Mets Game 77: Loss to Marlins
Marlins 7 Mets 6
Ugh … as in, “Ugh-la”.
Dan Uggla bounced a grounder through the middle of the artificial infield to bring home Jorge Cantu from second base to give the Fish a 7-6 victory in the bottom of the ninth in San Juan.
I guess you call that a “walkoff single”? Hmm … the ring of it is underwhelming, but the result is the same.
Hisanori Takahashi was pitching a perfect game until opposing pitcher Nate Robertson dribbled a grounder through the infield in the bottom of the third. Then, it was like a dam broke, as seven consecutive Marlins reached base in the inning. One of them reached home on one swing — Hanley Ramirez, who blasted a no-doubter grand slam to apply the damage of the inning.
By the time Takahashi left the game, he had hurled 5 2/3 innings, and allowed 6 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks.
The bullpen more or less held the fort until Feliciano gave up a double to Jorge Cantu and then the fateful single by Ugh-la.
Jerry Manuel made the mysterious move of bringing in Francisco Rodriguez in the 8th inning, down two runs, to face the bottom of the Marlins lineup. I can understand wanting to get K-Rod into the game to get work. But why not wait until the 9th?
Manuel also chose to pitch to Dan Uggla in the 9th with first base open. I understood the decision — the idea was that Pedro Feliciano would nibble outside the strike zone in the hopes that Uggla would chase something and either strike out or not get good wood on the ball — and if he didn’t take the bait, the worst that would happen would be a free pass. However, Feliciano got too much plate, Uggla had choked up on the bat looking to poke something through the infield, and the rest was history. Some may criticize Manuel for pitching to Uggla, but I don’t know that it was such a bad idea. However, the K-Rod decision was a bit puzzling.
David Wright hit 3 unproductive singles and was thrown out stealing in the first frame. The only other Met with more than one hit was Ruben Tejada, who stroked two singles, drove in a run, and scored one.
Chris Carter hit a key pinch-hit double to set up Josh Thole’s pinch-hit RBI single in the top of the ninth. Maybe one or both of them should’ve been in the game from the get-go … but, there was a lefty starter on the mound, and we all know that lefthanded hitters can’t hit lefthanded pitchers.
Next Mets Game
The Mets will try to salvage at least one game in San Juan on Wednesday night at 7:10 PM. Ace starter Mike Pelfrey takes the mound against Chris Volstad.