begins at 7:10 PM and pits Jacob deGrom vs. Stephen Strasburg.

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 April 30, 2015 at 8:14 am
    Good to see the RETURN OF JANISH!!!!!

    Not as good to see?

    ……….the return of “TERRY-BALL” – which, of course, we know is defined as “using 3 pitchers to get 2-eighth inning outs; down by 4 runs on the road. I don’t know about anyone else, but I just wouldn’t have felt complete if he didn’t use 4 relievers, there.

    “Everyday” Alex Torres, giving way to Hansel Robles, giving way to Erik Goeddel, giving way to Jack “Reverse Splits – but will be used as a LOOGY” Leathersich*****.

    We’ve got the best record in baseball, no disputing this —– but we’ll just see how things shape up, as the same ol’ Collins will be in that dugout as games hopefully start to mean something later on into the season.

    Guy sucks.

    ***** Leathersich splits through the years:

    2015
    vs R: .071/.235/.071 (.307) 17PA
    vs L: .300/.300/.600 (.900) 10PA

    2014
    vs R: .217/.307/.292 (.599) 140PA
    vs L: .235/.356/.376 (.733) 101PA

    2013
    vs R: .181/.308/.292 (.600) 173PA
    vs L: .329/.475/.408 (.883) 99PA

    2012
    vs R: .162/.276/.237 (.513) 205PA
    vs L: .267/.370/.337 (.707) 101PA

    Terry Translation:

    “YOU GIMME THAT BALL RIGHT NOW, JACK — THERE’S NO WAY YOU’RE FACING THIS HECHAVARRIA…………HE’S RIGHTY, YOU’RE LEFTY FOR CHRISSAKES!!!”

    • Extragooey May 1, 2015 at 10:44 am
      This post was pretty prophetic so i’m gonna give you credit here. Someone send these numbers to the Mets!

      Hidden in all these Mets defensive nightmares is how terrible the bullpen has been. May be more of an issue than the defense.

  2. Walnutz15 April 30, 2015 at 8:19 am
    ^ Not that that quote was how last night played out. I can see it being that way in future appearances, though —- where Leatersich is brought in to fact a lefty, and promptly taken out with a RHH on deck.

    Hopefully, someone from the front office (aka – “the big boys”) gets Collins’ ear to let him know how to utilize the bullpen the rest of the way. Not unsimilar to how they were writing out his lineup for him, starting on Opening Day.

    Gotta minimize risk any way you can with him.

  3. friend April 30, 2015 at 8:53 am
    Welcome back from the DL (Disinterested List).
  4. Bat April 30, 2015 at 9:47 am
    Janish has returned with a vengeance in the last couple days after not seeing an inning of Mets baseball through the first 15 games or so of the season.

    Just my personal opinion but I think Flores at SS is satisfactory so long as the 2B is above average, which is not currently the case. Flores makes silly plays, but he also manages to make more of the routine plays than Murphy in my humble opinion.

    Gun to the head if I had to choose Flores at SS or Murphy at 2B defensively, I’d go with Flores at SS.

    • Walnutz15 April 30, 2015 at 10:08 am
      If someone tells you they’re legitimately happy with Murphy as a position-playing 2B, then it’s clear that you’re never going to be able to engage in an intelligent debate with them.

      Much like it “was okay” to have him playing there the past handful of years, it’s likely going to come back to bite us down the stretch. Not unlike having Terry Collins as a manager.

      Overall, I’m just happy that the Mets have been able to take advantage of some opportunities that have been presented to them within the division; and haven’t balked at stepping up to the challenge of playing short-handed. Gotta be able to weather the storm when a few different guys hit the shelf, and the Mets have.

      Curious to see what transpires this summer.

  5. r. April 30, 2015 at 12:40 pm
    Welcome back, Joe. I’ve missed your often smarmy but always insiteful analysis! I have been looking for your comments on the sore neck, arm, triceps, etc pitchers and the disasters to come. I agree wholeheartedly about Ichiro – Stanton can overpower you but Ichiro can kill you w a thousand cuts!
  6. DaveSchneck April 30, 2015 at 8:07 pm
    It’s a chicken and egg question – what came first, Joe’s return or the Mets losing series?