Gut Reaction: Mets 2 Marlins 1 (10 innings) (8/29/16)

In a game of total attrition, Yoenis Cespedes would have no more of it. With two outs in the bottom of the tenth, he sent a ball deep into the left field seats and the Mets home with a crucial win.

Rafael Montero made his first start in a year-and-a-half and most unsteadily made the most of it. Throwing exactly 100 pitches in five innings, Montero allowed two hits, no runs, struck out three…and walked six. In short, he did what he had to do, by whatever means necessary. His opposite number, the formidable Jose Fernandez kept the Mets off the board as well, but by prettier looking stats: six innings, three hits, four walks, six strikeouts and no runs, either. Both teams kept putting runners on base, then finding ways to not bring them home. Add in the fact that the Mets’ bench was so thin that Terry Collins had to resort to sending Jacob deGrom to the plate to pinch hit for Montero in the fifth. Attrition.

By the time the eighth arrived, the Mets had appearances by Sean Gilmartin and Jerry Blevins, who each had relatively uneventful innings. Addison Reed came in smack dab in his personal comfort zone, starting the eighth. After two quick outs, he gave up back-to-back doubles to ageless Ichiro Suzuki and nondescript Xavier Scruggs to put the Mets behind 1-0. They clawed that run back, though in the bottom half. Jose Reyes continued to bring back sweet memories with a line double to right leading off. Alejandro De Aza then sent a ball to deep left, deep enough for Reyes to scoot to third. With Cespedes hitting, reliever A.J. Ramos uncorked a wild pitch on an 0-2 count and this game was tied. Attrition returned in the ninth, as Jeurys Familia set the Marlins down in order. In the bottom of the ninth, James Loney sent one into the left-center gap that Christian Yelich ran down, Travis d’Arnaud struck out and pinch hitter Jay Bruce scalded one that was expertly snared by Scruggs. Josh Smoker struck out two in the top of the tenth. With fans and viewers starting to settle in for what promised to be a long rest of the night, Reyes sent a liner that held up just long enough for Marcel Ozuna to run down in the right-center alley. De Aza was called out on strikes and starterd woofing at the umpire. You could hear the despair from here to Flushing.

Then Cespedes came up.

We pin our hopes on Seth Lugo tomorrow, as the Mets now sit tied with Miami, two-and-a-half games out of the playoffs.

10 comments for “Gut Reaction: Mets 2 Marlins 1 (10 innings) (8/29/16)

  1. TexasGusCC
    August 29, 2016 at 11:42 pm

    Glad I missed the walk-fest. What happened to Montero?

    Learning to appreciate Cespedes, even more.

    It’s a win, take it and run.

  2. Eraff
    August 29, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    Both Pitchers got squeezed a bit. Montero was trying to be a bit too perfect. The squeezing is worse on a pitcher who’s Missing and Trying to be too cute.

    I hold some hope for Montero—showed a great change up at times.,.hit 95…showed decent movement on his 2 seemer.

    All of these guys throw so hard…. Montero…Gsellman…these guys are Location+Competitive Secondary Pitches away from having 100-150+ start careers as mid/back rotation pieces.

  3. Metsense
    August 30, 2016 at 7:33 am

    The Mets won on the shoulders of Ce$pedes and the feet of Reyes.Ce$pedes is worth every $ that the Wilpon’s pay him and the reason that there will be fans in the seats this September. He pays for himself. Reyes doubles, tags on a fly ball moving over to third, and scores on a close play at the plate on a wild pitch. He is a catalyst and adds a speed dimension that didn’t exist earlier in the year.
    I want both players back in 2017.

  4. Jimmy P
    August 30, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Random Comments:

    * The Marlins without Stanton are a lot like the Mets without Cespedes.

    * Can’t say enough about the pen, particularly Gilmartin — best he’s looked in a long time — Blevins (again!) — and Smoker.

    * I demurred over some of TC’s moves in the pen, but the result was a victory, overall effectiveness, with everyone available today except for Smoker.

