A-B-C-D-E-F-Gee, where have the bats been? Mets Avoid Sweep, win 7-6
Shaking off a six game losing streak, and perhaps sick of licking their wounds, the Mets got angry today. Dillon Gee suffered a rough first inning, giving up three runs to a Giancarlo Stanton-less Marlins offense. Walks to Juan Pierre and Greg Dobbs, followed by hits by Justin Ruggiano and Chris Valaika led to three first-inning runs for the fish. The Mets again failed to score early, this time against Wade LeBlanc, stranding Ruben Tejada (single), John Buck (single), and Ike Davis(HBP) in the first two innings.
After a quiet second and third for both teams, the Mets got on the board when David Wright led off the fourth with a long homer to left. Nothing else was done, however, as a follow-up single by John Buck was it for the inning. LeBlanc would single off Gee and eventually make that run up himself, scoring on a single by Pierre.
The Mets’ offense stayed quiet until Wright came up again, leading off the top of the sixth with a double to left. Marlon Byrd was able to cash him in with two outs. An Ike Davis single then ended Wade LeBlanc’s day. Jordany Valdespin pinch hit for Juan Lagares with two outs in the sixth, and did Jordany Valdespin things (homering to right) to give the Mets a 5-4 lead.
A well rested Scott Atchison pitched a clean sixth inning, after which the Mets continued to pile it on. After a Ruben Tejada groundout, Murphy and Wright each singled and Buck cleared them with a two run double. The Marlins answered, though, as Atchison gave up three hits in the bottom of the 7th, and a two-base error by Lucas Duda allowed two of them to score.
LaTroy Hawkins got two outs in the 8th before passing the ball off to Scott Rice, charged with retiring Juan Pierre (with the tying run at third). It took seven pitches, but Rice did Scott Rice things: forced a ground ball to second base to end the inning.
Mike Baxter came in as a defensive replacement for Lucas Duda in the ninth, and made a good play running down a fly ball. Bobby Parnell pitched a quick frame, needing only 7 pitches to induce a ground ball, a flyout to left center, and a strikeout to record only his third save of the season.
- For those listening on the radio, Josh Lewin quipped that it had been ten days since a Met outfielder last registered an RBI. The next two outfielders to come to the plate, right fielder Marlon Byrd and pinch hitter/center fielder Jordany Valdespin, combined for four in the inning.
- I didn’t watch today’s game, but if Ed Coleman and Josh Lewin are any indication, it’s starting to seem more and more like Ruben Tejada is back. His defense has been outstanding lately.
- As has been the rub, Dillon Gee had only one rough inning (in this case, the first). His last four innings were effective, giving up only another run. It made sense to let Gee hit for himself, to conserve another pinch hitter in a close game, but I feel that he should’ve been offered a chance to pitch the sixth. He only threw 64 pitches in today’s game to get through his five innings of work.
- Jordany Valdespin once again showed a flair for the dramatic, hitting a pinch hit three run homer in the sixth. Clamors will continue, deservedly, for Valdespin to earn more playing time in center field. It’s worth noting, however, that Valdespin has managed a .259/.297/.361 slashline as a starter, so it would be unfair to expect a significant impact out of him (although, in fairness, center field as a whole hasn’t produced much more than that). A popular claim is that Valdespin rides the bench due to his unpopularity with Terry Collins. A much more reasonable (and likely) theory is his career .287 OBP coming into today’s game.
- Lucas Duda’s defense will come under a microscope after his error today. Though it didn’t cost the Mets the game, it allowed two runs to score (that wouldn’t have on the play). Had he made a clean play, it would’ve been bases-loaded, one out for Marcell Ozuna. Either way, Duda has been playing well in left field over the past two weeks or so, but he erred in a big way today. These are the lumps the Mets are going to take with Duda, though few of them will come in such a big moment.
I’m glad the Duda error didn’t cost the Mets game. Blame will be heaped his way regardless, but it’s not entirely fair – it would’ve been bases loaded, one-out otherwise, and Atchison was struggling regardless.
The Mets sorely needed this win to snap their six-game losing streak. The bats came alive for the first time in a week, and the pitching staff was able to hold on. Dillon Gee wasn’t great today, but the Mets have to find ways to win games not started by Matt Harvey and Jonathon Niese if they’re to remain competitive.