Mets Game 105: Loss to Marlins

Marlins 3 Mets 2

For the most part, it was a young pitchers’ duel. The win could’ve gone either way, and in the end, it was the team that made the fewest mistakes that came away the winner.

Mets Game Notes

Not quite the same performance as Jenrry Mejia‘s auspicious 2013 debut, but he did finish strong. Interestingly, he almost completely bagged his fastball after the second inning, using his slider almost exclusively to get strikes and set up his other pitches. I’d be curious to know if that was a decision made by Mejia, John Buck, or Dan Warthen. Regardless, the outing and the reliance on the slider was redolent of former Met and former Braves phenom Jorge Sosa — who, like Mejia, had “electric” stuff, threw in the mid- to high-90s, and was used as both a starter and reliever. The more I think about the two pitchers, the more their parallels are apparent.

Mejia’s pitching wasn’t really all that bad — it just wasn’t as great as his last outing. He was hurt by several poor defensive plays, including one made himself on a bunt. With a little luck, and/or better defense behind him, maybe he allows only one run instead of three. All in all, three runs and seven baserunners in six innings ain’t too shabby — even if it was against the young and aggressive Marlins (who weren’t nearly as aggressive as they were against Zack Wheeler the night before.)

Interesting to see Josh Satin pinch-hit for Ike Davis in the 8th inning with David Wright on third, two outs, and Mike Dunn in to relieve. Telling.

Really, really nice read and jump by Giancarlo Stanton on the fly ball hit by Justin Turner in the ninth. Was that just luck or is he that good defensively? I have no idea, but on that one play, he was impressive.

During the game, Kevin Burkhardt relayed Sandy Alderson’s explanation as to why Marlon Byrd wasn’t traded — because he believes it’s much more important to build momentum toward 2014 than it is to acquire a “low level minor leaguer.” Do with that information what you will. All I’m going to say is that as a PR professional, I found the comments to be well-spun — and leave it at that.

No baseball for me this evening. There was a “debris spill” on the helix so there was a 2-hour delay at the Lincoln Tunnel, and one-hour to 90-minute delays at the other Hudson crossings, as well as gridlock in Manhattan. That made it impossible to get from Old Brookville, NY to Livingston, NJ by game time — without a helicopter, that is. It was such a beautiful night to play, too … really ticked me off. Ah well, thems the breaks.

Next Mets Game

The final game of the series begins at 12:40 PM; that said, don’t expect a postgame until the evening, as I’ll be busy at work while the game is being played. Matt Harvey takes the hill against Tom Koehler, whoever that is (does he make bathroom fixtures?).

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. Izzy August 1, 2013 at 7:25 am
    This is a 100% loser mentality being foisted on Met fans by the propoganda machine. In Western PA it became the hope of a beaten down fan base that someday their Buccos would win 81 games. That is intil a winner came to town. Clint Hurdle shut the loser talk down. Every time it was brought up he told the talking head that a 500 season is irrelevant. The only goal is to make the playoffs and be champs. They stoipped talking such utter loser stuff because they got a leader. This team is run by clowns who spew out crap about 4500 seasons building BS, not momentum towards another year of hoping the scum found will be a jewell instead of working to really build a winner. Its disgusting that they sell it, its disgusting that their hired guns sell it, and its sad that some actually buy into it. Byrd is winning how many games next year? What about Hawkins? Hmm….none. Start again. and again and again. Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow….. Tomorrow’s a day away.
    • Sidd Finch August 1, 2013 at 9:26 am
      Izzy give it a rest, you’re glaring hatred of the Wilpons and Alderson blind what baseball knowledge you have. Sure, both are easy targets and in their own way worthy of ridicule. The fact is however, the recent CBA with its extra WC and the Free Agent compensation changes have ended the frenzied July trading environment–especially this year. Few trades were made and most involved pitching.

      Aside from Hairston earlier last month, only young OFers were traded but that’s about it. While you’re busy complaining (as always) about the Wilpon’s and Alderson, you’re ignoring the simple fact that there’s been a sea change in MLB and the July trading deadline.

