Mets Game 74: Loss To Marlins

Marlins 3 Mets 2

It was the Marcell Ozuna Show.

Mets Game Notes

Ozuna threw out David Wright attempting to score the tying run in the 8th, and then threw out Kirk Nieuwenhuis attempting to score from third on a fly ball in the ninth to end the game.

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?

Next Mets Game

Game three begins at 4:10 PM. Jacob deGrom faces Tom Koehler.

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. meticated June 21, 2014 at 4:31 pm
    it sucks when I find myself looking at the Marlins and think why don’t we have athletes like that…!! It’s the equivalent of the baseball bizarro world.
  2. Bat June 21, 2014 at 5:05 pm
    I agreed Meticated.

    The Marlins have managed to develop a lot of position players in addition to the young pitching they have…someone we haven’t managed to do the same.

    As I am writing this – and immediately after I read Joe’s post about execution – Duda someone managed to get himself thrown out between 2B and 3B in the 4th inning after Chris Young blooped a single to center. The only thing I can guess is that Duda thought the CF was going to throw home, but wow…lot of baserunning mistakes when you watch Mets games (and almost all by the Mets if that wasn’t clear).

  3. argonbunnies June 22, 2014 at 4:36 am
    If Nieuwenhuis slides his right foot into the plate instead of next to it, he beats the tag. That said, maybe his left knee then bangs the catcher’s armor… so he should have slid left foot first. Even that slide into foul territory, reaching back with the hand, would have been better.

    Not that this is the sort of thing Kirk can decide to do, last second, at full speed. This sort of situation needs to be practiced. I wish teams still did that…

    I’ve heard that in the dead ball era, if you couldn’t do a perfect hook slide, you were considered lacking as a major leaguer. Now that scoring is down, teams might want to take note. MLB OPS and ERA this year is similar to in 1991. The big differences: players today hit more homers; players in 1991 hit more singles, stole more bases, and bunted more.

  4. DaveSchneck June 22, 2014 at 8:09 am
    Argon brings up a great point about the “little things” and the bottom of the 7th was a little league inning that cost the Mets the game (no disrespect to Ozuna’s great throws). Of all the screw up in that inning, the one that really bothered me was Tejada not contesting that tag. That I just can’t understand. Anyone with any competitive juices in their body would have claimed they got the tag on, no matter what your personality or what language you speak. I was dumbfounded by Tejada’s stoic look, and his manager and teammates should be troubled as well as it cost his team big time.