The Mets dropped the second game of the series to the Marlins, but this time it took until the ninth for the game to come to an abrupt end. After playing 16 innings the night before, both the Mets and Marlins desperately needed their starters to go deep into this game, and unfortunately for both teams, that did not happen. Both Edinson Volquez and Noah Syndergaard left the game earlier than they had hoped, but for different reasons.
The Mets had to put together a makeshift lineup with multiple starters out. After catching all 16 innings and hitting the game winning home run the night before, Travis d’Arnaud earned his day off—and wasn’t likely to start with Syndergaard on the mound in the firt place. Yoenis Cespedes was battling the flu, and Neil Walker had a scheduled off day. That led to an interesting lineup, with Syndergaard batting eighth and his battery-mate Rene Rivera batting ninth.
At first it seemed that Volquez was taking advantage of the weakened Mets lineup. He cruised through the first, but after that he never really settled in. His control was spotty which led to back-to-back innings where the Mets loaded the bases against him in the second and third innings. Despite having a prime opportunity to take the lead, the Mets only came away with one run in those key situations. Rene Rivera ended the first rally with a line out, and Michael Conforto drove in their only run the next inning with a sacrifice fly.
Lucas Duda got to Volquez in the fifth with a towering home run to put the Mets ahead 2-1, but the damage could have been worse. Volquez was out after 4.2 innings after he gave up five hits and issued four walks.
Syndergaard did not last much longer. He was burned early on by his defense. After a single by Dee Gordon, the usually sure-handed Asdrubal Cabrera threw away a ball at second base on a ground ball struck by J.T. Realmuto. Instead of getting the out at second, now both runners were able to move up a base setting up second and third and nobody out. Christian Yelich put the Marlins on the board with a sacrifice fly, but that was all Syndergaard would allow in that inning.
After that, Syndergaard was by no means dominant put he pitched effectively for the next five innings. He gave up six hits and only struck out four, and he has yet to walk a batter this season.
The Marlins tied the game in the bottom of the fifth after three straight singles off Syndergaard by Miguel Rojas, Tyler Moore, and Dee Gordon. Syndergaard had to leave the game after six innings when he tore a fingernail on his hand.
It was once again up to both bullpens to keep the game tied. The Marlins had a golden opportunity to take the lead against Rafael Montero in the seventh inning. He loaded up the bases with one out before Jerry Blevins came in to relieve him. Blevins has been fantastic since re-signing with the team, but this seemed like a tall order even for him. Blevins got Christian Yellich to pop up to Conforto who threw a perfect laser to home. The runner was called out at the plate, and after the Marlins called for a replay review, the play was ruled too close to overturn.
The Mets escaped Montero’s struggles, and it seemed like they were living a charmed life when Josh Edgin pitched a scoreless eighth inning. Addison Reed, Hansel Robles, and Josh Smoker were all unavailable so the Mets called Sean Gilmartin up to help the overworked bullpen. Gilmartin probably would have been the long man if the game went into extra innings, but the game never got that far, as Edgin was left in for the ninth. He walked the leadoff hitter and with two-outs he gave up a booming double to Realmuto to bring home Rojas and the winning run.
The return of Jeurys Familia is on the horizon and will help this bullpen in a variety of ways. It will help those who have been overworked, it will help provide clearer roles for those already in the pen, and it will help the Mets send one of the relievers who isn’t getting the job done on their way, which is essentially addition by subtraction.
Montero is one who continues to struggle, but he did manage to strike out Giancarlo Stanton in his pinch hitting appearance. Yoenis Cespedes also struck out when he was called upon to pinch hit as well. The two most powerful bats on each team, and in the National League, both pinch hit and struck out. The oddities of this series continued.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Jerry Blevins +23.7%, Lucas Duda +12.1%
Big losers: Josh Edgin -26.1%, Asdrubal Cabrera -18.2%, Curtis Granderson -15.5%, Rafael Montero -15.0%, Wilmer Flores -14.9%, Rene Rivera -12.0%
Teh aw3s0mest play: Lucas Duda home run in fifth
Teh sux0rest play: J.T. Realmuto double in ninth
Total pitcher WPA: -9.6%
Total batter WPA: -38.9%
GWRBI!: J.T. Realmuto