The first of the Mets' four games in Miami this week looked awfully familiar through the first six innings. After taking a promising lead, the team quickly found itself trailing in Miami's house of baseball horrors, and it seemed the Mets' hopes of winning would soon be derailed.
Every once in a while, however, things go well for the Mets in southern Florida. They got off to a pretty good start, as Jeremy Hefner put up a pair of scoreless innings before the Mets came to bat in the top of the third. Anthony Recker led off with a single, and Omar Quintanilla reached on an infield single. Hefner struck out attempting to put down a sacrifice bunt, and Eric Young Jr. grounded out to the right side of the infield, which allowed both baserunners to advance. Daniel Murphy then singled to score both runners, and David Wright roped a double into the left field corner to score Murphy for the Mets' third run of the game.
Hefner threw another scoreless frame in the bottom of the third, but he ran into trouble in the fourth. Giancarlo Stanton hit a laser beam of a double off the fence in dead center field and came around to score one out later on an Ed Lucas triple. Hefner hit the next batter with a pitch and walked the one after that to load the bases. He got Jeff Mathis to pop out and induced a ground ball to short from opposing pitcher Jacob Turner. Unfortunately, Omar Quintanilla turned the National League rule book's gift into two runs for the Marlins when he booted the ball. The game was tied.
Blowing a lead to the Marlins in Miami is a slippery slope. Even with the game knotted at three, there were countless ways to imagine the game going wrong for the Mets from there.
Hefner got through the fifth unscathed, but he walked the leadoff man in the sixth, recorded a flyball out, and gave up a pair of singles, the second of which scored two runs to put the Marlins in front. With that, Hefner was pulled in favor of David Aardsma. Hefner had struck out four, walked five, and given up five runs, three of which were earned. He used 111 pitches to get that far. While he wasn't blown away like he had been in his previous pair of starts, it was still a third consecutive below-average start from Hefner.
At this point, the game was surely over, at least in the minds of Mets fans. But Aardsma retired the only two batters he faced, and the Mets came right back to reclaim the lead in the seventh inning.
Jacob Turner retired pinch hitter Josh Satin to start the seventh, but the Marlins turned to the bullpen after the out. Eric Young doubled against Mike Dunn, and Daniel Murphy singled to get the Mets back within a run. Miami went back to the bullpen, calling upon A.J. Ramos. He retired David Wright, but Daniel Murphy stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch. He scored the tying run on a Marlon Byrd single, and Byrd scored all the way from first on a close play at the plate as Ike Davis doubled to right field. Whether or not the Mets trade Byrd in the next day-and-a-half, he's been fun to watch this year.
From there, the Mets' bullpen shut the Marlins down. Josh Edgin and LaTroy Hawkins threw a scoreless innings apiece before Bobby Parnell took over for the ninth inning. He got into a jam with runners on the corners and two outs in the inning and Stanton at the plate, but he got a ground ball from Stanton to end the game.
The series continues tomorrow at 7:10 pm EDT with Zack Wheeler on the hill for the Mets.
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Win Probability Added
Big winners: Daniel Murphy, +37.4% WPA, Bobby Parnell, +18.7% WPA, Ike Davis, +18.2% WPA
Big losers: Jeremy Hefner, -39.3% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Ike Davis’s go-ahead double in the seventh, +23.6% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Omar Quintanilla’s two-run error in the fourth, -17.0% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +7.1% WPA
Total batter WPA: +42.9% WPA
GWRBI!: Ike Davis