Entering last Friday's game, Wilmer Flores was riding an ugly 0-for-20 streak that saw his OPS drop down to .571. His swings seemed off-balance and he wasn't making great contact. Time was running out for him to make a big-league impression in 2014. In four games played since then, he's been an extra-base hit machine, going 8-for-15 with three home runs, three doubles, and a triple. He hit two of those home runs and one of those doubles tonight, raising his OPS up to .666 and giving the Mets' front office something to think about this offseason. Have a night, Wilmer.
Flores drove in the Mets' first run on a double in the fourth inning, which tied the game 1-1. He later drove in the Mets' final five runs on a three-run home run in the fifth inning and a two-run home run in the seventh inning. The latter capped the Mets' scoring on the night. Both longballs came at the expense of Brad Penny, who probably isn't long for MLB. Still, they were impressive shots into the left field seats, and both would have been gone at "old" Citi Field.
Tonight's other big star was Bartolo Colon, who allowed just one run in 7.2 innings pitched, despite allowing 12 base hits. He was able to keep the Marlins in check, despite the onslaught of hits, by not walking anyone, inducing groundballs, and giving up just one extra-base hit. Colon is one of the most pronounced fly-ball pitchers in the National League, yet on this night 13 of the 16 batted-ball outs he recorded came on the ground. Four of those ground-ball outs were courtesy of two timely double plays, which ended the first and sixth innings. Colon lived down in the zone tonight, as demonstrated by his strike-zone plot (courtesy of Brooks Baseball):
If you average Colon's FIP WAR and RA/9 WAR, you get something around 1.2 WAR. Considering 2.0 WAR is average, I'd call Colon's season a slight disappointment. Not a disaster, and he's eaten plenty of innings, but considering how he pitched over the prior two seasons, I was hoping for a bit more. Perhaps he'll finish strong; tonight was a great way to rebound from his debacle last week against the Nationals. And maybe he deserves a bump for the entertainment factor.
Flores's middle-infield mate Ruben Tejada also had a nice night at the plate. He went 2-for-4, and his two-run double in the fourth inning against Marlins starter Nate Eovaldi extended the Mets' lead to 4-1. It gave our heroes some breathing room before Flores put the game out of reach with his dingers.
The third game of the series is Wednesday at 7:10 pm EST. It is the final meeting of the season between the Mets and Marlins. The pitching matchup is Dillon Gee vs Henderson Alvarez. See you then!
Three Stars of the Game
First Star: Wilmer Flores
Third Star: Ruben Tejada
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Wilmer Flores +22.5%, Ruben Tejada +15.7%
Big losers: Daniel Murphy -3.6%, Juan Lagares -3.2%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Ruben Tejada two-run double in the fourth inning, +18.2%
Teh sux0rest play: Reed Johnson RBI single in the third inning, -11.9%
Total pitcher WPA: +9.7%
Total batter WPA: +40.3%
GWRBI!: Curtis Granderson RBI single in the fourth inning