During the final nine days of 2013, I’m going to revisit nine memorable baseball moments from the year.
This one was an awfully long “moment.”
On June 5, it rained. On June 6, it rained some more. I took a chance and bought a ticket for the June 7 game, hoping I’d get to see a doubleheader with Matt Harvey pitching one of the games against the Miami Marlins.
The Mets disappointed me by deciding to go with a single game on June 7 and a doubleheader in September. As it turned out, that was a really fortunate decision.
I got to see Harvey match up against Jose Fernandez, but considering the overall quality of both team’s lineups, it’s tough to say how much credit to give them for it being a 1-1 tie when they left the game.
Actually, considering the Mets and Marlins bullpens both pitched five scoreless innings, I’d say the “credit” mostly belonged to the talent levels of the two teams’ hitters.
Then when inning 13 came around, both teams turned to the starters who would have pitched except for the rainout.
For the Mets, it was Shaun Marcum, who entered the game with an 0-6 record and had generally been terrible, though on occasion he did pitch almost well enough to win… if he played for a team that scored runs.
For the Marlins, it was Kevin Slowey. And for seven more innings, they matched zeros.
Naturally, in inning 20, Marcum finally allowed a run. And mercifully, Rick Ankiel, Omar Quintanilla and Daniel Murphy were unable to extend the game further in the bottom half of the inning.
It took 6 hours and 25 minutes to play, 561 pitches were thrown, 41 players were used, and of an official crowd of 20,338 fans, only a few hundred remained to see the end.
On the day I got Shaun Marcum‘s baseball card for my 2013 Topps Update Mets team set, the rumors have started about which “bargain basement” free agent injury reclamation project might be among Sandy Alderson‘s targets this winter.
The infamous “person with knowledge of the situation” tells Jorge Castillo of the Star-Ledger that the Mets could pursue Rafael Furcal instead of going after Stephen Drew or Jhonny Peralta to upgrade the Ruben Tejada / Omar Quintanilla combo at shortstop next season.
Of course, even though Furcal missed all of the 2013 while recovering from Tommy John surgery, he may not actually be much of a bargain. MLB Trade Rumors reports that four or five other teams also have interest in Furcal… surely that’s enough to start a bidding war.
Furcal’s 2012 line (.264 / .325 /.346) looks a lot nicer than Tejada’s numbers from 2013 (.202 / .259 / .260), but Tejada’s own 2012 line (.289 / .333 / .351) was better than Furcal’s.
If you remember Furcal’s early career with the Atlanta Braves, he used to be a big stolen base threat. That’s no longer true – you have to go back to 2010 to find a season where he reached 20 steals. And 2012 is the only year since 2009 when Furcal appeared in at least 100 games.
If you can pop the Atlanta Braves version of Furcal out of a time machine, I could get excited about the prospect of him being a Met. But I almost think I’d prefer to see Tejada get another chance if the 2014 version of Furcal is the best available “upgrade.”
And the Mets finalized their radio broadcasting agreement with WOR 710 on Monday, forging a tie with the Clear Channel Media family that also includes Z100, KTU and Q104. The interesting aspect of the team’s announcement that I didn’t see get that much play in the media coverage is this:
The Mets and Clear Channel Media and Entertainment will work together to enhance in-game entertainment at Citi Field and jointly explore the production and promotion of top name concerts, festivals and large-scale entertainment events at Citi Field.
I’m curious to see what actually develops in terms of concerts, festivals and “large-scale entertainment events.”
The Mets offense had to take advantage of some shoddy Chicago White Sox defense to score their runs, and the Mets’ defense made Marcum look better than he really was, but the important thing is that the Mets actually impressed for most of the night. For a while, I had completely stopped looking for that to happen. Yay, progress.
Meanwhile, things seem to be falling apart over in the Bronx.
Yeah, the Yankees shouldn’t matter to me. And mostly, they don’t — but after watching them be the more popular and more successful team for over a decade, I am enjoying watching Cashman find ways to manufacture problems when he already has more than enough unavoidable ones.
And unlike a few of his losses, Marcum did earn this one. Five earned runs on six hits and four walks, capped by a three-run homer to Chris Johnson, in less than five innings. If the Mets keep him in the rotation at the expense of Dillon Gee or Jeremy Hefner, it can only mean that Sandy Alderson is unwilling to admit a mistake or is more focused on contract value than performance.
The Mets managed just six hits off of Kris Medlen, and none at all off of the Braves’ bullpen. And if not for Medlen’s fifth inning throwing error, it’s conceivable that the Mets might not have scored at all.
And perhaps the most frustrating part is seeing the Braves and realizing that they’re not particularly good for a first place team. Even against mediocre Mets pitching, they struck out 11 times and they made a variety of sloppy plays. A good team should knock them out of the playoffs easily if they don’t improve.
If only the Mets had a little more talent to go with David Wright and their young pitchers….
After all, it was sure nice to see this:
Boy I'm glad I retired! Would not wanna face Harvey and Wheeler 5 or 6 times a year for the next 10yrs. Those boys were electric yesterday!