Mets Game 162: Loss to Marlins

Marlins 8 Mets 1

The worst collapse in Major League Baseball history is complete. The Mets couldn’t find the “on” switch (not surprisingly — it was a very dark room with no windows).

What a waste of a beautiful fall afternoon. I should have listened to my wife and gone for a ride, went to the park, the beach, wherever, and enjoyed one of the few last gorgeous days of the year. But no, I had to sit inside and watch the 162nd, and most crucial, Mets game of the year.

Of course, the season should not have come down to this, the last game of the year. But we’ll discuss that over the next few days.

It was Tuesday night all over again. Before anyone could settle down in their seat with their hot dog and beer, Tom Glavine allowed four runs … and then Jorge Sosa allowed Glavine’s other three baserunners to score as well, giving the Marlins a 7-0 lead before the Mets came to bat.

The Mets had HUGE opportunities in both the first and second innings to get back in a hurry, but both were squandered, taking the Fish off the hook. From that point on, it was slow torture.

Notes

Tom Glavine’s MLB career may have ended with the worst outing of his life. Will that motivate him to return, or convince him to hang ’em up?

Paul LoDuca’s career as a Met may have ended with a weak check-swing grounder back to the pitcher with the bases loaded. Though, it was a damn tough full-count pitch — a nasty slider that likely would have been called strike three.

Shawn Green’s career as a Met ended with him sitting on the bench, despite batting .407 in the month of September. Not sure what Willie was saving him for.

Jeff Conine’s career ended with a weak fly ball to centerfield in the eighth. Quiet golf clap for a guy who played the game right and enjoyed a fine, if unspectacular, 17 years in MLB.

Jose Reyes is popping up mainly because of his pitch selection. He’s going after pitches above his hands, and over-reaching for pitches off the outside part of the plate and low. It’s next to impossible to get on top of a high pitch, and when a batter reaches, the bat goes to more of a 45-degree angle and the barrel drops, causing the ball to go in the air (same concept as bunting low pitches — keep the bat level).

No help from the Nationals today. That same team that was so fired up to be spoilers at Shea laid down for the Phillies this afternoon. I witnessed two Nats jogging leisurely down the first base line on double play grounders. Thanks for the effort, guys.

Though it’s really painful to see the Phillies as NL East champs, it’s excruciating due to Jimmy Rollins’ preseason boasts. Yes, he backed it up, but he had no basis to shoot off his mouth in March. If you make proclamations AFTER winning something, then fine — you’ve earned that right. This “new school” crap of strutting your stuff before winning anything nauseates the hell out of me (part of the reason it’s been hard for me to like LMillz).

I hope the Phillies and their fans really enjoy their day today … it’s going to be a quick exit for them in the NLDS.

On the bright side, we get all our money back from the Wilpons for the postseason tickets. Hopefully it’ll come back in time for Christmas gifts.

Next Game

… will be sometime in 2008. However there will be plenty to blog and argue about over the next 5-6 months.

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. isuzudude September 30, 2007 at 1:29 pm
    Glavine’s career is over. How could the Mets ask him back after this and his two previous starts?
  2. nj4318a September 30, 2007 at 2:06 pm
    i cant believe the season is going to end like this. this whole year is torture, but a blowout? Sometimes being a mets fan feels like being cursed
  3. Micalpalyn September 30, 2007 at 2:34 pm
    Positive spin: Beltran, reyes, wright, maine, Pedro, Ollie, Pelfrey, Millz, all make a great core.

    needed a catcher: ?

    SP: (burnett, Piniero), …(not alot of FA)

    entire bullpen:

    new manager: Giradi & Carter

  4. sincekindergarten September 30, 2007 at 3:02 pm
    Guys, we deserve this. The team was . . . well, it wasn’t. I’ve got a feeling that we’re going to be rebuilding for a few years.

    What if Glavine goes to Atlanta, and wins 15-16 games?

  5. joe September 30, 2007 at 3:03 pm
    You can take LMillz out of that “great” core. If you hadn’t noticed, it was his theatrics that gave the Fish a reason to show up and play with a focus and motivation they’ve rarely had this season.

    I’ll be happy to see him exit over the winter in return for an arm.

    In fact, I’d be very happy with Shawn Green returning to share right field with Carlos Gomez next year. At least Green plays hard and respects both the game and his opponents. And yes, I prefer to take an over-the-hill, punchless, defensive liability who plays the game the way it’s supposed to be played over a “potential” star who I can’t like. That’s just me and my personal issues, though. I root for the uniform, and expect the players in them to give me reasons to keep rooting for it.

