Coming off a sweep of the lowly Giants, the Mets failed to keep the momentum going Tuesday night against the Marlins in a battle for third place in the division, dropping the series opener by a score of 6-3. It was a familiar script for the Mets: the offense sputtered, the bullpen faltered, and a starting pitcher got injured.
Things started off well for New York, though. For the third time in the last week, Curtis Granderson led off the game with a solo home run, this time clanking the second pitch of the game off the right field foul pole to put the Mets out to an early 1-0 lead. But that lead was short-lived, as Robert Gsellman’s nightmarish season continued. Gsellman was once again visibly off in the first inning, serving up three runs on four hits in the frame.
He’d settle down over the next two innings, but his night was cut short in the top of the fourth while he was hitting. Gsellman hit a nubber on the infield that he could’ve beaten out, but intead pulled up a few steps from first as he came up lame on his hamstring. He was called out on the play, limped off the field with the training staff, and was removed from the game. The Mets are calling his injury a hamstring strain, and it appears he could be out for a while. If he hits the disabled list, Gsellman will be the Mets’ seventh starting pitcher to go on the DL this year.
Paul Sewald stepped in for Gsellman on the mound after the injury, and looked as good as he had in a while. He fired three shutout innngs while only allowing two baserunners, and kept the Mets in the game.
Meanwhile, the Mets had already inched closer on a Travis d’Arnaud single in that top of the fourth inning, though couldn’t get anything else going until d’Arnaud’s next at bat in the seventh inning, when he blasted a solo homer over the left field wall to tie the game at 3-3.
But the bullpen couldn’t hold the tie for even a measley inning. Terry Collins went to the struggling Neil Ramirez to start the bottom of the seventh, and he promptly allowed two baserunners without recording an out. Jerry Blevins was brought in to clean up against the left-handed hitting Ichiro Suzuki, but Suzuki laced a single past Wilmer Flores at third, who oddly broke towards the bag—there was nobody running the third base—instead of breaking towards the ball. But Flores probably wasn’t getting to the ball anyway, and the hit scored a run to put the Marlins back in front at 4-3.
Three batters later, Christian Yelich singled home two more runs to extend the Marlins lead to 6-3. Erik Goeddel was called on to clean the mess up and get the final two outs of the inning.
The Mets’ offense could not muster anything else the rest of the night, and went down without a whimper. The team now sits at 34-42, and is now 1.5 games behind the Marlins for third place in the division, not a situation anyone thought they’d be in at this point in the year.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Travis d’Arnaud, +24.2% WPA, Paul Sewald, +13.8% WPA
Big losers: Neil Ramirez, -20.9% WPA, Robert Gsellman, -19.5% WPA, Jerry Blevins, -15.8% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Travis d’Arnaud hits a solo home run in the seventh inning, +19.9% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Justin Bour hits a two-run single in the first inning, -17.3% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -39.7% WPA
Total batter WPA: -10.3% WPA
GWRBI!: Ichiro Suzuki