It took five hours and thirty-eight minutes and sixteen innings, but early this morning, the Mets took their series opener against the Marlins in Miami. By the time the game was over, Rene Rivera had become the third Met to play first base, and it wasn’t hard to tell yourself that it somehow made sense. Attempting to use this space to run through everything that happened would be foolish.
In terms of big picture stuff, both Robert Gsellman and Wei-Yin Chen struggled mightily in their starts. Gsellman surrendered a grand slam to Marcell Ozuna in the bottom of the first, settled into a nice groove, and gave up four more runs in the fifth inning with an assist from Josh Edgin. In between those innings, the Mets scored six runs against Chen, who only went three himself before Don Mattingly replaced him, and one against Marlins reliever Jose Ureña.
Just about everyone had contributed to those Mets runs. Travis d’Arnaud hit a bases-loaded triple to put the Mets on the board in the second, an inning that included Jay Bruce putting down a bunt against the shift for a single that, at the time, gave the Mets runners on first and second and nobody out. Curtis Granderson singled in d’Arnaud to tie the game in that inning.
Yoenis Cespedes had another multi-home run game, this time hitting a ridiculous solo home run in the top of the third, just before Wilmer Flores hit one of his own with the lefty Chen still out there for the Marlins. Cespedes hit his second, also a solo shot, in the fifth.
As for those fifth-inning Gsellman runs, he was on the mound when he gave up the Marlins’ fifth and sixth runs of the game. Edgin took over for him and gave up a double to lefty Justin Bour that scored one more, and after the Mets gave Marcell Ozuna a free pass, he gave up a single to lefty Derek Dietrich. Luckily, with the eighth run having crossed the plate, Jay Bruce threw out Bour there to end the inning.
It looked like the Mets tied things in the seventh when, with two outs, Bruce singled and Cespedes busted it home from second base, but a replay review turned a safe call at home plate into an out. But with two outs and nobody on in the eighth, d’Arnaud singled. And then Michael Conforto pinch hit and drove a double into the right-center field gap that scored d’Arnaud easily. And then the bats went silent for both teams for a long time.
Aside from the inherited runs that Edgin allowed, the Mets’ bullpen shut the Marlins out. Rafael Montero threw one-and-one-third innings, and Jerry Blevins bailed him out with two outs to finish the second of those innings. Fernando Salas and Addison Reed threw two scoreless innings each, albeit pretty efficiently. Josh Smoker went three scoreless, and Hansel Robles—who had looked gassed the night before and the Mets were clearly and understandably trying to avoid—pitched a scoreless fifteenth. That set things up for d’Arnaud again, and he hit a solo home run that put the Mets up 9-8.
Robles pitched the sixteenth, too. Despite clearly not having much command of his stuff, he worked around a leadoff walk to Christian Yelich by retiring Giancarlo Stanton, Bour, and Ozuna.
Love the Mets.
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Win Probability Added
Big winners: Travis d’Arnaud, +53.5% WPA, Josh Smoker, +40.3% WPA, Hansel Robles, +32.9% WPA, Yoenis Cespedes, +30.1% WPA, Addison Reed, +26.9% WPA, Fernando Salas, +23.9% WPA, Michael Conforto, +18.5% WPA
Big losers: Robert Gsellman, -35.5% WPA, Josh Edgin, -26.7% WPA, Asdrubal Cabrera, -26.0% WPA, Wilmer Flores, -17.9% WPA, Neil Walker, -17.0% WPA, Juan Lagares, -10.3% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Travis d’Arnaud hits a go-ahead home run in the sixteenth, +34.1% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Marcell Ozuna hits a grand slam in the first, -28.4% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +70.6% WPA
Total batter WPA: -20.6% WPA
GWRBI!: Travis d’Arnaud