Mets Game 115: Win Over Marlins

Mets 3 Marlins 0

Once again, the Mets needed a big-time effort from Oliver Perez. And once again, Ollie delivered.

Perez pitched seven strong innings, allowing no runs, only two hits, and three walks, striking out 8 in a heroic 120-pitch effort. I’m convinced that Ollie pitches purely on emotion, competitiveness, and guts, with everything else going out the window. He’s risen to the occasion since the moment he arrived in 2006, and continues to dominate in “big” games. That said, the exit of the cerebral Rick Peterson was the best thing to happen to Ollie — at least in the short term.

With that kind of effort on the mound, the Mets didn’t need much in the way of offense. All they needed arrived in the first frame, when rookie Daniel Murphy singled and jogged home on a moon shot by David Wright that put the Mets ahead 2-0. Carlos Delgado added a solo blast — his 24th homer of the season — in the fourth.

Aaron Heilman retired all six batters he faced in earning a rare two-frame save.


Daniel Murphy continues to impress. When he’s not stroking singles, he’s taking walks, showing outstanding strike zone judgment combined with prudent patience. I’m not loving his bat speed nor his current lack of power, but I think he’s holding back on his swing to make sure of contact right now. And you know what? If he’s going to hit .500 doing that, he may as well keep doing it. I’ll take 5 singles every 10 at-bats over one homer every 15 or 20, any day of the week.

Interesting to see Brian Schneider throw around the horn starting with first base, instead of third base, after a strikeout in the ninth. It means nothing, but I found it mildly intriguing.

In late June, who would have believed that Carlos Delgado would have 24 homers by the end of the season, much less by early August? His rejuvenation continues to be the biggest and most important story of the Mets this side of Fernando Tatis.

I’m trying to figure out how Carlos Beltran is batting as high as .269, and how he has 73 RBI. It feels like he’s hitting about .230 with 40 RBI. Kind of reminds me of Mike Cameron’s 2004 campaign, when he hit the lightest 30 homers in MLB history.

Is Aaron Heilman the closer? No, unless he’s a throwback. Closers in this day and age don’t get six outs, and don’t have guys warming up in the bullpen while they’re on the mound in the ninth. Nice job by Aaron. Too bad he’ll be useless for the rest of the weekend, since he’s thrown back-to-back days and in three out of the last four days. Who closes tomorrow? Joe Smith? Should be interesting, with Brian Stokes starting.

Next Game

The Mets and Marlins do it again at 7:10 pm on Saturday. Recent call-up Brian Stokes makes a spot start against Scott Olsen — the only Marlin who has been in the rotation since Opening Day.

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. sincekindergarten August 9, 2008 at 4:16 am
    I went to bed after the sixth, as the bottle of Santana’s Select Merlot had sent my wife to the Land of Nod and I was closely following. From what I saw, Dan Murphy continues to do the little things that get him on base. He’s not the fastest guy out there, nor does he have the bat speed, etc., but, as Matt said on MetsBlog a couple of days ago, he’s got “The Look” which says, I’m here in the big leagues and I’m not going back again.

    As to who will save, I’d just pull a name out fo the air here, and say that maybe Eddie Kunz will get the call. Keep that sinker down!

  2. isuzudude August 9, 2008 at 7:46 am
    With Brian Stokes pitching, I find it highly unlikely the Mets will even need a closer for today’s game. Let’s just say my confidence in Stokes to keep the Mets in the game is not very high.

    On the issue of closing, Jerry’s infatuation with Heilman is just as bad as Willie’s was. How many late and close games has Aaron failed to protect a lead in this year? Or even just the last 2 weeks? Despite his success last night, Aaron was obviously not the best option to get the save because of his recent history. I hope this one good outing doesn’t erase all the other bad outings from Jerry’s memory. It’s great to see him continuously show confidence in Aaron, but his workload is outrageous and his susceptibility for giving up the gopher ball will come back to bite us again this season.