      As an astute baseball man, which I assume you are, of all people you should acknowledge this instead of breaking out the hammer once again to bash Alderson and the Wilpons. Now, if several OFers were swapped then you’d have a valid point. So that being said, I wouldn’t trade Byrd just for the sake of trading him, would you?

    • crozier August 1, 2013 at 9:57 am
      Your example of a winner is a manager, Hurdle, who presided over two consecutive epic second half collapses? Interesting. No question the Pirates are a good team now, and I wish them well for the sake of my western PA relatives. But I’m not ready to call them winners.

      The Mets will be a good team, and sooner than you think. And you’ll be twice as angry about it as you are now, if that’s even possible.

      • Sidd Finch August 1, 2013 at 10:18 am
        Hurdle’s done a great job with that team, especially making them believe in themselves. It’s a young squad but there’s a ton of talent at all levels. I don’t see them making the WC or outlasting the Cards this year but there’s a team to reckon with for the next several years.

        I think Backman has the potential to do the same thing in NY if given the chance.

        • crozier August 1, 2013 at 1:01 pm
          Yeah, didn’t mean to be negative about Hurdle; I’ve been rooting for the Pirates to improve. My point was you don’t get to be called a winner until you win something. If it happens for them this year, I’m happy for them.

          What I really need to do is stop responding to Izzy and just learn to enjoy him for the cantankerous sidebar he is.

  2. DaveSchneck August 1, 2013 at 9:34 am
    I agree with Izzy’s point to a degree. Byrd this year should have returned more than Hairston last year, and a mid-level propect has value in that it deepens the pool of players to trade from over the winter, especially for a team that will need to bring in an all-star that will cost multiple players. Say they trade 4 guys for Cargo, then this mid-level prospect they got for Byrd is either used in that trade to keep someone else, or fills a hole. I have no problem with Byrd, but now they really need to sign him for 2014 at 4th OF money, in order to be a place holder at a minimum, should they acquire a better RF, and a fall back starter if they wind up importing the big bat in LF or 1B.

    This game was disappointing due to the lack of clutch hitting (again). I was also disappointed because I hoped to see Aardsma get a chance to close with Parnell unavailable. Aardsma is an interesting player, but if Alderson is serious about competing in 2014 he needs to find a quality 8th inning guy that can reliably close should Parnell get hurt or falter, which is not beyond the realm of possibility. Aardsma has been decent, and he fits the profile, should his arm be sound and back to “full strength”, whatever that is after being out for a couple of years. For 2014, it would be nice to fill that role before the winter and focus on other needs.

    • Sidd Finch August 1, 2013 at 10:04 am
      Dave, with all due respect, there was no true market for Byrd or any position players this year. That’s not just my opinion but also beared out by lack of trade activity and the pundits as well.

      From SI:

      “It says something that Soriano was the closest thing to an impact bat dealt this entire month…For all of the rumor-milling, Marlon Byrd, DeJesus, Raul Ibanez, Kendry Morales, Justin Morneau, Mike Morse, Alexei Ramirez, Alex Rios, Carlos Ruiz, Schierholtz, Chase Utley, Michael Young and so many others all stayed put, perhaps because the perception of scarcity drove asking prices into the stratosphere.”


      “It is tempting to view the inaction of the Mets in the same light as that of the Phillies. After all, the team is going nowhere this season. But only low-priced outfielder Marlon Byrd was a glaring trade candidate amongst the team’s veterans, and with no salary to shed there was little reason to move him if nothing worthwhile was offered.”

      Why was Byrd not traded? There was no valid market for Byrd. It’s as simple as that.

      • Walnutz15 August 1, 2013 at 10:14 am
        Very true, Finchy.

        I keep reading about how the Mets didn’t deal Byrd — due to wanting to “build positive momentum heading into 2014″………

        O.K. – say whatever helps you sleep at night, but in actuality – it’s got more to w/them not getting close to what they would have wanted, prospect-wise.

        Factor in 2 months more of lineup protection for Wright (hypothetically speaking), and it all adds up to why he’s still in uniform for us.

        I get on them for a lot, but am not going to piss and moan over not moving Byrd for minimal return. They can still do so, prior to the true cut-off for trades/Waiver deadline……..and I’m not so sure they would take such a big hit on what they’d get in exchange, anyway.

