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?

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Diamondbacks do it again at 7:10 p.m. on Tuesday night. The scheduled starting pitchers are Jeremy Hefner and Patrick Corbin.

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. Joe July 2, 2013 at 12:58 am
    The first thing I wondered regarding Harvey was if they would bunt. It’s the conservative move. He was cold on the bench, hasn’t really hit well of late and (though the crew said the guy on the mound isn’t a ground ball pitcher) might hit into a double play. Bunting puts two guys in scoring position with a couple of guys who showed some skill with the bat coming up. Chances are really that Harvey would get an out there and leave it 1/2. So, the move made some sense.
  2. Walnutz15 July 2, 2013 at 8:01 am
    Not sure what was more putrid….Kirk Gibson putting the winning run on (in the embodiment of John freakin’ Buck), or the 0-2 pitch to Brown – which was about chest high and right out over the heart of the plate.

    Good on Brown for coming through.

    Thanks to Gibson for the gimme; and if that’s “reparation” for ’88, then he’s the worst gift-giver of all time. *wink*

    Agree with you, Joe – in that I was kinda mad to see Harvey squaring there…..incensed, actually – as the 1st attempt flew straight up behind home plate.

    However….it “worked out in the end”. Does say a lot about my confidence in anyone else, that I wanted an ice-cold Harvey to swing away in that spot. Haha

    Still can’t believe Gibson pitching around Buck….maybe he was guarding against the kind of pitch that was ultimately thrown to Brown —– but overall, just Collins-like managerial moves from Gibby in that 13th inning.

    In fact, he was able to “out-Collins” Terry. What a wacky, wacky ball game.

    I still laugh when people cite that the Mets are “the best base running team in MLB”. Per the advanced metrics, and “runs created”, the story “jives” —- however, as we know with so many of these things… simply cannot account for Baseball IQ.

    Last night, we were subjected to 4 more innings of bullpen burning due to yet another gaffe by Buck on the base paths. I can probably name 2 or 3 horrific instances apiece for each regular in the lineup to this point in the season.

    Like Little League bad.

    Running wildly and hoping you’re safe is just stupid. That’s a Daniel Murphy hallmark, which occurs once or twice a week.

    …..and that’s not really a true “knock” on Teufel, as many of these guys (prime examples: Murphy and Buck) enter into their own world, regardless of what their coach may tell them.

    Though, it was good to see someone in the other dugout give us a “W”. I’ll take it.

    • Walnutz15 July 2, 2013 at 8:13 am
      ………..the other thing is: we got treated to another (crap)show of an umpire HR-review on Marlon Byrd’s ball.

      Disgusting that:

      A) Citi Field’s modifications will have that as a blemish, any time a ball goes up near that orange line. Why you couldn’t have just gone the extra mile and corrected it all-together?

      Anyone’s guess; and

      B) How MLB doesn’t have a legitimately effective system for reviewing these plays. Umpires should be provided with both feeds of video; and actually take the time to look at them ——– since Arizona’s feed pretty clearly shows the ball deflecting off the fence, then hitting a second time off the top of the fence.

      SNY’s feed actually works against us….go figure. LOL

      The state of Major League Umpiring is also a joke, much like the state of Official Scoring.

      • Dan B July 2, 2013 at 10:03 am
        Are you saying the Arizona feed clearly shows the ball hitting the fence above the orange line? Wow because the SNY feed makes it look like an obvious non-homerun. Yes, stupid design.
        • Walnutz15 July 2, 2013 at 10:52 am
        • Steven A July 2, 2013 at 12:24 pm
          That footage is amazing. The difference based on the feeds is startling. On SNY, clearly not a homefun. On AZ, clearly hit above the line by two feet before hitting padding
        • Dan42 July 2, 2013 at 12:44 pm
          Carefully looking at the SNY feed several times shows the ball stopping before it hits the orange. That should have triggered review of a different angle, or zoomed in slow motion to see what caused the change in velocity.
        • Joe Janish July 3, 2013 at 12:14 am
          Wow. That reminds me of the Daniel Murphy ghost homerun from last year (or was it 2011?).

          So much for using replay to “get it right” — even with modern technology, the eyes can still play tricks.

