Mets Game 155: Loss to Marlins

Marlins 9 Mets 6

A ninth-inning rally closed the gap, but the game really wasn’t that close.

John Maine was OK through the first four frames, then the wheels came off in the fifth. By the time he exited, his line was: 4 2/3 IP, 7 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 3 K.

We’ll just go straight to the notes.


Jorge Cantu had another big game against the Mets — he went 3-for-4 with 2 doubles, 2 runs scored, and an RBI. The double in the fifth opened up the floodgates. His average is only .270 vs. the Mets this year, but he seems to have huge games against them — to the point where his performances were so memorable, my wife thought he PLAYED for the Mets (in the past – she knows he’s not on the team now).

My wife also thinks MLB should use the mercy rule. Not the worst idea I’ve heard.

David Wright’s timing is all screwed up. And he admitted to thinking about that inside pitch. I’ve said it before here, and I’ll say it again: the biggest difference between the “modern” era and 25-30 years ago is not steroids as much as the zero-tolerance policy for inside pitches / hit batters. It doesn’t matter how strong you are — if you have one bit of fear, the pitcher has the advantage. Goose Gossage calls today’s game “home run derby” because hitters no longer are concerned about being hit by a pitch.

Sometimes Keith Hernandez says the darnedest things …. for example, in the midst of John Maine’s control issues in the bottom of the fourth, Keith quips, “I like the way John Maine is pitching” — in reference to his hitting Cody Ross with a pitch and proceeding to miss in and up on his next few pitches before hitting John Baker minutes later. Keith seemed to think that Maine was purposely throwing the ball inside, but the truth is that Maine had no clue where the ball was going, and was missing his target on nearly every pitch that inning. There’s nothing good about lack of command. Maine’s terrible mechanics make it very difficult for him to throw the ball anywhere other than up and in to RH hitters, as we’ve covered here on several occasions. (But don’t take it from me — watch his pitches, and count how many run in toward RHs / away from LHs.)

Speaking of illogical thought processes, Ron Darling mentioned that he spoke to Dan Warthen about Maine and asked if there was anything about Maine’s mechanics that would alert him as to whether he was hurting himself. Warthen told Darling that he has a “simple” method of: if he sees Maine’s ball tailing in to the RH hitter, then “he knows that there’s a problem with his arm slot”. Huh? Again, Maine’s usual mechanics cause his pitches to “naturally” ride in to the RH hitter — it has very little, if anything, to do with arm slot, and everything to do with the over-rotation of his hips. Furthermore, Maine’s physical problem is with his shoulder. A low arm slot would put more pressure on his elbow and actually take pressure OFF his shoulder. So again, I’m not getting the logic behind Warthen’s analytics.

Awesome doubletalk by Jerry Manuel during the postgame. David Lennon opened a question to him saying that Maine looked uncomfortable and asked if he was physically OK. Manuel responded that Maine’s “healthy, physically fine”, then closed the answer mentioning “a dead arm” and saying “with Maine health is a big issue”.

The Mets were sloppy, sloppy, sloppy. And they’ve been so, since Opening Day — as Bobby Ojeda also stated during the postgame. I stand behind my belief that the awful fundies would have done in the Mets regardless of the injuries. Under Jerry Manuel, the Mets play bad baseball — it matters not who is on the field.

Ojeda WENT OFF on the Mets’ lack of fundamentals all year. At one point he said, “all this talk about the return of the cavalry, blah blah blah — it doesn’t matter!”. I love you, Bobby.

Ojeda was also convinced that Maine was having a physical issue on this evening. This may have been Ojeda’s best postgame ever.

Two BIG mistakes by David Wright in the fifth inning, on the same play. With two outs and Wright on second base, Jeff Francoeur hit a liner to the outfield. Wright held up at first — apparently, he did not know there were two outs or he would’ve been sprinting at the crack of the bat. Then, he slowed down to a brisk jog about 20 feet before he reached home plate — and Francoeur was tagged out at second base moments before Wright touched the plate. Therefore, the run did not count. In that situation, the manager has to pull the player from the game — I don’t care if it’s David Wright or Babe Ruth.

