Mets Game 79: Win Over Diamondbacks
Mets 5 Diamondbacks 4
J.J. remains a putz in Flushing, and Kirk Gibson gives the Mets a gift. Maybe it was reparation for his damage in October 1988.
Mets Game Notes
After 5 2/3 futile innings against starter Wade Miley, the Mets offense woke up against the Diamondbacks bullpen, which gave up a run in every inning they spun. One of the main culprits was former Met J.J. Putz, who was supposed to shut the door and save the game in the ninth but instead allowed the tying run to score — and nearly let in the winning run as well.
Somehow, some way, Shaun Marcum made it through six innings and allowed only three runs. He was clearly pitching with some kind of pain, didn’t have command, and had no business making it out of the first frame. Yet, he did, then gutted through five more to keep the Mets in the ballgame. His slow pace and picking around the plate continue to drive me out of my mind, but I have to respect the man’s chutzpah. Will he make beyond the All-Star break? My guess is no — but maybe if he strings together a few more good starts, the Mets can sucker someone into taking him in return for a nondescript A-ball prospect before his shoulder / elbow / back / neck / name-the-body-part completely blows out.
In the seventh inning, the Snakes flubbed two potential double play situations. First, Paul Goldschmidt lost the handle on a grounder, and though he still had plenty of time to get Eric Young, Jr. at second base, he elected to take the easy play at 1B. I kind of, sort of, agreed with his decision there, as Arizona was up by three, and at that point, getting outs is more important than getting the lead runner. Later in the inning, Didi Gregorious flipped the ball to Aaron Hill — surprising him, as Hill assumed Gregorious was going to take the putout himself (which he should have). Ron Darling said Hill “can’t assume” in that situation, but I disagree — if Hill runs hard to the bag expecting the ball, and Gregorious chooses to take it himself, there’s a good chance there’s an ugly collision between the two infielders.
Speaking of Darling and the SNY crew, verrrrrry interesting to hear them passive-aggressively criticize Dan Warthen for messing with Zack Wheeler‘s mechanics so early in his MLB career — and also calling him out on trying to fix an unbroken Matt Harvey last summer. Has the love affair with the bespectacled dinosaur ended?
Gerardo Parra put in a big-league effort to catch a long fly by Omar Quintanilla in the 8th, but came up empty. Parra made a full face-plant into the ground and might have suffered a slight concussion.
John Buck was thrown out at second base on a wild pitch to end the ninth inning — as Josh Satin took third. Yes, it looked bad, and yes, in retrospect, perhaps Buck — whose run meant nothing — should have held at first base. But, by running, Buck enticed Miguel Montero to make a throw to 2B. And truthfully, I was surprised that Montero made that throw — probably as surprised as Buck. You don’t expect the catcher to make that throw in that situation, because if ANYTHING goes wrong, the winning run scampers home. Bottom line: yeah, it was a bad play by Buck, but it’s hard for me to fault him. Rather, give props to Montero for having the stones to make that toss to second with the winning run rounding third.
Montero made several great stops on balls in the dirt in the late innings, and made an absolutely perfect throw to nail Buck.
In the eleventh, with David Wright on second and two out, AZ elected to walk John Buck to load the bases. I hate intentional walks, and didn’t like walking the ice-cold Buck in that situation — particularly with a rookie making his MLB debut on the mound. However, by walking Buck, the Snakes forced the Mets into burning their last position player (Anthony Recker) — a move that might have provided an advantage as the extras continued on. As it turned out, the rookie (Chaz Roe) walked Recker and was removed from the game. I felt a little bad for Roe, but he HAS TO go after Recker in that spot. Recker was cold coming off the bench, and is arguably the worst hitter on the Mets roster — if you’re not going to go after Recker, who are you going after? Make Recker beat you, and kudos to him if he does. Piddling around the corners and walking him to load the bases was unacceptable.
Then in the 13th, AZ manager Kirk Gibson elected to put Buck on again — this time as the winning run — to face pinch-hitter Matt Harvey. Instead of swinging away, Harvey sacrificed — which I disagreed with. Let the kid swing the bat — he can swing better than a few players at the end of the bench. Following the bunt by Harvey, Gibson then put Omar Quintanilla on to load the bases, with two outs and men on second and third and Andrew Brown on deck. Again, didn’t like the move, because as mentioned before I hate intentional walks, but also because I hate giving a pitcher no room for error. If Gibson doesn’t intentionally put the winning run on base to begin with, he doesn’t put his pitcher into that difficult situation. Bad, bad management in that last inning. And in the end, Terry Collins looks like a genius. Oy!
David Aardsma “earns” the win. Ha!
The Mets left 20 men on base in this ballgame. I’m not making that up.
Did this game feel like a AAA or Indy league game to anyone else?