      • Dan B July 2, 2013 at 10:18 am
        Hey Joe, if this was a AAA game, more people would be in the stands. Buck is hitting is hitting 205 and Re cker is hitting 157. Is there a worse pair of hitting catchers in the MLB? Makes you almost miss Thole who, by the way, was hitting 322 with 7 hrs and 31 rbi in 41 games in Buffalo.
        • crozier July 2, 2013 at 11:04 am
          Thole’s hit .080 since his call up, and lost a game with his glove when Toronto stationed him at 1B, so he’d still be at home with Met backstops. I do miss the days of good Mets catchers, in any case. Shoot, I miss Todd Pratt.
        • Walnutz15 July 2, 2013 at 11:22 am
          Josh Thole is awful.
        • Dan B July 2, 2013 at 1:05 pm
          Don’t get me wrong, I’d still take Buck over Thole. Remember when the Mets had one great catcher after another? Grote, Hundley, Carter, Piazza but one bad thirdbasemen after another. Things have changed.
        • Walnutz15 July 2, 2013 at 1:15 pm
          Don’t mind me, it’s just a reflex – over seeing his name in print. Similar to an allergy sparking a sneeze.


        • Joe Janish July 3, 2013 at 12:16 am
          hu … haaa …. huaa … haaaaaaa-CHOOOOOTHOLESUCKS!
  3. DaveSchneck July 2, 2013 at 9:11 am
    Somehow, two wrongs equaled a Mets win. Gibson was out of his mind walking Buck in the 13th, and Collins, not to be undone, decided to burn an out and let Harvey hit. Yes, it all worked out in the end, thanks to an absolutely horrible pitch sequence to Brown, probably the most dead red fastball hitter I have seen since Howard Johnson. Lastly, Buck is killing this team at the plate. I know, Collins ran him into the ground off his fast start, but why major leaguers swing so hard with two strikes that they knock their won helmet off is beyond me. And, why major leaguers swing for the fences when a single wins the game is beyond me. Pretty grouchy for a win, but I lost an extra hour of sleep watching that little league quality play. Oh, and one more thing, Collins used Recker way to early as a PH. He needs to keep him available, not to back up Buck, but to use out of the pen. On a positive note, it is a pleasure watching Josh Satin hit. Yes, he is hot right now, but this is a guy that can tell a ball from a strike better than most big leaguers. They need to find him a spot on the 25 man roster after all these weight lifters heal 6 weeks from now.
    • Joe July 3, 2013 at 12:36 am
      “Collins used Recker way to early as a PH. He needs to keep him available, not to back up Buck, but to use out of the pen.”

      I don’t know if this is a joke or not. “Too early” here was the 11th and he was the last position player left. We saw him “out of the pen” — this game wasn’t a laugher. Assume someone else was available for the 14th or 15th inning who could throw batting practice up there.

      Expecting a pitcher cold on the bench to hit in that situation (putting aside as Turner tweeted the worry he would pull something rushing down the line) is a bit dim. I know it’s King Harvey but his hitting is still in the low 100s. Chances are you would have him get two outs or do nothing with his out.

      The other way one hit can win you the game. Even if he hit, the next hitter might STILL have to get a hit to win the game or push the game further with your pen down to who? Lyons? Sheesh.

      • DaveSchneck July 3, 2013 at 8:41 am
        It was a joke, a guess not too good. Recks had a nice follow up game.
  4. crozier July 2, 2013 at 9:18 am
    I’m not suggesting we worship Satin or anything, but in 15 games, he’s contributed more than Ike did in 45. Batting about .400, OBP over .500, and he looks confident every time he hits. Of course it can’t last, but is anyone in a hurry to see Davis return? Especially since if you take away Ike’s four terrific games in Arizona, he’s essentially performing no better than he was in New York.

    Joe J., I always appreciate your catcher’s point-of-view, since it remains an under-reported position (Roger Angell’s “In The Fire” is the best reporting for my money), but you might be showing a little bias in even remotely defending Buck’s insane flight to second base in the 9th. I think he’s trying too hard to make up for his lack of offense, when it’s really enough to just call a good game.

