Mets Game 108: Loss to Marlins

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.

Next Game

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.

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. isuzudude July 31, 2008 at 6:04 am
    Excuse me if I sound a little overreactive, but I think this Marlins team is for real. Harken back to 2003 when they won the world series with a young, upstart pitching staff and a ferocious offense. This 2008 team is very reminiscent. I’m not saying they’re locks to hang up a 3rd WS banner, but I do think that if they were going to fade off into mediocrity like everyone was projecting them to do, they would have done it by now. We’re 1 day away from August, and here they are hangin’ tough. And now I know why. They aren’t the most fundamentally sound team in the world, they have their problems in the field, and they reek of inexperience, but boy do they have a lot of heart and energy. I think it’s time we give this team the proper respect for the rest of the season.

    And I also don’t mean to sound like a broken record, but here again we have an example of the bullpen allowing the opposition to extend their lead, which prooves costly because the Mets rallied in the 9th. I’m willing to concede that Huston Street’s pricetag is too high, but we’re in big doo-doo if Omar does nothing to bolster the pen. 2 months to go in the season and it looks like the tank is already hovering around E. This bodes for a very rocky 2nd half.

  2. Micalpalyn July 31, 2008 at 9:16 am
    When many were ‘fearing’ the Braves i think i was looking at the fish. They are using the same model as the A’s. They make a run then sell high on their players to amass top tier prospects. Many doubted them when they jettisoned Cabrera, but they get Miller AND Maybin two of the top near ready bodies in baseball.

    Their X-factor tho is development. Nolasco?, Josh Johnson? Hermida @#$!!! Who are they?
    They still are not getting high return on ALL_WORLD prospects Jeff Allison, Miller, anibel Sanchez & Maybin.

  3. Micalpalyn July 31, 2008 at 9:47 am
    Part 2:

    Isuzu: This loss irked me. In fact 2 of the last 3 losses do. BUT this one goes to Pel who has been so solid. I guess the Florida air affected his stuff. BUT kudos to Muniz! I do like him. I have since last yr. The losses of Bell, Lindstrom and even Owens looms large right now but Muniz IS a large factor in this pen going forward especially given the price of arms.

    Why am i irked? HEILMAN!! AGAIN Heilman is held out of a game where HE would have been THE difference. CONSPIRACY? ABSOLUTELY. Joe thinks he may start…i think he is all but traded!

    Given Niese’s FANTASTIC debut last night against the 4A league …we have a 22yr old ML ready lefty STARTER (costing min wage). .. So no need for Heilman the starter (?). After all theoretically theres Figs and stokes.

    We have already had this discussion: We all know who the Mets have as bait. I just think there is something brewing.
    1. Obviously we need an arm in the pen. There are 20 candidates out there .
    2. We need a bat. I am not averse to Manny at all. In fact I’d table a proposal that Omar sends them 2 middling prospects and pay the rest of the salary (where as Florida cant).
    3. With Pedro, El duque and others set to be FA, I would consider trading for Burnett.

  4. isuzudude July 31, 2008 at 10:33 am
    Mic, I think Jerry didn’t want to go to Heilman last night because he pitched 2 innings the night before. For all intensive purposes, I think Jerry got it right bringing in Joe Smith in the 8th to try to keep the deficit at 1 run, but Smith failed in a spot he would normally succeed in, walking the righty Willingham before allowing a bomb to the righty Uggla. I have no qualms there. The problem I’m witnessing is that every reliever is going to become increasingly ineffective until the end of the season because of their heavy workload. That’s why I think it should be top priority to get a guy who can be counted on to work full innings, retiring both lefties and righties, alleviating the pressure that is mounting on Sanchez and Heilman, who are showing signs of caving as the season progresses. Chalk up Smith’s bad outing last night to law of averages (can’t be perfect all the time) and let him, Feliciano, and Show work as specialists, going 1 or 2 batters at a time, and giving setup and full inning duty to Duaner, Heilman, and the guy we bring in. Unfortunately that leaves Muniz as the odd man out, but he’ll be back sooner or later depending on injury and roster expansions.

    Burnett is interesting, but Toronto is going to want a lot in return because he has an option for next year in which he could return, and if he opts for free agency he’ll bring them back some draft picks. I’ve heard a rumor about Ian Snell, and that the Mets could use him as a reliever this year and put him in the rotation next year. He’s got reclamation project written all over him, but if he comes cheap I think getting him would be better than doing nothing.