The top of the first inning had all the makings of a typical dreadful loss to the always-annoying Florida Marlins. Chris Capuano got into trouble very quickly by giving up a double by Emilio Bonifacio and a single by Omar Infante, both of which were tattooed. He struck out Mike Stanton but walked Gaby Sanchez to load the bases before giving up a two-run single to Jose Lopez. Two quick outs later, however, Capuano was out of the inning without putting the game out of reach.
The Mets' lineup didn't inspire much hope through its first three innings against Chris Volstad, with only Jason Bay reaching base on an infield single. Bay's general display of hustle has to be one of the reasons he isn't getting booed out of Citi Field on a nightly basis. Well, that and reasonable expectations in a non-playoff season.
In the fourth inning, they finally got on the board, although they could have done much more. Lucas Duda walked with one out, David Wright hit a very long double off the Great Wall of Flushing, and Angel Pagan reached on an error to load the bases. Fortunately for the Marlins, Bay came up next and struck out. Nick Evans made up for it a bit with an infield single that scored Duda, but Josh Thole grounded out to finish off the relatively disappointing inning.
Two innings later, the Mets tied up the game. Wright once again doubled off the Great Wall, this time even higher on the wall and even deeper in left-center field, to lead off the inning. He moved to third on a ground out by Angel Pagan, and with the infield in, Jason Bay drilled a grounder off Volstad's leg. The ball bounced into the outfield, and Wright scored easily. Had Volstad gotten out of the way, there's a good chance that Omar Infante could have made a run-saving play on the ball. The Mets wouldn't score again in the sixth, but they did in the seventh.
Jose Reyes singled and was bunted to second base - always a frustrating managerial move - by Ruben Tejada. The Marlins pulled Volstad from the game, but Lucas Duda had no problem singling off lefty Mike Dunn to score Reyes and give the Mets a one-run lead. Duda advanced to second on the play, and the Marlins intentionally walked Wright before Pagan smoked a line drive to short that turned into an inning-ending double play.
While the offense was getting back into the game and taking the lead, the bullpen was keeping the Marlins from scoring. Capuano settled in just fine after his tough first inning, but he had thrown a whole lot of pitches and was only in the game for five innings. Pedro Beato, Manny Acosta, and Jason Isringhausen each threw a scoreless inning to get the Mets to the ninth with a lead.
There was a very good chance for the Mets to tack on a run in the bottom of the eighth after Jason Bay doubled to begin the inning, but he advanced on a ground out and was then thrown out on a very awkward slide at home plate when Josh Thole grounded to first base. Bay and Terry Collins argued that his failure to touch home plate was unfairly caused by Marlins catcher John Buck, but it didn't make the play any prettier to watch.
Bobby Parnell came on to pitch the ninth, and thanks in part to some excellent defense, he finished the game with the lead intact. Greg Dobbs singled to start the ninth, Alfredo Amezaga pinch ran for him, and Bonifacio sacrificed the runner to second base. The Marlins had a shot to tie the game, or worse, but David Wright and Ruben Teajada each made a superb play on a ground ball to record the second and third outs of the inning, securing the Mets' third victory in four games against the Marlins.
Big winners: David Wright, +21.7% WPA, Lucas Duda, +17.4% WPA, Bobby Parnell, +14.5% WPA
Big losers: Josh Thole, -16.3% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: The Dude's rib-eye single in the seventh, +20.1% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Jose Lopez's two-run single in the first, -13.2% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +35.7% WPA
Total batter WPA: +14.3% WPA
GWRBI!: The Dude
Nice job by BurleighGrimes; her effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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