    * An intriguing start by Montero. He showed many of the flaws we’ve seen in the past: the loss of control, the endless nibbling, the fastball that doesn’t quite move enough. But five innings, no runs. There’s talent there, too. Guy could be living the Major League life if he’d only embrace a reliever’s role. Just doesn’t seem to be in his makeup. He put himself back into play as a potential 5th starter/trade chip/backup starter. However, Montero does not need any more time in Las Vegas, which is such a giant disaster for this organization (blame Jeff, then Alderson for this). Baseball ultimately comes down to scouting and evaluation — correctly recognizing what you’ve got — and the Mets need to make the right call on Montero this winter. Personally, I just don’t know.

    * Kelly Johnson at 3B — very solid, great pickup. Should have been signed over the winter.

    • August 30, 2016 at 10:25 am

      Great response, as usual, Jimmy, but I do have one quibble…

      The Marlins without Stanton are still better than the Mets without Cespedes. Miami still has guys in that lineup who can scare you. Ozuna, Yelich, Bour when he’s healthy, Gordon is a Victorino-like pain in the neck.

      Absent Cespedes, the Mets have some streaky guys who run into one once in a while — Granderson, Bruce, Cabrera, Loney, Walker to an extent.

    • TexasGusCC
      August 30, 2016 at 11:30 am

      Johnson was going to sign with Atlanta or retire. They got him for nothing, then, they got two prospects for him again, and flipped one to the Rangers for two more. Maybe not the best prospects, but free talent.

      If I also recall, Johnson wasn’t quite in love with the trade, telling an Atlanta sportscaster that this was the second year in a row and he will go do his best, but his tone was one of annoyance.

      • Jimmy P
        August 30, 2016 at 12:07 pm

        That may be true, I don’t know for sure. I don’t recall Johnson turning down an offer for more money from the Mets. It’s also not clear that he’s ready for retirement just yet. With David’s return, it seemed clear to me that the Mets should at least pair him with a lefty-hitting 3B who could give him regular rest.

        One of baseball’s oldest lessons, one that Sandy has ignored at times, is that the bench role, where players get irregular time, is best filled by a veteran on the downside of his career. A guy who physically needs to sit, but also has a body of success in the past that he can draw upon. It’s not a role well-suited for a young, unproven player.

        • TexasGusCC
          August 30, 2016 at 1:45 pm

          Jim, he leaves his teams unbalanced with six outfielders and no shortstop or with 15 pitchers and only 10 healthy hitters (yesterday) and you think he even considers the value of the bench?

  5. August 30, 2016 at 9:48 am

    In 10 games as a starter in the majors, Montero has a 3.69 ERA with 49 Ks in 53.2 IP. He’s not been as good as hoped for — too many walks and not enough innings — but it’s a bit mind boggling the perception versus the reality. For a comparison, in his last 10 starts Bartolo Colon has a 4.37 ERA with 40 Ks in 57.2 IP

    The best thing to me about this start was that we saw him shaking off pitches. If he’s going to get crucified for the pitches he throws, he damn well better have some say in the matter.

    Everyone is frustrated with what he’s delivered in his MLB career to date. We want young guys to come up and succeed right away, like JDG did. But sometimes you’ve got to exhibit some patience. I think we all agree that hasn’t been a strength of the Alderson-Collins regime. I still believe there’s a quality SP here, assuming he’s healthy. Hopefully the fact that he hit 95 mph indicates that the shoulder is okay.

    • Jimmy P
      August 30, 2016 at 10:25 am

      Brian, I agree with your general assessment, but I don’t think lumping together all the statistics tells anything close to the full story of what we’ve seen & experienced from this guy. The demotion, the injury, the horrible time in Vegas (7.70 ERA), the demeanor, etc. Yes, he had two very nice starts against weak teams in September of 2014, I think. He’s also had some strange outings that have given many of us pause. I don’t know if there’s anything special here or not. But I believe that door is still ajar. On Montero, I’m agnostic.

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