Takeaways from the Mets 6-5 loss to the Marlins on Friday night…
A lost battle.
The Mets didn’t exactly get off on the right foot in this game. They were ice cold at the plate against Tom Koehler, who had lost each of his last seven starts with an ERA approaching 7.00.
What’s worse, Jacob deGrom gave up a three-spot to the Marlins in the fourth inning which put the Mets behind 3-0 heading into the second part of the game.
But the Mets started to get to Koehler the third time through the order, starting with a leadoff triple from Yoenis Cespedes and an RBI single from Kelly Johnson in the sixth inning, and the Mets suddenly found themselves back within one.
And then in the seventh inning, the Mets got two more runs thanks to a tremendous two-run home run by Cespedes, whose bat is really heating up again to give the Mets the lead.
Unfortunately, the plague called the seventh inning reared it’s ugly head for the Mets and their bullpen, and it was indeed an ugly showing by the bullpen.
But the Mets fought back. They loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth inning but came up empty. But with two outs and nobody on, Travis d’Arnaud singled to center, then Juan Uribe singled to center. And Kelly Johnson came through with a slow roller up the middle to tie it.
But the Mets couldn’t get anything done against the Marlins bullpen in extra innings, and it came down to Eric O’Flaherty, who was left in to face Prado in the 11th who already had four hits on the night, and of course that decision burned Terry Collins and the Mets when Prado lined a game-winning double into the right field corner.
It was a game they really should have had, especially since they rallied from three runs down in dramatic fashion and held a lead reasonably late. Instead it’s an unfortunate loss, and the Nationals gained some more ground on the Mets with their dramatic win over the Braves.
At some point, perhaps Collins will stop using O’Flaherty against right-handed pitching. Of course, Justin Bour was on-deck, but O’Flaherty has been completely ineffective against righties all year long, and pretty much everyone for that matter.
Like the other night against the Phillies, its a questionable and concerning thought process.
More shakiness from deGrom.
It wasn’t an easy night for deGrom by any means. In a way, it mimicked his outing against the Red Sox last weekend when he started off strong but struggled midway through the outing. Like last week, he lost a little bit off his fastball in the middle innings and his location began to suffer as well.
The Marlins were really turning on deGrom’s fastball on the inner half, a sign he just didn’t have that good life on on his fastball, and it resulted in a trial for a lot of the night.
Is it a stamina issue? Is it a funk? It’s hard to tell, but its a tough time to hit a rough patch for anyone on the club, let alone at the core of what makes them successful.
Seventh inning misery.
It’s difficult to comprehend the problems the Mets continue to have in the seventh inning at this point. It doesn’t matter who Terry Collins puts in there – they cannot get out of their own way in that frame.
In this case, it was questionable for Collins to start the inning with Sean Gilmartin and then going to Addison Reed. It seemed like an appropriate time to go with Dario Alvarez, considering four left-handed hitters were coming up, and Gilmartin isn’t exactly a left-handed specialist.
But he went with Gilmartin anyway, and he allowed two hits to start the inning. Then Collins turned to Reed who struggled himself, allowing both of his inherited runners to score thanks to an RBI single from Martin Prado and a bases loaded walk to Marcel Ozuna.
In fairness to Reed, he had Ozuna on a strike three call that he just didn’t get, but then he threw him a 3-2 slider instead of challenging him, wasn’t close and the Marlins had the lead back.
But the Mets are also not getting seven innings from their starting pitcher either most of the time right now, and asking for nine outs (and in Friday night’s case, more than that) from the bullpen on a regular basis is never easy to accomplish.
Either way, the Mets are getting absolutely nothing from their bullpen in the seventh inning, and its a huge problem which doesn’t seem like is going away.
The greatness of Yoenis Cespedes.
It’s hard to even quantify what Cespedes has meant to the Mets since coming on board. He’s probably been even better than the Mets expected he would be when they acquired him just over a month ago.
He single-handedly carried the offense on Friday night with his triple and two-run home run, creating those three runs all by himself. Unfortunately it didn’t translate to a win today, but when he has nights like he had on Friday, it should result in more wins than not.
Other notes from Friday:
The Mets fell to 22-22 in one-run games this season, and to 55-11 when scoring four or more runs in a game.
David Wright had a rough night at the plate, going 0-for-5 and leaving seven runners on base.
The Mets left 13 runners on base and went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position on Friday night.
The Mets’ seven-game road winning streak came to an end on Friday night.