Mets Game 73: Win Over Marlins

Mets 1 Marlins 0

Andrew Heaney was outstanding in his MLB debut. However, unfortunately for him, Zack Wheeler was much better.

Mets Game Notes

One year and one day after his own MLB debut, Wheeler pitched the best game of his brief big-league career — a three-hit shutout, in which he faced only 28 batters. Three of the four baserunners Wheeler allowed were erased by double plays, and there was no point in the game that a Fish made it beyond first base in a highly efficient 111-pitch effort. That’s dominating.

Wheeler had to be that good, because the Mets mustered one measly run — thanks to a solo homer by David Wright in the initial inning. The Mets were otherwise anemic offensively, managing to put 10 runners on base but grounding into three double plays and leaving 6 others stranded and went 0-for-2 with RISP.

Not much else to say.

The only thing that comes to mind is that I was surprised to see the Marlins intentionally walk Ruben Tejada with runners on second and third with two outs in the top of the seventh. It all worked out for Miami but I would be pitching to the light-hitting Tejada there, assuming one of my better righthanded relievers can retire him and then set up the 8th with Wheeler leading off. But what do I know?

Chris Young had a hit but he looks completely lost and lacking confidence at the plate.

Taylor Teagarden kind of, sort of, resembles Matt Harvey. That just occurred to me.

During the postgame, Bobby Ojeda went wild over the way Zack Wheeler “took control of the game.” He went on to say that “catchers don’t run the game, pitchers run the game.” I beg to differ. The great catchers always run the game, and some of the best ones let the pitcher think he’s running the game. It’s all about being a mental manipulator / psychologist back there. But we’ll let Bobby think that he, and other pitchers, are smart enough to handle the challenge themselves — it’s more fun that way.

Is it me or does it seem like Giancarlo Stanton frequently faces the Mets when he’s in a bad way, for one reason or another? Whether it’s a slump or a nagging injury — as it was in this game, playing with a jammed wrist. The career numbers suggest I’m not completely crazy — he’s hitting .249 with “only” a .825 OPS in 55 games vs. the Mets. He’s otherwise .270 / .902.

Next Mets Game

Mets and Marlins play game two at 7:10 PM on Friday night. Daisuke Matsuzaka goes to the mound against Henderson Alvarez.

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. DaveSchneck June 20, 2014 at 6:55 am
    Nice game by Wheels. I guess big Bart motivated him the day before. Now he needs to do this against a team not named the Marlins.

    I would have walked Tejada in that spit without blinking. With the way Wheeler was dealing 3-0 from a cheap single would have been a game changer.

  2. david June 20, 2014 at 7:29 am
    Zack Wheeler continues to tantalize. Was it because Matt Harvey was watching in the dugout? Of course not, but the thought of those 2 pitching in the Mets rotation is at least a life raft we can cling to.

    D Wright reacts to recent stories about his poor production with 2 bombs in 3 days. That’s why he is the Captain.

    I think Wheeler throwing 95-96 in the 9th had as much to do with his success tonight as very good pitch calls from Teagarden. That, and he was getting his breaking ball over and got some close calls from the home plate ump. MaGhee had not right to complain at 3-2, and Salty needs to run in the 9th after check swinging. All worked out well for the Mutts tonight thanks to 1 swing.

  3. DanB June 20, 2014 at 9:52 am
    Maybe the Marlins thought Collins would pull Wheeler for a pinch hitter in that spot. Would any of us be surprised?
    • Joe Janish June 20, 2014 at 1:52 pm
      You bring up a good point. In which case wouldn’t the Fish want to pitch to Tejada? Or you’re suggesting they wanted to force TC’s hand and get Wheeler removed from the game?
  4. Murder Slim June 20, 2014 at 11:53 am
    I noticed Teagarden go to the mound a number of times, and his body language (annoyed – even disgusted – looks to the right side as Wheeler shook off pitches that Teagarden wanted) suggested he was heavily guiding Wheeler.
    I wonder if that pressure is exactly what Wheeler needs as he’s learning his craft. I love Ojeda but the visual evidence contradicts him completely.
    • Joe Janish June 20, 2014 at 1:59 pm
      Thank you — I’m glad I’m not the only one who saw that and was therefore befuddled by Ojeda’s comments.

      I also love Bobby O, but I think he sometimes projects his own experience and own opinions onto others.

      But what do we expect? He’s a pitcher — and a lefty!

  5. DanB June 20, 2014 at 2:16 pm
    Exactly, maybe the Marlins thought if they walk Tejada, Collins would pinch hit. But I am also guessing nobody was in the bullpen so why would they think that? And if they pitch to Tejada and he gets out, are they afraid of a Met pinch hitter leading off? Either way, I think the advantage for the Marlins is always pitching to Tejada and a Met pinch hitter no matter the situation. Those are easy outs.
  6. Craig June 20, 2014 at 2:17 pm
    Wheeler’s fine performance and the Mets decrepit hitting only confirms what I have mentioned before, Mets pitchers feel they have to pitch a complete game shutout to gain a victory….

    Joe your right, great catchers call the game and allow pitchers to think they do. Exceptions might be Bob Gibson and Don Drysdale come to mind without going through piles of stats. No catcher told Gibson how to pitch….. or at least it seemed that way.

    I also agree that Chris Young looks lost and lacking confidence at the plate. I did have one brief thought watching him batting, that he was “coasting” due to his poor hitting and the inevitability of his being released. Hopefully that’s not the case.

    I can’t view post game chatter due to the fact that MLB cuts the cord once the game is finished, for $200 for the season I want to see post game chatter!!

  7. Bat June 20, 2014 at 3:45 pm
    I actually live in Miami right now. I usually watch Mets game on SNY visa HDMI connection to my TV, but blacks the games out when you are in the area of the local provider.

    So – why I am bringing this up – I watched the game last night on the Marlins network and mention this for two reasons:

    (1) I too would have walked Tejada in the hopes that Collins would pinch hit for Wheeler and you get Wheeler out of the game. Knowing Terry AKA Captain Hook’s quick yank propensities, I wouldn’t have been surprised if Terry pinch hit there in the 7th, which I’m not sure the Marlins would have been unhappy about. Face Bobby Abreu there instead of Wheeler but get Wheeler out of the game? They probably would have taken that.

    (2) Related to (1), but later in the game, at the end of the 8th inning, the Marlins announcers brought up something that Janish was talking about only a couple days ago; I think the person talking about this was Jeff Conine but I’m not 100% sure. He was saying that a lot of times when a guy is really tough you breathe a big sigh of relief and feel really emboldened / strengthened / encouraged (I forget the exact word he used) that you are past that tough pitcher and on to someone else. So he was saying that the Marlins were essentially hoping and praying that Collins would pull Wheeler at the end of the 8th or at any time in the 9th in favor Mejia because Wheeler wasn’t looking tired and was still dominating the game. I really thought watching the game that Collins would pull Wheeler and was very surprised and happy that he didn’t, either at the end of the 8th and when Reed Johnson reached base in the 9th.