Gut Reaction: Marlins 13, Mets 1 – 9/18/17

Matt Harvey did a terrific job of throwing batting practice to the Marlins tonight, surrendering 12 hits in just four innings. In case the Marlins needed more work, Tommy Milone and Hansel Robles were there to take the baton, allowing another five hits and five runs in a brutal fifth inning that required four Mets pitchers to get through. Harvey got off to another rocky start and the wheels completely came off after he surrendered a three-run home run to Giancarlo Stanton in the fourth inning.If the idea of implementing a Little League-esque mercy rule in the majors comes up at the winter meetings this year, this game might serve as exhibit A.

Since it’s September, Terry Collins had a lot of extra arms in the bullpen to finish out the game. Otherwise, this would have been a good opportunity for Kevin Plawecki to show off his 80 mph heat. Offensively, the Mets somehow only mustered a single run despite eight hits (three by Nori Aoki) and six walks.

Matt Harvey’s season ERA now stands at 6.59. He’ll likely get two more starts in his nightmare season. Mets’ fans meanwhile, have a dozen more games to watch before the long off-season begins. This diehard, fan would rather watch the Mets lose than any other team in any sport win. At least a few of you reading this feel the same way. Why do we do this to ourselves? Who knows, but as the saying goes, misery loves company.

18 comments for “Gut Reaction: Marlins 13, Mets 1 – 9/18/17

  1. Jimmy P
    September 18, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    Yet another game where I think, “Thank God we only had to pitch 8 innings.”

  2. TexasGusCC
    September 19, 2017 at 12:56 am

    Turned on the radio when it was 2-1, and the first batter up was Dee Gordon. Josh Lewin is saying watch for the bunt, and Gordon has 14 of the 17 bunt hits the Marlins have this year. Sure enough, Gordon bunts. TDA dove for it but didn’t get it in the air, it lands and Gordon is on first. He quickly and easily steals second (wouldn’t it be nice to have a speedster). The next guy gets hit right on his left butt cheek. Stanton then hits what Lewin called a laser beam of a homerun. That’s the last batter I heard. But, before I shut it off, I heard Lewin make a point of saying that Harvey looked glassy-eyed and nothing like the Dark Knight we used to know after that homerun.

    Mets pitchers for the most part have been searching for answers to their own personal struggles this year. It’s telling that this mostly is a team-wide issue and other than Montero, no other pitcher was able to escape a prolonged bad streak and find himself.

    • September 19, 2017 at 8:00 am

      The pitch that Stanton hit was a belt-high slider and it was crushed – it ricocheted off the back of the HR sculpture.

      I hope if we learn one thing from the 2017 season is that you can’t throw mediocre pitches over the heart of the plate and hope to survive. Harvey had velocity last night and if Stanton beat him on a 95 mph fastball, you tip your cap. But that’s not what happened.

      Maybe it’s good that Harvey has velocity but his offspeed pitches lack bite. Maybe that’s something he can rediscover with an offseason of work. Maybe getting kicked in the teeth right now is just what he needs to dedicate himself in the offseason. Regardless, it’s hard to count on him as anything more than a fifth starter for 2018 that you yank at the first sign of trouble.

      • TexasGusCC
        September 19, 2017 at 9:20 am

        Lewin called it a “straight as a string fastball”, but I’ll take the TV boys’ knowledge over his.

        Norm writes below about seeing a psychiatrist so let’s take it a step further as I was thinking that also: Let’s say Scott Boras has him going to a sports psychiatrist and throwing at his “Boras Academy” in California to have him prepared for a “big year”. If he gets off to a strong start, do the Oakland/Tampa Bay Mets keep him or move him?

        • September 19, 2017 at 9:34 am

          “Statcast™ projected the distance at 455 feet with an exit velocity of 114.2 mph. The low liner had a launch angle of just 17 degrees — making it the longest home run with a launch angle of 17 degrees or lower since Statcast™ launched in 2015.”

          The link also has video of the HR

          • Joe F
            September 19, 2017 at 12:22 pm

            That is basically a 455 ft line drive

  3. Jimmy P
    September 19, 2017 at 7:24 am

    I did manage to catch a few early innings, mostly wanted to see Matt.

    He just doesn’t have high-quality pitches anymore. It used to be that he’d have two strikes on a guy, there was six different ways to bury him. Now Matt can’t get a swing-and-a-miss on the fastball when he needs it. The slider is a wrinkle. The curve was never great. He’s toothless. He simply didn’t know what to throw. Reminded me of Montero without the changeup.