  6. joe September 30, 2007 at 3:26 pm
    I hope Glavine DOES go to Atlanta and win 15-16 games. Mr. “Big Game” was absolute garbage in his last three “big” starts of the season.

    Apparently there was a reason that the Braves won 14 straight division titles and only one World Series.

  7. sincekindergarten September 30, 2007 at 4:15 pm
    We are in for three straight losing seasons before we can claim even the Wild Card. Manny Acta will have his team in the thick of it next year. Braves reclaim the division. Maybe we finish as high as third next year.
  8. Micalpalyn September 30, 2007 at 4:20 pm
    now maybe sleep will come easier.
  9. GaryG September 30, 2007 at 5:05 pm
    I feel like I’m gonna throw up. Seems like the team mailed it in after about the third inning (8 men left on base after 3). Plus the Jets lost too. Bad day and a waste of an afternoon.
  10. RockStar78 September 30, 2007 at 6:57 pm
    Today sealed the deal, but this division was lost long before today. Getting
    swept by the Phillies not once, but twice, and then going 1-6 on the final
    homestand of the season against the two worst teams in the division? They
    did not deserve to win this division, plain and simple. They couldn’t get it
    done. They were too complacent.
  11. joe September 30, 2007 at 7:35 pm
    Maybe the Mets should forget about defense and pitching and just go sign and trade for every big bat available. It appears that’s what winning baseball has become — out-slug the other team. Or am I missing something?
  12. isuzudude September 30, 2007 at 8:48 pm
    don’t get hasty, joe. look at arizona. best team in the NL (according to record) and all they have is pitching. young, hudson, byrnes. those guys aren’t “big bats.” so it’s not just about offense. also remember last year’s world champs. cardinals had pujols and a bunch a scrubs (molina, belliard, speizio) and a pitching staff that got hot and carried them through. it’s all about pitching, and I still say the Mets need to concentrate on spending their offseason dollars on big name pitching (schilling, silva, trade for vazquez), and re-vamping the bullpen with lots and lots of arms. beltran, wright, alou, reyes (if he gets his head out of his ass), and delgado (if he overcomes his hand injury and finds his ’06 form) are more than enough to carry the offense, with complimentary players built correctly around them.

    I disagree with the comments that we’re in for several consecutive losing seasons. Using 2008 as an example, Pedro, Maine, and Perez will anchor the rotation, and all should come close to 15 wins, barring injury. Hopefully Sanchez and Burgos come back healthy and gunning, and Schoeneweis gets his knee issue straightened out. That helps to shore up the BP, along with the hopeful addition of a few more quality arms. The Braves are losing players and have no money…the Phillies are losing pretty much their entire rotation and are due to start throwing tons of money at Howard and Utley, so that limits their abilities this offseason. The Mets will have money to play with (with Glavine, Green, Lo Duca coming off the payroll) and still have a solid core in place. The key is finding the right management and right complimentary players. If that happens, a 95 win season is still not that far away. And I expect Omar to work his ASS OFF this winter to make this team better, so I am pretty damn confident the Mets will be back on top of the NL East in 2008.

  13. joe September 30, 2007 at 9:58 pm
    you’re right isuzudude … i’m feeling sour and ornery and despondent and angry and jealous at the moment.

    Burgos could have been key this year, but with TJ surgery I don’t think we’ll see him until ’09. Definitely need to stockpile more arms.

    Maine, Perez, and hopefully Humber solidify three spots in the rotation. If Pelfrey does anything I’ll be surprised. Bring in Silva, or Livan to eat up innings. It would be nice to find a big arm, but we’ll have to count on Maine or Perez turning into one. And then stock the ‘pen with about 18 guys, and we should be good.

  14. julie October 1, 2007 at 7:47 am
    Ever since the Mets traded Xavier Nady they haven’t been the same.
    I’m not saying that it was caused by trading that particular individual but since that point in time we have played the same after the trade as we did before the trade.

    We’re all in shock but I know I could see this coming at least since August. We’ve played flat since June and have gotten progressively worse with very short spurts of our pre-Nady-trade selves.

    I’ve never thought Randolph was the right manager for this team.
    I want to see good, aggressive National League baseball. No offense but I don’t respect the American League because of the DH, it wil
    never be real baseball to me and Randolph manages as an American League manager. Having said that I was not aware until recently that Randolph was not allowed to pick his coaches, if Randolph stays I think he should be able to pick his coaches and let the chips fall where they may.

