Mets Game 23: Win Over Marlins

Mets 4 Marlins 3

Mets rally in the bottom of the ninth and win their third in a row — and that, my friends, is called a winning streak.

Mets Game Notes

Omar Quintanilla, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and Curtis Granderson get the biggest hits of the evening in an exciting bottom of the ninth to give Jeurys Familia his first career MLB win.

Zack Wheeler pitched well against the aggressive Fish — all the way through 6 innings and 110 pitches — but was saddled with a no-decision.

Gonzalez Germen pitched very well, too, until he gave up back-to-back homers to Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Garrett Jones. I know, that sounds like I’m being snarky, but in truth, right up to Saltalamacchia’s blast, I was thinking, “Germen is doing a heckuva job here.” Based on what we’ve seen from Terry Collins in the past, I was very surprised to see Germen still in the game to face Jones with Scott Rice ready in the bullpen. After throwing 37 pitches, Germen is unavailable until Sunday.

Speaking of unavailability, there was talk of Rice being unavailable today because he had pitched on back-to-back days. Normally I’m the first to call out overuse, but I’m curious about where this thinking came from regarding Rice, as he’d thrown only 6 pitches on Wednesday and 7 pitches on Thursday, which meant he should have been fine to throw on Friday. However, we don’t know how many pitches he threw in the bullpen warming up for those outings, and, perhaps more importantly, we don’t know what information Rice is providing to Collins / Dan Warthen / the Mets trainers. Rice’s mechanics are — like many pitchers — flawed, as he puts significant strain on his elbow and limits shoulder rotation with his dart-throwing motion, so I wonder if part of his arm is barking.

Usually sure-handed and often spectacular Adeiny Hechevarria must have been on drugs, because he muffed two ground balls that for him, were routine. Of course, both plays were ruled as hits rather than charged as errors by the official scorer.

In the top of the ninth, Daniel Murphy let a line drive go off his glove for a hit to start the inning, he kicked the next batter’s grounder to Ruben Tejada for a force-out, and, as if that weren’t enough, he flubbed the third ball hit in the inning (again, to him) such that he might’ve killed the double play had it not been for Tejada saving his butt with a perfect exchange and rifle relay to first. #MurphysLaw?

I was surprised to see Saltalamacchia go to first instead of second on Travis d’Arnaud‘s sacrifice bunt in the bottom of the ninth. With Lucas Duda running, there was a good shot to get him at second, and, with Hechavarria’s slick footwork and strong arm, there still might’ve been enough time to get d’Arnaud at first regardless of whether Duda was out.

Yet another manager makes the mind-blogging decision to play the infield in, early in the game, with Eric Young, Jr. on third base, no score, and David Wright at the plate. Once again, Wright ripped a single through the drawn-in infield to drive in Young. I get that today’s managers are push-button proletariats who carry out orders from the brainiacs in the front-office think tank, but aren’t the people down on the field there for a reason? Such as to take note of the fact that one of the five fastest men in MLB is on third base, which means bringing in the infield is a really bad plan? As mentioned previously, the only way you prevent Young from scoring is if Wright hits an absolute bullet right at someone — and even then, it either has to be a line drive that’s caught on the fly, or a one-hopper that is perfectly fielded, perfectly exchanged, perfectly thrown to the catcher, who then must be perfectly positioned, catch the ball perfectly, and apply the tag perfectly. Too much can go wrong with that much speed on third base — a team is better off staying back and expanding range, especially so early in the ballgame.

What is it about Steve Cishek against the Mets? It seems like every time he enters a Mets game, we hear about how he’s converted 101 straight save opps, or hasn’t allowed a hit in three weeks, or is challenging Don Drysdale‘s consecutive shutout innings record, and yet, inevitably, he craps the bed and resembles Sean Green? It’s mystifying … or, is it, Metstifying?

Oh my goodness the Mets are in second place! Is that the sound of seven angelic trumpeters heard in the distance?

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Marlins do it again on Saturday night at 7:10 PM. Jenrry Mejia faces Kevin Slowey.

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. crozier April 25, 2014 at 11:33 pm
    Baseball’s a game of inches, like they say. German thought he’d completed the 9th on a pitch that might have missed by a hair, if at all. But he has to regroup after that, and instead he unravelled. Hope he learns from it.

    As for Wheeler, good job, but he’s got to get to the 7th inning. If the staff is comprised of 6-inning wonders, the bullpen, regardless of its surprising performance so far, is going to get tired fast. Still, the numbers don’t lie: 11 straight games with starters allowing 3 runs or less. That’s going to win games.

    I’m reminded of 1972, when no Met reached 100 hits and the team OPS was .639, one of the lowest ever – yet they finished 10 games above .500. Good pitching will get you there every time.