    Unless something changes over the winter with rehabilitation and recovery, unless the old weapons return, I am not at all encouraged with his prospects.

    Strategically, you tender him a contract with the knowledge that you might cut him in Spring Training to recoup most of that money.

    I feel sorry for him.

  4. MattyMets
    September 19, 2017 at 7:54 am

    I was thinking what it must be like for casual fans to tune in – “This guy used to be great?!”

  5. footballhead
    September 19, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Nope Jimmy P, can’t feel sorry for Harvey. Sure the injuries are something I don’t wish on anybody, but he is making 5+ million dollars for throwing batting practice. Really, the Mets should just cut him loose or for sure not count on him for 2018.

    And to all the NY sportswriters who dubbed him the ‘Dark Knight’ and had him ushered him into the HOF after his first two seasons…..a pox on you!


    • Jimmy P
      September 19, 2017 at 8:29 am

      He got hurt, two major surgeries. Before that, he was truly astonishingly great.

  6. NormE
    September 19, 2017 at 9:06 am

    I’m thinking that Matt Harvey might benefit from seeing a psychologist who could get inside his head. The velocity is improving. The post-surgery mechanics probably have to be worked on to gain command of his pitches. At this point he doesn’t look like he is hurting physically. I’m not sure that Dan Warthen has the answer. Perhaps that would be true of most pitching coaches.
    My opinion is that I would tender him a contract for next year and try to convince Matt and his agent to get into therapy. It couldn’t hurt.

  7. Metsense
    September 19, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Harvey isn’t showing progress from his operations. At this point the Mets couldn’t justify handing him a rotation spot in 2018. He has two more starts to work on it. He is making $5.25M and is arb eligible this winter. If he can’t earn a rotation spot by the end of spring then they should cut him loose like JP suggests.
    Aoki had another good hitting game but with a 745 OPS (OF are around 775 OPS) and a 333 OBP there are reasons that the 35 year old is on his third team. He earns $5.5M and is also arb eligible. He has played well as a Met . He makes too much as a projected back up outfielder to tender him a contract.

    • TexasGusCC
      September 19, 2017 at 9:26 am

      What if he were your insurance against Conforto not being ready?

      • Jimmy P
        September 19, 2017 at 9:58 am

        Conforto won’t be ready.

        If Aoki is the insurance policy, then we’re really not trying.

        Bringing everybody back doesn’t cut it for me.

        But if team is not really interested in winning, sure, he works!

  8. Eraff
    September 19, 2017 at 2:34 pm

    I don’t believe you can judge Harvey forward on anything but some evidence of both velocity and health. He’d certainly have had a few more dry runs at the lower levels if their seasons were not over.

    At 5-6 million next year, I’d play it as a cheap lottery ticket on the possibility of some real improvement.

    Reality is that he has a hop in velocity of 2-4 miles an hour since his first start—his first two innings last night looked good from a “throwing the ball easily” stand point. Otherwise, all of the feedback is confused by the fact that he has an enormous amount of work to reacquaint himself with Pitching and the finer points of his repertoire.

    • Jimmy P
      September 19, 2017 at 4:42 pm

      Like getting his slider to slide and his curveball to break and his fastball to move.

      I don’t see those as finer points.

      But I do hope there’s time for him to recover and get (most of) his raw stuff back. Right now, he’s got nothing and he absolutely knows it.

      I’m not seeing a pitcher in need of adjustments. I’m seeing a guy who seems to have lost his “stuff” after two major surgeries. He needs to get it back.

      • Eraff
        September 19, 2017 at 9:49 pm

        If He’s throwing 94-97 next year, as he did last night—and if he’s healthy—he will be back in a big way. He’s taken some Major shots in the last 2-3 years…. His first two innings last night, he threw the ball like a guy who could throw the ball. That’s the starting point.

        If he was throwing that way in a Throwing Program, everyone would be thrilled. He’s not ready to pitch in so many ways, mentally and physically…but he looks ready and able to throw—that’s promissing.

        If he’s healthy, you will see Matt Harvey again as a front line starter.

        • MattyMets
          September 20, 2017 at 8:29 am

          Eraff – I hope you’re right. Velocity is one of many factors. His control is way off and his secondary pitches are not sharp at all.

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