Friday, April 9, 2010

Mets Fall to Marlins 3-1, Lose Series: Line-Up Musings

Last Night, despite a decent outing from Jon Niese, and the Mets putting out a stellar line-up (sarcasm) the team fell to the Marlins 3-1 (box score).

Jon Niese had a good, not great, outing last night.  If Niese can pitch like this all season, I would be happy.  I liked that he only gave up 3 runs in 6 innings of work.  HOWEVER, I was slightly concerned about him giving up 8 hits.  OnceNiese left the game, Igarashi, Takahashi, Nieve (who I'll discuss in a minute) and Pedro Feliciano threw out a scoreless effort for the remainder of the game.  On the Nieve front, he's looking pretty good out of the pen so far...nice little surprise.

I'll try not going to repeat myself much, considering I posted about this last night, but sometimes I think Manuel has a tendency to over manage.  Yes, Jacobs doesn't hit lefties well, (as Sean was so nice to point out) and yes, Pagan is good enough to start over Matthews...but to me, if the team can score 6-7 runs two games in a row with the same line-up, Why change things?

Regardless of my thoughts on last night's line-up, certain guys had good nights at the plate, most notably Francoeur, Bay and Pagan.  Frenchy went 2-4 with an RBI double, which drove in Jason Bay who went 1-3.  Pagan went 2-4 on the night and, I think, once Reyes returns Pagan should be slotted into the 7th spot in the order more regularly, as early in the season he's been hitting.  I know this sounds contradictory to everything I've said before about Matthews in the line-up so allow me to explain....

To me when Reyes is out of the line-up the team is different.  I do not see them manufacturing runs with Cora/Pagan/Castillo at the top of the line-up.  It's for that reason I prefer Matthews and Jacobs in there, if only for their ability to drive the gaps and hit for power (also Tatis stinks).  Now, when Reyes returns, the face of the team changes.  Jose makes the team more dangerous in small ball situations, and really allows Castillo to help in the table setting, instead of being a second lead-off man behind Cora/Pagan.  The team is better, and more balanced with Jose...I can't wait until Saturday.

So, to me, it seems like the team is better served with Matthews until Reyes returns (one more game), and then the hot hand can be played from then on.  I just don't think that Tatis should be starting, unless it's a Sunday afternoon...

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