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.