Mets Game 149: Win Over Marlins

Mets 1 Marlins 0

For a while there, it seemed like no one wanted to win this ballgame.

Mets Game Notes

A truly lazy late summer Sunday afternoon ballgame.

Dillon Gee pitched really well — well enough to win, no doubt.

Interesting old-school decision by Marlins manager Mike Redmond in the top of the seventh to let starting pitcher Tom Koehler bat with two out and a man on second in a scoreless game. Not to mention, it’s September with expanded rosters. It reminded me of the ballgames of the 1970s and early 80s, when starters finished games regularly — if your horse was running well, you stuck with him as long as you were ahead, tied, or only a run down, because keeping him on the mound was your best chance of winning that day. And if he was keeping the other team scoreless, you stayed with him until he let up a run — because he was dealing, and the other team likely was being beaten mentally as well as physically by his presence on the mound.

Just what in the heck was Justin Ruggiano doing attempting to steal third with two out, score tied 0-all, and Logan Morrison at the plate? I can’t comprehend what he expected to accomplish with such a move. Did he not know there were two out? Even if he was able to get a great jump off of Gee and taken the base, I don’t know why he thought it was worth the risk. He had to have realized he didn’t get a great jump within a few steps, in which case there was still time to retreat to second base. But he was thrown out by ten feet. Horrible decision, horrible execution.

Another blunder on the basepaths came when Daniel Murphy was picked off first with one out in the seventh. He was caught leaning, but the real shame was that he was only about five feet off the base — a foot less than his body height. All he really needed to do was fall back and reach for the bag, but he was so fooled by Koehler, he was picked off.

An inning later, Murphy made a very poor play on a slow roller that allowed Logan Morrison to reach base safely — and advance to second when Murphy’s throw went out of play. Murphy followed that up by making an ultra-aggressive throw to third to cut down pinch-runner Adeiny Hechavarria. And he followed that by dropping a throw by Wilmer Flores on an attempted fielder’s choice. The first play was Murphy being himself and trying to do too much, and failing. The second play was Murphy being himself and trying to do to much, and being very lucky to succeed. The third play was arguably Flores’ fault, as he made a less-than-perfect throw. Ron Darling blamed Flores, but after watching the replay several times, I disagree somewhat, because what I saw was Murphy out of position and yet again getting his feet tangled. The throw wasn’t perfect, but it was leading him inside second base toward the pitcher’s mound, which is pretty much where you want it to have any chance of turning a double play as it takes the second baseman out of the way of the runner and clears him to turn and throw to first. Flores rushed the throw with the idea of taking a shot at the DP, and he threw it too low. Murphy should have been able to glove it and keep his foot on the base. As it turned out, the Marlins could not take advantage of the “Murphy inning,” so in the end, who cares — right? If the ends justify the means, then yeah, sure.

Murphy wound up being charged with two errors in that inning. Naturally, Morrison was awarded a base hit on what should’ve been a routine grounder had Murphy been playing at a depth that anyone not named Ron Belliard plays. Whatever.

I fully expected Andrew Brown to hit a homerun to end the game in the bottom of the tenth, especially once he got to a 3-0 count. Did you?

Can you just imagine if Travis d’Arnaud‘s grounder didn’t squeak through the infield in the bottom of the 12th? The Mets loaded the bases with none out and very nearly came away without scoring.

Next Mets Game

The Mets next host the San Francisco Giants at 7:10 PM on Tuesday night. Zack Wheeler goes to the hill against former Met prospect Yusmeiro Petit.

Mets Item of the Day

It’s mid-September, the Mets’ season has been over for a month and a half, and football games have begun — so how about we start looking at some tailgating toys? This is pretty neat – a New York Mets Keg-A-Que Charcoal Grill. Pretty snazzy, eh? Buy it from Amazon by following the previous link or clicking on the photo below.

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 September 15, 2013 at 10:07 pm
    Yes, Murph had an adventure fielding, but quite honestly, if he didn’t try that play at third — which was a result of his own error ’tis true — I think the Marlins would have scored. How about Latroy getting in effect five outs in that inning? Murph, why not, helped them score their single run.

    I guess the Mets managed better than the local Manning brother.

  2. TexasGusCC September 15, 2013 at 11:14 pm
    Ironically, Murphy positioned his body to barehanded it, but reached across his body to backhand glove flip it, unnecessarily. Funny, because they won. Otherwise, it’s like oops. Flores made a very nice play also to block the base.

    On the dropped force play, the throw hit the thumb of his glove. He may have been rushing to turn the double play.

    Have to give props to Hawkins for getting out of the inning unscathed.

  3. NormE September 16, 2013 at 12:24 am
    In this four game series the Mets scored a total of 8 runs and the Marlins scored 7. Does anyone really think it’s because they both have great pitching?
    • DaveSchneck September 16, 2013 at 8:41 am
      Norme,
      Great point. Can you imagine paying NYC prices to see that baseball?

      At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I sure hope a meaningless win like this doesn’t cost the Mets a protected #1 pick next year.

    • Joe Janish September 16, 2013 at 9:52 pm
      Norm, I was thinking the same thing. Great minds think alike, I guess. Putrid.
  4. argonbunnies September 16, 2013 at 1:32 am
    I didn’t see this game. Was Gee as great as his line looks, or was he simply getting a lot of help from a crappy Marlins lineup?

    It’s interesting — with Harvey, I didn’t care at all who the opponent was, but with Gee, it seems like a big deal. Against the Twins, he got 9 Ks from mixing pitches and getting guys to chase. Then he brought the same stuff to face the Tigers, and got bludgeoned.

