Mets Game 160: Loss to Marlins
Marlins 7 Mets 4
The Mr. Hyde alter-ego of Oliver Perez took the mound, and with it, the ballgame. From the first inning, it was apparent that Ollie didn’t have his command, but it appeared as though he was going to grit his way through. Unfortunately, he couldn’t deal without his command and the bit of adversity that struck him in the top of the third.
Just minutes after rapping an unlikely, two-out, RBI hit to drive in the first Mets run, Perez gave up a similarly unlikely bloop base hit to opposing pitcher Byung-Hyun Kim — he of the .033 batting average. It was pure, sheer luck — a Texas Leaguer in the Bermuda Triangle between Carlos Delgado, Shawn Green, and Luis Castillo. It shouldn’t have been a big deal. The next batter Hanley Ramirez got ahead 2-0, but Ollie came back to even it up 2-2. Ramirez fought off a few good potential strike-three pitches, then got sawed off by another great pitch on his hands. However, the ball flew a few dozen feet past his barrel, over David Wright’s head and into the no man’s land exactly opposite of Kim’s hit. Perez then hit Dan Uggla to load the bases, but got Jeremy Hermida to ground to Wright, who went for the forceout at home. LoDuca fired back to third to nail Ramirez for the DP, but Wright flaked and tried to tag Ramirez instead of simply stepping on the bag. Perez then pulled off the dramatic, striking out slugger Miguel Cabrera, and it appeared he’d get out of the mess. With the crowd behind him, and the momentum of retiring the Marlins’ best hitter, Mr. Hyde reappeared, and hit the next two batters, driving in two runs.
In the bottom of the inning, the Mets fought back, with Luis Castillo singling and stealing second, then jogging home on a 450-foot homer by Carlos Beltran, getting the Mets as close as they’d get all night: 4-3.
It looked like all would be OK when Ollie started off the fourth with two quick outs. Unfortunately, the opposition making two outs has been the kiss of death for the Mets lately, as the Fish hit an infield single, a legit single, drew a walk, then hit another infield single — and scored two more runs. Watching it all unravel was mind-boggling. Other than the walk, Perez didn’t make bad pitches. Maybe he needs to read The Secret.
And that was the ballgame, because the Mets offense shut down after Beltran’s blast (unless you want to count a crappy RBI groundout by Wright that scored Castillo in the fifth. It’s amazing — the Marlins can score two runs riding two infield singles, and the Mets couldn’t muster much of anything with a dozen base hits of their own. Of course, it doesn’t help when your opponent draws four bases on balls and three HBPs in key situations and you only reach base with hits (oh, and one lousy walk — though NONE against Kim, who walks around five for every nine innings).
Luis Castillo was 3-for-5, Carlos Delgado poked two useless hits in the hole vacated by Cabrera during the shift, and Shawn Green rapped two singles up the middle. All those singles and Beltran’s homer was pretty much the extent of the excitement on the offense.
In case you missed it, the Phillies won (surprise, surprise), giving the Mets sole possession of second place.
John Maine faces Chris Seddon at 1:10 PM. It’s do or die — and now that the Phils are one up, destiny is out of the Mets’ control. Bravo, boys, and best of luck. Let’s hope the young Marlins decide to hit the NYC club scene all night long, and show up with a collective hangover — the Mets need every edge they can get at this point.