Mets Game 123: Win Over Twins

Mets 6 Twins 1

This time, the cold weather and snow didn’t affect playing conditions as the Mets “swept” the Twins.

Mets Game Notes

Technically it’s a sweep, but it didn’t feel like one. Eh, whatever. This interleague nonsense is, well … nonsense. And a devious ploy to gradually insert the designated pinch-hitter into every single MLB game, regardless of league. / Off soap box.

Dillon Gee was dealing, going 7 2/3 innings and allowing only 6 hits, 1 walk, no earned runs, striking out 9 and expending a very efficient 99 pitches. He had good command of the change-up — which he often used as a strikeout pitch — and good 12-6 bite on the curve. When he has both of those off-speed pitches working, he’s a tough customer and fun to watch.

More atrocious defense, and more equally atrocious official scoring. In the bottom of the third, Clete Thomas was credited with a “hit” on a play that was so blatantly an error, even Mets ultimate cheerleader Gary Cohen openly criticized the official scorer’s call — repeatedly. It was a routine ground ball toward the area where a typical MLB second baseman plays. But, Daniel Murphy was stationed in his softball-like, short-field position in shallow right field, and he couldn’t charge the ball in time, AND he threw the ball away. Hit? Really? Reallllllly? Really? The very next batter, Ike Davis made a nice diving stop, but instead of throwing to second base to get the lead runner — who would’ve been out by a mile — he jogged to first base to get the batter-runner. The scoring was fine on that play, but the decision to go to first was egregious; had the score been close, it could’ve been the difference in the ballgame. Yet another head-shaking defensive blunder by Davis, who has to start showing something positive really soon to be considered for the 2014 roster.

In the fifth, Andrew Brown was awarded a “hit” when his routine grounder to shortstop was mishandled by Pedro Florimon, who made the bizarre decision to bare-hand the ball instead of using the leather on his left hand. Clearly and unquestionably an error, but, scored a hit. This has nothing to do with “home team scoring” — it’s the MLB way.

In another horrendous official scoring call earlier in the ballgame, Juan Lagares was given a hit on a ball that got stuck in the webbing of third baseman Trevor Plouffe‘s glove. Really? Plouffe made a diving stop, so I guess that’s why it was scored a hit, but it’s still ridiculous — it was a play that a Major Leaguer should make.

Speaking of Lagares, and in contrast, the young center fielder made several nice plays, playing a very shallow center, and doing an excellent job of judging fly balls and getting to them.

Interesting point by Cohen early in the game: Travis d’Arnaud is listed as 6’2″, 225 lbs. — per the Mets Media Guide. According to ESPN and MLB.com, he’s listed as 6’2″, 195. Hmm … he doesn’t look that tall, and big, on TV — which, supposedly, adds size. From the perspective of my flat-screen living-room TV, he looks about 5’10″, 5’11″ to me. But then, seemingly everyone in MLB is 6’3″ and above, so maybe he just looks smaller because of all the giants on the field.

Was it really necessary to bring in Scott Rice in the 8th to do the matchup thing and preserve a four-run lead? To me it looked like Minnesota was mailing it in by that point. Pedal to the metal, baby.

Thanks to the designated pinch-hitter, Andrew Brown started, and went 2-for-4 with a walk and a RBI. We’ll see him start again in mid-September, I suppose.

Next Mets Game

Mets return to Flushing to start a series with the first-place Braves on Tuesday night at 7:10 PM. Zack Wheeler faces Brandon Beachy.

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. Walnutz15 August 20, 2013 at 8:01 am
    Definitely had a good laugh over the Twins’ official scorer deciding to score Murphy’s error a hit; which was their 1st of the ballgame.

    The SNY exchange in the booth:

    Cohen: “They scored that a hit? No…no, no no. That’s not a hit, that’s a routine play!”

    Mex: “Call your Congressman.”

    Initially, in having observed the amount of Murphy errors that have been ignored through the years, I would have thought he has an A-Rod-like “dirt” team that goes around, collecting dishes on official scorer’s.

    However, later on in the game – Murph made a “real” error — meaning one that he was actually charged for — to ruin the shutout.

    As you and I both know, very well by now — he’s got a good 20-25+ errors this year, regardless of what the final line says on him.

    Amazin’……not only in concept, but in the idea that so many Met fans will have you thinking he’s a good 2nd baseman.

    Hitting .275, with a robust .307 OBP% and terrible “D”.

    It’s definitely a league-wide epidemic, though – as we’ve noted. I was watching the O’s-Sox game last night, and saw whoever was playing LF for Boston literally drop a fly ball to LF – handing Chris Davis a “double” (in Baltimore).

    Nice performance by Gee. He’s turned things around quite nicely, with some time to get over his health issues last year.

    And you’re right, there’s no way d’Arnaud’s close to 6′ 2″. Just an observation, and not an indictment of him in any way, shape, or form — rooting for the kid to take the torch and run with it.

    Just lends further credence to the fact that you can be whatever you want to be in a media guide….

    • crozier August 20, 2013 at 11:04 pm
      I was part of the camp the claimed Murphy’s defense was improving.

      I’m man enough to admit when I’m wrong. Very, very wrong. Can I stop hanging my head in shame now?