    • Joe Janish September 16, 2013 at 10:54 pm
      Gee did his usual thing — spotting the sinker on the edges, changing speeds and location on every pitch. He used the curveball perhaps a bit more than he usually does, which seemed to be a pattern in this series — scouting report? He also used the high fastball effectively to set up the sinker and offspeed stuff.

      That said, hard to say, but I’m betting that a better hitting team would have scored a few runs on Gee. He did worm his way out of a few difficult situations.

  5. DaveSchneck September 16, 2013 at 8:48 am
    Joe,
    Off-topic – for this recap but certainly not for you – the article link below. Not sure if you’ve seen it, but you may appreciate another voice in the world echoing some of your sentiments on pitching injuries.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130913&content_id=60455388&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

    • NormE September 16, 2013 at 12:16 pm
      Hey Dave,
      I read the article and it makes a lot of sense—similar to what Joe J. has been saying about the need for a more scientific approach to pitchers and their arms. Since Matt Harvey is prominently mentioned it would be interesting to get Sandy Alderson’s take on this issue. The Mets have a lot of young arms that have to be protected: Harvey, Mejia, Familia, Edgin and Hefner, all DLed this year. And you have Wheeler, Montero et.al., that have to be protected. The Mets should be proactive in this movement.
    • Joe Janish September 16, 2013 at 10:55 pm
      Very cool, Dave, many thanks for sharing, as I definitely would not have seen it otherwise.

      Glad that someone else out there is at least acknowledging that the world may not be flat.

      • DaveSchneck September 17, 2013 at 8:49 am
        I found it interesting to learn that the Mariners were at least making an attempt to avoid injuries through some type of scientific approach. Perhaps there are others below the radar. I think it will ultimately change, but I think the change will need to come at the lowest levels so that when players get to big time baseball they don’t need to change their ways. Human nature makes it real difficult to convince someone who has ascended to the top 300 of 7 billion humans at pitching a baseball to change their methods.
  6. Walnutz15 September 16, 2013 at 9:28 am
    The Mets tried at every turn to prolong that ballgame, but d’Arnaud’s grounder had just enough oomph behind it to get through the infield.

    The way that 12th inning was shaping up — and yes, I watched a pretty good chunk of this one — I really thought the Marlins were going to get out of it, unscathed.

    Seeing bases-loaded in the home half of the 12th, nobody out, turn to one out, two out, then finally – a seeing-eye Game-winning single was pretty comical.

    God bless anyone who had tickets to the game, and remained in the park for the 1st run scored in close to 24 half-innings.

    I probably would have left after Murphy’s amazing 7th inning (where he was cluelessly picked off by a RHP) – leading into the 8th, where he made 2 fielding errors over a stretch of maybe 3 straight balls hit his way.

    I see so many posts on the other Met board I frequent, about how he’s “the least of our problems”, etc. – but I view him in the same light as I do a guy like Terry Collins.

    If these games mattered at all, I’m pretty sure people would feel a lot stronger about his mental lapses. Still think that if anyone wants him this winter, and comes through with a strong offer…….then nothing should be holding Alderson back from executing.

    Just too much “cross your fingers and hope it works” when it comes to the case of Mr. Murphy…..and it doesn’t matter what element of his game we’re speaking of: hitting, defense, baserunning……you name it.

    Nice breakdown of his “luck” on the play at 3B. We see this all the time with him on the basepaths, as well….and it’s definitely astute, since so many attempt to cite his “bad luck” when he’s not performing at the plate.

    Another nice job by 40-year old (41 in December) LaTroy Hawkins, who I thought looked like toast during the early stages of the year. He’s done a pretty solid job throughout, give or take an appearance here – an appearance there in August.

    I have tickets to the Piazza game on the 29th, otherwise – there’s not much I’m paying much attention to right now. It’s essentially, flip through – stop on SNY for a few minutes – come back again, depending on what ridiculousness occurs on-screen during my short-stay.

    Just so happened that it was a really lazy Sunday yesterday.

  7. DanB September 16, 2013 at 3:27 pm
    Looking at this lineup it seems like a distant memory that the Mets once had a good lineup. It wasn’t that long ago that the Mets had Reyes, Wright, Beltran, Delgado, plus an assortment of usable role players. It is amazing how quickly it was torn down and replaced with a promise of a future. And the promise is only a promise of a pitching staff. I feel helpless every time I hear Murphy is the least of our problems because what does that say for the scale of our other problems? …Geez, I am getting whiney and depressing.
  8. DanB September 17, 2013 at 8:44 am
    If Gee pitches well against bad teams but struggles against strong teams, I don’t have a problem because he is a #5 pitcher. He is actually very useful as a #5. The question is would you trade Gee for a position player or is his durability too valuable?
    • NormE September 17, 2013 at 12:35 pm
      Good question, Dan.
      Personally I believe that everyone, except Harvey, is fair game. It all depends on what you get back in the trade.
      This team has too many holes to fill. They can’t afford a long list of untouchables. Some players (ex. Wheeler, Wright, Syndergaard) may be hard to deal because the return package would have to be verrrry valuable, but Alderson would have to at least listen to any offer.
  9. DanB September 17, 2013 at 2:57 pm
    the thing about Gee is that he might have more value as a Met #5 starter then he would for most other teams because he could start 28 games. Mets will have a lot of pitchers on innings limit next year.