into Friday’s game, Jorge Soler’s dWAR was -8.7 in 470 career games in the outfield. The Mets losing a game primarily because of Soler’s defense in Miami seems ridiculous, and yet … on brand.
In the top of the 2nd, Soler struck for the first time against Pete Alonso:
WHAT A PLAY BY JORGE SOLER 🔥
Soler robs Pete Alonso of extra bases!!!!!@Marlins | #MakeItMiami pic.twitter.com/TdioMnAGUk
— Bally Sports Florida: Marlins (@BallyMarlins) March 31, 2023
All the while, I’m looking at Jazz Chisholm to see if he’s going to catch up to it, not once thinking that Soler and his negative defensive impact was going to impact Alonso. But there was Soler, and he was just getting started.
In the bottom of the inning, he torched David Peterson on the first pitch of the inning:
Jorge Soler bounce back campaign??
He’s showing off the glove and the power so far tonight!pic.twitter.com/BkGjKj8RW2
— Just Baseball (@JustBB_Media) March 31, 2023
(Editor’s note: We had to give you the Bally version of that because SNY came back from commercial in time to show us a forlorn Brandon Nimmo watching the ball fly over his head. Interestingly enough, on two occastions later in the game, SNY cut from the middle of a commercial to make sure they didn’t miss first pitch. I guess we’re all still getting used to the pace of play, especiallon on a game that lasted two hours and nine minutes.)
It gave the Marlins a 1-0 lead, and considering how David Peterson pitched, it was unbelieveable that it was the only run that he gave up. He scattered eight hits and a walk over five innings, which isn’t the best recipe for domination. But Peterson wriggled out of some jams with some help from his defense. Alonso bailed him out with a 3-6 double play in the first, and Brandon Nimmo made a diving catch in the 4th to save Peterson. But the 5th was the best example of the Mets personal escape room. After Jon Berti singled to center and Luis Arraez reached on a drag bunt, Peterson fell behind 2-0 on Met killer Jean Segura. But Peterson was able to come back with part pinpoint control, part help from the umpires, and part help from Segura as he swung at a pitch at his eyes for strike three. Then, with one out, came what I thought was going to be the turning point:
WHAT A PLAY BY JEFF McNEIL! pic.twitter.com/9HDi2rNvxF
— SNY (@SNYtv) March 31, 2023
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Jeff McNeil is the very embodiment of what we all believed Daniel Murphy to be.
So they get out of that inning, and then in the top of the 6th, the Mets put together a two out rally against Jesus Luzardo, who they were barely able to touch outside of the pitch that Alonso tagged which turned out to be a loud out. Luzardo missed on a 3-2 pitch against Brandon Nimmo. Then he gave up a hit to Starling Marte, and walked Francisco Lindor to load the bases. Skip Schumaker (yeah, he’s the Marlins manager and I forgot about that too), sensed Luzardo’s frustration and got him out of the game in favor of someone named J.T. Chargois to face Alonso with the bases loaded. Alonso would tag a Chargois pitch to left center field, but just got over it a bit to give Chisholm a chance to catch up to it, and he did to end that threat.
We now go to the 8th with the Mets still down 1-0. Tommy Hunter had just gotten done holding the Mets in the game with two scoreless innings, and Daniel Vogelbach was at the plate with one out. He flies one to short center and here comes Chisholm, after taking a step the wrong way. Chisholm, still in Juan Samuel mode, couldn’t catch up to the ball as it ticked off his glove and hit turf, all the while Vogey hustled out of the box in his continued desire to reach the speed of a Mexican free tailed bat and reached second base. (He was quite pumped to do so. That, for sure, would be the turning point for the Mets, right?
Wrong. Because Soler, not known for defense, is apparently now known for defense.
💎🇨🇺 Otro gran fildeo de Jorge Soler pic.twitter.com/n859eLA4aR
— Jerry Díaz 🇨🇺 (@Jerryto94) April 1, 2023
The hat trick of horror. Two catches and a dinger. Translated, that’s two F’s and an S.
Chisholm would then further knocking the wind out of the Mets in the bottom of the 8th, hitting a dinger off John Curtiss who was making his Mets debut, and that provided the margin of victory as Pete Alonso came back in the 9th to hit a dinger of his own off college teammate A.J. Puk. But that only made it 2-1 when the Mets needed a run to make it 2-2. They could have had that run in the 8th. But again, Soler’s Roberto Clemente impression kept that from happening.
So we now embark on another tradition as time honored as Opening Day: The realization that the Mets will not, once again, go 162-0. Again, the sun will come up tomorrow.
Today’s Hate List
- Jorge Soler
- Jazz Chisholm
- Jesus Luzardo
- A.J. Puk
- Trent Grisham