Mets Game 74: Loss To Marlins
Marlins 3 Mets 2
It was the Marcell Ozuna Show.
Mets Game Notes
In the ninth, I wonder if everyone thought the ball would travel further than it did because Ozuna stayed back, and then ran up to catch it as it was descending. He took a good 8-10 steps in his running start, covering a good 25+ feet. Regardless, it was a spectacular throw — perfect execution by both he and catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
Saltalamacchia also exhibited perfect execution on the 8th-inning tag to retire Wright. However, the play was reviewed, as Terry Collins believed the catcher was illegally blocking home plate. It was valid for Collins to make the request, because we’ve already seen ridiculous overturns based on the rule’s new language. Watching the replay on SNY, it was clear that Saltalamacchia was giving a part of the plate — or a “lane” — to Wright as he set up to receive the throw. It was only when the throw from Ozuna was approaching that Saltalamacchia stepped in front of home plate and blocked the lane. I HOPE that’s the way the play is always interpreted, because from the language of the rule, the catcher is supposed to be allowed to go after the ball to, um, catch it, even if doing so causes him to block the runner from crossing the plate. I don’t know of any other way the rule can be interpreted — otherwise, we’ll start seeing catchers standing like statues to the right of the baseline, and watching throws fly past them because they’re not allowed to catch them.
By the way, I like Ozuna’s hustle. He showed it on that final throw of the game and also in steaming down the line on a routine grounder earlier in the contest.
Mets outhit the Marlins 11-8, but what counts the most is the number of runners who cross the plate.
It was a display of offensive futility for both sides, as the two teams combined to go 3-for-21 with RISP.
The Marlins hitters have looked sleepy in these two ballgames (though, their manager has not suggested that they are tired). Daisuke Matsuzaka didn’t have great stuff — in fact, his curveball was more lateral and sweeping than its usual more vertical break. Maybe the Marlins are playing down to their competition? I’d been under the impression that the Fish were one of the better offensive clubs in the league, but maybe they’re just streaky.
I suppose we can talk about how the replay review system was a factor in the ballgame — and specifically, that Terry Collins may have blown the game by not asking for review of a steal by / tag of Jake Marisnick, but I’d rather just file it under “little things” and leave it at that. The Mets routinely fail to execute those details, their opponents execute more consistently, and in the end, that’s why games are lost by one run. Collins likes to talk about how they’re always “one big hit away” but really it’s continued failure to execute, by everyone — both on the field and off. You want to agree with Collins and suggest that the Mets need more hitting? OK. Why don’t they have the personnel? Someone in the front office didn’t acquire it, or didn’t promote it to the big leagues. See how that works?