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.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Marlins do it again on Saturday afternoon at 1:10 p.m. R.A. Dickey goes for win 19 against Mark Buehrle.

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. David September 22, 2012 at 2:38 am
    Come on Joe, don’t try and kid yourself. You are a fan, and a dying very hard one like many of us. It may make you feel better to say you only spectate this latest schlop poured into our bowls by Wilpon Realty & Co, but a zebra does not change its stripes. And being a Met fan will never be easy. But a fan you, and I, are. To better days . . .
    • Joe Janish September 22, 2012 at 9:43 am
      I don’t know Dave. They’ve made it pretty hard to be likeable.
  2. Steven September 22, 2012 at 7:59 am
    I would love to have read your “spectator” critique of game 6 of 1986 world series. And not just the Buckner play
    • Joe Janish September 22, 2012 at 1:00 pm
      Ha! If only Al Gore had invented the internet a few years earlier …
  3. TheDZA September 22, 2012 at 8:22 am
    Joe – best wishes for the pooch, hope she gets to wear her mets shirt real soon (if she wants too that is, and lets face it no-one could blame her for not!).
    Dogs are way more important than any ballclub so I have absolutely nothing to comment on regarding the Mets at this juncture.
    • Joe Janish September 22, 2012 at 9:45 am
      Thanks DZA and agreed.

      FYI doctor says she’s doing well, we may be able to bring her home Monday.

  4. DaveSchneck September 22, 2012 at 8:58 am
    It’s nice to win but it looked like the Mets actually ran across a team playing crappier than they are. I wasn’t sure that was possible. Every game they play against an opponent playing for something looks like the Mets can’t play at that level.
  5. Joe September 22, 2012 at 10:06 am
    It is not even that you are a “baseball fan” … a “baseball fan” wouldn’t necessarily not want let’s say Hairston on the field. The best product available on a given day is something a “baseball fan” might want.

    The concern for long term player development is something a sort of fan would appreciate & on that level, that’s fine, but a “baseball fan” might just want the best possible way to win now. Watching Hairston do good, one of the few bright spots, did make this fan happy. Different perspective, that’s all. And, as to his free agent money going up. (1) how much really? (2) some fans don’t think that way.

    Oh. Not that I am that impressed — like too late you know? — but Collins actually did remove Duda for crappy effort. Seems given your concern, that is notable.

    Sure, bad taste watching this, but this second half as a whole is sad. You take what you can and ugly wins are that. It just is that they don’t have any good games these days so yeah.

    • Joe September 22, 2012 at 10:09 am
      BTW, again, how about those Pirates? The Pirates again was once upon a time seen as a bright spot. They were WAY above .500, not just six games, and much later than the Mets. Collapse city. A baseball fan is sad.
      • Joe Janish September 22, 2012 at 1:02 pm
        I am feeling very, very sad for the Pirates and the Pittsburgh fans. I can’t believe they were once 16 games over .500, and now they’re looking at the possibility of another losing season. Any Mets fan who thinks the Mets are jinxed should take a look at Pittsburgh fans and reconsider.
  6. Dan B September 22, 2012 at 10:24 am
    I remember the night we traded away Seaver (and Kingman.) I remember when Mazzilli was our best (and only) player for five years straight. I remember the disappointments of Jeffries, Ochoa, and Generation K. This era is probably more depressing because there is less resources available and the return to greatness will take longer. But have faith, Joe, because this is baseball and it’s the greatest game I know. One day a Mike Trout will drop into our system or Hertzog will call us and say I’ll take Neil Allen for Hernandez and the sun will shine again.
    • Joe Janish September 22, 2012 at 1:09 pm
      For me it’s more depressing because I completely despise the ownership group.

      Little tidbit regarding Mike Trout: he was the second of two first-round picks awarded to the Angels for losing free agents Francisco Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira.

      Not that the Mets would have necessarily chosen Trout ahead of the Angels had they not signed K-Rod, but, who knows?

      • Dan B September 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm
        You are preaching to the choir. Wilpons don’t have the money to buy their way out of this mess but they also don’t have the money to trade away assets and wait for rebuilding. Reminds me of when we all would curse M. Donald Grant. I still resent the “M “.