Mets Game 150: Win Over Marlins
Mets 7 Marlins 3
Finally, the Mets meet a team that is more fundamentally flawed, and deeper in the tank, than themselves.
Mets Game Notes
Let me preface this by stating I have evolved, over the past few years, from a “Mets fan” to a “Mets spectator.” That said, I watch and measure games from the viewpoint of a baseball fan first.
With that in mind, I will tell you that I did not enjoy watching the 16-1 thrashing the Mets received from the Phillies. Further, I did not enjoy this game, either. It was poorly played by both clubs, and in the end, the Mets were less worse than the Marlins. Maybe if this were 2007, and the Mets were in the heat of the pennant race, and I still considered myself a “fan,” I would be able to look past the Keystone Cop-like performances seen in this ballgame — a win is a win, right? But this year, at this time, with this being a meaningless game for both clubs, I felt unfulfilled by the two and a half hours spent watching.
What did the Mets gain from this game, other than finally winning one at home, and finally scoring more than two runs in an inning in front of the Flushing faithful? Scott Hairston hit a triple and a homer, driving in three runs — is that a good thing for the Mets? Not really, because on the one hand, his age precludes him from being part of the long-range plan, and on the other hand, the more he hits, the higher his free-agent price tag becomes. So regardless of which side of the fence you’re on — the one that would prefer to see, say, Jordany Valdespin getting reps right now, or the one that believes in the Mets playing veterans and getting all the wins they can — this offensive outburst is a negative.
Maybe it’s good that Ike Davis blasted his 28th homer and drove in two runs, because it further solidifies his stature as the Mets’ first baseman of the future. Or, does it give the Mets a more valuable trading chip this winter?
I’m being too negative, I know. Here’s a bright spot: Jonathon Niese went six and a third strong in earning his twelfth win of the season. He had good command of his overhand curve, and we needed to see him pitch well this late in the season, considering his late season fades of years past. But, he did it against a physically and emotionally depleted club — one that looks more like a AA squad than a big league one — so, what can we really glean from his effort?
In the first few frames, the Fish resembled the 2012 Mets, with their bumbling, dropping, missing, wild pitching, and general incompetence. It was ugly — though not nearly as ugly as the Mets first frame in game 149.
Also ugly was the official scoring. I’m beginning to wonder whether we can or should trust any of the stats we see on the back of a player’s baseball card. Ike Davis hits a grounder that kicks off the second baseman’s glove and it’s changed from an error to a hit — giving Ike a RBI and Miami pitcher Jacob Turner three earned runs. Really? Later, a simple pop up off the bat of Lucas Duda drops in between three Fish fielders, all of whom look at each other and comment on their stylish footwear — and it’s ruled a clean single. What? Further along, Josh Thole hits a routine fly ball to left that is overrun by Justin Ruggiano, and the scorebook says “double.” Huh? Has the MLB standard for fielding been reduced to something just below American Legion level?
It seems like I pick on Daniel Murphy and Josh Thole every other game; then I realize that it’s not me, it’s them — they’re both clueless. Thank goodness Angel Pagan was sent to the Left Coast or the collective vapor lock would cause time to completely stand still. The hyperactive, thoughtless aggressiveness on the bases executed by Murphy and Thole was rewarded in this game — but only because the Marlins fielding could have been accompanied by “Three Blind Mice” playing in the background.
I suppose I could look past all of these flaws, put on my blue and orange sunglasses, and be jubilant about the Mets’ 67th victory of the season. Yay team!
No, can’t do it. I respect the game of baseball. If this is the best that two of the best thirty baseball teams can do, then the sport is in major decline. I prefer to dismiss this contest as two opponents playing out the string of a forgettable season, with neither caring much for the outcome nor the process. And if they don’t care, then I don’t care.
On a different subject, my healing dog has made it through liver surgery, two blood transfusions, and the first 48 hours of recovery, but is still in intensive care, hooked up with wires and tubes. Fingers are crossed for another night of progress and acceptance of food by mouth tomorrow. Thank you for the kind thoughts.