Mets 10 Marlins 4
Now, that’s better. The Mets averted a sweep at home by going back to an old stratagem: hit
the ball over the fence.
The Marlins jumped out to a quick one-nothing lead thanks to a leadoff homerun by Hanley Ramirez to start the game, but a Moises Alou three-run blast in the second put the Mets up by two.
In the third, however, Oliver Perez let the Fish right back into the game.
Jose Reyes evened up the score again with a solo blast to lead off the bottom of the third, tying the game four all.
In the fifth, Cody Ross reached on a fielder’s choice, and took second base when Ollie threw away a pickoff attempt. For reasons unknown, Carlos “The Cannon” Delgado tried to get Ross on his way to second, but air-mailed the ball into leftfield, where Alou was applying tanning lotion … or perhaps he lost the play in the sun. In any case, Ross wound up on third by the time the ball came to a final rest. Luckily, though “catch and throw guy” Mike DiFelice nailed the pesky Ross on a successful pickoff attempt to end the inning.
Reyes drew a one-out walk in the bottom half of the inning, and stole second, just barely getting underneath the tag. Ruben Gotay followed with a clothesline rip to right, but it went directly into the glove of Ross for out number two. Carlos Beltran struck out swinging to strand Reyes on second.
In the bottom of the sixth, Moises Alou drilled his second homerun of the game off the Ameritrade sign in left to put the Mets ahead 5-4.
Carlos Delgado blasted a 450-foot, two-run homer in the eighth — off lefthander Tankersley, no less — to add some insurance, putting the Mets ahead 7-4. The Mets weren’t done there, though, as they piled on three more thanks to some perfectly executed hit and runs and aggressive baserunning.
Billy Wagner capped off four innings of shutout relief with a 1-2-3 ninth to bag the game.
Alou missed a third homer by about twenty feet, driving a ball just inside the leftfield foul pole in the fourth.
Ramon Castro left the game after the third inning with back discomfort and was replaced by Mike DiFelice. Paul LoDuca is already on the DL, so it’s possible we’ll see Sandy Alomar Jr. returning to the big league squad.
Jose Reyes scored from first base on an infield single in the eighth. Reyes had been running on the pitch, and Lastings Milledge poked a grounder that tipped off second baseman Dan Uggla’s glove and bounced a few feet into the outfield grass. Reyes continued on to third, and when Uggla took his sweet time getting to the ball, Jose ran through a rare stop sign by Sandy Alomar and scored — kicking the ball out of catcher Matt Treanor’s glove in the process. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen someone score from first on an infield hit before … have you?
Not sure if it’s because he doesn’t get enough opportunities to catch pitchers in games, if he’s lazy, if it was because of his back issue, or if his technique is flawed, but Castro was awful behind the plate in his three innings of work. There were a few pitches in the dirt that he should have blocked — two in particular in the third inning that led to runs — and his overall defensive execution was less than adequate. I don’t like the way he receives pitches — often it’s like he’s stabbing at the ball and I think it has a lot to do with inexperience with the Mets’ hurlers. Perez looks like a very difficult guy to catch if you’re used to him, but he must be next to impossible for Castro, who catches him in games maybe once a month. Considering his back problem and lack of playing time, I’m willing to give him a free pass this time.
Now that I’m on the subject, I don’t like the way LoDuca receives the ball, either. Both backstops jerk the ball back into the strike zone too much — their attempt at “framing” the pitch I presume. Framing might work with amateur umpires, but at the MLB level, it is a waste of effort and disrespectful — but, everyone does it. Umpires have already decided ball or strike about a foot or two before the pitch hits the catcher’s glove. What catchers don’t realize is that they probably lose four or five strikes for every one they “steal” when they’re trying to frame every other pitch. It’s a much better plan to simply catch the pitch when it’s a strike, keep the glove still, and give the umpire a good look at it.
Ruben Gotay should abandon righthanded hitting altogether. He’s tense, without confidence, does not see the ball well, has a lot of head movement, and doesn’t have a very good swing — jumping at the ball rather than keeping his balance and swinging smoothly.
Speaking of switch hitters, after saying he was unavailable to bat righthanded, Beltran came up as a righty against Taylor Tankersley in the seventh (he flew out, and lived to talk about it). He also said he would not bat lefty against a lefty because he’d never done it before. Kind of a dumb statement, dontcha think? This is baseball, ‘Los, not brain surgery … no one’s likely to lose their life if you screw up. I imagine he’s not much fun at amusement parks, or in the bedroom, with that kind of attitude.
Crazy stat: in Mets wins, Jose Reyes is batting .351. In Mets losses, he’s hitting .251. So anyone who poo-poo’s the concept of “As Reyes goes, so go the Mets”, better re-check the numbers.
The Mets begin a three-game series against the Pirates on Tuesday. El Duque is scheduled to face Ian Snell in a 7:05 PM start.
It’s going to be a nervous six weeks, folks. Let’s hope the Mets get hot.