And as long as we’re talking about poor fundamentals, Omir Santos allowed two balls to get “through the wickets” for wild pitches. In both cases, he was trying to “field” the ball with his glove up off the ground. Young catchers, pay attention: you always, always get the glove on the ground FIRST, and leave it there, and block the ball with your body. In addition, when your knees go down, your feet should go IN together and touch each other behind you. This way, if the ball does get under your glove / through your legs, it will be stopped by your feet and not roll to the backstop. I have seen very few MLB catchers execute this proper technique — mainly because it’s not taught at any level. (But if you live in the NY-Metro area you can learn from me!)

Next Mets Game

The final game of the series begins at 1:10 PM on Sunday afternoon. Pat Misch pitches against Josh Johnson.

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 September 27, 2009 at 9:33 am
    Can we invoke the mercy rule on the season?

    Ugh. If I didn’t really enjoy eating my breakfast, it would be back up.

  2. isuzudude September 28, 2009 at 10:26 am
    Another example of why David Wright is not cut out to be a leader. When do you ever see Albert Pujols, Derek Jeter, Kevin Youkilis, or any of the Phillies big sluggers giving anything less than 100% effort at all times of a game? To mention Wright in the same sentence as those guys, or to even think he is as instrumental to a team’s success as them, is preposterous. He’s just not cut from the same mold. And with these mental lapses, and his continued struggles at the plate and in the field, the more accepting I become of a David Wright-less future.

    Though, was it not also a poor decision on Francoeur’s part to gamble on the basepaths with 2 outs and a runner going for home?

    I’m also crossing my fingers John Maine gets non-tendered this offseason. I’ve seen too many of these less-than-5-inning starts in which he walks (or hits) the ballpark and can’t seem to hit the broad side of a barn if he tried. To think his injury concerns are behind him would be reckless, and the Mets shouldn’t be willing to spend as much as Maine’s going to cost them just to wind up with another 3 month DL stint. Time to set him free.

  3. Taylor September 28, 2009 at 3:32 pm
    Wright knew that there were 2 outs. He started back toward the bag to get out of the way of the ball. Check the replay. His mistake was not realizing that the batter may try to take the extra base and that he may be tagged out for the 3rd out in which case he needs to make sure he scores before that out is recorded. But he did not break back to the bag because he thought there was only 1 out. He did it because he would have run into the ball if he hadn’t. Again, check the replay. Its clear from the replay.
  4. Taylor September 28, 2009 at 3:36 pm
    Also, every player in major league baseball coasts into home when he realizes that there will not be a play at the plate. Its the wrong thing to do with 2 outs because if another runner, either the batter or another runner who was on base, gets tagged out on the bases for the 3rd out, your run will not count unless you touch home plate before that 3rd out. With less than 2 outs it doesn’t matter wether you score a second earlier.
  5. joejanish September 28, 2009 at 9:21 pm
    Taylor, I looked at the replay a few times, and you may be right. I can’t tell for sure either way, and I believe it’s possible that Wright’s initial reaction was to avoid the ball going back toward second rather than to burst toward third — sometimes you just don’t have time to think. So I’ll absolve Wright of the # of outs thing.

    However, I disagree strongly with your statement that “every player in major league baseball coasts into home when he realizes that there will not be a play at the plate”. Because not long after Wright’s mistake, Marlins baserunner Brett Carroll was BUSTING IT around third and all the way through home — with two outs and no play at the plate. I don’t fault you for thinking such a thing, though, as it has been a common pattern for several years to see players in the orange and blue loafing on occasion. Further, it’s now come to light that Razor Shines may have told Wright to slow down. Why a 3B coach would do such a thing is beyond comprehension.

  6. isuzudude September 29, 2009 at 10:02 am
    Taylor, why are you looking to provide Wright with excuses for not playing the game properly? Every Met fan with a pair of eyes can see that this team displays godawful fundamentals on a day to day basis, and that this has been the team’s bugaboo since the 2006 season expired. When will you be willing to stop excusing the players from playing hard and start demanding they give 100% effort at all times like they are supposed to?
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