    • Dan42 July 2, 2013 at 9:46 am
      Buck trying for second would have been a good move, if he didn’t hesitate. Once he did, back to first should have been the move.
    • azulnaranja July 2, 2013 at 11:13 am
      I looked at Satin’s minor league stats and he’s hit everywhere he’s played. Sure, he doesn’t have the power one would like for a 1st baseman, but neither did Keith Hernandez or Mark Grace. I think they should let him keep playing until the pitchers prove he can’t be a major league hitter. Which, I know, I know, will probably happen sooner rather than later….
      • Sidd Finch July 2, 2013 at 11:21 am
        I think they should leave him starting at 1B because while he’s no long-term answer at least he is starting to prove he isn’t a AAAA-type. If he sticks, Satin could be a useful guy to have coming off the bench for the next few years.
      • crozier July 2, 2013 at 11:28 am
        Yeah, I got the power-hitting first baseman argument from a friend today. Well, they did have Delgado for a few years, but otherwise they’ve rarely had feared sluggers in the role. Or anywhere else, which is my point. If they have a power source at 3rd and just one other position, they’ll win games, provided they also have pitching, speed, defense, and men on base. Jeez, typing that sentence really underscored just how far they have to go. See you in 2015 or so.
        • DaveSchneck July 2, 2013 at 2:48 pm
          Ike took an 0-5 with 3 Ks last night in sin city, so I don’t see him being rushed back just because he hit 4 HR in 2 days in Arizona. I have no problem with Satin keeping the spot, at least until he cools off. The power or non-power 1B argument is interesting, but it depends on the other players. The 80s Mets got power from the C, which balances the lineup. Satin has earned his chance, albeit late, but power or not he looks like he can handle the bat well and command the zone. I see him taking Turner’s spot on the bench, as he too can play 3B and 2B as well as 1B.
    • Joe Janish July 3, 2013 at 12:21 am
      Crozier, I’m not showing bias for Buck. To be completely transparent, I’m not impressed with, nor very fond of, John Buck as a catcher. He was once a sometime slugger who was OK behind the plate and had an above-average arm — not much different from Rod Barajas. I don’t like his pitch-calling, don’t like the way he receives the ball, don’t like his penchant for making enemies with umpires, and find his mobility behind the plate / ability to block balls completely inadequate. And, from what I’ve seen so far, he seems to rival Dan Murphy for baserunning “intelligence.”

      But, I try very hard to be objective, and I put myself in his shoes in that situation, and I understood why he took off for second base. Not necessarily defending him for trying, but understanding why he did what he did.

  5. Walnutz15 July 2, 2013 at 10:48 am
    “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?

    As I’ve always maintained, Dan Warthen’s a moron.

    Apparently, there was an MLB Network feature on Wheeler….which I’ll ask my buddy over in their stock footage room to see if he can put me onto — which illustrated how horribly Wheeler was tipping his pitches.

    According to the poster I was corresponding with on — it had to do with how he sets up and where he holds his glove (breaking ball = hands close to body, fastball = hands away from body, his back leg (when in the stretch, apparently, his back leg is bent when he’s going to throw a breaking ball, straight when he’s going to throw a fastball), etc.

    Essentially, the Nats knew everything that was coming………and here we had Warthen talking about how “obvious” it was that it’s his arm angles.

    Get this dude outta here, please. Calling Warthen a terrible pitching coach would be kind.

    • Joe Janish July 3, 2013 at 12:23 am
      Agreed on all counts. Honest to god, I could have hit Wheeler that day, even at my advanced age and degraded bat speed. I picked it up from the CF camera in the second inning, so it had to be really easy seeing him from field view.
  6. Sidd Finch July 2, 2013 at 11:15 am
    The D’backs closer situation is shaky at best. The Mets should investigate swapping Parnell as part of a package for one of their OFers–Pollack is young and projectionable. Kubel or Ross would be less exciting but have been power corner OF bats in the past. Eaton would be great but I don’t see him going anywhere. Retaining Warthen after this year makes no sense at all. His pitchers have succeeded more in spite of him rather than because of him.
  7. The King July 2, 2013 at 12:25 pm
    Thanks Kirk! Strike out Buck, strike out Harvey, game over. Terry played you for a fool, which ain’t easy.