Mets Game 106: Loss To Marlins
Marlins 3 Mets 0
In baseball, like at a singles bar, it is impossible to win if you don’t score.
Mets Game Notes
Once again, Matt Harvey proves fallible, or human — whichever criticism you prefer. He pitched really well until the sixth inning, and even then, he didn’t pitch poorly — he merely broke, as humans are wont to do. During the first few frames, Harvey seemed to be toying with the Marlins hitters; he looked almost bored with their ineptitude against him. Harvey had less than his best stuff, but that’s irrelevant with him — he still is able to pick apart hitters by piercing the very edges of each quadrant of the strike zone, at varied speeds, and with both straight and breaking balls. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: he’s fun to watch, in the same way Tom Seaver, Roy Oswalt, Dave Stieb, and Roy Halladay were fun to watch — power pitchers who pitched with the precision, craftiness, and competitiveness more usually associated with puff-ballers. Those pitchers — like Harvey — didn’t over-power hitters with brute force the way guys like Nolan Ryan, J.R. Richard, and Randy Johnson did. You know what I mean?
It was interesting to watch the overall approach of the Miami hitters from game one through game four of this series. In the opener, against Zack Wheeler, the Fish were overly aggressive, committing quickly, looking to jump on the first pitch they could reach. Gradually, though, that approach changed and they became slightly more patient, slightly more selective. Why? Hard to say. Maybe they’d heard (from Terry Collins?) that Wheeler threw 85-90% fastballs, and were looking to jump on him early. Maybe their hitting coach sat them down after game one and read them the riot act. Maybe they adjusted their game based on the man on the mound. Maybe it had something to do with familiarity. I have no idea — I only know, for certain, that they looked slightly smarter as the series wore on.
Though the only run the Marlins needed was the first, it seemed that the turning point in the game came when Donovan Solano battled Harvey through what felt like a 30-pitch at-bat in the sixth, before slashing a two-run single. Once that ball was lined into right field, it was like air coming out of the balloon.
It was mentioned during the telecast that Collins was looking to push Harvey’s pitch count higher, due to the fact that the rotation is now going with six starters and therefore Harvey has an extra day of rest. I’m not sure what to make of this. They’re going to the 6-man rotation to “protect” Harvey and Wheeler, by staying within a predetermined innings limit for the season, but they’re going to push the pitch count higher? How does that make sense? The “protection” — presumably — is to control the repetition of throwing, isn’t it? But repetitions per inning vary, so counting innings is more or less meaningless. You need to count the actual repetitions — i.e., the pitches thrown. And by the way, this should include EVERY SINGLE TIME a pitcher throws a ball — including warm-ups, bullpens, throwing to bases, etc. I’m not saying that pushing a pitcher to, say, 110 to 120 pitches is a bad idea. Rather, I’m questioning the logic of an innings limit vs. pitch counts. What’s behind these limitations? Where is the science? And if there is science involved, is it flawed, because, for example, no one is counting the warmup throws, long tosses, etc.?
Shame on me for not knowing New Rochelle native Tom Koehler, who does NOT sell faucets. He seems to be Miami’s version of Jeremy Hefner or Dillon Gee — a late-blooming non-prospect who fought his way to the big leagues. Except, he has surprising velocity, humming in the 94-MPH range.
The Mets had several chances to score runs, but squandered every opportunity. In the initial inning, they had a two-out rally, but Ike Davis struck out to end the inning. Then in the third, the Mets loaded the bases with two out and Davis fouled out on a weak popup to third baseman Ed Lucas. However, the SNY crew pointed out that Davis was fouling off pitches with two strikes that he was missing prior to his demotion, so there’s hope. Baby steps.
Was anyone else just a little surprised that Steve Cishek didn’t blow the save?
Next Mets Game
The Mets open a series in Flushing against the Kansas City Royals on Friday night at 7:10 PM. Dillon Gee goes against Wade Davis.
I may or may not be writing post-games this weekend — I’m traveling to Cincinnati on Friday to watch two teams involved what some people call a “pennant race.” I’ll try to watch the Mets games as well and post, but can’t promise anything.