Mets Game 24: Loss to Marlins
Marlins 9 Mets 6
Let’s play pretend.
Pretend it is the top of the third inning, there are two outs, and there is a 1-2 count on the opposing pitcher.
How would you guess the inning would turn out?
If you guessed five runs scored on two walks and four hits, you’d be right.
Mets announcer Gary Cohen insinuated (several times) that Chan Ho Park was the victim of poor Mets defense. While it’s true that a line drive popped out of Damion Easley’s glove, and two perfectly-placed pop flies eluded the Mets middle infielders and outfielders, you can’t ignore the fact that Park walked two batters to load the bases for the Marlins’ best RBI man Miguel Cabrera. And you can’t expect the wind-blow flies to safely drop into Mets’ leather.
Normally I enjoy Gary Cohen’s banter, but it’s irritating to hear judgmental criticism of the defensive plays from a guy who’s never been on a field above Little League. It’s easy to say a defender should have caught a ball from the comfort of the broadcast booth — quite another when you have actually been on a baseball field, and have had to deal with Major League popups hit into the lights and pushed around by the wind. Keith Hernandez was tellingly quiet in response to Cohen’s opinion on balls that “should have been caught” — and he is usually much more critical of defensive shortcomings.
As if the debacle of the third inning weren’t bad enough, light-hitting Alfredo Amezaga hit a monster solo shot over the rightfield fence in the fourth. Hanley Ramirez did the same thing two batters later to make the game 7-zip.
The Mets didn’t score until the fifth inning, when Carlos Beltran hit another solo homer from the right side. They scored three more in the sixth to chase starter Scott Olsen, and scratched out another two in the 8th, but never really put together enough of a rally to threaten the Marlins’ lead.
After this start, comparisons of Chan Ho Park to Jose Lima are not completely out of line. It would just be the Mets’ dumb luck that their worst AAA pitcher would be due for a start on the day they needed a replacement. My guess is we’ll see Jorge Sosa or Jason Vargas the next time El Duque’s spot in the rotation comes up.
Kind of scary to be Chan Ho Park, and honestly believe you belong in MLB.
One of the bright spots in the game was Carlos Beltran, who is suddenly hot — especially from the right side. Beltran had four hits including a solo homerun.
Jose Reyes went 3-5 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI. He’s hitting .356.
Shawn Green extended his hitting streak to eight games by ripping a two-run single in the sixth.
Moises Alou has cooled off substantially over the last few days, but worse, he’s become a double-play machine. His recent rally-killing, easy-bouncing grounders to shortstop are reminiscent of Mike Piazza in his DP prime.
How many hard line drives does Carlos Delgado have to hit into short rightfield for outs before he starts dropping bunts? This is getting downright stupid, and I don’t care how much money Delgado is making — if the infielders are going to play in excess of 120 feet away, he MUST start using the bunt. He did it once, and with some practice, he can do it again. For the short term, it will get him some easy singles, and over the long term, it will discourage teams from using the shift.
As much as we’d like to believe Jose Reyes is the best, young, all-around shortstop in the NL — maybe all of MLB — the Marlins have their own superstar shortstop in the making in Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez has equal or better numbers than Reyes in every offensive category other than stolen bases, and also bats leadoff. Oh, and when we start thinking the Mets have the beBst young left side of the infield in baseball (in Reyes and David Wright), consider that the Fish have Ramirez and Cabrera. Between the young “mainstay” infielders on the Marlins and the Phillies (Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jimmy Rollins), the NL East promises to be an exciting division for quite a while.
Am I crazy, or is there a significant problem with the decibel levels on SNY? I know that commercials tend to be louder than the regular programming, but the disparity during Mets games is obnoxious. During the third inning interview with Omar Minaya, I put my TV volume on 55 and still had to stand next to the speaker to hear the conversation. Yet once the inning was over, I had to turn the volume down to 15 so that the neighbors wouldn’t call the cops. It’s understandable that the advertisers want to be heard if you’re making a bathroom break, but you shouldn’t be able to hear the ads if you’re walking to a “common toilet” at the end of a fraternity hall — or to a keg party across campus.
The Florida Marlins have a bunch of lazy-ass slackers, led by Miguel Cabrera. In that ugly third inning, with two outs, both Cabrera and Mike Jacobs were taking their sweet time around the bases on Jacobs’ Texas-leaguer fly ball. I highly doubt either of those players would be jogging around the bases in that situation if Joe Girardi were still managing the team.
Mike Pelfrey faces Ricky Nolasco at 7:10 PM. If you are attending the game, look for me in the Loge level, section 20. I’ll be the only man in the stadium wearing a Mo Vaugn jersey. Tap me on the shoulder, mention MetsToday, and I will buy you a refreshing beverage.