This series has been a huge change from the first time these two teams met in Flushing back in April. A series that was then dominated by New York starting pitching, the Mets staff hasn’t been able to keep the Marlins bats quiet all series. Jose Reyes extended his career-high hitting streak to 26 games, and he supplied the go-ahead run, three batters into the ballgame.
Mets Offensive Highlights:
Not only did New York have plenty of opportunities with runners in scoring position (0-for-10), but they had plenty of chances to start early rallies that they couldn’t follow through on. There were five different times when a hitter reached base to lead off an inning, whether it was by way of a walk or a hit, and there were three instances when they put two men on to start an inning. As it has been a constant bugaboo, the Mets have not been able to get the big hits when it matters the most, and that has once again doomed them from any chance of getting back into this ballgame after Chris Youngheld them at 3 runs after that shaky first inning.
Marlins Offensive Highlights:
So much for Jose Reyes being silent in this series; the shortstop hit his eighth homer of the year to right field to get everything started with two outs. Carlos Lee walked behind Reyes, setting the stage for Giancarlo Stanton, who belted his 20th round tripper of the season, giving Miami a 3-0 lead at the time. The Marlins were silent until the top of the fifth, when Justin Ruggiano hit a ground rule double, followed by a Jose Reyes walk. Once they pulled off a double steal, Lee drove them both in with a two-run single before Stanton went yard for the second time, effectively ending Young’s night. In a game when they scored in bunches, the next bunch came in the eighth; Greg Dobbs doubled, then a walk to John Buck and single from Gorkys Hernandez loaded the bases. Bryan Peterson tripled in all three to seemingly put the game out of reach. To rub more salt in the wound, Ruggiano hit an infield single to plate the 11th run of the night. Greg Dobbs added a little more in the top of the ninth, hitting a two-run homer off Frank Francisco.
There were no real highlights for Chris Young; he held the Marlins at bay between the first and fifth innings, but when you give up 7 runs in those other two innings, it doesn’t spell for a long outing, as Young only last 4.1 innings. He gave up 7 hits and 3 walks, while striking out 4 and giving up 3 home runs. Ramon Ramirez and Jeremy Hefner combined for 2.2 innings of scoreless relief, but it was freshly called up Garrett Olson who gave up 4 more runs in his 0.1 innings of work, and needed Manny Acosta to bail him out. Frank Francisco was looking for an easy ninth, but that wasn’t so as he gave up a two-run bomb in his inning pitched.
Meanwhile, Nathan Eovaldi went 5 scoreless innings, but he gave the Mets every opportunity to stay in the game, as he allowed 4 hits and 6 walks during his outing, striking out only two hitters, which took him 98 pitches to accomplish. Ryan Webb contributed 2 scoreless innings to give way to Chris Hatcher, who did the same to end the ballgame.
The Mets now fall five games below .500, as their record drops to 53-58. They are now 14.5 games out of first place (and 3 games out of last), while they are now 10.5 games back of the second Wild Card spot.
Probable Pitchers Thursday:
Once again, the Mets turn to R.A. Dickey (14-3, 2.82 ERA) to be the stopper that he has been for most of the season, as he will go up against Miami’s ace in Josh Johnson (7-7, 3.85), as Ozzie Guillen and company are looking for the sweep. First pitch is scheduled at Citi for 12:10pm.