Mets Game 74: Win Over White Sox

Mets 3 White Sox 0

Finally, Shaun Marcum wins his first game as a Met. Somewhere, a groan emitted from Anthony Young.

Mets Game Notes

Mets took full advantage of shoddy defense by the Palehose in the top of the fifth. Only one error was charged, but in reality there were at least three — one being a judgment error when third baseman Brent Morel cut off a throw from the outfield that could have retired Andrew Brown at home. Morel also should have been charged with an error later that inning when an Eric Young grounder deflected off his glove, but the official scorer changed his ruling to a hit.

Speaking of, we’ve been seeing many, many errors ruled hits over the past few years, and it seems to be more rampant as time goes on. I have to wonder if a secret memo was sent out by Bud Selig to all official scorers, urging them to avoid calling errors so that averages could be higher and error totals lower. #conspiracytheory

The Mets could have easily dropped to the low fundamental level of the ChiSox that inning. Instead, they pounced on the opportunities afforded with aggressive baserunning and putting the ball in play. Simple stuff.

Shaun Marcum’s results were stellar, but his process drives me out of my mind. All that picking and nibbling out of the strike zone, the Steve Trachsel-like pace, and refusal to throw a fastball goes against everything I teach to young pitchers — and for me, makes for an agonizingly boring game. But it’s an approach that has worked for Marcum for many years, so who am I to criticize?

Strangely enough, I never minded the similar strategy by Livan Hernandez. Go figure.

Marcum went 8 full innings, allowing only 4 hits and 2 walks in a very efficient 96-pitch effort. Helping him was unusually stellar defensive play behind him. In particular, Omar Quintanilla “had a day” with several acrobatic plays.

Bobby Parnell pitched a perfect ninth to seal the victory. He threw few pitches in the strike zone. Was that strategy — and Marcum’s — intentional, and the result of scouting reports on the aggressive White Sox hitters? Likely.

John Danks deserved better. He did a nice job of pounding the strike zone and keeping the Mets hitters off balance. His defense, however, let him down.

No doubt you have noticed the recent inspired play by the Mets. Is it a coincidence that the lineup has been littered with “AAAA” players and other teams’ rejects? In other words, players who are trying to prove others wrong and/or fighting like heck to stay in the big leagues? If you have ever watched minor league baseball, it’s a similar vibe — guys playing like their lives depend on it. Nice to see. The Mets are going nowhere this year but at the very least we appreciate Major League effort.

Next Mets Game

The Mets move on to Colorado for a make-up game against the Rockies on Thursday. Game time is 6:10 p.m. EST. Jeremy Hefner takes the hill against Tyler Chatwood.

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. wohjr June 26, 2013 at 11:19 pm
    Only caught the end of this one. Pleased to win of course. Rox are in boston tonight, so even longer flight home for them than the metsies.

    Side note, I was pleased to see Reyes back and in seemingly fine form. Smiles all around as always. Love that guy

  2. Joe June 26, 2013 at 11:54 pm
    I appreciate the effort, Murphy not being at 1B and some life in the OF. Today’s game is a “thank you” for the Mets giving the WS a break and sloppily (even when the WS tried to help them out and stressing out their radio guy in the process == audio on line) gave some gifts the other way.
  3. david June 27, 2013 at 12:26 am
    Recker had an outstanding game in Wheeler’s debut. Buck is obviously in need of a week on the beach, daily massages, and pina coladas after which he should be 1/2 the player he was in April. Why does TC, and his bench coach former catcher Bob Geren, not see the wisdom in playing Recker 1-2 times a week especially the way Buck and his trade value are going at the moment?
    • Walnutz15 June 27, 2013 at 8:05 am
      That’s a solid point, David — especially when considering that Geren’s a former MAJOR LEAGUE MANAGER, himself (and would likely be the guy bumped-up to interim, provided anything ever occurred w/Collins).

      As someone who’s never been impressed with anyone on the current coaching staff – save for Ricky Bones’ work at Triple-A, and with Parnell since he was promoted to the Big League-club – I’m really curious to see how they go about things next season.

      Collins, Warthen, and Hudgens can all take a hike – as far as I’m concerned.

      With regard to Official Scoring around the league:

      My eyes were opened a few years ago, when Murphy used to play 1B. The scorer at Citi would go out of his way to forgive him for many errors… the point where I thought it was Met-exclusive.

      However, this is definitely a growing epidemic around the league – IMHO.

