Mets Game 56: Win Over Marlins

Mets 6 Marlins 1

It was a shining afternoon both for the fans due to the sun, and for the Mets front office due to the fact that Mets farmhands led the way toward victory.

Homegrown Jon Niese pitched 7 innings for the win, fellow farmhand Jennry Mejia threw a perfect 8th, #1 draft pick Ike Davis went 4-for-4, supplemental first-round pick David Wright blasted his 10th homer of the year, and international free agent signee Ruben Tejada had an RBI double. Heck, you could even throw in Angel Pagan’s fine day — he did, after all, spend his entire minor league career in the Mets’ system.

Game Notes

Jon Niese shut out the Marlins through six, before finally allowing a run in the 7th. In all, he spun 7 stellar innings, allowing 6 hits, 1 walk, and striking out 6.

As good as Niese was, at least part of his success was due to the over-aggressiveness of the Marlins hitters, who expanded the strike zone both horizontally and vertically. Niese was wild high all afternoon, but the Fish kept swinging through the high pitches, so it worked out great. Additionally, Niese had a good, tight, 11-5 curve working well most of the day, which kept the Marlins from sitting on the fastball. Still, though, his arm action, angle, and release point change when he throws the deuce, so you have to wonder if other teams will pick up on that. Additionally, I don’t like the way Niese tends to drop his arm angle and release with the fingers to the side — instead of on top of — the ball. I’ve mentioned this before but it bears repeating: when the fingers slide to the side, or under, the ball at release, fastballs tend to flatten and stay high, and it’s difficult if not impossible to get downward sink on pitches (it also puts considerable strain on the elbow). In this game, against the Marlins hitters, it worked to his advantage — and it will likely work against many other teams. However I’d prefer to see him stay more over the top to get more downward movement and protect that elbow, which already gets strained when throwing the curve.

Fernando Nieve pitched a perfect ninth, but to me he didn’t look good at all. You’re probably thinking, “gee, Joe, why so negative? The Mets won after all!”. But the process is as important as the result, and what I saw from Nieve was slightly concerning. First, he threw almost all curveballs — and we know he is essentially a fastball pitcher. Maybe he was working on the curve in the hopes of showing he has enough of an arsenal to be a starter, since he’s made it clear he doesn’t enjoy relief. But he was also opening up his front side very early and short-arming his pitches — I’m not sure if it’s something he has to do in order to get good spin on the curve or if his shoulder is bothering him. The third “yellow” flag for me was his body language, particularly after the last out was recorded. You never would’ve guessed the Mets just won the game — he looked indifferent, bordering on miserable. Was it because of pain? Was he unhappy to be coming out of the ‘pen? Something else?

Ike Davis’ perfect day included two doubles, three runs scored, and an RBI. It’s safe to say he has become a fan favorite in Flushing.

David Wright’s 10th homer was a monster shot off the restaurant glass high in left field. He also had a single and a walk and drove in three, scored twice. He’s now hitting .270 and based on his approach and huge swings, am going to go on a limb and say that he has turned himself into a “go for the downs” slugger in the style of Mark Reynolds. Which is too bad, because although he may help him hit 30 HRs instead of 20-25, he may no longer be a .300 hitter and therefore not a 100-run guy. We’ll see, though, I could be wrong.

Jeff Francoeur had two more hits — though one was a cheap swinging bunt that Jorge Cantu hoped would go foul — and an RBI. When Francoeur is hot, he’s red hot. His hot streak has been a boon to my fantasy team as well.

Next Mets Game

The third and final game of this weekend series takes place at 1:10 PM. Hisanori Takahashi takes the hill against Ricky Nolasco.

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. MikeTomaselli June 6, 2010 at 6:19 am
    I read your blog for this kind of input, Joe. Specifically the Niese analysis; on a day I could not watch the game live but only listen online your analysis is that much better. I don't necessarily agree on Wright. I know the evidence is there, but I think his average will come back up by season's end. He has certainly cut down on the strike outs a bit, and I think he has yet to have one of his patented unconscious streaks that will raise his average several points over a week or two.
  2. micalpalyn June 6, 2010 at 2:17 pm
    I like Nieve. He has made a great addition, but very obviously he has arm issues. I WAS CERTAIN he would go on the DL, and I expect him to. Meanwhile Bobby Parnall, Dillon Gee and even Kunz are making great cases to be promoted……AND are healthy.

    Enter text right here!

  3. isuzudude June 6, 2010 at 6:19 pm
    Mic: Eddie Kunz has a 5.82 ERA and has more walks than strikeouts pitching for AA Binghamton. How in the world is he making a great case to be promoted?

    Furthermore, with Niese back from the DL, and Takahashi/Dickey still pitching well in the rotation, why would Dillon Gee be considered for promotion? And Parnell is still a one-trick pony with bad command and no secondary pitch. You're 0-for-3.

  4. MikeTomaselli June 6, 2010 at 6:35 pm
    Recently Kunz had a good start… that's about all you can say about him. Since then he has been bad again. Many things could have contributed to his good performance, but he has to prove it for much longer to ever be considered for the ML roster again. I think the plan is to use him as a starter until he gets something together. If he does then they will move him back into the bullpen. They think he needs more innings thus the starting.

    Gee is an unspectacular pitcher that needs work. His stuff is not that good and he needs command to be successful. He will need to learn to be savvy and sly to get hitters out and either guys like him figure it out or fade away. I'd bet on fade away, but you never know.

    Parnell is a guy I'm positive about. He is working exclusively as a relief pitcher now, he is still throwing very hard, and success seems around the corner. He has had several good outings recently but also has had some stinkers more recently. Point is he is still young enough and talented enough to put it together. September call up is his likely path back to the Mets and maybe a place in the bullpen next year. I really applaud the Mets for putting him in AAA and letting him develop his secondary pitches. His name is not mentioned daily anywhere I know of and so the pressure to perform is not there. Just let him get his secondary stuff developed and then talk about bringing him up again.

  5. isuzudude June 6, 2010 at 8:03 pm
    Actually, Kunz is back in the bullpen for Binghamton now after starting the season as a starter. Either way, his numbers this year are ugly, and I wouldn't doubt that he'll no longer be with the organization by season's end.

    Everything else you write I generally agree with.

  6. Matt Himelfarb June 8, 2010 at 3:13 pm
    Joe, I'm not sure if I'm correct, but I've read elsewhere that it is actually beneficial to a pitcher's shoulder and elbow to have their fingers either on the side of the ball (showing it to third base) or under the ball, and that over-thetop with the fingers actually causes injury.