May 13.10: Chat Room, Game #35 at Marlins: Classic pitcher’s duel.

The Mets begin an eight-game road trip tonight in Florida in a classic pitcher’s duel: Johan Santana vs. Josh Johnson.

Something has to break because both pitchers dominate the opposition, with Santana 6-1 with a 1.66 ERA in eight career starts against the Marlins. Johnson is not the type of pitcher a team in a hitting funk likes to face. He is 7-1 against the Mets, including 4-0 with a 2.14 ERA in five home starts against them.

The Mets’ lone victory over Johnson came Opening Day at Citi Field. The Marlins, however, won the next two games of that series.

The Mets need to get Jose Reyes going. Reyes is mired in a season-long slump, which hasn’t been helped by the move to third in the batting order. Reyes is batting .228 with a .283 on-base percentage. He is hitting .242 since being moved out of the leadoff spot.

Clearly, he’s not performing well hitting third. He’s trying to do too much with the ball. He’s better off going back to first where he’s more comfortable. Hitting is all about comfort, and Reyes looks uncomfortable at the plate. He’s reaching for pitches and is swinging with more of an uppercut than he has in the past.

However, manager Jerry Manuel is insistent on leaving Reyes third in the order ahead of Jason Bay. Manuel’s theory is Bay will see more fastballs with Reyes on ahead of him. The problem is Reyes isn’t on much these days. And, Bay only has one homer on the season, so where he has benefitted I’m not sure.

Here’s tonight’s lineup:

Angel Pagan, CF
Luis Castillo, 2B
Jose Reyes, SS
Jason Bay, LF
David Wright, 3B
Ike Davis, 1B
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Rod Barajas, C
Johan Santana, LP

NOTE: I have my class tonight and won’t be home until nine. Hope to see you then.

40 thoughts on “May 13.10: Chat Room, Game #35 at Marlins: Classic pitcher’s duel.

  1. Uh-oh. Frenchy looks as if he’s regressing to swinging — for the fences — at any and all pitches.

  2. Damn the luck! First Pagan got robbed, now Johan, by nice defensive plays.

  3. Our clutch offense will get the run in and the bullpen will shut the dorr.

  4. Go ahead, clutch Mets offense, and make me look stupid with a fly to left and a grounder to third.

  5. Why didn’t Ross swing at Ball Four? Because he doesn’t have Hojo as a hitting coach?

  6. Manuel tells his outfielders to play in. Shouldn’t they know this on their own?

  7. Good thing I threw away all the knives and sharp instruments years ago. Like you only need to see the last two minutes of a basketball game, all you need is the 9th inning of this one.

  8. I think it’s illegal to have a fielder in foul territory but someone should try to see if I’m wrong (or the umps miss it).

  9. A QUICK WRAP/Game #35

    FINAL: Marlins 2, Mets 1.
    RECORD: 18-17.
    THUMBNAIL ANALYSIS: The Mets had a runner on second with no outs in the ninth inning and couldn’t get him home. Then they lose on a wild pitch.
    ON THE MOUND: Johan Santana gave up an unearned run on six hits and one walk. … Fernando Nieve wild-pitched in the game losing run.
    AT THE PLATE: Angel Pagan was robbed of three hits. … Four hits won’t get it done.
    IN THE FIELD: Santana’s throwing error in the third set up the Marlins’ first run.
    LOOKING AHEAD: John Maine against the Marlins tomorrow.-JD

  10. why is it our esteemed manager is being criticized by everyone and his mother about where jose is placed in the order. as john states above his numbers suck and is in a spot he doesnt want to be in.

    but our manager feels he knows better.

    oh well.

  11. (26) Entering tonight’s game, Reyes had the exact same numbers from the lead-off spot as from the number-three spot. In other words, he’s not hitting — period. But that doesn’t seem to stop those from suggesting that him in the lead-off spot will be a panacea.

    No one is hitting. As such, batting order is irrelevant.

  12. Oh tiffany of the twenty dollar words, You should just join our little cult. The cult of delcos which believes that Manuel is an idiot and your 3rd place hitter is the most important spot in the lineup and your best hitter needs to occupy that spot. Our little fraternity also believes that putting a lifetime leadoff hitter who just missed a year and has a fragile ego does not need the extra pressure of trying to be a run producer. Delcos, our great leader has been on this for over a week. The only 2 people who disagree are jerry and tiffany. Maybe you 2 could start your own cult.