    I think Glavine will likely go back to Atlanta since that is truly where he always wan’t to be. I don’t want to see Gomez traded, I just love him. We have to get rid of Henderson and I think Reyes could learn a lot more from Castillo about how to be a solid lead-off guy.
    I’d take Castillo for at least another year instead of Valentin. Alou was a great hitter but played fewer games than Floyd, that is just
    not worth eight million dollars, not to mention he was a defensive liability in left field, every hit turned into a double. I’m not sure what to do about the catcher. I thought Castro could do it until the back problem, at that point I knew he could never be a full time starter.

    Where is our farm system? The Mets used to have the greatest pitchers coming up from the farm system. We need to get serious
    about our double A and triple A clubs again.

    This team looked heartless. Reyes more worried about if his shirt was tucked in properly than if he was helping the team. Delgado
    never looked in shape and as was said on a broadcast didn’t look like he could bend past his belly to pick up a ground ball. Incredibly
    bad attitudes and disrespectful of their fans.

    As was said somewhere yesterday, the players come and go, get their big money from whatever team will pay them but the fans are always with this team, for me, for life, but right now I’m sorely disappointed that I have no more baseball.

  15. joe October 1, 2007 at 8:43 am
    Julie, all good points. I think we’re going to see a turnover similar to pre-2006, so many of those issues will be addressed.

    Though, I still think we’ll be seeing Willie at the helm come Opening Day 2008.

  16. RockStar78 October 1, 2007 at 9:36 am
    I agree in that Willie will likely be back, but my opinion is that his laid back attitude and his downplaying everything is what created the malaise and the lack of urgency this team played with. They had a sense of entitlement (probably because of Willie telling them they were the best all the time), and after every loss and blown chance to seal the deal had to hear him say “no big deal, just getem tomorrow, etc.”. This team is not the Yankees. They don’t have a Jeter that leads the clubhouse (Wright is getting there though). They still need to be kicked in the rear at times. But that’s not Willie’s way, and that’s what this team needed.
  17. julie October 1, 2007 at 12:55 pm
    It was just mentioned on WFAN that there were rumors that Castillo
    was a bad influence on Reyes. I’m surprised to hear this, does anyone know anything about these rumors?
    Thanks.
  18. Micalpalyn October 1, 2007 at 2:12 pm
    I’m with rockstar. But Willie keeps stating oxymorons…’its a long season, yet he has not rotations, no platoons, no subs..

    And I think he lost the team, by Wags statement…he cant motivate…

    Joe: The writing printed out when Rick Down was fired. Is that not a no confidence vote?
    ditto the acrimony from Julio Franco who was said to berate the sideline decisions of Willie.

    I could support Willie coming back, (as Davey did in 89), but given THIS ending he is a lame duck. The players will play for themselves but not for Willie Randolph. …just my view.

  19. Micalpalyn October 1, 2007 at 2:16 pm
    I mean how come out of four teams in the race for the playoffs only the Mets lose at home.

    .500 ball at home the last week against Wash and Fish and they have HOME FIELD!!!
    yet they were flatter than French pancakes….out of gas, nervous, tentative, confused, mistake filled…etc.

  20. joe October 1, 2007 at 2:22 pm
    Willie definitely has his faults, and if he was going to get any credit in 2006 then he has to get some of the blame in 2007.

    I think the Mets can win it all under Willie — IF Willie is open to changing some of managerial theories (particularly the bullpen, which I addressed in the latest post today).

    Much of the Mets’ second-place finish had to do with the Mets putting it on cruise control after May. But can a manager affect that, on a team of veterans? Or kids that make 3-4 times his salary?

    It’s not like the old days, where you could fine a player $500 for not running a ball out. Yes, the manager is supposed to be the leader, but there also has to be players who are leaders, and the Mets’ veteran leadership — Delgado, Alou, Green, Glavine, El Duque — were not the type to get in anyone’s face and change their ways. LoDuca had the personality, but not the respect. You think Jose Reyes is going to be affected by a guy hitting .260? Would Lastings Milledge ever care what Shawn Green had to say about anything?

    Hey and what’s the deal with Castillo? I hadn’t heard anything about him being a bad influence. Someone please get the scoop.