    • Eric April 26, 2014 at 4:17 am
      Bad pitch on Saltalamacchia’s HR but I thought Jones got lucky on the 2nd HR. Good change-up and Jones was way out in front.
      • argonbunnies April 26, 2014 at 6:55 pm
        Agreed. Good outing by Germen, just one bad pitch in a count where Salty knew it was coming. (I’d generally prefer to throw the fastball and take my chances rather than risk walking the tying run on base, but Salty’s enough of a hacker that I’d have gone with the change-up there.)
        • DaveSchneck April 28, 2014 at 8:31 am
          Argon,
          My neighbor was very upset with Germen, but I agree with you. Despite the results, overall he looked very good, and threw some downright filthy pitches before the HRs. Yeah, he certainly could have gotten the call on Salty, and then grooved a 3-2 FB to a hot hitter, but Jones was fooled and best of all the team picked him up. He is a good piece in the pen but not quite an 8th/9th inning guy at this point.
  2. Wohjr April 26, 2014 at 2:30 am
    I was going to come on and comment but crozier said it 1) Germen: I thought that slider (?) was strike three but you have to use it to your advantage and make the next ones better. 2) I think I just spoiled by lagares but every route chris young takes to fly balls makes me nervous. It’s like he is just making the catch by cutting it off while lagares is catching em all coming in (except the robberies). If young can’t crank I am not that excited. What is dicek spraying on his arms??????
    • argonbunnies April 26, 2014 at 6:57 pm
      Agreed. Young looks really awkward out there after the last year of watching Lagares get to everything and make most of ’em look easy.
      • argonbunnies April 26, 2014 at 6:58 pm
        CY also hasn’t managed to take his spring training approach into real games. Swing hard, go fishing, pull everything — looks like he’s back to his old self.
  3. Eric April 26, 2014 at 4:10 am
    “he kicked the next batter’s grounder to Ruben Tejada for a force-out”

    “Kicked” is giving Murph too much credit. The ball actually got through his glove, was past him, and somehow ricocheted off the tip of his left heel straight to Quintanilla. He had no idea. That inning was a brutal defensive sequence for Murph that somehow netted 3 outs.

  4. Craig April 26, 2014 at 3:15 pm
    i am pleased the team is playing lately. Teamwork, timely hits, and good starting pitching has them winning. Lets hope it continues. Although I feel Collins will find a way to derail the winning atmosphere.

    Yes Murph had a bad day in the field, however, so hasn’t every other infielder during the course of the season. He gets better every year in the field and he continues to hit well. Not too many others match his consistency. I don’t understand why he continues to be bashed. [ yes I know, I bash Collins often, but he deserves it].

    So let’s sweep the Marlins and stay in second place as long as possible.

  5. david April 28, 2014 at 1:58 am
    Chris Young hits a 2 run HR today, and a solo shot to help the Mets win on Thursday. That is what he is there for, and frankly the Mets need offense so badly I can live with a .220 hitter so long as he hits bombs but agree he needs to get about 350-400 ABS, not 550-600. I really like the outfield group but think Grandy needs a blow more often. We need another infielder who can hit. I sae Eric Campbell getting reps at SS at Las Vegas. Interesting, but not ideal. I see him replacing Satin at some point this season unless Josh heats up. Along similar lines, ask yourself who goes when Montero and DeGrom join the pen? My money is on Valverde and no idea after that. I expect one comes up at a time, so perhaps Montero in, Valverde down, then see who they deal circa trade deadline to make room for another young arm.
    • Joe April 28, 2014 at 1:44 pm
      Satin doesn’t add much to this team. Campbell was intriguing in ST and seemed to be a fan favorite. On an at best .500 team, all of those things lead me to want him up over Satin unless the guy does a lot more than he has.

      Valverde’s slot is a waste at this point. Obviously, Terry doesn’t trust him. Farnsworth is disposable if they had someone for closer. If Vic Black and someone else comes up, those two might go.

      Chris Young already hitting two HRs is a good sign, but given the Buck Effect last year, I’ll wait before admitting I was wrong on getting him with that salary.

  6. Joe April 28, 2014 at 1:41 pm
    Murphy’s law — imperfect player who as a whole is one of the consistently good things both for the team and Joe Janish’s snark meter the last couple years or so.
  7. argonbunnies April 28, 2014 at 4:24 pm
    Wheeler has reminded me too much of Pelfrey at times, but unlike Pelf, Zack seems to pitch better when he’s in trouble. Seems like he makes better pitches once the count reaches Ball 3. If he can harness that ability from pitch #1, he might be able to improve a ton! Or he might burn himself out after 3 innings. I dunno. Yet another game where he was 96 in the first and 92 in the sixth.