4/3/2019 Game Preview: New York Mets at Miami Marlins

MLB: New York Mets at Miami Marlins

Welcome to my first game preview of the season. Thanks to a three run blast by Pete Alonso and a Houdini bullpen act, the Mets have taken the first two games in Miami against the Marlins, whose ballpark has been Jeter-ized, complete with a brass band. The Mets will try to break out the brooms on Wednesday night. Please note the 6:10 start as Jeter was benevolent enough to give the Mets a whole extra hour to get home and prepare for their home opener on Thursday afternoon. What a peach.

How to Enjoy

Radio Coverage: The Mets are on WCBS 880, which brought back the iconic “Let’s Go Mets” jingle and deftly cut out the “F-A-N” part. (Slick, right?) Howie Rose and Wayne Randazzo will be on the call (For those of you without internet or telegraph, Josh Lewin left.) If you’re in Miami, it’s WINZ or WAQI 710 for you.

Television Coverage: SNY carries the game with Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez, with Steve Gelbs on trumpet. (Ron Darling is away to sell books.) It’s FOX Florida for those of you in Miami. I’d tell you who the announcers are but Jeter might have fired them by now.

Internet Coverage: Derek Jeter fired Facebook. But you can watch on Gameday.

The Pitchers

Jacob deGrom goes for the Mets and as you know, he’s pretty good. There will be a little pressure on deGrom to go seven today with the bullpen in shambles, but Familia and Diaz should be available tonight. If the Mets can score for deGrom (perish the thought), then Tim Peterson can finish it off and the Mets will have a strong bullpen for the home opener on Thursday.

4/3/2019 Game Preview: New York Mets at Miami Marlins
Mar 29, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Trevor Richards (36) delivers a pitch in the first inning of a game against the Colorado Rockies at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Trevor Richards goes for Miami. He gave up a run in six innings agianst the Colorado Rockies with two walks and four strikeouts. Richards was 4-9 with a 4.42 ERA and a WHIP of 1.38. But numbers don’t tell the whole story:

Richards attained his modest success with three pitches, one of which was really good. The 25-year-old gained notoriety throughout the league with his changeup. (…)

The funny thing is that spin rate applies differently to the changeup than it does to the fastball and curveball, where the parlance is often used. Spin rate is becoming a priority on fastballs because it tends to create the illusion that the ball is rising as it approaches the plate. In this aspect, fastballs with higher spin rates tend to more frequently miss barrels.

But Trevor Richards spins his changeup harder than he does his fastball, which is something that most pitchers likely couldn’t say. It’s also something most pitchers wouldn’t like to say, because most pitchers prefer the changeup to sink and dive.

While Richards’ pitch still seems to have plenty of sink and dive in spite of the high spin, it still makes for a unique pitch.

The former Gateway Grizzly is thought to have a chance to be the Marlins ace this season. That changeup will be one to watch tonight.

The Lineups

For the good guys:

Brandon Nimmo in the lineup tonight, so his hand is fine. Also, hello Keon Broxton. As for Jeff McNeil on the bench, before you get the torches and pitchforks out …

And for the Marlins:

Cute as hell, but children having access to the lineups are probably a security issue.

Game Notes

    • Trevor Richards’ only other appearance against the Mets was a 13-0 Mets victory in a game that didn’t start until 9:45 because of a long rain delay. Richards gave up four earned runs in five innings.
    • deGrom has struggled in Marlins Park, pitching to an ERA of 3.89 and a WHIP of 1.34 in 41 and 2/3 innings. It’s easily his highest ERA of all the parks in the N.L. East.
    • Speaking of worst numbers in the division, noted Met killer and now Met Wilson Ramos has a .229 lifetime average against the Marlins, easily the worst of all his opponents in the division.
    • Robinson Cano has a lifetime batting average of .176 in Marlins Park, but he does have a home run there from the All Star game.
    • Curtis Granderson has a .273 lifetime average at Marlins Park in 139 at-bats.
Arrow to top