Mets Game 3: Loss to Marlins

Marlins 3 Mets 1

Fish pitching held the Mets to one measly run on seven hits and no walks as a solid outing by Jon Niese was wasted. Without the benefit of the Marlins making mistakes on the mound and in the field, the Mets didn’t have a chance.

Game Notes

Jon Niese threw an acceptable and admirable six innings, allowing 3 runs on 8 hits and 2 walks. Not a fabulous outing, but encouraging and perfectly fine for a fifth starter. Unfortunately, he is currently the #3 starter.

The Mets offense was unimpressive. No walks? Not one? Stark contrast to the previous evening, when they walked 9 times. Makes you wonder if Wednesday’s walk-a-thon was really a credit to the Mets hitters or simply a bad night by the Marlins hurlers.

Burke Badenhop threw three innings of one-hit, scoreless relief, relying primarily on an 84-MPH fastball and soft stuff that ranged from 72-79 MPH — you would’ve thought he was throwing a knuckleball (he wasn’t). I was mildly suprised that Fredi Gonzalez lifted Badenhop in favor of wild man Leo Nunez for the ninth; I don’t care if Nunez is the closer — Badenhop had the Mets completely befuddled, and had thrown 35 pitches in three frames, so why not just let him finish it out?

Angel Pagan rapped two hits from the leadoff spot, begging us to wonder why he wasn’t there for games One and Two. Though, his defense remains a bit shaky, even if he made all the plays. With the Mets’ anemic offense, I’ll deal with occasional outfield adventures to get his bat into the lineup.

Ryota Igarashi made his MLB debut and did the job, pitching one shutout inning. However I’m a bit concerned about his location, and believe he will be susceptible to the gopher ball. He got away with a flat, hanging split that Hanley Ramirez crushed into foul territory.

Fernando Nieve is on pace to appear in 162 games.

Jorge Cantu had two more hits and an RBI. Ted Berg, are you reading this? You know what I’m talking about.

Ronny Paulino drives me nuts as a backstop. He is a gifted athlete, and could be a very good defensive catcher. But when he’s not being lazy he’s unbalanced in his stance and moving around too much — not giving his pitchers a stationary target and making it difficult for the umpire to get a good look at the pitch. With a moving target behind the dish, it’s no wonder the Fish pitchers have trouble throwing strikes.

Next Mets Game

The Mets open a three-game series with the Washington Nationals at 7:10 PM in Flushing on Friday night. Mike Pelfrey takes the hill against Garrett Mock.

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. gary s. April 9, 2010 at 1:37 am
    if pelf stinks it up vs. the nats friday nite and ollie gets killed on saturday, i guess we can make an arguement for johan being an early candidate for NL MVP…Jose, please come back saturday.. WE NEED A JUMP START..there cannot possibly be 3 middle infielders in the NL with less combined pop than cora, castillo and tejada.Once again, i have to tip my hat to minaya.nice job, omar..
  2. Mike April 9, 2010 at 9:52 am
    I keep reading and hearing that when people look at the Mets lineup they are simply underwhelmed. I couldn’t agree more. This is why Jose Reyes needs to be back in the lineup Saturday. Yes I want him to stay healthy and take whatever time he needs, but Jose instantly makes this offense “whelming.” The Mets need to score to win because otherwise the starting pitching will not get the job done.

    Niese impressed me with his command and confidence on the mound. He is the not-ollie-pelf-or-maine right now. He may not be an ace but it is reasonable to expect 10-12 wins from him or more pitching like that.

  3. Walnutz15 April 9, 2010 at 11:05 am
    Nice attendance figures last night…

    *Dangerfield Caddyshack Face*

    “Oh, this is the worst lookin’ hat I ever saw…..looks good on you though!”

  4. joejanish April 9, 2010 at 11:32 am
    Mike – agreed on Niese’s confidence, which to me is a big improvement over last year. To me, he looked a little scared / unsure in the past. His body language looks much better now.

    ‘nutz – funny you mention that, because while watching from home my wife kept saying “there are so many empty seats”. 25,982 was the PAID crowd. Wow. On a beautiful April night, three days after a big Opening Day win, you’d think there would be a strong walk-in crowd.

  5. Walnutz15 April 9, 2010 at 12:04 pm
    Just like you can’t blame John Maine’s velocity on cold, rainy April weather — last night’s attendance can’t be pointed to, citing a “crappy night”. We’ve had some of the best April weather ever seen in NYC.

    I said the same thing in the early goings last night, thinking maybe everyone was at concession stands, etc — then as the game progressed, it seemed very empty.

    Looking at that figure in the boxscore this morning on the train, I was shocked. It was the lowest attendance so far at the park.

    I’m sure they’ll rebound this weekend, with a couple of give-aways and Reyes’ return….but The Wilpons can’t be happy to see that.

    Make you want to stress the importance of prolonged winning streaks even more. Is it even possible with this staff?