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?”