Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Unhappy Recap: Marlins 5 Mets 2

Mike Pelfrey bought himself some more time in the rotation with a pretty good start. After getting the first out he hit a batter, walked the next two and gave up a bases loaded triple. That was enough for the Marlins to win. But after that he settled down and pitched 5 good innings. On most nights on this team that will be good enough to win.

The bottom of the first inning was even worse for the Mets. Reyes singled, and Wright singled through the hole (more on that later). But Beltran struck out. Fourth time he did so in 12 at bats with men on third and fewer than 2 outs.

Then on the next play, Delgado struck out, and the Marlins duped the Mets, throwing down to second in a feigned attempt to catch Wright stealing, Ramirez cut it off and nailed Reyes at the plate.

This is the biggest problem with the team right now. Even though they are scoring runs they are failing to do the little things that win ballgames. And because Reyes is so awesome and on base every time, it seems like an inordinate number of first innings and end with runners stranded. Runners who could have been driven in by a deep flyball.

This troubling trend is in direct contrast to last year when a large part of the Mets success was due to their ability to score first inning runs and change the tenor of the game. I don't believe in momentum but I do believe in confidence, and I definitely believe that the way you play a game from a strategic standpoint changes significantly when you are leading or trailing versus being tied.

The seeing-eye single for Wright in the first will hopefully be the spark that gets David Wright going. You can't start a fire without a spark. After that he homered (his first of the year) and doubled. This hasn't worked for Delgado who has much to my delight, singled to the left side a few times this year to take advantage of the shift. But that hasn't gotten him going. But he also had two hits in this game.

Aaron Heilman put the game out of reach by allowing a two-run homer to Josh Willingham.

Former Met Henry Owens has looked very sharp in nailing down the first two games of this series for the Marlins.

Mets are now 6-7 at home and 9-3 on the road. I don't have an explanation, but I do not want to see them get swept by Florida.

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