Mets Game 146: Win Over Marlins

Mets 4 Marlins 3

Have the Mets finally solved their nemesis?

Mets Game Notes

Jonathon Niese pitched an OK, not great, ballgame, and certainly better than his previous two starts. OK, however was all he needed to be to beat the struggling Marlins. Well, he also needed the Mets to score more than three runs, which, miraculously, they did.

Niese relied heavily on his curveball for maybe the first time since his rookie season — per BrooksBaseball, 31 of Niese’s 103 pitches were curveballs — 20 for strikes. Considering that is the pitch that vaulted him to the big leagues, and has always been his best weapon, it was nice to see him throw it so often. On the other hand, why was he throwing it so often? Is he still experiencing shoulder pain, and using the curve as some means of compensation? Though he hit 93 MPH on the radar gun a few times, his fastball velocity was mostly in the 87-90 MPH range, with the cutter 85-88. Remember, this is a pitcher who threw in the 93-95 range not so long ago, and whose mechanics suggest he should/could be able to reach 96-97.

The biggest play of the game came in the fifth, when, with runners on the corners, one out, the score 2-1, and pitcher Brad Hand at bat, the Fish elected to sacrifice bunt. Hand bunted hard back to Niese, who easily started a 1-6-3 DP to end the inning.

Perhaps watching the Nationals tee off for four straight days, the Mets learned something — or were inspired — because all of their runs came courtesy of the homerun. Andrew Brown blasted a towering solo moon shot into the upper deck in left field, and Lucas Duda hit his first 3-run homer of the year to give the Mets the victory.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Marlins do it again at 4:10 PM on Saturday afternoon. Carlos Torres faces Jacob Turner.

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. James September 14, 2013 at 10:21 pm
    Obviously no comments were offered in honor of Yom Kippur. Can you spell “playing out the string?” The sad thing is that there is the possiblity of seeing Duda get another 300-400 at bats next year. Oy vey.
  2. DanB September 15, 2013 at 1:29 pm
    If I read one more “we need to see what we have with Lucas Duda” comment, I will puke. The man has been in the organization so long that I think Choo Choo Coleman was his single A manager.
  3. David September 18, 2013 at 10:00 am
    Link for Andrew Brown goes to wrong player — you want http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/brownan02.shtml