The Mets put their statistically worst month in 36 years behind them, winning the first game of July by a score of 5-2 against the Marlins in Miami. While arbitrary endpoints, like new months, mean absolutely nothing, symbolically, it was important for the Mets to do something positive today. Leaving Miami with their chin up and out of last place may not be much, but it is something.
The Marlins threw Dan Straily for the series’ finale, and he quickly retired the side in the top of the first. After a weak pop-up from Brandon Nimmo, Strailey struck out both Jose Bautista and Asdrubal Cabrera.
Steven Matz started for the Mets, and continued his nice string of road starts, even though the game began with less than stellar results. Cabrera made an error on the first ball put in play by Starlin Castro. The next batter, Brian Anderson, grounded into a double play, erasing the error. After a single to J.T. Realmuto, Cameron Maybin popped out to end the first inning.
The Mets got on the board in the second inning, after Todd Frazier walked with two outs. Kevin Plawecki then drove him in, putting the Mets up 1-0. The Mets nearly gave the run back in the bottom of the inning, when Matz walked Lewis Brinson, and then Miguel Rojas reached on a Todd Frazier error. Rojas then stole second base and Straily walked, before Matz could strike out Castro for the third out.
In the top of the third, Asdrubal Cabrera hit his 14th home run of the year, a solo shot to right field, putting the Mets up 2-0. The Mets would score again in the fourth inning. Wilmer Flores and Frazier led off the inning with back to back singles, though Flores was erased on a Plawecki-hit double play. After an intentional walk to Amed Rosario, Matz helped his own cause, singling home Frazier to go up 3-0.
In the bottom of the inning, defensive woes continued. Rojas hit a one-out double to center, stole third, and then scored with Matz committed an error of his own off the bat of his rival Straily. It would be the only run Matz would allow, going five and a third inning, striking out six and walking two.
Seth Lugo replaced Matz with one out in the sixth, and went an inning and two thirds of scoreless ball, giving up no runs, one walk, and one strikeout.
The Mets would get two insurance runs in the top of the eighth inning. Asdrubal Cabrera walked to lead off the inning, and would eventually come around to score on Todd Frazier’s “double” with two outs in the inning. The ball was hit into the gap, but Brinson got there, only to drop the ball. Brinson then lollipopped the throw, allowing Cabrera to score, and Frazier took third on the throw.
Plawecki was up next, and on ball four, Realmuto tried to throw behind Frazier, but hit him with the ball, which caromed into left field, allowing Frazier to score.
Up 5-1, the Mets turned to Tim Peterson to pitch the eighth. After retiring Realmuto on strikes, Peterson gave up a solo home run to Maybin, just a half inning after the Mets’ WOR team revealed that Maybin was the last more or less everyday player in the majors to still not have a home run this season. Thanks, Josh and Wayne.
Jeurys Familia entered to pitch the ninth, and made things interesting against Rojas, running a full count before getting him to strike out. A fly out to JT Riddle and a strikeout to Derek Dietrich ended the game with a flourish.
With this victory, the Mets are 1/5 of their way to matching their June win total just one day into July. After a day off tomorrow, the Mets hope an international trip will do them good, starting a two game series at the Rogers Centre against the Blue Jays. Corey Oswalt is set to start for the Mets; the Jays have not yet announced a starter.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: Steven Matz, +22.3% WPA, Seth Lugo, +11.8% WPA, Todd Frazier, +11.3% WPA, Asdrubal Cabrera, +10.5% WPA
Big losers: None! Huzzah!
Teh aw3s0mest play: Kevin Plawecki’s second inning double, +11.9% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Dan Strailey reaching on an error and scoring Michel Rojas, -7.9% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +38.9% WPA
Total batter WPA: +11.1% WPA
GWRBI!: Steven Matz