Mets Game 99: Win Over Marlins

Mets 7 Marlins 6

This game reminded me of playing phone tag. You know, you call someone, get their voicemail, leave a message. Then they call back, miss you, leave a message. Then you call back, get voicemail, leave a message … and so on …

Mets Game Notes

The Mets led the game four separate times and found a way to hold on to the lead that fourth time. It made for interesting, though also maddening, entertainment.

Lucky for the Mets, Chris Volstad had no interest in winning this ballgame; he did nearly everything in his power to give the Mets as many baserunners as possible. As a baseball coach, I could feel Jack McKeon’s pain — he looked like he wanted to strangle Volstad. The enigmatic righthander allowed 11 baserunners and 4 runs in five innings, and I’m still not sure how he lasted that long.

Almost unlucky for the Mets, Mike Pelfrey seemed just as disinterested in earning a victory. He hemmed, he hawed, he dawdled, he nibbled, and when he wasn’t doing those things, he was serving up meatballs.

Emilio Bonifacio terrorized Pelfrey, getting inside his head as he took daring leads off first base. If nothing else, Bonifacio has speed and a recklessness that surpassing even Jose Reyes. In case you missed it, Bonifacio scored from first base on a shallow outfield single in the third inning. That was not a typo — he scored from first on a SINGLE. And yes, it was as exciting as it sounds.

Steve Cishek pitched a not-so-effective inning of relief for the Fish, but he looks nasty. He is a legit submariner who runs his fastball at 93 MPH, occasionally touching 94-95, and mixes in a 85-MPH slider. I don’t think I’ve ever before seen a true underhander throw that hard.

The turning point in the game … well, the final turning point … came when Dan Murphy fielded a bunt in the 8th with men on second and third and none out and threw to third base to just narrowly retire the runner. It was a highly questionable decision by Murphy, and it was a bad play, but it worked out. Nineteen times out of twenty, the runner is safe and the bases are loaded with none out. It would have been a more intelligent decision had Murphy charged more aggressively and thrown immediately. But he didn’t charge that hard, and double-clutched. Please, kids, do not confuse this with the examples shown of Keith Hernandez in his heyday — Keith did it with skill, while Murphy was lucky.

Murphy also had two hits and drove in two runs. I would not argue with giving him the game ball. Though, David Wright also had two hits — both doubles — and a pair of RBI, and I might be more inclined to give him the ball for no other reason than it was nice to see him back on the field.

Another risky move that paid off: Bobby Parnell throwing a 3-2 slider to Emilio Bonifacio to end the 8th inning. It was high enough that it could’ve been called ball four, and it hung enough that it could’ve been mashed. I’m not sure I speed up Bonifacio’s bat in that situation. But again, it worked, so I guess the ends justify the means.

Next Mets Game

The Mets and Marlins do it again — weather permitting — at 7:10 PM on Saturday night. Chris Capuano goes against Clay Hensley. It’s deja vu all over again.

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. Jimmy Prinzler July 22, 2011 at 11:00 pm
    The umpiring in this game makes me so mad. Mets should not be in a run game!! Bonifcano should be tagged out in 3rd inning and Murphy beat out Sanchez on a wild throw by Wright!! Glad to see Mets managed to beat umpire crews tonight.
  2. alex July 23, 2011 at 1:04 am
    this is one of the best days for the mets in a long time…reyes, wright and beltran all in the line-up, win against division rival and news of johan getting ready for a rehab assignment…
  3. Joe July 23, 2011 at 8:31 am
    The out at third was a matter of karma — there should have been an out at first. Doesn’t always work that way. But, yesterday it did. Murphy/Wright each hit enough to forgive hiccups in the field. Don’t know about Duda. Anyways, pair of flawed teams and starters. The final result was to be expected.
  4. wohjr July 23, 2011 at 3:44 pm
    Hey joe-

    If johan came back tomorrow I think you have to bump pelf, agree? Do you know if he had options left or would the mets have to get him through waivers?

    • Joe Janish July 23, 2011 at 5:35 pm
      I’m 99% sure that Pelfrey has an option left.

      If Johan came back tomorrow I’d need to see him last more than 30 pitches. I don’t know that I’d send Pelfrey down; I’d probably keep him around for long relief. As bad as I think he’d be in a relief role, if it’s between Pelfrey and Manny Acosta, I’d take my chances with Pelfrey — at least a few times.

  5. Joe July 23, 2011 at 3:54 pm
    Andy Martino suggests that the Mets might be interested in re-signing Capuano and/or “believe he might be designated a Type B free agent–so even if the lefty signs elsewhere, the Mets could receive draft compensation.”

    Anyone know anything about that? If so, does it making trading him now of much value?

    • Joe Janish July 23, 2011 at 5:43 pm
      I’m not entirely clear on how the Type A / Type B thing works. From what I understand it’s based on the last two years. If that’s the case, I don’t know how Capuano makes a Type B because he only threw 66 innings in 2010. Can you throw only 66 innings one year and be in the top 40% of the league? I don’t know … maybe?

      If Capuano does qualify then it would be nice for the Mets to get a sandwich pick. But, is it worth hoping he qualifies? And is it worth offering him arbitration? I think you have to see what you can get on the trade market before taking those chances.

  6. wohjr July 23, 2011 at 4:01 pm
    The mets would only get the pick if they offer cap arbitration and he signs elsewhere. I don’t knoe exactly how the calculation works but guys can be designated as a or b (or neither) and the pick compensation comes from that status when then player declines arb and goes somewhere else
    • wohjr July 23, 2011 at 4:09 pm
      So ultimately type b status would be a pot sweetener to a team looking to trade for cap– if they don’t retain him after the rental period they get a pick to recoup one of the prospects they dealt to get him in the first place.

      One of the interesting wrinkles is that beltran has it written in his contract that he won’t be offered arbitration so theoretically is a little less valuable than he otherwise would be bc There will be no drfat pick comp so he
      is a true rental

      • Joe July 23, 2011 at 11:26 pm
        Thanks to wohjr and Joe Janish for the explanations.

        If Cap. has a reasonable asking price, the Mets should think about resigning him.