Mets Game 4: Loss to Marlins

Marlins 7 Mets 5

The Marlins win their first game of 2013, giving Mike Redmond his first win as a manager.

Mets Game Notes

Jeremy Hefner‘s stat line was very good, but he didn’t quite pass the eye test. He struggled with his fastball, unable to spot it anywhere but over the heart of the plate, and usually not getting much movement, and generally hovering in the 85-88 MPH range. His curveball usually had a nice tight spin and 12-6 drop, but it didn’t fool anyone and he didn’t throw it enough. He should completely ditch the slider, which is nothing more than a “show” pitch. Though he places it safely — off the plate — it hangs and is too slow to fool anyone.

Ruben Tejada showed some curiously poor defensive mechanics in this game. On one slow grounder, he waited for the ball instead of charging it, and though he still got the batter out, it was poor execution. Later in the game, instead of getting in front of another soft grounder (this time hit by Donovan Solano), he went into an exaggerated backhand — it looked like he was going through a spring training drill — and muffed it, which ignited the Marlins’ 7th-inning rally. I’m not sure what is going through his mind on these plays, but he’s clearly being less than aggressive.

Then in the 9th, Tejada dropped a perfect throw by John Buck that would have retired Justin Ruggiano on a stolen base attempt. Maybe Tejada is having some girl problems weighing on his mind.

I’m not feeling Greg Burke. I can’t get Sean Green out of my head when I watch him.

I’m also not feeling Scott Rice, despite the feelgood story of his 14 years in the minors. This outing suggested why he’s been a career minor leaguer.

Giancarlo Stanton looked awful all game, until he faced fastball-machine LaTroy Hawkins; he may have been over-thinking.

The Mets had a prime opportunity to score in the first inning, when David Wright came to bat with no outs and two men on base. He swung at the first offering by starter Alex Sanabia and hit a weak infield blooper to first baseman Greg Dobbs. Why Wright was swinging at that pitch in that situation is beyond me. Never mind that he hadn’t faced Sanabia since 2010 — it was a terrible pitch at which to swing. In an RBI situation, a batter should be zoning a very precise area of the strike zone on the first two pitches, and if the ball isn’t there, it should be taken. Getting sawed off on a first pitch by a hurler who is barely breaking 90 MPH is unacceptable. What that indicates to me is Wright was guessing, started his long swing early, and guessed wrong.

Daniel Murphy flashed power, blasting a three-run homer to left-center to put the Mets on the scoreboard.

Jordany Valdespin reached base four times, but was a ball magnet and likely spent some time in the ice tub after the game. He was hit by a throw during a double play attempt and whacked with a HBP in the 8th.

Several checked swings called strikes in this ballgame. Not sure what was up with that. Perhaps the cold weather motivated the umpires to call strikes and keep the game moving.

The Mets bullpen looks adequate when compared to Miami’s ‘pen. Chad Qualls was done five years ago and A.J. Ramos looks like a disaster.

To me the Mets don’t look intense, don’t have a hunger to win. Maybe it’s the cold weather.

Why wasn’t Greg Dobbs ripping on a 3-0 count against Hawkins with Stanton on third and one out in the ninth? That’s a gimme and almost guaranteed minimum sac fly, especially against Hawkins, whose fastball is pretty flat even when it’s not a 3-0 count. Dobbs wound up grounding out to Murphy, and for some strange reason Stanton wasn’t running on contact and was stranded at third, though he eventually scored when following hitter Justin Ruggiano ripped a single to left. Still, it’s the process, not the result, that matters.

I may have typed the same thing last year, but Steve Cishek‘s set position looks like he’s about to drop fecal matter.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Marlins do it again on Saturday afternoon at 1:10 p.m. Jonathon Niese makes his second start of 2013 against Marlins ace Ricky Nolasco.

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. Tommy2cat April 5, 2013 at 11:44 pm
    Did anyone ask Terry why he’s brought in inexperienced relievers in late/close situations? Familia v. Padres, Burke/Rice v. Marlins – only to bring in Atchison when we’re down by 6 runs?

    These losses are attributable to Terry Collins poor bullpen management.

  2. argonbunnies April 6, 2013 at 2:26 am
    Totally agreed on Hefner’s curve. Big, tight break today — shoulda used it more.

    Rice had zero command today. Looked much better previously. I guess we’ll see…

    Hawkins was throwing batting practice out there. Every out he got was crushed. He perfectly dented the outside corner with a 91 mph fastball once, and his other 17 pitches were cookies. Yikes.

    Biggest AB of the game, Murphy batting with bases loaded and two outs in the 8th. On 3-2 Murph gets a pitch away at the knees, and rolls over it to 2B. I was surprised he didn’t employ his opposite field approach there. Maybe fouling off the previous fastball caused him to try to be too quick.

  3. Mike B April 6, 2013 at 7:49 pm
    I wonder if all those people who didn’t want Justin upton changed thier tune with his 4 hr’s