Marlins 7 Mets 5
It couldn’t go on forever.
Eventually, the Mets had to lose a series, and Mike Pelfrey had to lose a game. No need to panic — yet.
Pelfrey was battered for five runs on eight hits — with all five scores coming in his last frame, the fourth. The Fish held their 5-1 lead until the seventh, when Damion Easley surprised them with a three-run homer to slim the lead to one. However, Joe Smith couldn’t keep the Mets in the game, allowing a two-run dinger to Dan Uggla to give the Marlins a 7-4 advantage. The Mets made a valiant two-out effort in the ninth to pull within two, but it was too little, too late.
With the loss, the Mets not only lost the series, but allowed the Phillies to re-take first place by a half-game. The Fish are now a game behind the Mets, a game and a half out of first, but leading everyone in the race for Manny Ramirez — which Peter Gammons and Will Carroll claim is a “done deal”. Yikes.
Pelfrey was doing a good job of blowing his four-seam fastball up in the zone and past hitters early in the game, but eventually the Fish adjusted and started looking for pitches at their eyes. Instead of readjusting and hammering his sinker down in the zone, he continued to pound the top, which led to the fateful fourth frame. This is where he needs to both mix in pitches down in the zone and use his curveball to keep batters honest.
Carlos Muniz pitched two shutout innings of relief, striking out four. Duaner Sanchez also pitched well, throwing a scoreless seventh with an efficient 9 pitches.
One of the relievers for the Marlins was journeyman Joe Nelson, who struck out two in pitching a perfect eighth. Nelson has a 1.61 ERA in 31 appearances, with 34 strikeouts in 28 innings. Why should you care? If you are a loyal MetsToday reader, you might remember me suggesting Nelson as a no-risk, high-reward pickup way back in November of 2007. Even then, I thought it would make sense to stockpile arms in AAA, just in case.
The Mets take a day off, then travel to Houston for a three-game series with the Astros. Strangely, the Mets get another day off after the series, on Monday. Friday night’s contest begins at 8:05 pm, and pits Pedro Martinez against Brandon Backe.
About the Author
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.