Mets Game 133: Loss To Marlins

Marlins 6 Mets 0

so much depends
a read wheel
dazed with over
beside the florida

Mets Game Notes

Mike Pelfrey had his ups and downs but shut out the Fish through the first six innings, then ran into some minor trouble in the seventh that we’ll get into shortly. By the time he exited, Pelfrey allowed four runs on six hits and four walks in six innings, striking out three.

The turning point in the game came in seventh, with men on first and second and opposing pitcher Javier Vazquez at the plate. Anticipating a bunt, the Mets chose to run the “wheel play”, which means that the third baseman and first baseman charge aggressively, the shortstop covers third, and the plan is to try and nail the runner going from second to third. Almost always, the second baseman will cover first, so that if there is no play at third, you can still get an out at first. For some reason, Justin Turner was covering second, which meant there was no one to cover first. I’m not sure if the play was designed that way, but it was crystal clear that Turner was covering second long before the pitch was thrown — he was about three feet away from second base. So if the play was NOT designed to have Turner covering second, there was plenty of time for someone to call time (such as catcher Josh Thole), and/or for Pelfrey to step off the rubber. If it WAS designed that way, then whomever fields the bunt MUST throw to third no matter what, and failing that, throw to second. As it was, David Wright and Nick Evans charged, Reyes raced to third, Turner to second, Wright picked up the bunt by Vazquez, did not have a play at 3B, did not have a play at 2B, and Vazquez trotted to first base without a throw. The final result was bases loaded, none out — which is generally worse than one out, men on second and third. If you missed the game then you missed the Marlins turn that debacle into a five-run inning; I won’t get into the details, because they are just that — just know that Pelfrey fell apart at that point, because, well, that’s what he does. The bottom line is: what the heck was going on with that wheel play? William Carlos Williams would’ve been tongue-tied.

Though, it didn’t matter all that much, because it is difficult to win when you don’t score any runs in the first nine innings. The Mets were shut out on six hits and one walk, and went down swinging eight times. The low walk total suggests that the Mets once again went with the reverse scouting report of swinging early in the count instead of looking for the walk — but it didn’t work out well. Vazquez limited them to three hits and a walk through the first seven — anyone else wondering how Javy went from horrendous to pristine as a result of the All-Star Break? Hmm…

David Wright and Josh Thole both went 2-for-3, and Jose Reyes stole his 35th base. That was the extent of the offensive excitement.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Marlins play again on Wednesday night in a 7:10 PM start. Chris Capuano faces Chris Volstad.

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. Joe August 30, 2011 at 10:39 pm
    I thought Pelfrey was done after six. He had to gut out the sixth as it is. The wheel was horrible but Pelfrey looked done anyway. He got no one out. Imagine if the bullpen came in clean. Yeah, the Mets scored no runs, though after being down 5-0, they very well could have been going through the motions. That game was going to be won 2-1 or something. If Pelfrey was taken out after six, the Mets MIGHT have won it. Oh well.
    • Joe Janish August 30, 2011 at 11:17 pm
      I was mildly stunned that Pelfrey was on the mound to start the seventh. But, then again, the guy who made that decision was the same guy who called the wheel play. So there you go.
  2. Corey Gorey August 30, 2011 at 10:55 pm
    Joe J – After a game like tonight, I appreciate the WCW parody.
    • Joe Janish August 30, 2011 at 11:19 pm
      It’s not often I get to cite a Modernist in a Mets blog … much less one from Rutherford, NJ. Have to jump on opportunities like that with both feet!
  3. wohjr August 31, 2011 at 1:23 pm
    Is Pelf supposed to be covering first there on that wheel?
    • Joe Janish August 31, 2011 at 3:09 pm
      No, Pelfrey is part of the bunt coverage. The thought is that you have 4 people (P,C,1B, 3B) going after the ball, and one of them will get to it quickly enough to get the lead runner at 3B. The only person who can be covering is the second baseman. In that situation last night, however, they had the second baseman covering second base on a pickoff play. Either Pelfrey should have gone ahead with the pickoff, or he should have stepped off the rubber. With Turner practically standing on 2B, there was no possibility of him getting to 1B. If Pelfrey didn’t step off on his own, then the catcher (Thole) should have called time. Someone there has to take charge — generally it is the catcher. Or, Terry Collins really did want to play the wheel that way, with no one covering first. I’m really not sure.
  4. Kyle Schnitzer September 1, 2011 at 12:42 am
    I really enjoyed the WCW reference. One of my favorite poets from my poetry class, along with Gary Soto and Anthony Hecht.