        • Sidd Finch August 1, 2013 at 10:27 am
          You raise an excellent point. Waiver deals are overlooked, but often end up being just as valuable as those made before the deadline. They funny thing is that other teams, the Mariners for example, are giving that same ‘momentum for 2014’ spin. Must be the revamped version of ‘wait till next year’.
        • DaveSchneck August 1, 2013 at 11:56 am
          I basically agree with you and Walnut. It is a debatable point, we don’t really know what the best offer way, and there are bigger issues so bellyaching is not worth it on this one. Yes, the markets never met the asking price, which for Byrd the public word was a top 100 prospect. This would have meant a top 4 from any one team’s list. All I am saying is that, Byrd for 58 games, momentum, protecting Wright, sise sage, etc has to be wieghed against adding another “mid-level” prospect…someone that could take the spot of about the Mets’ 5th prospect. That player has value whether or not they make the bigs, as a trade chip this winter as a piece to acquire a big bat or to take the place of another piece used to acquire a big bat. That’s all, no franchise game breaker.
  3. Walnutz15 August 1, 2013 at 9:49 am
    From Rubin:

    “After the sacrifice fly, I looked out there and he was wiggling his forearm. I said I better check and see if his elbow is flaring up,” Collins said. “The doctors actually have said you’re going to have to fight through the discomfort at times. Sometimes it’s going to be there. Sometimes it isn’t. He said it was rubbing a little bit, but it was nothing. He said he was fine. He obviously finished and threw the ball good.”

    While I think he threw the ball “good”, too……I also have a feeling that there’s always going to be this “health” issue trickling in when it comes to Mr. Mejia.

    Just wished he would have actually run out of the box on his bunt-attempt, instead of looking at the ball – and walking to 1B. He could have easily beaten the play, and saved them from the double play that was turned.

    …………and – in addition – he’s still got plenty of work to do in the fielding department (which includes keeping guys honest on the basepath, etc.) This has always been for Mejia, and it doesn’t look like he’s ever going to be too concerned about it.

    From a pitching perspective, though – I’d be happy to see “this” kind of Mejia in the future, but will always be suspicious of his health. Until he proves himself capable of being on the hill for a prolonged string of starts… enthusiasm is tempered. This all starts again for me, post-surgery — no matter how routine they say it is.

    He pitched pretty well again last night. So long as he’s not issuing many free passes, I’m pleased with it.

    My biggest question about all of these guys, and it appears that it has you wondering as well, Joe:

    Who’s calling their game for them?

    – Is is Buck, exclusively?
    – Is Warthen relaying what he wants to see, through Buck?

    I also noticed that he seemed to ditch his fastball, all-together – post 2nd inning. He’s definitely got a good slider, but you also don’t want to “over-show” it either.

    It just has me wondering what will be going on, once d’Arnaud hits the scene – especially in catching the same kind of young arms….as he’s a young catcher – learning the Major League ropes. If Buck isn’t calling the game, then d’Arnaud certainly won’t be either.

    ….not until he legitimately cuts his teeth, and learns a lot about the hitters.

    The Marlins are the Marlins, but that can’t be taken for granted —- and I liked what I saw, not only from Mejia last night….but from Wheeler as well.

    Figures neither guy would get a win out of it. Ha….

    As far as Mejia’s concerned, and the “getting ahead of things” attitude some starved pockets of fans had based on his 1st start:

    I simply can’t fathom how this guy was “a SS” prior to being converted. He really does seem terrible in every aspect of baseball (to put it nicely, “RAW”), other than throwing a ball w/movement.

    ……which, coupled with the health stuff trickling into the fray – makes me believe he just may become a reliever before all’s said and done. That doesn’t mean he had to be as a rushed prospect (#JERRYBALL), but I’m not necessarily going to say he has to be in the starting rotation, either.

    Interested in seeing what determinations they make for him……because starting pitchers do need to have at least a decent grasp on making plays, getting bunts down, running to 1B, etc.

    I’m more of the train of thought that sees him as a later-inning guy with electric stuff, who never has to worry about stepping foot into a batter’s box — or has to do very much, other than worrying about striking the next guy out.

