Mets Game 24: Loss to Marlins

Marlins 4 Mets 3

Took long enough … so much for getting to bed early on a Monday night.

Mets Game Notes

No matter who lost this game, it was going to be a very tough loss. To go that long and come away with a loss is a major downer — physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Have to credit the Marlins for hanging in there. The Fish could have easily gone in the tank (pardon the pun) after the Mets went ahead in the top of the 15th. It was tiring to watch this 5 1/2 hour humdrum game, so it was surprising to see a team that knows it’s going nowhere continue to battle.

Shaun Marcum loses his second game as a Met. Can’t really blame him, though — he was a sacrificial lamb.

Matt Harvey finally fell down to Earth, but he still battled fiercely through a little more than five frames and 121 pitches. He didn’t pitch poorly, he simply pitched inefficiently. Mysteriously, Harvey threw more breaking balls than fastballs in his outing; I’m guessing it had something to do with the over-aggressiveness of the young and terrible Fish hitters. But still, that’s a LOT of breaking pitches to see from a guy who is primarily a fastball pitcher. Was this performance more about Harvey’s lack of good stuff or about Miami’s ability to go deep in counts and foul off pitches? I’m going with the former, because all the Fish batters do is swing, swing, and swing some more.

Getting only his fourth save opportunity of the year, Bobby Parnell blew it, allowing a double to Justin Ruggiano to lead off the ninth and eventually allowing him to score on a Nick Green sac fly. In between was a bloop single by Rob Brantly that was misjudged by Collin Cowgill, who had entered the game as a pinch-hitter but secondarily as a defensive replacement. The Twitterverse was killing Cowgill for blowing the game, and certainly he was partly responsible, but there’s still the matter of the leadoff double and then allowing Nick Green to hit a sac fly. When it was clear that Green was swinging away, all I could think was, “is Mike Redmond crazy? Green is never going to touch Parnell’s nasty stuff, he should be sacrifice bunting here to push the winning run to second.” Silly me.

I’m not sure it would have mattered that Cowgill misplayed the ball, as Ruggiano might have been able to steal third against Parnell, who was seemingly oblivious to his existence on the bases. Ruggiano had third base stolen easily during Brantly’s at-bat, but Brantly fouled off the pitch.

Parnell now has two saves in four opportunities. As soon as he faced adversity, he went back to the default response of throwing harder. What happened to the plan of hitting spots, throwing sinkers, and mixing in the knuckle-curve?

Similarly, Jeurys Familia lit up the radar gun to 98 MPH when he got into a sticky 12th inning situation — he threw four straight balls to Miguel Olivo to load the bases. Any idea how hard it is to walk Miguel Olivo on four pitches? It’s hard to walk Olivo with four INTENTIONAL balls.

They say that every ballgame offers the opportunity to see something you’ve never seen before. Well, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an example of combined futility with runners in scoring position over such a long stretch. The Mets were 0-for-16 before a 66-bounce infield single by Ruben Tejada drove home the tying run in the top of the 15th. Combined, the Mets and Marlins were 3-for-31 with RISP, leaving 28 runners on base. That’s mind-boggling.

Mets may have caught a huge but unfortunate break as Giancarlo Stanton seemed to have pulled his hamstring trying to beat out swinging bunt in the tenth. It didn’t look good when the beast went down, and I’d imagine he’ll be out for Tuesday and likely also Wednesday. The Marlins lineup is weak WITH Stanton, but without him, well, they’re about as powerful as a dead fish.

Very strange to see Redmond decide to walk ice-cold Ike Davis in the 15th and face Ruben Tejada, who may not have been red-hot but had already collected two hits and drove the ball well in the previous series. Tejada may not strike fear in any pitcher’s heart, but he does a good job of making contact, and contact was all the Mets needed in that situation.

The Mets used 9 pitchers in this game, with all but two throwing at least one inning.

By the end of the game, there appeared to be about 100 people in the stands. Certainly there were more than a hundred, but it looked that sparse.

