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Mets use a five-run first inning to defeat Marlins in Miami

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The Mets never trailed in this one, but things got dicey late.

New York Mets v Miami Marlins Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The New York Mets defeated the Miami Marlins 6-5 and secured their second straight series win in as many attempts. New York took a five-run lead in the first and suppressed several Marlins comeback attempts en route to the victory. The Mets were outhit 16 to nine, but the Marlins stranded 14 runners on base in the game.

The Mets jumped all over Marlins starter Jose Urena in the first inning. Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil opened the game with back-to-back singles, and a Michael Conforto walk loaded the bases. From there, Wilson Ramos and Dominic Smith each contributed a run-scoring single before Amed Rosario pitched in with a two-run double. A fielder’s choice led to the fifth run, as the team batted around in the opening frame.

Jason Vargas immediately gave a run back in the bottom of the first, but he was able to fend off the pesky Marlins throughout most of his outing until Starlin Castro connected on a solo home run in the fifth inning. Vargas labored at times and wasn’t fooling Miami’s batters with a fastball that topped out at 84mph, but he was able to survive five innings while allowing just the two runs on eight hits. He struck out two and walked one batter along the way. Robert Gsellman pitched the sixth and allowed back-to-back two-out singles before striking out former Met Curtis Granderson on a 3-2 changeup to end the inning and extinguish the threat.

The Mets’ offense went cold from there and failed to record a hit in the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. In the seventh, the team loaded the bases after Ramos and Smith singled to lead off the inning against Wei-Yin Chen, and J.D. Davis—who was double-switched into the game for Jeff McNeil—walked with two outs. Nimmo was then hit by a pitch—the call was originally ruled a foul ball but was overturned following a replay review—which forced home the team’s sixth run. Nimmo was noticeably in pain following the hit-by-pitch and was eventually replaced by Keon Broxton in the bottom of the inning.

Mickey Callaway made some head-scratching moves throughout the contest, beginning with his decision to double-switch McNeil out in the sixth (a decision made worse when the pitcher’s spot came up in the next inning anyway). The team also continuously attempted to bunt—a trend that has persisted throughout the early part of this season—in situations where they should have just swung the bat.

Perhaps his most puzzling move was sticking with Seth Lugo after the righty allowed two runs in the seventh. Despite his struggles, Callaway stuck with Lugo to begin the eighth, and he proceeded to allow a third run. With Jeurys Familia and Edwin Diaz unavailable, the skipper eventually called on Justin Wilson for the five-out save. The Marlins put runners on first and second with one out, but Miguel Rojas lined into a double play to end the game and earn the team their fourth win in five games.

The Mets will have their second shot at a road sweep tonight as they take on the Marlins in the series finale at Marlins Park. Jacob deGrom will take the mound for New York as he looks to build upon his stellar Opening Day performance against the Washington Nationals.

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What’s WPA?

Big winners: Justin Wilson +38.0% WPA
Big losers: Seth Lugo -27.2% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +21.6% WPA
Total batter WPA: +28.4% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Amed Rosario hits a two-run double in the first inning, +11.2% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Lewis Brinson is hit by a pitch to lead off the ninth inning, -13.2% WPA