The first inning got off to a slow start with a pair of groundouts to third, but David Wright worked a deep count before singling to center. With Granderson at bat, Alvarez would get out of the inning on a mistake. Wright was thrown out at second after an errant pickoff throw bounced directly to Marlins’ second baseman Derek Dietrich, who was able to throw Wright out at second base.
The Marlins got off in a hurry, however. After getting the first out on a comebacker, Colon would plunk Dietrich on the elbow, who came around to score on Giancarlo Stanton‘s long RBI double – the first of back-to-back RBI hits. Casey McGehee, who hit the second, would be thrown out on the basepaths on the next single, and Jarred Saltalamacchia would pop up to end the first.
Both teams would trade minor threats, but nothing would materialize until the bottom of the fifth inning, when Dietrich, Stanton, and McGehee would string together a triplet of two-out singles to score a third run off Bartolo Colon. In all, Colon would pitch seven innings, giving up the three runs on seven hits, a walk, and five strikeouts. Only one of the seven hits (Stanton’s double) went for extra bases.
Jose Valverde, who Terry Collins had mentioned as needing work tonight, came in to pitch the eighth. Outside of a walk to Giancarlo Stanton (who stole second base), Papa Grande pitched a great inning, striking out McGehee, Saltalamacchia, and Garrett Jones.
After the first inning, Bartolo Colon settled down and threw a very good game. Had the Mets offense done anything, he probably wouldn’t have left in the seventh, when he was only at 90 pitches. More importantly, he only allowed a single extra base hit, and rebounded well from his disaster in Colorado.
The Mets offense was miserable tonight. Daniel Murphy was the only hitter to reach base more than once, and he and Juan Lagares accounted for 6 of the Mets 9 total bases.
Ruben Tejada, who was removed for Bobby Abreu in the seventh inning, went 0-2. Both at bats ended with ground balls directly at the third baseman. Peculiarly, Tejada has had a nearly-impossible penchant for hitting balls directly at defenders. At some point, these balls should find holes, but it’s discouraging to see what’s generally been a positive process anchored by inexplicably bad results.
Tonight’s game was a quick one, finishing in 2 hours and 8 minutes – nearly a full hour quicker than average.
The Mets try to avoid the sweep and salvage a 2-5 road trip tomorrow afternoon. Zack Wheeler takes the mound at 12:40 PM.