      Here’s where we’d gotten into it a little bit last year:

  4. TexasGusCC June 27, 2013 at 12:30 am
    I brought up Viciedo in February. Now that we have seen him, would y’all trade Montero and Panteliodis for him? He’s 24 with some power, but he seems so strong that I wonder why he hasn’t exploded, and he has a nice arm, but not much range.

    Furthermore, I don’t think Montero is a lock for being a great prospect. I don’t know if I trust guys need good control because they throw 90-92, with a good changeup and an average slider.

  5. norme June 27, 2013 at 12:35 am
    I know that Eric Young is going to cool down at the plate, but his presence in LF drives home the point that Lucas Duda cannot/should not be allowed to be out there. Just one example, on Tuesday night he cut off a drive in left center and held the runner to one base. I truly believe that with Duda out there it would have been a double or even a triple unless Lagares would have been able to get to it before it reached the wall.
    Young has been “the straw that stirs the drink” so far. And I apologize for the trite quote.
    • DaveSchneck June 27, 2013 at 9:08 am
      This is an excellent point. I agree on Young, and ultimately think he can max out as a valuable 4th OF, but I think the bigger point you make about OF D is spot on and can’t be understated. The Mets looked like a major league ballclub last night. Yes, they won and got good pitching, but at the same time they didn’t do much hitting. It is the D that tightens up a team. Q was excellent in the field, but the OF is like night and day. As you point out, it is not just the fly balls that are caught for outs, it is the hits that are minimized, mostly into singles, but speed and accurate throwing. I think big Lucas is not long for this team, as the Mets have to pick between him and Ike in the short term, with the possibility of Flores or even Dykstra pushing for that spot deeper into 2014.
    • Walnutz15 June 27, 2013 at 9:14 am
      Part of me hopes that Young seizes the opportunity that was handed to him on a silver platter, unlike so many Met outfielders before him.

      (Which is not to say I think he’ll be starting for us past this season……but more from a “role-playing” standpoint off our bench, provided he can sustain any sort of offense in his career away from Coors Field.)

      – When he’s on the ball, he’ll force a lot of things to happen within the field of play….definitely has strikingly impressive speed.

      – As already stated, he looks like a gold glove candidate in LF, in contrast to what we’re subjected to when Lucas Duda’s plodding along out there.

      The other realistic part of me saw a hot streak begin in Philly’s bandbox, and continue along in an Interleague series vs. a squad that never sees him at the plate or on the basepaths.

      – As was mentioned in the write-up, one of his hits last night was definitely an error —- but that doesn’t matter so much to me – so long as he gets on base.

      – And really, I don’t think Alex Rios had a clue what he was in for, when Young tagged up on that Marlon Byrd pop-up in the 1st inning of the Wheeler start. (He looked like a little leaguer after catching that ball and throwing a 4-hopper to the plate. Was comical to see Young exploit him that badly…..and speaks to how sloppy the ChiSox looked from the start of the series. Too bad they didn’t put more bats on the ball vs. Sale.)

      I’ll be interested in seeing what transpires back in the N.L. —- vs. his old club, to boot. At least we know he’s traditionally hit at Coors.

      Let’s see what he does vs. the Rox. They know his game (and weaknesses) better than anyone else.

      • JoMama June 27, 2013 at 3:56 pm
        re: Wheeler’s start. Anyone have scary flashbacks to Yanks/Mets game a few years ago with an infield pop to Castillo in the 9th? I thought that karma would be on our side this time but alas, we are the Mets and our pen blew it. Sad.
  6. James June 27, 2013 at 2:48 am
    Defense by Q made watching the game a delight. Agree that EY has been spark.
  7. crozier June 27, 2013 at 9:55 am
    Unusual in the mini-series was the Mets’ strikeout void. Six Met pitchers combined to strike out 3 batters over two games. Consider that Adam Dunn is often good for 3 K’s all by himself. As was reported in Wheeler’s start, he wasn’t fooling the Sox much, and Marcum was obviously hittable as well. But still, 3 K’s over two games has to be some kind of record for a 21st century 2-game series. Perhaps it speaks to the Mets’ improved defense that most of those balls in play were outs (not just as opposed to hits, but also bizarre exercises in hackysack, dodgeball, and mime).

    I agree with your AAAA theory, Joe J., though the April/May 4A squad looked overmatched, pathetic. The new crew is inspired by comparison — maybe the veterans woke up after Wright chided their efforts a couple weeks back. And as Norm, Schneck, and Walnutz point out, a real outfield might make the replacements feel like they’re playing for a major league team. Hope they keep it up.