    In seeing the Mejia picture posted here the other day, Jorge Sosa was the 1st guy to come to mind too — tip o’ the cap.

  4. Dan B August 1, 2013 at 12:56 pm
    This past off season, there were a few FAs who would improve the roster, but Alder son thought they were all overpriced. He later admitted he misjudged the changing market. Now the Mets did not move players who do not have a future with the Mets. Did the trade market change? Of course. But Alder son has to stop being behind on the changes and start anticipating them. The roster is in the bottom third. The farm is ranked 15the, the middle. Wilpons don’t have money to buy their way up. We need the front office to be more creative. Find the angle nobody else sees. That isMoney ball. The Mets don’t have the assets to beat other teams with a conventional plan.
    • crozier August 1, 2013 at 1:22 pm
      But say Wheeler becomes a legitimate #2 or #3 starter next year. And Young improves to be a legitimate leadoff guy. And D’Arnaud and Syndergaard pan out. These aren’t long shot possibilities (not to say they’re inevitable).

      I actually thought Alderson’s 2011 and 2012 bullpen assemblies looked decent on paper. They were train wrecks, true, but how much of that is bad luck, given year-over-year relief inconsistency? So, say in 2014 the bullpen is good instead of terrible. For the last couple months it already has been.

      Then add one offensive impact player, and believe me, they can be competitive.

      I’m not being over-optimistic; this scenario is well within the realm of possibility.

      • Sidd Finch August 1, 2013 at 3:21 pm
        The move this team has to make is go all in for Cano. I think it would the equivalent of signing Beltran in ’05 for the team and its fanbase. If Alderson wants to prove his mettle as a top tier GM this would be his chance.

        Taking the star player away from your more popular rivals and adding him to the formidable rotation this team is developing would transform Citi Field. If the Wilpon’s really have the money to spend this is the move to make.

        This is New York not Kansas City. It’s time the Mets followed their star pitcher’s lead and make the bold move, bring the swagger back to Flushing.

    • DaveSchneck August 1, 2013 at 3:40 pm
      I couldn’t agree more. Alderson is being paid millions to outperform the competition and so far he has not. We tout all the young arms, and a strong argument can be made tha the Marlins have more, and also have more position player prospects. Your points about mis-judging the market is spot on. This has been very disturbing and there is enough of a sample size now that I am afraid it is a pattern.
  5. Dan B August 1, 2013 at 1:20 pm
    I remember Clint Hurdle as a goofy player. Didn’t he once pull his pants down to brush off dirt while standing on first? I was also surprised McDowell, who once wore his pants on his head and ran the bases during a rain delay is a pitcher’s coach.
    • Walnutz15 August 1, 2013 at 2:17 pm
      That was Steve Lyon (the pant-dropping) — Hurdle actually struggled with alcoholism throughout his career.
      • Walnutz15 August 1, 2013 at 2:18 pm
        Lyons, that is. Not to be confused with Brandon Lyon.
  6. TexasGusCC August 1, 2013 at 3:29 pm
    As I just watched the Marlins score three runs in the sixth, I understand Izzy’s frustration all the way. He’s right about the spin the team gives with regard to winning. As far as Alderson’s role, I think he is definitely handcuffed by the Wilpons, but also it is actually pretty hard to make deals as teams all look for an edge.

    This article in today gives a breakdown of all SS prospects:

    As I look through this list, I cannot figure out how to get one of these guys; and they are still only prospects! The only free agent worthy of signing is Stephen Drew. Oh boy. So, who plays SS next year? The candidates look bleak. What about Ike Davis? He has talent, somewhere. Give up on him? Cut him? Trade him for a relief prospect?

    My point is that our talking about these things day in and day out makes it a frustrating because while we all want to win, it isn’t a simple fix.

    Add to it a manager hired as a favor to Wilpon’s buddy Koufax that is managing like it’s game seven of the World Series every night, and here is our team.

    • crozier August 1, 2013 at 4:33 pm
      Agree with you, and I’ll add this: Byrd’s not being picked up by Texas isn’t Alderson’s fault. With Cruz apparently on his way to an end-of-year suspension, how does Jon Daniels NOT offer up a good prospect for Byrd if he wants to stay in the race? But obviously he didn’t.