Mets Game 106: Loss to Marlins
Marlins 7 Mets 3
Dat wuz one Uggla loss …
The Mets and Marlins exchanged blows and the lead for seven and a half innings, before the Fish broke the game wide open against the Mets’ bullpen in the bottom of the eighth.
The Mets scored first, getting two runs in the second frame thanks to a run-scoring triple by red-hot Fernando Tatis and an RBI single by Damion Easley. John Maine cruised through the first four frames to protect the lead, then gave up a leadoff homer to catcher John Baker to start the fifth. Maine had complained of shoulder tightness between innings, and was removed after getting a flyout from opposing pitcher Ricky Nolasco. Carlos Muniz came on and was hit hard by the Marlins, yet somehow escaped his inning and a third allowing only one run — a run that tied the game two all.
The game remained tied until the eighth, when the Mets went ahead thanks again to Tatis, who hit into a fielder’s choice to score David Wright.
But then the dam broke in the bottom of the inning, as the Marlins pounded first Joe Smith then Scott Schoeneweis for 5 runs on 6 hits to produce the final score. Dan Uggla drove in the first run of the inning to tie the game, and the Fish scored four more times before the dust settled.
Maine described his “shoulder tightness” as “a pain in the back of my shoulder”. That’s not good — the back of the shoulder is where the rotator cuff resides. John’s mechanical flaw that we covered last week IS without a doubt the reason for the pain. He’s slowly tearing his rotator, and the MRI will show at the very least a strain. Bet on this: the MRI will show something inconclusive, the Mets will describe the injury as either “a shoulder strain”, “a strain of the rotator cuff”, or “tendinitis”, and announce he’ll miss his next start. What they should do, is put him on the 15-day DL right away. What will happen instead, is John will assure everyone he’s fine, he’ll pitch through the pain, and damage his shoulder even worse — while pitching poorly. Bottom line? Count him out as an effective pitcher for the remainder of the season. I hate to be so negative but this injury was coming with the way his mechanics have been throughout his career.
Tatis and Easley were the only two Mets to collect more than one hit.
Carlos Delgado collected his first infield single since little league in the third inning, then lost his mind and attempted to steal second. Legging out that hit apparently gave him “beer legs”.
I’m not getting Omar Minaya’s comparisons of Carlos Muniz to Chad Cordero, circa 2003. To me, Muniz is more comparable to the present Chad Cordero. Don’t get me wrong — I like Muniz and wish him well. I simply do not see the resemblance. Maybe if he ironed the brim of his cap …
In the fourth inning, Keith Hernandez gave a fascinating diatribe on baseball bats, including a description of how ballplayers used to “harden” the bat by “boning”, and also saying that he “definitely” would use a maple bat if he played today because the denseness of the wood makes the bat so much harder. I enjoyed Keith’s chat, but want to point out a few things. First, “boning” and “grooving”, as well as “corking”, actually do nothing positive for a bat. In fact, corking makes a bat weaker. Scientifically speaking, all of these methods — legal and illegal — were more mental edges than physical ones. But hey, if a batter felt better by boning his bat, I see no problem with it. Similarly, maple bats are not necessarily better than the traditional ash bats. Yes, maple is more dense and therefore harder than ash. However, because maple bats are harder, they do not provide as much springback. Ash became the de facto partially because of its ability to “give back” to the ball during collision (contact) — the scientists call it the return of energy. A maple bat will deform the baseball more at impact, but won’t return as much energy as the softer ash. To give you a comparison: when you play basketball, do you jump higher when playing on a wood gym floor, or outside on concrete / macadam? I guarantee no one in baseball would be swinging a maple bat if it weren’t for Barry Bonds using one when he hit 73 homeruns. The physical truth is, there was something else Bonds was using that had a LOT more to do with his power surge — and it didn’t grow in a forest.
Something else that Keith said, though, ticked me off. After Jose Reyes grounded out in the seventh, Hernandez quipped that it was “Reyes busting down the line, he has been hustling of late … for quite some time, since Jerry Manuel took over he has really been running everything out … “. WHAT GAMES HAVE YOU BEEN WATCHING for the last five years, Keith??? Reyes has been busting this butt and hustling since the day he reached the big leagues — under Art Howe, Willie Randolph, and now Manuel. Sorry, but Reyes hustling has nothing to do with the manager. I’m really, really trying hard to like Jerry Manuel, but it’s difficult when the SNY broadcasters continue to shove garbage like this down our throats. Stop with the nonsense already!
Oliver Perez goes to the mound against Scott Olsen in another 7:10 pm start in Florida.