It is remarkable that the Mets remain in first so late in the season despite not being able to hit or pitch late in games. Both bit them again in tonight’s 4-3 loss to the Marlins.
â€” The offense went 5 1/3 innings with a measly ol’ single off the bat of Dan Murphy. Other than that they were shut down by a collection of Ricky Nolasco, Logan Kensing, Mark Hendrickson and Matt Lindstrom.
â€” The bullpen blew its 24th save of the year. This one was clean â€” really just a solo homer off Duaner Sanchez and two walks by Aaron Heilman â€” but it prolonged the ‘pen-wide slump.
Heilman had dominated the Marlins this year. He had thrown 12 scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and striking out 18. Good stuff.
Jerry Manuel considered other options, but decided to walk Jorge Cantu (Heilman fell behind him) after Heilman’s wild pitch moved Hanley Ramirez to third. They then walked Mike Jacobs intentionally because Manuel thought Jacobs had swung the bat well.
Here’s what Heilman had to say about being thrust into a bases-loaded situation:
“Thereâ€™s really not much option,â€ Heilman said. â€œYou canâ€™t afford to let a guy beat you with a bloop hit there so you try to put yourself in a situation thatâ€™s going to give yourself the best opportunity to keep the game tied.â€
As for Sanchez, he said the 81 m.p.h. pitch Jacobs hit out was a 3-2 changeup. He thought it was a good pitch, but gave Jacobs credit.
â€œNo excuses,” Jacobs said. “I made one mistake that isnâ€™t really a mistake. You have to give credit to him.â€
â€” Here’s an interesting note about the late-game offense: Manuel said he may tweak the lineup in Milwaukee when the Mets next face a RHP. He’s seen too many fast starts lately that stalled.
â€œGoing into Milwaukee vs. right-handers, we may have to do a little tinkering in the lineup,â€ Manuel said. â€œWe have to get a little more production from our offense. We are going to have to put continued runs on the board.â€
â€” I have a little on the near-brawl as well.
Mike Pelfrey said Cody Ross did a “fake-charge thing” when he plunked him on Aug. 10. This time Ross jawed at him, and called him (in Pelfrey’s words) “the ‘P-word,’” leading to the following summary from Pelfrey: â€œI would think someone would be smart enough to know I wouldnâ€™t hit him with two strikes.”
Pelfrey said Ross’ jawing got worse after the benches cleared. â€œIt seemed like he got a little more fired up with 24 men behind him.”
Here’s Ross’ take, courtesy of the AP: “I was just tired of getting hit,” Ross said. “The best way to respond is with the bats, and we did.”