Mets Game 140: Loss to Marlins

Marlins 13 Mets 4

The sweepless series streak comes to an end — at the fins of the Fish, no less.

Bobby Parnell struggled from the get-go, yet hung around long enough to allow 6 runs (5 earned) on 7 hits and 5 walks in 5 innings. He did strike out 6, so there’s that. The bullpen did no better, giving up another 7 runs over the final four frames.

Oh heck, let’s just go straight to the notes.


Major League pitchers — and by that I mean pitchers who belong in MLB, as opposed to those who are simply in MLB — will generally miss their target by a few inches, when they miss. Home plate, after all, is only 17 inches wide, and the strike zone is at most 24 inches tall. So if one misses by more than 4-5 inches, that’s significant. Bobby Parnell, however, was consistently missing his target by FEET. Low, high, outside, inside — he was all over the place, looking more like a high-A ball pitcher than a Major Leaguer. It’s always a bad sign when you are regularly seeing the number on the catcher’s back from the centerfield camera view. Omir Santos was constantly reaching, blocking, and jabbing at balls that were nowhere near the intended target.

And while it’s true Bobby Parnell needs to develop his “secondary stuff”, that wasn’t the issue on this particular evening. He was missing by feet with his fastball. At some points, it appeared as though he was trying to aim the ball, and others, he needed to groove the ball over the heart of the plate after falling behind. Bad night all around.

The first inning was a killer for Parnell, and he could’ve gotten out of it if Anderson Hernandez had not muffed a routine DP grounder. But, AHern was likely on his heels because of all the balls being thrown and walks being given prior to that play. In addition, though you could say Parnell was “unlucky” because of that error, you could also say he was incredibly lucky that Dan Uggla chose not to focus in his first-inning at-bat with the bases loaded. Uggla had a horrendous plate appearance, swinging wildly at the first pitch he saw, which was a foot above the top of the strike zone, and the last pitch he breezed at, which bounced a good two feet in front of the plate. This came immediately after a four-pitch walk. Bad baseball by Uggla, but a break for Parnell.

Despite this and other bad outings, I like Parnell’s tools. His sinking fastball has good downward run and is nicely complemented by the hard 96+ MPH heater up in the zone. But he’s really raw, and needs time to polish up his game. At 25 years old, you’d hope he’d be further along, and I wonder if the decision to make him a one-inning reliever has stunted his development.

Tobi Stoner made his big league debut, and spun a scoreless sixth. I’m not sure he has MLB stuff — he telegraphs that curve and doesn’t have much on the fastball — but how can you not root for a guy who found his way here from Germany and really has no business at this level? Typically you don’t see a guy with his mediocre arsenal getting to the bigs after only 500 minor league innings. But his ability to stay healthy, get the job done, and take advantage of an incredibly poor minor league system has been rewarded with a Major League paycheck. He’s a survivor, and I hope he can find a way to stick around.

Jeff Francoeur and Angel Pagan both went 3-for-4. That was the extent of the excitement on offense.

Next Mets Game

The Mets begin a three-game series on Friday against the first-place Phillies. Nelson Figueroa faces Cole Hamels in a matchup of aces that begins at 7:10 PM.

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. wohjr September 11, 2009 at 2:40 am
    Weren’t you in favor of an uggla signing this week?

    Ugh (Ugg?), please, for the love of god, I’d rather see the ghost of julio franco at first than that guy

  2. […] a post to Mets Today, Joe Janish writes, “He’s really raw, and needs time to polish up his game. At 25 years old, […]
  3. Wendy September 11, 2009 at 9:15 am
    Terrible night all around, a game to forget no question, but Pagan’s 3 hits would have meant more if he managed to keep alert on the bases.
  4. isuzudude September 11, 2009 at 9:17 am
    I with wohjr here. I know the Mets are desperate for power, but I want nothing to do with Dan Uggla if he were to become available. For every home run he’ll hit you, he’ll have triple the amount of boneheaded atbats and defensive miscues. He’s not worth all the extra baggage.

    And yet another Angel Pagan base running blunder last night, forgetting how many outs there were and getting doubled off of 2B on Francoeur’s flyout. Much like Uggla, the holes in Pagan’s game are too much to endure if you want to play him as a full time starter, despite his ability to hit .300+ and play above average defense. As a 4th OF Pagan would be excellent. He could fill in temporarily for injured players, provide a nice switch hitting bat off the bench, and even serve as a late game defensive replacement. But as a starter, he’s just not up to snuff. Not when he’s running himself off the basepaths once every other game.

    This game was also exhibit G in why Parnell is not cut out to be a starter. But I suppose I should just come to terms with the notion that the Mets are going to keep forcing this square peg into a round hole until his arm requires surgery.

    Thank god the football season starts this weekend as it’s bound to be a loooooooooooong weekend in Philadelphia for this team.

  5. joejanish September 11, 2009 at 9:58 am
    I’m still in favor of considering Uggla. Many fans (including myself) are always crying for more “gritty” guys on the Mets and Uggla fits that description. Yes he’s awful with the glove but no worse than Dan Murphy.

    And hey, you can pass on Uggla but I don’t know how many other players will be available this winter that will be available via free agency, can hit more than 20 HR, and fit into the Wilpons’ miniscule budget. He’s not ideal but he may be among the better gambles in a bad lot.

  6. Walnutz15 September 11, 2009 at 11:03 am
    For the record, my keyboard has a better Baseball IQ than Angel Pagan.

    He makes Jay Payton look like Rickey Henderson on the basepaths.

    I could only imagine 150+ games of Pagan in the outfield, like some have clamored for of late. He looks like Frogger out there….only there are no cars or trucks out on the baseball field.

  7. joejanish September 11, 2009 at 11:10 am
    I liked Pagan pulling the old “put the glove up like you’re catching it” trick on a shallow fly, then mishandling the bounce. Luckily no one advanced as a result, but jeez … master that in practice before trying it in a game.

    It is a shame though — the guy has great raw talent. But if he’s still this fundamentally poor after about 900 pro games, when will he “figure it out” ?

  8. Walnutz15 September 11, 2009 at 11:27 am
    Problem is: he won’t.

    As we know, unfortunately — you can’t teach that kind of stuff….and Pagan’s got alot bouncing around in that head of his, when he’s not swinging a bat in the box.

    He’s not a kid, and isn’t really showing that he’s all there mentally either. That’s acceptable from a guy who puts up Manny numbers, but a little less tolerable for a guy who projects as a 4th outfield-type.

  9. gary s. September 11, 2009 at 12:38 pm
    joe, i agree with u on looking into signing uggla as a free’s 2 good reasons..20 plus homers from 2nd base and no more luis castillo..sign him up!!!!
  10. isuzudude September 11, 2009 at 2:13 pm
    Castillo is hitting .310 with a .399 OBP. Please explain to me how, with those numbers, Castillo is such a detriment to the team.