Gut Reaction: Marlins 7, Mets 0 (5/7/17)

The Marlins avoided a sweep with a 7-0 whitewashing of the Mets Sunday afternoon at Citi Field. The Mets missed a chance to get back to .500 with the setback and suffered their first shutout of the season.

  • The game was lost before the players even stepped on the field. Matt Harvey was scheduled to go and instead received a three-game suspension for repeated violations of team rules. I guess it’s good to know that the Mets have rules.
  • Adam Wilk got the emergency start and put the team in an early hole, as he served up a 3-run homer to Giancarlo Stanton. Wilk gave up two more homers before being removed in the fourth inning.
  • The offense took the day off, too, mustering just one hit. I’ll take the blame for jinxing them with my earlier article.
  • The bullpen once again had to log heavy innings. After throwing 25 pitches last night, Paul Sewald threw 59 pitches in a 3.1 IP stint. Josh Edgin pitched a scoreless inning and then Terry Collins went to matchups, yanking Fernando Salas after he retired the first two batters in the inning in order to bring in Josh Smoker to face a lefty. In a game with no one on base and one the Mets were trailing, 7-0. Smoker entered the game with a lifetime .963 OPS against lefty batters. He walked two lefty hitters before retiring the lone righty he faced.
  • The Mets’ record on Sunday fell to 1-4. They’ve been outscored 42-15 in those five games.

10 comments for “Gut Reaction: Marlins 7, Mets 0 (5/7/17)

  1. Eraff
    May 8, 2017 at 7:37 am

    The late game pitching switch from Salas to Edge— down 7-0, was Collins trying to demonstrate that his head is still in the game??? Seems like a situational switch in a non-situation!

  2. Jimmy P
    May 8, 2017 at 8:36 am

    My read on the late switch for Smoker begins with the opposite assumption of many here: That Collins and Warthen are not drolling idiots.

    They know Smoker’s strengths and weaknesses, and are aware of his struggles against LH batters. It is probably something they are actively working on, because his career depends on better success in this area. So down 7-0, they gave him another opportunity to work on things and maybe have a positive outcome.

    I believe that everyone involved with the Mets, including Josh Smoker, wants to see him achieve better results as a situational lefty. His livelihood likely depends on it.

    At the same time, I believe Smoker is thisclose to being sent down and TC gave him one more opportunity to show his stuff.

    He wasn’t managing the game at that point — it was over and everyone knew it — he was managing the player.

    • May 8, 2017 at 9:42 am

      I don’t agree with your post but let’s assume that you are correct. Why don’t they just let him pitch the full inning then? If they care so much about developing Josh Smoker into an MLB-quality pitcher, why are they limiting him to being a LOOGY? Why don’t they help him develop into a hurler who can pitch to any hitter who comes to the plate?

      Fernando Salas had pitched the previous two games and four of the previous five. If the ninth inning of a blowout game is being used to manage Smoker, why isn’t it also being used to keep from overworking a guy who has already blown up once this season from overuse?

      A healthy and productive Salas is the team’s 7th inning guy. A healthy and productive Smoker is the team’s third LOOGY.

      My opinion is that Sunday’s usage has nothing to do with trying to salvage the career of Smoker. Instead, it has everything to do with a blind fealty to the LOOGY strategy and trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

      • Chris F
        May 8, 2017 at 10:27 am

        A little bit on this from the radio. The topic came up with Howie and Josh on the radio. They seemed to conclude it was player management for both Salas and Smoker…to get them each match preferences to help rebuild confidence. Who knows.

        • May 8, 2017 at 10:46 am

          Matchups!

          I think a day off after he had pitched in four of the last five days (missing only the rain-shortened game) would have been more valuable to Salas.

          And throughout his professional career, the “match preference” for Smoker has been to face RHB.

          • Jimmy P
            May 8, 2017 at 10:58 am

            If you only look to the past, yes, that’s true. But if you are looking forward, and toward development, you keep working at it when you can.

            It’s like giving Conforto ABs vs. LHP. It’s an investment in the future.

            As far as matchups — another way of saying “platoon advantage” — managers have employed this strategy for a long time. Earl Weaver, famously. On the Mets, managers Hodges, Johnson, and Valentine all sought advantageous matchups when available.

            It’s part of the game with statistical data to back it up.

            • May 8, 2017 at 11:24 am

              In the aggregate, platoon advantages exist. That does not guarantee that on an individual basis that all lefty pitchers will fare better against lefty batters. Or that all righty pitchers need to be removed when a random lefty comes to the plate late in the game.

              Anyone who thinks that 28-year-old Josh Smoker is going to reverse a firmly-established pattern since he joined pro ball in 2011 of being significantly better against RHB than LHB is fooling himself.

              And with the club already carrying two relievers who they bend over backwards to get the lefty-on-lefty advantage – why on earth are they trying to get a third one at the MLB level?

              In the short term, what the club needs desperately from its pen is innings. If the concern is a long-term replacement for Blevins, and a 28 year old who has never displayed the ability is your choice, then put Smoker in the minors and utilize him in the traditional lefty role and get someone up in the majors who can help give innings today.

              The Mets spent a first-round pick on Michael Conforto and the expectation is that he’ll be the team’s top player one day. The Mets picked Josh Smoker up as a free agent after he’d been out of affiliated ball for two years. If everything breaks right, he rides the shuttle between the majors and the minors, operating as the team’s 7th-10th reliever. Their situations are not remotely comparable.

              What the managers you mentioned did with the platoon advantage was to maximize the PA for hitters who displayed the traditional split, They did not try to force feed a pitcher with reverse splits into a role as a specialist that flew against their strength.

              Invoking their names in defense of what this administration is doing because it’s platooning is a comically bad reading of the situation.

  3. TexasGusCC
    May 8, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Gentlemen, everything needs to be looked at in the moment. In a 7-0 game, in the ninth inning, if he wanted to manage Smoker, he starts the inning and gives Salas the day off. Very simple.

    Did anyone notice last night’s Cubs-Yankees game? The game was tied in the bottom of the ninth with a three run rally, went 18 innings in a National League park, and still the Yankees had a reliever left and the Cubs had just used their last one. That’s how you use your bullpen! Collins normally runs out of relievers by the tenth or eleventh inning at best because he doesn’t care about his relievers, and it shows. He’s a continuous handicap to his team and don’t think it’s a small one when you stretch it over six months. The faster Alderson leaves, the faster Collins can too.

    Every year in August, the Mets need relievers when their bullpen was decent in the beginning but is hurt or burned out by then.

    • Chris F
      May 8, 2017 at 2:16 pm

      and the Mets take 2 out of 3, run up a huge amount of offense, begin to jang with a little swagger only to be blindsided by an off the field behavior matter that causes us to essentially forfeit a game because of a prima donna. What NS did to Harvey is nothing compared to what Harvey did to Wilk. Monday arrives and thats the story.

      Somethin aint right.

      • May 8, 2017 at 3:40 pm

        Agreed.

        Nothing from what we saw Sunday makes me think Wilk deserves another start. But I could be talked into giving him another one for the lousy way this one came to be.

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