    By the way, I hope Rudy Lugo and Carlos Muniz are paying rent for taking up space in the bullpen. With Jerry’s bullpen management, they certainly haven’t been earning their keep on the field. Lugo’s getting sent down today to make room for Stokes and didn’t appear in any games since being called up on Tuesday, while Muniz has only pitched a third of an inning in 9 days! Why are we constantly operating with 23- or 24-man rosters?

    Alas, the Mets have won 3 of their last 4 and are only a game out of 1st, so I guess I should stop complaining. Dan Murphy is really a great player with a bright future. I remember commenting here back during spring training that I really liked what I saw from Murphy. Everybody’s trying to figure out who Murphy reminds them of and who he projects to mimic in the majors. Matt Cerrone has brought up Robin Ventura’s name, but I’m not seeing it. Murphy doesn’t have Ventura’s power and has far better plate coverage. I know this won’t blow anybody away, but to me Murphy looks like Todd Walker, a journeyman IF who did some nice things while playing mostly for the Twins, Rockies, Reds and Cubs. Career average of .289, solid OBP of .348, if given 500 ABs could swat 15-20 homers, and pretty much keep his walk and strikeout numbers equal. That comparison won’t get Murphy inducted into the HOF, and probably won’t even win him any spots on an all-star team, but it’s damn good enough to be the #2 hitter of the future for the Mets.

  3. sincekindergarten August 9, 2008 at 10:58 am
    ID, let’s remember something: Scott Olsen is pitching for the Fish. I’ll wager you a Blue Moon that he leaves the game before Stokes does. The Mets are 21-12 against LHSPs this year. Not only will Stokes stay longer than Olsen, he’ll get the win.
  4. joe August 9, 2008 at 11:31 am
    ‘dude, I like the Dan Murphy – Todd Walker comparison … and it’s probably a lot more realistic than the Don Mattingly or Robin Ventura suggestions. Heck, I wanted Walker to come out of retirement last year, so if Murphy can reach that level, I’ll be ecstatic.

    Since we’re coming off a win, I’m in an optimistic mood and will suggest that the “mystery” of Brian Stokes will be his advantage. In other words, the fact that the Fish have never seen him before will help him succeed. I think if he throws a lot of sliders out of the strike zone — a la Jorge Sosa — he has a chance to beat the free-swinging Fish.

  5. Micalpalyn August 9, 2008 at 4:24 pm
    Lets remember Murphy was in AA ball last month. Its really hard to project what he can do in the ML. I have not seen him, but remember he was position-less, he was a 3rd baseman who just moved to 2nd then is asked to play left.

    As such i’d like to see him at 2nd where he might just invoke Todd walker or even Adam Kennedy. What to do with Luis…expensive platoon? Or trade? I like argennis tho and I think he as a defensive presence is very valuable.

    Niese agreed. I think he will start in sept. My algorithm potentially has the Mets letting Pedro walk, letting El Duque walk and letting Ollie Walk if they can get Burnett or even Sabathia. With Santana and Sabathia the rotation fills out with Maine, Pel and Niese. Then again I think Ollie is too much like El sid and we’d weep for his return.

  6. sincekindergarten August 9, 2008 at 7:02 pm
    Mic, I think an offer of 5 years, $70 mil with an option year at $15 mil might keep Ollie for us. It seems that there’s four teams that he absolutely owns: the Yankees, the Phillthies, the Braves, and the Marlins. He’ll get 10-12 starts against those four teams alone. That’s 6-8 wins right there.
  7. isuzudude August 10, 2008 at 8:55 am
    I’m afraid that Ollie is going to be looking for Barry Zito money this offseason, SK. He’s only 26, so someone out there is going to be desperate enough for pitching to give him a 7+ year contract, and since Scott Boras is his agent and he’s on the verge of putting together back-to-back very good seasons, his asking price could very well go above $100-mil. The Sabathia/Sheets market this offseason should dictate whether the Mets stay in the hunt to retain Ollie’s services. I, for one, am not optimistic.