Mets Game 152: Loss to Marlins

Marlins 7 Mets 5

The Fish swept the Mets, but at least the pain was quick. A two-game sweep is less painful than a three-game sweep, isn’t it?

I feel like I haven’t written a meaningful game recap post since early June. Is that the reality? Do you really care about any of these games, particularly now that the Mets are “officially” mathemetically eliminated from postseason play?

Game Notes

We can all agree that the 2010 season was over two months ago (maybe three). So when we do these recaps we should be looking at 2011 and beyond, right? In which case, what the heck was Jonathon Niese doing out on the mound for the sixth inning? He had absolutely nothing, which was the same that he’s had for his last half-dozen starts. In addition to having zilch, he’s completely gassed — out of energy. There’s nothing left in the tank, and it doesn’t take a genius to see that. On the one hand, he needs to keep going out there every five days and making his starts, so that his body gets used to a full 162-game season. On the other hand, why push him beyond fatigue in a meaningless season, in a meaningless game? As you know, I am 100000% against pitch counts and believe in conditioning pitchers to go far beyond the ridiculous 100-pitch count. But at the same time, I recognize that it is not smart to push a pitcher far beyond the point of fatigue, because it is when a man is tired that he injures muscles and ligaments — and negatively adjusts his mechanics. Niese’s arm speed has clearly slowed over the past 3-4 weeks, and he has changed his delivery slightly to compensate. We have pointed out many times earlier in the season — when he was full of verve — that his mechanics were inconsistent. Guess what? Mechanics become even more inconsistent when one is tired, and that leads to bad habits that take twice as long to reverse as they did to develop.

I’m not saying the Mets should be babying Jon Niese. What I’m saying is that the people with the power to make decisions should be paying close attention to Niese’s delivery, velocity, command, and health, and be more judicious in the way he is used over the last two weeks of the season. He has, after all, become a vital piece of the 2011 rotation.

What else to talk about … eh, who cares, really? Carlos Beltran had three hits, including a triple and a homer. Yippee. Too little, too late — but maybe it will help show other teams he has something in the tank for 2011, thus enabling the Mets to trade him elsewhere while eating 90% of his salary so he can go ape in his walk year. Awesome.

Dan Uggla showed Mets fans what a Major League second baseman looks like. He had three hits including a double and 2 RBI, and made a stellar play to end the ballgame. His defense is nowhere near Gold Glove status, but it has steadily improved from embarrassing to passable. You know what? I’ll take a dozen to 20 errors at the keystone if I’m also getting 30 HR, 100 RBI, .285 AVG. and an OPS near .880.

Huh … it doesn’t seem so long ago that the Mets swept a four-game series in Pittsburgh and were a game over .500. Now they’re 4 games below .500. What the heck happened?

Next Mets Game

Mets fans get a well-deserved day off on Thursday and then return to the agony on Friday to watch their team face the first-place Phillies in Citizens Bank Park. Game time is 7:05 PM and Dillon Gee faces a man who may be his future ceiling — Joe Blanton.

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. Jim Murray September 22, 2010 at 11:40 pm
    With 25 or so games left I looked at their schedule and saw they played like 17 of those at home. I thought they could get to 83, or 84 wins. Now they’re hard pressed to get back to .500. The only thing left that I’m watching is if David Wright can get 100 RBI.
  2. ChrisXL September 23, 2010 at 8:27 am
    The games may be meaningless, but your posts are enjoyable and informative. Your insights on pitching mechanics are particularly outstanding. What’s totally frustrating about the second half of this season is that it’s revealed the Mets are a fundamentally flawed operation from ownership to the dugout.
    • Joe Janish September 24, 2010 at 12:30 am
      Chris, thanks so much for the kind words. I’m glad you are finding some meaning in these “meaningless” recaps.

      And I agree — there are some very basic, fundamental problems with this organization from top to bottom.

  3. CatchDog September 23, 2010 at 8:43 am
    Joe; I began laying the ground work for some possible future opportunity. Before last night’s game, I was speaking with my old friend Keith. We basically echoed everything that you have commented regarding Jon Niese. Although Keith publicly defers the pitching mechanics to Ronnie, privately he is quite astute when it comes to picking up on the little things that become big problems. And we both agreed that Niese is running on empty and probably not doing himself any favors out on the mound any more this season.

    After summing up the Met’s season and the possible offseason fixes, I name dropped the site and you. He intimated that he’ll have a looksee. And since Keith lives down near me, I’ll be sure to follow up the next time we do cocktails and dinner.

    • Joe Janish September 24, 2010 at 12:27 am
      wow, CD that’s incredibly nice of you!

      Make sure he reads the good articles and not the garbage I often write :-)

      Many, many, many thanks!