Mets Game 38: Loss to Marlins
Marlins 10 Mets 8
First, the bad news: in addition to losing this game, getting swept in a four-game series in Florida for the first time ever, losing the 7th of their last 8, and falling into last place, the Mets also lost the services of Jon Niese, who aggravated his 2009 hamstring injury and likely will miss at least one start.
The good news was that the Mets battled back through the end of the game, and at one point were only one run behind. So if nothing else, these 2010 Mets have spirit. A bit more talent would be nice, but you can’t have everything, I guess.
Jason Bay was 2-for-5, including a triple in the ninth that he hustled out when Cameron Maybin took his time getting to the ball. Bay also hustled out an infield single earlier in the game.
David Wright hit a two-run double in the sixth, but otherwise had all kinds of trouble both at theplate and in the field, with balls taking bad hops, kicking off the bag, and deflecting off his glove. He was charged with only one error but it could’ve been 2 or 3. Wright struck out twice and has struck out at least once in each of his last 13 straight games, and is leading the league in both strikeouts and walks.
Gary Matthews Jr. collected his third and fourth hits of May, including a pinch-hit single to load the bases in the seventh. His RBI single in the 8th was a dribbler that passed through the shortstop hole vacated by Hanley Ramirez, who for reasons unknown was hanging near 2B to keep Angel Pagan close with two outs and a 4-run lead.
Alex Cora ripped a double in the seventh to drive in two and bring the Mets within a run. Keith Hernandez pointed out that he made a “perfect step out” prior to the pitch — calling time just as the pitcher was set. Very sage and savvy, that Mr. Cora … but is it enough to make up for a .220 AVG / .310 OBP?
Cora’s double set up a big, 2-out, RBI opportunity to tie the game for Chris Carter — who made his first start as a Met — but Jerry Manuel removed Carter for pinch-hitter Jeff Francoeur when LHP Dan Meyer came on in relief. Francoeur promptly popped out to right field on the first pitch he saw.
In case you were wondering, Carter was hitting .370 with a .915 OPS vs. lefties down in AAA. He is 2-for-3 lifetime in MLB against LHP. Further, lefthanded hitters are 5-for-8 with a 1.700 OPS this year vs. Dan Meyer.
Fernando Nieve gave up a 3-run homer to Chris Coghlan in his one inning of work. I can’t figure out why Nieve has been struggling so mightily lately. I mean, he’s only appeared in 23 games thus far — that’s barely on pace for 98 over a full season. And he appeared in 29 games as a reliever in 2006 so this bullpen role shouldn’t be difficult to figure out.
Francisco Rodriguez hurled a perfect 8th inning. Is it me, or is he starting to look portly?
Next Mets Game
Mets start fresh in Atlanta on Monday, sending Mike Pelfrey to the mound against Derek Lowe. Game time is 7:10 PM. GM Omar Minaya will be in attendance.