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.

Game Notes

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.

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. AlexSVK May 16, 2010 at 9:31 pm
    so let me get this straight… Jerry first bats Carter 4th, and then pinch-hits for him with a guy who is 0-for-17 in his last few games. (Not to mention the favorable splits that Joe points out.) Can the Mets just fire Jerry tonight?
  2. Mic May 16, 2010 at 9:37 pm
    Thanks Joe,
    – Raul valdes a candidate to start? Not too shabby. He cant do worse than ollie has.
    – I would shut Nieve down. He is another realistic candidate to start but his latest round of results suggest a shoulder strain. Could this present a way onto the roster for RA Dickey and or Sean Green? If dickey IS promoted (into a RP long role), I think Dylan Owen goes to AAA.
    – Personally, I'd try to spin French and Green to the Yanks for Vaz.
  3. metsfan73 May 16, 2010 at 10:16 pm
    Some very good points. Not to nit-pick, but Francoeur didn't fly out to RF on the first pitch. The first hack he took he pulled well down the LF line…at first I thought it was gone…then the brutal pop-out. Jerry is panicking and he is throwing everything against the wall to try and find something that sticks. I think the Jerry clock will be starting by the conclusion of this 17 day/no day off stint.
  4. gary s. May 16, 2010 at 10:54 pm
    i was in miami thursday nite for th e2-1 loss.37 bucks gets u a seat 12 rows off the field behind the plate.i hate the wilpons.hopefully they will keep losing and get the manager and the gm fired.i'm just tired of this whole flawed crew.reyes looks horrible, wright is going to strike out 200 times this year.bay stinks, frenchy stinks, castillo stinks and now we'll be starting guys like dickey and misch for the rest of the leat i hope the idiot manager plays carter against righties and sits francouer.carter was hitting bombs in batting practice and since we stink anyway, let's find out if he is a major league ballplayer .
  5. RodKanehl May 16, 2010 at 11:31 pm
    Batting practice is certainly a key indicator
  6. John Fitzgerald May 16, 2010 at 8:19 pm
    gary s –

    I agree with the general thrust of your comment, however, I gotta defend Francouer. The guy is a very streaky power hitter that makes George Foster look like Tris Speaker. In other words, if you can ride out the Siberia-cold slumps, he’ll give you 20+ HR. People want him to be something he’s not.

    As for Burnitz… I mean Bay… I mean Kevin McReynolds… I’m sorry, what was the question?

  7. Mark May 17, 2010 at 1:20 am
    I was bewildered by Jerry's decision to pinch hit for Carter – I had heard that he was hitting lefties hard down in AAA and he just looks locked-in at the plate. Its very easy to second guess a decision after-the-fact, but Jerry seems to be making a lot of decisions that just never made sense. File this in that category.

    If Niese is down for any period of time, I pray that they don't use it as an excuse to give Ollie another try. Whether they promote DIckey, Misch or Gee, they need to make a change. Similarly, its time to start giving at least a majority of the plate appearances from RF to Carter. Change is a good thing …

    Not a good week to be a Mets fan.

  8. I hate the Mets May 17, 2010 at 5:08 am
    Having spirit is one thing. Being in last place is another. The NY papers are going to eat Jerry Alive this morning and they will all be calling for him to be fired.
  9. Andy May 17, 2010 at 5:47 am
    Makes no sense to fire Jerry unless you also fire Omar, or at least demote Omar to scouting. I like the idea of Bobby V as GM and Wally Backman as manager, but maybe I am crazy . . .
  10. isuzudude May 17, 2010 at 11:07 am
    This is a last place team with a last place manager. I'm finding better things to do with my time rather than watching this sorry group of losers until Jerry and Omar are relieved of their duties.
  11. B G May 17, 2010 at 1:41 pm
    I don't know if firing Jerry would help but its a risk I am willing to take
  12. I hate the Mets May 17, 2010 at 2:09 pm
    Both the NY Post and the NY Daily News are calling for him to be fired this morning. Omar is a problem too. But Jerry has got to go.
  13. Kevin May 17, 2010 at 2:22 pm
    I think the Bob Melvin era will start this week.
  14. MikeTomaselli May 17, 2010 at 3:07 pm
    Thank the goddess there's talk of send Mejia down to start…

    Jerry (and possibly Omar) won't make it past June at the current pace.

    Ollie is banished from the rotation.

    Chris Carter is on the 25-man.

    Wilmer Flores is literally the best player in the SAL at 18!

    Reese Havens is in AA

    Yep… things are looking up for this franchise!

  15. Jman May 17, 2010 at 3:12 pm
    Mets need to upgrade at every position except for 3b, 1b and LF. They need to start considering who they will deal at the trading deadline to get young talent in the pipeline. My top candidate would be to deal Reyes for prospects. Also consider dealing Beltran (when healthy) and Santana and rebuilding. Reyes is an outstanding basefunner, a good fielder, and a bad hitter. If he'd only listen to the world and put the ball on the ground he'd raise his average 30 points. But he'll spend his career trying to be a home run hitter and wind up with season averages of .250 with 12 HRs. Aside from his baserunning his best attribute is his charming personality. Trade him away and make him someone else's media darling and get back real baseball talent for him.
  16. I hate the Mets May 17, 2010 at 4:47 pm
    The Mets have to do something right now.. not dump people at the trade line. Attendance is down over 18% already according to the NY Times. The fan base is about to erupt in mutiny. This is a franchise that promised it's fans a winner every year going back to 2007. The fans have had enough. The only way to lure them back is to fire Manuel which everybody wants at this point. And then bring in a manager with a big name and hopefully a plan.
  17. Andy May 17, 2010 at 10:03 pm
    I think Reyes' hitting will return to form. He's still young.

    Beltran, I agree, should be traded if he can net the Mets a few decent young pitchers.