The Mets suffered another disheartening, demoralizing, and downright despicable defeat down in Miami against the Marlins at loanDepot Park, this time falling 4-2 to their last-place opponent. In doing so, they lost three out of four games in Florida, and saw their division lead shrink to just a half-game. This is not the way the envisioned things going ahead of their upcoming series against the Phillies, and with 14 straight games against the Dodgers and Giants later this month, this is, quite frankly, not something they could afford.
The Marlins threw out a soft-tossing rookie left-hander in Braxton Garrett, something the Mets always seem to have trouble with. And yet, they loaded the bases with nobody out in the first on a Jonathan Villar single, a Pete Alonso walk, and a Dominic Smith single to extend his hitting streak to eight. That made it look like the Mets could potentially flip the script on their lefty troubles, but that would not be the case. From there, Garrett struck out J.D. Davis and Javier Báez, the latter of whom would collect a platinum sombrero and become just the sixth Met to do so. After that, Michael Conforto flew out to center to end their scoring threat.
The Mets turned to their own soft-tossing lefty in Rich Hill, who worked around trouble in the first and second against the Marlins. In the third, he surrendered a one-out hit to Miguel Rojas, and Conforto booted the ball to allow Rojas to advance to second. After stealing third, Jazz Chisholm drove him home on a sacrifice fly to give the Marlins the lead.
The Mets had a golden opportunity to score in the fourth, but again could not capitalize. Conforto worked a one-out walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch. That brought up Albert Almora Jr., who broke an 0-for-16 stretch dating back to June 19 with a second inning single. The outfielder picked up another hit, but Rojas kept the ball in the infield, which prevented Conforto from scoring. With Hill as the next batter, the threat was all but over, and the pitcher struck out on three pitches.
The Mets finally broke through in the sixth against Marlins’ reliever David Hess. After the right-hander retired the first two batters he faced, he allowed a double to Almora Jr., which was his third hit of the game, matching the number of hits he had all season. Brandon Nimmo pinch hit and worked out a walk, and Villar singled Almora Jr. home. Alonso worked out a walk, but Miami went to Paul Campbell, who retired Smith on a fly ball to end the inning. It was the second time New York left the bases loaded in this game.
Miguel Castro pitched a perfect sixth, and Drew Smith worked around trouble to record a scoreless seventh, but things fell apart in the eighth with Jeurys Familia on the mound. After retiring Isan Díaz, he appeared to strike out Rojas, but the umpire called the borderline 3-2 pitch a ball, which got under Familia’s skin. After that walk, he surrendered three straight hits, which resulted in three runs. First, Chisolm singled, and then Jorge Alfaro scored to score Rojas, who got in past James McCann’s tag for the go-ahead run. After that, Monday hero Lewis Brinson doubled to drive in both Chisolm and Alfaro, with McCann dropping a relay throw home that likely would have been there in enough time to get Alfaro.
The Mets mounted a rally against Anthony Bender in the ninth inning—with the help of Miami’s infielders—in a desperate attempt to avoid another loss to the Marlins. Alonso reached to lead off the inning on a Rojas error, and Davis walked with one out. After Báez completed the platinum sombrero with another strikeout, Conforto reached on an error to load the bases. Brandon Drury was called upon to pinch hit for McCann, and he hit a dribbler up the middle that hit the rubber and went for an infield hit, which cut the Marlins’ lead to two.
Almora Jr. came to the plate looking for his fourth hit of the afternoon, but he grounded out to second to end the game. It was the third time the Mets left three runners on in an inning, as their average on the season with the bases loaded fell to .217 (20-93). That is only eight points higher than the 1962 Mets hit with the bases loaded. On the afternoon, the Mets went 4-for-13 with runners in scoring position and ended up leading 15 on base.
The loss, combined with Philadelphia’s win (and sweep) of the Nationals, means that New York will enter their weekend series with a slim half-game lead in the division. A loss on Friday means they will be in second place for the first time since Friday, May 7. They will turn to Marcus Stroman to stop the bleeding. The right-hander will be opposed by Kyle Gibson, whom the Phillies acquired at the trade deadline.
*illar of the Game
Jonathan Villar: Villar picked up two base knocks in this one, including the tying hit in the sixth. Kevin Pillar, meanwhile, was left on deck to end this one.
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Pete Alonso, +14.0% WPA
Big Mets loser: Jeurys Familia, -37.9% WPA
Mets pitchers: -11.7% WPA
Mets hitters: -38.3% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jonathan Villar game-tying single in the sixth, +17.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Jorge Alfaro go-ahead single in the eighth, -25.1% WPA
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