Mets Game 76: Win Over Marlins

Mets 11 Marlins 5

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha HA!!! LOL!!!

Mets win a laugher.

Mets Game Notes

Rookie righthander, Freehold native, and Colts Neck High School alum Anthony DeSclafani was beaten up by the Mets bats. He couldn’t get any bites on his slider, and threw far too many not-so-fast fastballs over the heart of the plate and belt-high to chest-high. You can’t get away with that against big-league hitters — even the ones that play for the Mets.

Those following DeSclafani from the Miami bullpen were no better, and the Mets went ballistic. There was a brief moment of terror in the sixth, when the Fish reduced the deficit to four runs, but it passed quickly.

Jonathon Niese won his fourth game of the year, going six innings and allowing 3 earned runs on 6 hits and 2 walks. It wasn’t a stellar performance, and he completely ran out of gas in the sixth, but for once, the Mets offense exploded so it didn’t matter.

Keith Hernandez let out a Freudian slip in the first inning after Niese’s squeeze: “So, Sandy being very unpredictable, and it fooled me.” Um, “Sandy”? I suppose Keith realizes who is REALLY running the team on the field.

Eric Young, Jr., tried to bunt for a hit in the fourth frame with Niese on first and one out, but bunted too hard and was easily retired. The official scorer granted Young a sacrifice. Really?

In the top of the second Keith corrected himself and gushed over Terry Collins being unpredictable and “… a terrific manager.” Wow. Really, Keith? Keith, you do realize it’s that same manager who batted Niese 8th in the first place (or was it Sandy’s decision to do that)? And you do realize that a squeeze play there really isn’t a surprise? It WAS mentioned by Gary Cohen about five seconds before it happened. And you do realize that the Mets have been butt-awful with Collins at the helm, since 2011? Sure, the personnel has been bad, but I have a really hard time calling a manager “terrific” when he’s had nothing but losing seasons. And in fact, I have a hard time understanding how, with the NL and NL East in particular looking so mediocre right now, the Mets look like they’re already out of it. The Mets have enough pitching and hitting to be at least .500 right now — their roster may not be as pretty but it is deeper than the Phillies’. At some point the manager has to be held responsible.

Speaking of the squeeze, it’s not so much it being a surprise as it is being perfectly executed. There are only two ways for the defense to prevent a squeeze: play the corners in front of the mound or throw an unhittable pitch. If the pitcher sees the runner take off early, he might be able to adjust and throw an unhittable pitch (the general rule is to throw at the batter, though that’s not necessarily the best idea). A better plan in my opinion is to throw a high pitch. But anyway, what happened in this situation was that Kirk Nieuwenhuis broke for the plate at the right time, DeSclafani threw a very buntable pitch (and that’s a big key to squeeze success), and Niese dropped down a perfect bunt.

In retrospect, in that situation, the catcher has to realize that a squeeze is possible and take charge by either calling a pitch-out or, at the very least, a breaking pitch. Starting with a fastball waist-high over the middle of the plate against the opposing pitcher is exactly the wrong thing to do. Starting with a pitch-out there is especially a good idea considering it’s the pitcher (and presumably the worst hitter in the lineup) — it’s not awful to start 1-0 there if you think a squeeze is a possibility.

Speaking of that first inning, the Mets should have scored more than two runs. First off, a baserunning blunder by Lucas Duda — who didn’t read a well-struck ball for the second straight game — prevented him from scoring sooner and deprived Kirk Nieuwenhuis of a triple. Second, to load the bases with no outs against a rookie who was throwing meatballs and score only twice, and once on a squeeze? Gee whiz. Had Niese and Nieuwenhuis not executed that squeeze, the Mets may have ended that inning with one measly run. Ridiculous.

Yeah, maybe I’m being picky, considering the Mets scored 11 runs, but I typed that up when the score was only 2-0.

Several times during this series, Keith pointed out that “Giancarlo Stanton CAN be pitched to.” Well, yeah, and especially so when he’s swinging with a bad wrist — which was barely mentioned only in the first game. I’m not sure of the extent of Stanton’s minor injury, but I know from experience that a jammed wrist can hang around a while and definitely affects your swing.

What happened to Jacob Turner? Wasn’t he supposed to be The Next Big Thing? He can’t get anything other than the fastball in the strike zone, and he’s throwing very hittable fastballs. He’s still only 23 years old, so plenty of time to right the ship.

Although Gonzalez Germen allowed two runs in the ninth, and didn’t look so great, it’s difficult to judge the performance. With an 8-run lead to start the inning, he should be doing what he did, for the most part, which is throw strikes and wait for the opposition to retire themselves.

Mets fans, after enduring perhaps the worst 50-game run by a MLB team this year prior to this series, please take the time to enjoy this winning streak. Who knows how long it will last?

Interestingly, the Mets were 4-13 with RISP, and the Fish were 4-8. So, Miami was pretty darn clutch, but they gave up far too many runs. Some of that, I bet, was due to Mets pitching laying the ball over the plate with a big lead.

By scoring 11 runs and beating the Fish by 6, the Mets’ run differential shrinks to -1. They’re tied for last place with the Phillies, whose run differential is -26. What does it all mean?

Next Mets Game

Mets head home to host the Athletics, but not before a day off on Monday. Tuesday night’s game begins at 7:10 PM and features Bartolo Colon vs. Scott Kazmir.

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. Tommy2cat June 22, 2014 at 10:02 pm
    Niese had to get six outs in the 6th inning. Granderson’s misplay, a non-call on a 3rd strike by the home plate ump, and Murphy’s flub all contributed to 3 runs that the Marlins did not earn but somehow count against Niese’s era. Oh well…

    We won & that’s what matters.

    Upon Lagares’ return, I’m hoping we can keep Kirk as part of an outfield rotation and wave good-bye to Chris Young. We know he’s never going to perform well in a Met uniform. Wishful thinking.

    With the recent minor league promotions, the ground-swell of talent will soon affect the major league roster. I sense Matt Reynolds & Kevin Plawecki will be forcing their way into the conversation. Should be fun.

    As for the squeeze play, it was nice to see TC actually manage to play winning baseball. I’ve always thought that a successful squeeze often opens flood gates because once a team knows it can score – even via small ball – it often becomes infectious, as it did today.

    Nice win. Bring on the A’s!!!

  2. DanB June 23, 2014 at 5:41 am
    Mic, I have always thought the “sellers vs buyers” debate is over stated. If someone offers you a good deal, you take it. There are no players on the Mets about to leave for Free Agency that they have to trade (oops, I forgot the big market for CYoung). If someone offers a good package of position prospect for Murphy, then do it. If the Mets get offered a good fit outfielder for some pitching prospect, then do it. Just get better.
  3. Tommy2cat June 23, 2014 at 6:39 am
    First things first – Andy Martino is not an “insider”, but an English teacher masquerading as a sports writer. Really nice guy, zero baseball judgement. lol

    The Mets should not trade Daniel Murphy. He’s part of the solution, not the problem. He’s Met tested, Met fan-approved.

    If you’re a team on the rise, you trade from your surplus and not from your strengths. If you’re a team on the decline, you trade whatever in value you have to offer.

    We are a team on the rise, so we should trade from our surplus. Something like a “Rafael Montero for Nick Franklin” trade should be revisited, despite Franklin’s struggles this year.

    Trade from surplus to fill a deficiency. Montero falls into that category. Daniel Murphy does not.

    • Quinn June 24, 2014 at 9:54 am
      The Mets are on the rise? According to what?