Mets Game 20: Loss to Marlins

Marlins 7 Mets

For the second straight time, the Mets beat up on Ricky Nolasco, lighting him up for four runs on six hits and three walks in five innings of work. Gary Sheffield ripped a two-run triple in the initial inning, then Alex Cora and David Wright chased home runners with RBI singles in subsequent innings.

The Fish fought back with a couple runs in the fourth, thanks to a two-run homer by Jorge Cantu against Mets starter Livan Hernandez, then cut the deficit to one when Jeremy Hermida grounded into a fielder’s choice off Bobby Parnell (run charged to Hernandez).

Though the game was close, it seemed as though the Mets would wrap up this one easily, as they needed only to get through the seventh without a hitch, then unleash the dogs known as J.J. Putz and Frankie Rodriguez to bring the win home.

But it was not to be.

Instead of bridging the gap, middle man Sean Green shat the bed, allowing four runs in the seventh, highlighted by another dinger by Cantu, this one of the three-run variety. Since the Mets’ lineup more or less went to sleep after the fifth frame, there was no chance for a comeback win.

Game Notes

Livan Hernandez went 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on three hits and two walks, striking out five. Not an outstanding outing, but fairly acceptable from a fifth starter.

Alex Cora was 2-for-2 with a walk, with both of his hits being what ballplayers describe as “squibs” — basically, bloop hits fought off somewhere between the fists and the trademark of the bat, that fall barely out of the reach of infielders. But hey, they are line drives in the book.

Speaking of, there seemed to be a lot of cheap bloop hits and seeing-eye grounders from the Mets’ side in this game. Not too many line drives — not even for outs.

Cora was the only Met with more than one hit, and he drew one of NY’s three walks. So much for my theory that it makes no sense to bat him near the top of the order.

Although he allowed an inherited runner to score, Bobby Parnell came up big in the sixth, getting a popup from Dan Uggla and striking out Cody Ross to end a tense threat by the Fish.

Sean Green, not so big.

Leo Nunez has letters on the fingers of his glove reading “EL CD”. I don’t *think* that is a model number, but also not sure what it might signify. Electrolytic conductivity?

Next Game

The rubber match pits Johan Santana vs. Josh Johnson in pitchers’ duel part deux. Game time is 1:10 PM. If by chance you can call in sick to work, or are out of work, email me as I’m going to the game and have an extra ticket (the ticket’s free, but you’ll be obliged to buy me a beverage and a pulled-pork sandwich). As such, do not expect to see a game recap until later in the evening.

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. murph April 29, 2009 at 12:21 am
    I watched 5 minutes of sports tonight:
    I turned on the Ranger game with 5 minutes left in the game. Tie score for a few more seconds before the Caps score the series winner.
    Then I flip over to the Mets. Tie score with Cantu up. A few seconds later Cantu hits the 3 run HR.

    Thank you, good night!

  2. isuzudude April 29, 2009 at 10:03 am
    Hey murph, even worse for us Devils fans. Watch all of 2 minutes in the third and suddenly a 3-2 lead is a 4-3 loss. Gutwrenching.

    I can already sense the loss of confidence in Sean Green. I feel bad for him because he got squeezed on ball 4 to Amezaga to lead off the 7th, in what should have been strike 3. After a flyout, Green then gives up 2 straight infield bleeders that wind up tying the game – which in a parallel universe would have gotten Green out of the inning unscored upon. After that he seemed to lose focus, walking Baker on 4 pitches and serving up the game winner to Cantu. I wouldn’t be surprised if Brian Stokes starts getting some additional 6th & 7th inning work now, leaving Green to appear only in mopup situations or if the game is extended in extra innings. Does Green still have options left? If so, perhaps if his struggles continue, he’ll be the one getting bounced to make room for Tim Redding.

    I began wondering during the game last night, if anybody in the infield got hurt last night, who would be their replacement with Castillo and Delgado unable to play? Would Murphy be forced into 2B duty, or Sheffield slid to 1B? Gulp.

    And suddenly now the Mets are on the verge of losing 2 of 3 to the previously 0-for-their-last-7 Marlins, with a series against the red-hot Phillies on deck. Enjoy the game, Joe. Let’s hope you bring them some luck.

  3. joe April 29, 2009 at 10:11 am
    ‘dude, don’t worry about losing the series … the Mets ALWAYS win with Johan on the mound.

    Green’s sinker stopped sinking. Wonder why? Hmm … overuse? This is the same issue we saw with Aaron Heilman, around the same time last year. But rather than point the finger at the manager, people want to kill the pitcher. How about we option Jerry Manuel to Buffalo to learn how to manage a bullpen?

    As for infielders, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to put Danny boy at 2B if necessary, or Sheff at 1B, in a pinch. Castillo was cleared to play, but Manuel chose to hold him out, which to me made sense because you don’t want him getting any further hurt the way he’s been hitting. We’ll probably get a decision on Delgado shortly. Though, it would be nice to have a catcher who could play another position.

  4. isuzudude April 29, 2009 at 10:37 am
    “How about we option Jerry Manuel to Buffalo to learn how to manage a bullpen?” Good line, Joe! Who do you have writing your material for you?

    “Though, it would be nice to have a catcher who could play another position.” Are you offering your services? Certainly, you can’t be as bad as Murphy has been in LF. My question is, how many hops would it take you to throw from the LF corner to home plate?

  5. joe April 29, 2009 at 10:45 am
    ‘dude, if I absolutely have to, I will put on a Mets uniform and handle backup C/1B/OF duties. I truly will. The commute will kill me, but if that’s what needs to be done, I’ll suck it up.
  6. Mark April 29, 2009 at 1:47 pm
    Cantu is kind of emerging into a Mets killer all of a sudden. I figured he was going to head to the DL last week, but apparently he feels better if the Mets are in town.