Marlins 7 Mets 5
The Fish swept the Mets, but at least the pain was quick. A two-game sweep is less painful than a three-game sweep, isn’t it?
I feel like I haven’t written a meaningful game recap post since early June. Is that the reality? Do you really care about any of these games, particularly now that the Mets are “officially” mathemetically eliminated from postseason play?
We can all agree that the 2010 season was over two months ago (maybe three). So when we do these recaps we should be looking at 2011 and beyond, right? In which case, what the heck was Jonathon Niese doing out on the mound for the sixth inning? He had absolutely nothing, which was the same that he’s had for his last half-dozen starts. In addition to having zilch, he’s completely gassed — out of energy. There’s nothing left in the tank, and it doesn’t take a genius to see that. On the one hand, he needs to keep going out there every five days and making his starts, so that his body gets used to a full 162-game season. On the other hand, why push him beyond fatigue in a meaningless season, in a meaningless game? As you know, I am 100000% against pitch counts and believe in conditioning pitchers to go far beyond the ridiculous 100-pitch count. But at the same time, I recognize that it is not smart to push a pitcher far beyond the point of fatigue, because it is when a man is tired that he injures muscles and ligaments — and negatively adjusts his mechanics. Niese’s arm speed has clearly slowed over the past 3-4 weeks, and he has changed his delivery slightly to compensate. We have pointed out many times earlier in the season — when he was full of verve — that his mechanics were inconsistent. Guess what? Mechanics become even more inconsistent when one is tired, and that leads to bad habits that take twice as long to reverse as they did to develop.
I’m not saying the Mets should be babying Jon Niese. What I’m saying is that the people with the power to make decisions should be paying close attention to Niese’s delivery, velocity, command, and health, and be more judicious in the way he is used over the last two weeks of the season. He has, after all, become a vital piece of the 2011 rotation.
What else to talk about … eh, who cares, really? Carlos Beltran had three hits, including a triple and a homer. Yippee. Too little, too late — but maybe it will help show other teams he has something in the tank for 2011, thus enabling the Mets to trade him elsewhere while eating 90% of his salary so he can go ape in his walk year. Awesome.
Dan Uggla showed Mets fans what a Major League second baseman looks like. He had three hits including a double and 2 RBI, and made a stellar play to end the ballgame. His defense is nowhere near Gold Glove status, but it has steadily improved from embarrassing to passable. You know what? I’ll take a dozen to 20 errors at the keystone if I’m also getting 30 HR, 100 RBI, .285 AVG. and an OPS near .880.
Huh … it doesn’t seem so long ago that the Mets swept a four-game series in Pittsburgh and were a game over .500. Now they’re 4 games below .500. What the heck happened?
Next Mets Game
Mets fans get a well-deserved day off on Thursday and then return to the agony on Friday to watch their team face the first-place Phillies in Citizens Bank Park. Game time is 7:05 PM and Dillon Gee faces a man who may be his future ceiling — Joe Blanton.