Jose Fernandez improved his career record at Marlins Park to a staggering 26-1 at the expense of the New York Mets on Saturday night. Giancarlo Stanton was terrific, producing enough offense on his own to chase Jacob deGrom from the game early on and lead the Miami Marlins to a 7-2 victory.
deGrom started the game riding a dominant stretch of performances. However, even through the strong starts, he has struggled against the unlikeliest of foes this season: opposing pitchers. Coming into Saturday’s game, deGrom had allowed a league-high eight base hits to opposing pitchers, including the only blemish of a one-hit, complete-game shutout he crafted in Philadelphia in his previous start. Fernandez added the first of two hits to that total in the second inning, driving in the first run of the game in the process.
deGrom responded in his first and what would be his only at-bat, doubling down the right field line to lead off the third inning. He would later score the first Met run of the game on a Yoenis Cespedes bloop single. James Loney gave the Mets a short-lived lead one batter later, driving in Curtis Grandson on a sacrifice fly.
If neither his frightening display at Citi Field in early July nor his titanic performance in the Home Run Derby had caught their attention, Giancarlo Stanton reminded the Mets in the bottom of the third that he hits baseballs very far. He launched a deGrom fastball into orbit, striking the Marlins Park scoreboard three-fourths of the way up, driving in both himself and Christian Yelich to reclaim the lead for Fernandez.
The Marlins ace notched his second base hit off deGrom to lead off the fourth, and after another RBI hit—a merciful single this time—from Stanton, Terry Collins had seen enough. The Mets’ manager pulled deGrom with the score 4-2 after just 3.2 innings, his shortest start of the season. Seth Lugo walked home a fifth run, charged to deGrom, later in the inning.
Fernandez was far from brilliant himself, but the Mets’ continued puzzling ineptitude with runners in scoring position kept zeros on the scoreboard. In the fifth inning with the bases loaded and two outs, Asdrubal Cabrera extended a miserable 0-for-31 streak with RISP.
Protecting a healthy 6-2 lead, Fernandez breezed through the sixth and seventh innings to finish off a quality start. The Mets went down quietly in the eighth and ninth to fall 1.5 games behind the Marlins and six games behind the Nationals in the NL East.
The Mets, who have alternated wins and losses since the All-Star break, will send an ailing Steven Matz to the mound opposite Jose Urena in the rubber game Sunday afternoon. Matz has struggled mightily against the Marlins in his career, with a 7.07 ERA to show for it.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Yoenis Cespedes (16.6% WPA)
Big Losers: Jacob deGrom (-32.6% WPA), Asdrubal Cabrera (-15.2% WPA), Jose Reyes (-11.4% WPA)
Teh aw3s0mest play: Cespedes RBI single in third (+9.1%)
Teh sux0rest play: Stanton two-run homer in third (-20.2%)
Total pitcher WPA: -41.9%
Total batter WPA: -8.1%
GWRBI!: Giancarlo Stanton