The Marlins were built for their spacious ballpark, or vice versa. The team can run, which helps on a field that has wide open spaces and turf that is as hard and fast as a British Open course during a rainless summer. A ball that hits the ground with some speed on it is an almost automatic double, especially for the Marlins.
They took advantage of that Friday night. Miami's speed probably affected the Mets defense. Ike Davis admitted that he rushed to play Jose Reyes' slow ground ball in the eighth inning Friday night, knowing that Reyes had the potential of making it a close play. Davis botched it and Reyes scored from first (naturally) on a double. It cut the Mets' lead from two runs to one and, Davis said, turned the momentum the Mets had earned in the top of the inning.
Terry Collins said Davis was very upset after the game, but added this morning that Davis has won many more games with his glove than he has cost the Mets. The manager also downplayed the whole momentum thing, saying that he believes the team concept means that players have to pick each other up.
That didn't happen Friday night, and Davis felt even worse after Frank Francisco gave up the tying and winning runs in the ninth. It seemed that it wasn't being careless on the first baseman's part, and it wasn't as if his fielding was distracted by his hitting. He had homered early in the game, making it two homers in two games. The Mets just need to be calmer in the face of speed.
And they have to hold their breath when Francisco comes in. He has had good stretches, but it is no sure thing when he comes in to work the ninth.