I’ve been spoiled by the DVR. There were a few points during the extra innings that I picked up the remote and hit fast-forward, half-expecting/hoping that the game would somehow transcend time and get to the end. There wasn’t much drama after the ninth — it was more a feeling of, “jeez, can we just get this game over with, already?”

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Marlins do it again in Miami on Tuesday night at 7:10 p.m. Jeremy Hefner faces Kevin Slowey.

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. meticated April 30, 2013 at 1:11 am
    Joe please contact me..asap
  2. wohjr April 30, 2013 at 1:59 am
    I must confess I stopped watching after bobby blew it in the ninth… spot on there joe.

    Question though, peculiar play in the 7th with pierre up, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a play like that– turner to tejada in front of 2nd + whirl and tag, is that standard?

    • Joe Janish April 30, 2013 at 8:26 am
      It’s about as standard as calling for an intentional walk after getting ahead 1-2 on a batter.
  3. gary s April 30, 2013 at 8:20 am
    Nothing on this team is done in MLB because 80 per cent of the players should be in triple A or working for Burger King.
  4. gary s April 30, 2013 at 8:21 am
    especially Cowgill.. Good Lord is he an awful excuse for a ballplayer.Yet Collins loves him.
    • Joe Janish April 30, 2013 at 8:33 am
      But Cowgill has spunk! And he’s a dynamic leadoff hitter who could put the ball over the fence to start a game. And he hustles all the time. And he hit that grand slam on Opening Day. And he had a great OBP / OPS / WAR / VORP / in AAA.

      If only this were Strat-O-Matic, and his card reflected only the first week of the season, the Mets might have something with Cowgill.

      • The King April 30, 2013 at 11:13 am
        Absolutely true. And it’s time for him to go, even if they have no one to replace him.
  5. DaveSchneck April 30, 2013 at 8:31 am
    Awful, just awful baseball.
  6. AC Wayne April 30, 2013 at 8:38 am
    Is it me, or is this season spiraling out of control for Terry Collins? He has already hit the panic button by experimenting w/Wright in the clean-up spot, brought in a righty reliever to face Ryan Howard with the game on the line, and even though it didn’t amount to anything, intentionally walked Donovan Solano last night in extras with a 1-2 count to pitch to Miguel Olivo. Maybe the last one is a tad nit-picking but it’s a reflection of how far Collins has strayed from conventional wisdom. He’s operating like a guy with nothing to lose and I’m worried that his recent devil-may-care attitude will do more harm than good. That said I do feel that Collins will be able to ride out the rest of the season no matter how much the Mets fall out of contention.
  7. Izzy April 30, 2013 at 8:57 am
    I wonder if Redman looked across the field and thought making weird bad moves was the thing to do since the far more experienced Collins led the way in this category earlier in the evening. But the big news is Stanton is already on DL and the Marlins will make a serious run at breaking the 62 Mets’ record.
    Collins has made a lot of very bad moves already, but what it does is distract from the real problem. His GM has given him garbage to work with and he’s a desperate man trying to do anything to win with this crap that SANDY ALDERSON is responsible for. No manager could win with this group, just as the Marlin manager is irrelevant. Bad players make bad teams and make any manager look bad.
    • Izzy April 30, 2013 at 10:42 am
      One more point on Collins’ horrid moves. This is the man’s last managerial job, and when the horrid GM decided to let him be hanging in the wind as a lame duck, he became desperate to try to win as many games as possible. Player development and logical managing are out the window. Play kids over Byrd!?! Not on your life. The job is at stake and without talent, he is going nuts with his moves. But he is a fighter and will not pull a Riggelman and just up and quit.
      • DaveSchneck April 30, 2013 at 12:32 pm
        Izzy,
        What Riggelman did was absolute lunacy given the talent in the pipeline in that organization. Perhaps there were other factors not publicly available. I agree with your assessment of the Met mess 100%. Collins has had a bad season, but the issue is about talent, not managing, and that is the responsibility of the GM. Once again this last offseason, the fans were fed a bunch of crap about being competitive, having a rebuilt bullpen, blah blah blah. The Mets have and continue to procure second class talent, and the play and record reflect that. It’s not about last night’s game, or the day before, or even the last week. In all likelihood, this will be the 5th consecutive losing season. Case closed.
  8. Frank April 30, 2013 at 12:27 pm
    Bobby Parnell is absolutely horrible as a closer. I don’t care how well he pitches in the 8th inning or in a non save, the man panics in a save oppurtunity. How can a guy throw 97 mph & not get a strike out or even a swinging strike? He throws the straightest fastball in history.
    And this guy Cowgill? I’d rather have the batboy play center & hit than have this guy in the lineup. Awful. If theres no changes to this team we’re looking at 90-100 losses. We can’t even beat Miami!
  9. BaZZaB April 30, 2013 at 12:59 pm
    Was anyone else particularly upset that the mets are already so out of touch with the game that they missed the fact that Valdespin drew a walk and the got two more pitches before he popped up to short. How does an entire team ignore the count that badly. In the grand scheme not a huge deal but in that game with a one run lead and no outs it could be a game changer. The boys are down and even their attention span is waning.
    • andy May 2, 2013 at 10:01 am
      I said the same thing. Not a single umpire picked up on the error. But even worse was that Valdespin himself realized it was ball 4 and headed to first base and he didn’t even argue. The fact that not one person on the entire Met team put up any kind of argument shows how much this team is into the game. I was surprised not to see the blown call on ESPN.
  10. Steve G April 30, 2013 at 1:15 pm
    This team has quickly become UNWATCHABLE…..

