The Mets extended their winning streak to a four games with a 2-0 victory over the Marlins. Jason Vargas came through with a huge bounce-back start, something desperately needed as the Mets work through this brutal stretch of consecutive games without a day off. Amed Rosario generated the decisive run with his legs, then closed out the game with a sparkling defensive play, showcasing the tools that made him the best prospect in baseball before last season.
After sitting out two weeks, the struggling Vargas started the night with three perfect innings and allowed only one baserunner through the first four. Things got a bit dicier in the fifth, when a walk and a single put runners on first and second with one out, but Vargas struck out the next two batters to escape the threat. He finished the night with five innings of shutout baseball, striking out seven and walking one, an outing that lowered his ERA on the season to 9.87.
Elieser Hernandez was almost as good for the Marlins, as he also was in control early on. The Mets pushed home a run in the third when Amed Rosario came blazing around to score from first—in ten seconds—on a double from Asdrubal Cabrera, but the Mets didn’t do much against the 23-year-old righty otherwise. Hernandez went five innings, allowing five hits and just the one run with three strikeouts.
This was a pitcher’s duel, but in modern baseball, pitcher’s duels between back of the rotation starters don’t last longer than five innings. Paul Sewald replaced Vargas and got the first two outs of the sixth, but a hit and a walk brought Justin Bour to the plate with the go-ahead run on base. Mickey Callaway brought in Jerry Blevins to face the only real threat in the Marlins’ lineup, but Blevins’ rough season continued, and he walked Bour to load the bases. AJ Ramos managed to wriggle out of things, however, striking out Derek Dietrich to preserve the 1-0 lead.
Adam Conley held the Mets in check in the sixth, but they added some insurance in the seventh. Devin Mesoraco hustled for a pop-fly double, and a Martin Prado error put runners on the corners. Wilmer Flores got in an 0-2 hole, but had a great piece of hitting to take a fastball to the opposite field, scoring Mesoraco and stretching the Met lead to 2-0.
Some great defense in the seventh and eighth kept the shutout alive. AJ Ramos made a quick decision and a great throw to turn a double play on a comebacker with the runner going to finish the seventh, and after Michael Conforto missed a diving catch, Brandon Nimmo connected on his dive to end the eighth and keep Seth Lugo’s scoreless inning streak intact.
Jeurys Familia entered for the save and kept things relatively quiet, working around a one out double from Derek Dietrich. He was helped by Amed Rosario, who made a ranging play in the hole at shortstop, then gunned down the speedy Lewis Brinson (who foolishly chose to dive) at first base to end the game. The gem secured Familia’s 13th save of the year and the Mets’ fourth consecutive win.
The win improves the Mets to 24-19 on the season, keeping them within striking distance of the first place Braves, who they’ll visit for a four game set next week. Zack Wheeler takes the mound against lefty Caleb Smith in game two of the series against the Marlins tomorrow evening.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Jason Vargas, +27.9% WPA; AJ Ramos, +21.4% WPA; Asdrubal Cabrera, +13.8% WPA
Big losers: None
Teh aw3s0mest play: Asdrubal Cabrera drives in Amed Rosario with a double in the third to give the Mets a 1-0 lead, +13.6% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Miguel Rojas walks to lead off the top of the seventh, -7.1% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +58.9% WPA
Total batter WPA: -8.9% WPA
GWRBI!: Asdrubal Cabrera