The Mets held off Miami Friday night to win the opening match of a four game series at Citi Field. It was only their third victory against nine losses in September. This afternoon, the clubs engaged in Game One of a classic twi-night double header. Carlos Torres climbed the hill for the Mets, opposed by Miami’s Henderson Alvarez.
Torres, 30, making only his seventh start in thirty appearances this season, brought a 3-4 record, and 3.53 ERA into today’s game. After thirteen starts this season, Henderson Alvarez brought a 3-4 record, with a 4.34 ERA to the mound.
This is the line-up Terry Collins assembled to face Miami’s right-hander: LF-Eric Young; RF-Mike Baxter; 2B-Daniel Murphy; 1B-Lucas Duda; 3B-Zach Lutz; CF-Matt den Dekker; C-Travis d’Arnaud; SS-Omar Quintanilla; SP-Carlos Torres.
Outside of a hit-by-pitch, Miami failed to get a hit their first time through the line-up. Carlos Torres cruised along with five strikeouts. Sixty-seven percent of his pitches were going for strikes.
In the fourth inning however, second baseman Donovan Solano was hit by Carlos Torres for the second time in the game, and left fielder Christian Yelich drew a walk. Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton then stepped in with no outs, and struck out for the second time. Justin Ruggiano swung unsuccessfully at a two strike breaking ball, and likewise struck out. Just when Torres seemed clear of trouble, Logan Morrison popped a shallow base hit to center field to score a run. Despite the 1-0 deficit, Carlos Torres established a new season high with seven strikeouts after just four innings of work.
In the top of the sixth inning, Donovan Solano exacted a measure of revenge against Carlos Torres for previously hitting him twice with pitches, by clubbing his third home run of the season, giving the Fish a 2-0 lead. Christian Yelich followed with a base hit. Next, Mike Baxter made a nifty catch looking into the sun off a sinking line drive struck by Stanton for the first out. Justin Ruggiano then became Carlos Torres’ eighth strikeout victim of the game. The Mets elected to intentionally walk Logan Morrison and face shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria instead. The strategy paid off, as the Marlins shortstop popped up to end the frame.
Through six full innings pitched, Carlos Torres threw 111 pitches, 57%, or sixty-three pitches went for strikes. He allowed just two earned runs on three hits, walked two and struck out eight. Torres lowered his ERA somewhat to a 3.48 mark. Reliever Gonzalez Germen pitched a scoreless seventh inning.
Miami’s Henderson Alvarez stayed on to pitch the bottom of the frame. In his previous six innings, he limited the Mets to just three hits, walked no batters and struck out five. With one out in the seventh, Matt den Dekker finally touched him for a double, then tagged-up and advanced to third. With two outs, Omar Quintanilla hit a sharp liner to second that Donovan Solano made a nice play on. Matt den Dekker was left stranded at third. Henderson Alvarez finished at 100 pitches exactly.
Lefty Tim Byrdak entered the game in the eighth inning in relief of Gonzalez Germen. He was immediately greeted by Christian Yelich who doubled to left, which just as quickly sent Coach Terry scurrying to the mound to bring in Frank Francisco. Giancarlo Stanton was first to face Frank, and struck out looking at a fastball. With Justin Ruggiano at-bat, Christian Yelich stole third. Ruggiano then drew a one out walk. After a visit from pitching coach Dan Warthen, Logan Morrison stepped to the plate and set of a weird series of events. Morrison tried calling time-out, but didn’t get it from the home plate umpire. He stayed in the box and hit a comebacker that struck Francisco on the right wrist area. Lucas Duda managed to field the ball and record the out at first, but Christian Yelich scored on the play. Francisco immediately left the game, and was replaced with David Aardsma.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Mets faced Chad Qualls behind by a 3-0 margin, and went down quietly. As the fifth man out of the Mets bullpen, Greg Burke entered the game in in the ninth inning in relief of Aardsma, and promptly got himself into trouble. With runners on first and third with one out, Donovan Solano helped Burke out by bouncing into an inning ending double play.
Into the home ninth they went. Daniel Murphy led off last licks against Miami’s Steve Cishek and fanned. Lucas Duda drew a walk. Zach Lutz then became Cishek’s second strikeout victim. Matt den Dekker was next and looked at strike three to end the game.
Three Miami pitchers combined to shut out the Mets by a 3-0 final, while allowing just four hits. They walked one batter and struck out eight, highlighted by Steve Cishek’s performance in the ninth inning.
Carlos Torres was the hard-luck loser, sustaining his fifth defeat of the season.
- Carlos Torres established a season high with eight strikeouts. He pitched very well, but unfortunately suffered from a major lack of offensive support. He undeservingly got tagged with the today’s loss.
- Matt den Dekker – 2 for 4; had two of the Mets four hits.
- Ponderous! – Over the last two games, Miami’s starting pitchers Brad Hand and Henderson Alvarez have combined to make the Mets line-up look like little leaguers.
- Today’s Game One loss was number eighty-two of the year, which ensures the Mets will finish their fifth straight season with a losing record.
- Daniel Murphy – 3 for his last 21.
*UPDATE: Frank Francisco injured his thumb. Coach Collins said there was significant swelling.