    Awful minor league lineup with too many automatic outs
    Disaster of a bullpen (Alderson’s calling card, it seems)
    TWO legit MLB starters
    A manager that still does not know how to manage in-game decisions

    OY VEY

  11. Joe April 30, 2013 at 3:52 pm
    Walking someone 1-2 with some rookie pitcher up there is strange but walking an ice cold Ike Davis so a tiring (Jon Rauch pitched about 60 pitches — a career high as a reliever) reliever can face Ruben “clutch hit” Tejeda is more so. OTOH, one out of 27 people hit in scoring position. No real reason to think he would there.

    Parnell failed his job but you know, he is what he is. The team is currently stuck with him. Therefore, you can’t go up there with a 2-1 lead. You need to give him a margin of error. The hitters failed the team. Marcum didn’t really have an excuse. He should have been able to give them two scoreless innings against that line-up. Though once he gave up one, pointless really not to give up 2.

    This felt like that last day of the season slog where they finally used Perez & he failed anyway. Marlins did show something … one the day the other last place team — the Astros — whipped the Yanks. The best part of the game was the #Mets Twitter feed. Sheesh. The team is not good. We know it. But, given the schedule, there was ar reason to expect better than this in April. Not good.

  12. chris May 1, 2013 at 10:00 pm
    I was at the game and left when Harvey did. My god was that a snooze fest. What a couple of depressing teams. I love the Mets, but they sure make it hard to stay awake during their games. I did think it was interesting that of the roughly 4000 people who bothered to show up, 3500 were probably from the New York diaspora
  13. argonbunnies May 2, 2013 at 3:32 am
    Where was Murphy on Brantly’s single off Marcum? He gets to that ball from his normal fielding position. Looked like he was playing too far in and toward the middle for the DP chance. Not smart with a LH hitter facing a soft-tosser like Marcum.
  14. argonbunnies May 2, 2013 at 3:38 am
    Harvey’s fastball was flat and tailing. He never adjusted to how it was moving, and kept aiming glove-side and watching it tail back down the middle.

    His slider, on the other hand, was unhittable, and he was trying to be way too fine with it, throwing too many balls, with the Marlins chasing few of them. He could have thrown that sharp 89mph biter down the middle and gotten some easy outs.

    Similar deal with the change-up: looked good, wasn’t in the strike zone enough.

    I hope this pitch count is en route to him building up stamina. Assuming that 100-110 is the magic number for every pitcher is stupid. Seaver’s repeatedly said that he did have a pitch count 40 years ago, but it was 135.