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Mets vs. Marlins Recap: Bartolo Colon defies expectations and explanation

The veteran won his third game of the year and Juan Lagares is still like "Willie Mays riding a falcon."

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Every Mets fan in the world right now knows that it is only April. That this string of recent success, while heartening, matters very little if the Amazins can't maintain it. That the Mets could still break the hearts of the Citi Faithful in one of their traditional ways or in a manner yet unknown. Additionally, fans of teams underachieving right now, like the Nationals or the Yankees, are all too happy to remind Mets fans of this when it comes to a discussion of the young 2015 season.

Yes, it is early, and yes, there is still much baseball left to play. But the Mets won their sixth straight game today, beating the Marlins 4-1, and are playing their best baseball in almost a decade.

And that is cause for celebration regardless of the month.

This contest started very similarly to last night's. Bartolo Colon set down the first two Marlins he faced without breaking a sweat, only to give up a home run to Giancarlo Stanton that would have been a double in the old Citi Field. Rather than let everything fall off the rails, though, Colon recovered and set down Martin Prado without incident. In fact, Stanton's homer was the only scoring the Marlins got the whole night. They hit the ball hard on occasion, and more than once Bartolo had to work himself out of a jam, but the old man pitched brilliantly to quell any potential threats. It also helped that Juan Lagares, who received his 2014 Gold Glove earlier in the night, made three incredible plays in the field. Each one was more impressive than the next, and each sent a shudder down the spines of potential extra-base hits everywhere.

Colon's ability to keep the Mets in the game was no small feat, as for the first four innings, David Phelps (a man who had not pitched in a week and who was making his first start of the year) held the Amazins hitless and scoreless. Mercifully, his luck ran out in the home half of the fifth. With one out, Phelps walked Eric Campbell before Wilmer Flores broke up the no-hitter by singling to right field. Phelps then walked Anthony Recker, bringing up Bartolo Colon with the bases loaded. Clearly all was going according to plan for the Mets starter, as he drove a fly ball out to center field that brought in Campbell to tie the game. (That’s right, Mets fans: Bartolo Colon has two RBI’s this season. Miracle of miracles.) Phelps was then invited by Mike Redmond to commit seppuku in the dugout as Brad Hand came on to strike out Granderson and stop the madness.

The Mets would strike again in the sixth. Lagares led off the inning with a hit, and then went first to third on a Lucas Duda single up the middle. (FYI: That also brought Duda’s average against left-handed pitching this year up to a chuckle-worthy .500.) After that, Michael Cuddyer gave the Mets the lead on an infield single that managed to skip past that old defensive stalwart Michael Morse. They tacked on another run a few batters later after Eric Campbell’s sacrifice fly drove in Duda to make the score 3-1 going into the top of the seventh. The Mets scored once more two innings later against Bryan Morris on a Daniel Murphy double, and that was all they required.

After Colon left the game in the seventh inning, Jerry Blevins and Jeurys Familia came on in the eighth and ninth, respectively, to seal the deal and give the Mets their longest winning streak since 2011.

However, the good news doesn't end there. Besides Juan Lagares making the extraordinary look routine and Bartolo Colon being a mad genius, the other big story of the night came in the bottom of the seventh inning, when Danny Muno made his big league debut. It was mentioned on the telecast that Muno’s parents had flown in from California to see their son play, despite the fact that Muno’s mother had suffered a stroke only two weeks ago. Muno did them proud, and smacked a single off the thigh of Marlins’ pitcher Sam Dyson to record his first big league hit. Later in the inning, he would steal second base after a Curtis Granderson strikeout. Simply put: though Muno lacked the hype of Kris Bryant, he won the battle of the debuts today.

It's hard to ask for more from a start to a season, but the Mets will look to add to their winning streak tomorrow night and take the series from the Marlins with Jacob deGrom starting.

SB Nation GameThreads

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* Fish Stripes GameThread

Win Probability Added

Mets Marlins 4/17

(What's this?)

Big winners: Bartolo Colon 21.5; Anthony Recker 12.4
Big losers: Curtis Granderson -11.4; Daniel Murphy -1.9
Teh aw3s0mest play: Michael Cuddyer single, bottom of the sixth
Teh sux0rest play: Giancarlo Stanton homer, top of the first
Total pitcher WPA: 29.8
Total batter WPA: 20.2
GWRBI!: Michael Cuddyer