  21. RockStar78 October 1, 2007 at 2:50 pm
    Joe, to answer your question as to if a manager can affect the cruise control syndrome, I have a hard time believing that Jim Leyland or Lou Piniella or Larry Bowa would have allowed their team to simply play in cruise control. If I remember correctly, Piniella had a public meltdown and since that point the Cubs woke up. Not saying Willie should have done the same, but maybe a private meltdown would have helped. Seemed to me like he let the problem snowball. That’s just my perception anyway.
  22. joe October 1, 2007 at 3:07 pm
    Good point with Piniella. And I agree that Leyland or Bowa would have done something, now that you mention them. Perhaps I’ve been put under the quiet Willie trance that Delgado and co. fell under.
  23. isuzudude October 1, 2007 at 4:40 pm
    On the idea that the Mets are a different team since the Nady trade…

    I certainly agree, but it’s not because of Nady’s absence. It’s because of what necesitated the Nady trade, which was Duaner Sanchez’s injury. That injury rocked the Mets bullpen to the core to the point that Heilman was thrust into a setup role, which he couldn’t handle as evidenced by the Molina HR he surrendered in game 7 last year. Omar then failed to replace Sanchez in this year’s bullpen, knowing Duaner would miss the season with shoulder surgery. The result is a piss-poor bullpen full of mop-up guys and situational pitchers. No true 8th inning setup man. And so every close game that was handed to the middle relievers was essentially lost, and the same guys were force-feed to us throughout 2007 because there was no one else to turn to (again, another strike against Omar for giving away Bell, Lindstrom, Ring, and Owens for nothing helpful in return.)

    However, I will say the Sanchez injury opened the door for the acquisition of Oliver Perez, which may put all our minds at ease when Sanchez comes back.

  24. Micalpalyn October 1, 2007 at 6:05 pm
  25. harveybee October 2, 2007 at 1:04 am
    hey all…

    ive been pretty negative in all of my comments. but i feel like the pain in my heart can only be cured by some positive thinking, so here goes.

    obviously this was a banged up team. a mismanaged, sanchez-less bullpen. a starting staff that relied on three (old) veterans instead of a younger ace. so what to do? its up to you, omar. let’s see the pitching improve, because we know that the offense is there. we have a young, fast, exciting team, and the gaping hole (PITCHING) is still there.

    my big concern coming in to this season was pitching. i cant get on omar’s case about this, because i realize it wasn’t a big offseason as far as available aces were concerned (and how could we have known that the bullpen would completely collapse?).

    this team will be back. rebuilding is not an option. its ridiculous. you don’t rebuild when you have so much talent. you face up to a failure and fix what is broken. you study, you work, and you get wiser. you get better.

    the one problem i had with this team is their lack of urgency– the fact that they were too “cool” at times. if anything can come out of this horrible, horrible meltdown, it will be a fire that only comes when you truly have something to prove. this team, if it has any brass, will be ANGRY next year. it will be ready to prove something. it will be ready to bury the phillies. to bury the braves. to take advantage of yankee hype and sneak back into the greatness it flirted with last year.

    carlos beltran is still young. reyes is humbled (hopefully). and wright is reaching the point in which he can be a true leader. we can win. we’ll be there next year, before you know it, and hopefully we can send shea crumbling to the ground in style.

    and how sweet will it be? how rewarding will it be when we finally get a taste of that october glory? after 1999? 2000? watching gooden and cone pitch no hitters for the yanks? this bitterness…this heartache is deep. and our boys know it. if they didnt before, they do now.

    ny baseball is about pain. its about heartache. my grandfather watched his giants leave, and saw this team come to the league and quickly fill the void that they left. they did the impossible, and won the hearts of the city. and it can happen again…

  26. Micalpalyn October 2, 2007 at 7:38 am
    Worst collapse?

    lets throw in the Padres and Brews;

    The Brews had the best young talent but let the savy veteran leadership of the cubs overtake them.
    The Padres had the best pitching in all of baseball yet the Rockies and Arizona overtook them.

  27. joe October 2, 2007 at 8:04 am
    Harveybee — well said. I’ve mentioned before, part of being a Mets fan is to be disappointed, and to experience heartache. Maybe we (and more pointedly, the players) needed to be reminded that the Mets aren’t the Yankees, and aren’t supposed to win.

    Mic — nice try with those collapses. If only we Mets fans could possibly pull our heads out of our own butts to acknowledge other teams’ downfalls, perhaps it would be more comforting.