  13. IMHO, numbers do not tell the whole story. In what i do, it isnt the number of programs your write or applications you support. It’s how well they stand up and stay up. This defines everything. but to look at the numbers. well Steve isnt doing any work well because there are no problem tickets. EXACTLY because i am tuning and fixing minro hings here and there to make sure the users dont feel the bite.
    Same for baseball. Jose’s numbers? if you look at numbers you would think wow.. great pitcher,great batter.. ..
    watch the player. watch how they react to situations watch how they catch run hit..
    I have always believed in watching what i see not what i read about numbers.
    Keith, Ron and Gary all say this from time to time.
    But what do I know I am only a fan and watch the games I can watch and have an opinion based on what i have seen on the field..etc.
    It appears that Tiffany, god love her, has an insight into the numbers and the game. which is fine. I have never doubted her numbers etc. But what I do not like is when myself or others make a statement based on play, the numbers come out and we are all basically called know-nothings for not knowing all the STATS.
    Well i am here to say there’s a place for stats and there’s a place for reality. Stats are good for a general idea. But the reality of it all is .. will the player play well for the manager/team and the field.
    thats the reality.. how many pitchers sucked here, and were damned good pitchers. they are sent on their way then break out and excel at their new team. where are the numbers that indicate that? there arent any. its the human factor.
    when people are like Vulcans and only look at the numbers and lose sight of the human element its all lost.
    In the end these are men playing the game. not a computer game based on stats.
    ok i am off the soap box now..
    Remember this is a healthy debate and I mean nothing negative to anyone.. these are just my feelings about some of our discussions..

  14. (28) I want to join this cult — I really do! — but I’m afraid I’m not old enough and/or my ideas aren’t outdated enough. I’m also having trouble sticking my fingers in my ears.

    Now, to your baseball-related content, genius: The astute reader will note that I didn’t write that I _supported_ Jerry’s lineup. (I realize the “astute” modifier most likely excludes you; my apologies in advance.) Rather, I wrote that it doesn’t make any difference where you bat him if he’s not hitting.

    If you want to make the case that Reyes isn’t hitting _because_ he’s batting third, knock yourself out. Just be aware that the stats — yes, those evil, objective factual measurements not regularly considered with the cult of outdated folks who are past their expiration dates of usefulness — will not support your position.

  15. (29) Stats _are_ reality, Steve. They are factual and objective. Real. Even the guys at Tata know this.

    Please remember this is healthy debate and I mean nothing negative to anyone — except, of course the Vulcans and those who are so outmoded that they are being replaced.

    Thanks in advance.

  16. (30) I’m going to guess because you have nothing worthwhile to say? Oh, sorry — that hasn’t stopped you before. So, I don’t know why. I’m stumped, dave.

  17. Tiff, I remember before they signed Bay, there was a big hoo hah about how bad of an outfielder he was based on your beloved stats. He has fielded his position quite well as anybody with eyes to see will agree. next time you stick your fingers in your ears go la la la it works better that way. btw, our cult has free fish frys on friday nights. You really ought to join.

  18. Tiffany, where was I rude to you? you keep mentioning Tata and how they do a better job than dinosaurs. either work for them or you do not wish a healthy discourse and thats fine.
    enjoy the company that takes money away from america and does a half assed job.

    34. Ray, Bay’s bat may have quieted but yes his fielding has been exceptional!
    If the bats were louder this team would be ok. 1st base covered by a real first baseman. outfield being handled well.. who would have thunk the numbers would be wrong 😉
    is there beer with the fish fry?
    brooklyn lager i hope.

  19. steve, Yes be at the meeting hall at 7pm. dont forget to wear your funny hat :D.

  20. (34) I never commented about Bay’s fielding one way or another — but, that said, the numbers do show him to be a little below league average this year. That might be a reflection of balls being hit over his head or dropping in front of him more so than the league average — or it might reflect having an aggressive CF making plays that would otherwise be the domain of the LF. It could also reflect a pitching staff that surrenders more ground balls than flyouts. There are a number of ways to _interpret_ the stats or provide _explanations_ for them, but the stats themselves are factual.

    I don’t necessarily like or agree with every stat — but I try to understand what they indicate, because others, _including managers_ often use them as evaluatory tools. This means I can both understand and disagree without having to stick my fingers in my ears. This means I can make the logical leap that a manager is basing his decision on something other than being a stubborn, unwilling-to-admit-defeat moron that the cultists would have you believe.

  21. (35) Steve — you mean the Vulcan reference was meant as a compliment?

    The stats lead to more rational, rather than emotional, thinking — and this is a problem for some who would rather follow their emotions than the facts. For example, heading into last night’s game, there was not a lot of difference between Oliver Perez’s numbers and Johan Santana’s: Both had ERAs around 4.50 and were averaging between 5 and 6 innings per start; while he’s walked more, Ollie has actually given up fewer hits per innings and far fewer home runs. Indeed, if you were to simply look at Pitcher A against Pitcher B, you wouldn’t come away with one of them being hands-down superior to the other. Yet, we haven’t read word one about sending Santana to the minors or cutting him or sending him to the bullpen. That’s where emotion clouds perception. Factually, before last night’s game, Santana had been pitching as poorly as Perez. But people don’t like this because it contradicts their emotions and what their (lyin’) eyes see.

  22. (36) Don’t forget to recite the initiation oath about pitch counts being meaningless, Jerry being stubborn and unable to admit defeat and Vulcans who love stats. And, remember — fingers have to be in ears when making this pledge.