  2. Dan B August 20, 2013 at 8:35 am
    Really Joe? Davis has to start showing something soon? Surely you meant to write that in mid-June. For all the positive this year created by Gee, Harvey, and Parnell, even more negative was created by 3/4 of the infield and all of the outfield (Byrd is a great story but I don’t see him here in 2015 and the Mets didn’t trade him). If d’Arnaud pans out that would be a huge plus otherwise our 2015 starting lineup looks worse after 2013′s development.
    • DaveSchneck August 20, 2013 at 10:28 am
      Dan,
      I agree that Davis has already made his bed. What that means to me is that he has proven he is not the #4 or #5 hitter for the 2014 team, and he may not even be on the 20145 team depending on how the fill the #4 and #5 spot in the line-up. I understand your skepticism driving your focus to 2015, and really can’t blame you given the performance and lies from this ownership, but I will continue to view 2014 as the season that the Mets have no excuses and every possibility to compete for the NL East title. And, at this point, it is not just wishful thinking. They need 4 additions to compete, albeit each significant, but all very doable. The combination of the payroll relief and emergence of young pitching makes this in fact somewhat easy. They just need to be willing to spend at the current payroll level and forego the 2014 #1 pick (barring a major losing streak). What they need is a proven leadoff hitter, a proven cleanup hitter, a SS that provides plus defense, and a proven bullpen arm that can take the 8th inning and provide some insurance regarding Parnell’s health/performance. Me, I would focus of FAs for the leaoff hitter and #4 hitter, and I would get on the phone with Texas to acquire either of Profar or Andrus. Profar is preferrable given his cost, but I think Andrus is more available and can be had for one premium pitching prospect (Montero?) and a couple of “extras”. If they give up more personnel-wise, they may be able to get Texas to eat a few million on the Andrus deal. Word is that Choo may be asking 4/$60 mil, which is doable from a Met perspective. Beltran or Cuban Abreu can fill the #4 spot, and getting a solid 8th inning arm with some closer experience shouldn’t cost too much. That leaves them with some decisions regarding Flores, Murphy, Ike, Duda, depending upon what they do with the #4 bat. Me, I’d prefer Beltran and playing Flores at 1B, but it all depends. The bottom line is that there are absolutely no excuses for not fielding a playoff caliber team on 2014 opening day so long as Harvey’s arm doesn’t fall off before then.
    • Joe Janish August 20, 2013 at 2:40 pm
      Dan, I’m working within the confines of the Mets Universe and Planet Collins, in which, Ike Davis is still part of their star-studded galaxy.

      And even in that bizarre, illogical universe, Davis will have to start doing something — very soon — lest Lucas Duda return to prevent Josh Satin from getting at-bats … er, I mean, audition for the 2014 1B job.

      • crozier August 20, 2013 at 10:49 pm
        Lucas Duda, my eye. A guy who drove in 23 runs in 226 ABs. Flores got to 11 in his 39th AB; I doubt Duda drove in 11 with his 8 home runs. Statheads can talk about luck all they want, but Flores works to get the ball in play with RISP; Duda worked walks.

        If I see him back in the OF in September, even once, I swear I’m defecting to Kansas City.

        • Joe Janish August 21, 2013 at 12:22 am
          To be more clear: I am not making suggestions based on what I think — I’m guessing what I this illogical organization will do.
        • crozier August 21, 2013 at 6:56 am
          You were being clear, Joe. I was just expressing my irritation with the club for giving Duda as many opportunities as it did.
  3. Dan B August 20, 2013 at 8:56 am
    Sorry to speak off topic but did anyone notice that the Cubs traded DeJesus away? In a market where there were no serious buyers, Theo Epstein has managed to get rid of a lot of useless parts in exchange for low level prospects. What an idiot — doesn’t he know you are much better off keeping those players, winning four more games, and then watch them leave for nothing at the end of the season?
    • Walnutz15 August 20, 2013 at 9:01 am
      I did see that yesterday, and upon wanting to see the logic behind it — for the Nats — read this morning that they put him on revocable waivers immediately after his acquisition.

      http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/washington-nationals-david-dejesus-chicago-cubs-trade-081913

      “The Nationals will learn Wednesday if DeJesus cleared waivers. The Cubs will be interested in re-signing him if the Nationals or another team that acquires him declines his club option, sources said.”

      • TexasGusCC August 20, 2013 at 9:15 am
        The Nats put a claim on to block him from others. The trade was for a player to be named later. Cubbies just did it to save money.
        • Walnutz15 August 20, 2013 at 10:37 am
          Even blocking him from someone else, it’s just bizarre.

          Washington’s 4 games under, 10.5 out of the Wild Card — and their outfield is already set.

          I actually worked with, and am still in touch w/DeJesus’ uncle. He said they’re all pretty confused about it.

          Epstein must be happy about grabbing a PTBNL + getting himself out of the remaining money owed + that buyout.

  4. crozier August 20, 2013 at 10:42 pm
    Has anyone else noticed that the Mets have the same record in Gee’s starts as Harvey’s? 13-12.

    I’m not sure exactly what to make of that; 25 starts is a pretty decent sample size. In any case, while it may not be exciting to see Gee out there, I feel confident when he takes the ball.

    I wouldn’t be aghast if the Mets packaged him with a couple others to bring in an impact offensive player, but I’d be just fine in keeping him around.

    • DaveSchneck August 20, 2013 at 11:50 pm
      Crozier,
      Gee may not have the velo of the young guns, but it is a pleasure watching him work, and he certainly doesn’t get flustered out there no matter what is going in. The Mets will have to part with someone in order to fill the multiple holes, but Gee does make a nice alternative o the gas throwers, especially with only one lefty to provide a different look.