The Mets and Marlins did not play on Wednesday night because New York was in the process of becoming one giant body of water, but thankfully the skies cleared on Thursday, the flood waters subsided, and it was clear to play baseball in Queens last night.
Carlos Carrasco got the nod for the Mets against Sandy Alcantara for the Marlins. Carrasco had looked like he was starting to come into his own as a Met in his prior two starts, surviving a few first inning runs to deliver solid starts both times, and in fact tossing seven innings of two-run ball his last time out against the Giants.
And wouldn’t you know it, he ran into first inning trouble again. On the very first pitch of the game, Miguel Rojas parked one into the left field landing to make it 1-0. It was Carrasco’s 7th homer given up in was was his 7th start, and 6 of them have come in the first inning. This is the second homer he’s given up on the first pitch of the game this year.
The next batter, Jazz Chisolm, doubled into right-center, but Brandon Nimmo bobbled it, which allowed Chisolm to get to third. Jesús Aguilar would then knock in Chisolm on a base hit. It was 2-0 before Carrasco could even record an out.
Carrasco also wound up throwing a wild pitch in the inning to get Aguilar to second, but he didn’t allow any more damage and got through it.
Speaking of damage, Jonathan Villar led off for the Mets and he also homered on the very first pitch thrown by Alcantara. It was the first time in MLB history that dueling starters had both allowed homers on the very first pitch they threw.
Both pitchers settled down from there, though, and it was still 2-1 in the fourth inning. Brandon Nimmo led off the bottom half for the Mets by tapping one to third, which would’ve been just an infield hit, but an ill-advised throw by Isan Díaz got away and allowed Nimmo to get to third. That was error number one for the Marlins on the night. The next batter was Francisco Lindor, who smoked one off the left field wall to score Nimmo from second.
Lindor moved over on a Pete Alonso groundout, and then for the second time in a week, faked down the line from third and coaxed the pitcher into a balk, allowing him to score. It was 3-2 Mets. It didn’t count as an error, but it was another mistake for the Marlins.
The Mets were making errors of their own, though; Villar made a throwing error in the top of the fifth, which went down as the Mets’ second of the game. That runner was erased on the double play, but this game was already a poorly-played affair and it was only getting uglier.
The first batter of the sixth inning against Carrasco, who amazingly made it into the sixth after getting off to such a poor start, tapped one back to Carrasco. It was a tough play to make, especially for a pitcher coming off a hamstring tear, but Carrasco bounced the throw and it got past Alonso at first, allowing the runner to advance to second.
That was error number three for the Mets, and number four overall for the game.
Carrasco would get the next hitter swinging but walked Aguilar, which ended his night at 5.1 innings pitched. Aaron Loup and his 1.20 ERA came in with runners on first and second, and he actually looked off for possibly the first time all year. It took him a while to find the range. He walked the first batter he faced to load the bases, and then walked the next batter, Lewis Brinson, with the bases loaded to force in the tying run.
The run was charged to Carrasco. Loup then immediately found it, striking out Sandy Leon on three pitches and getting Jorge Alfaro to end the inning. For a rare time this season, Loup didn’t get the job done. He still lowered his ERA to 1.18, though.
The score stayed tied at three until the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Jeff McNeil singled, then Patrick Mazeika followed with a single of his own. Right fielder Jesús Sánchez booted the ball, allowing McNeil to go to third. Error number two for the Marlins, and five for the game.
Dom Smith then pinch hit for the pitcher, and he ripped one down the first base line that just nicked off the glove of Aguilar at first and went down the line. If Aguilar didn’t touch it, it might’ve hooked and landed foul. But he touched it in fair territory and it went by him, so it was a fair ball. McNeil scored the go-ahead run and Mazeika moved to third.
Mazeika would be gunned down at the plate on an infield grounder by Villar, and then Nimmo struck out to strand the insurance run, but the Mets at least had taken the lead.
Because nothing in this game was pretty, Trevor May went head-over-heels to try to catch a foul pop up, but still navigated through a scoreless inning. The Mets had a chance to score in the eighth thanks to not one, but two more errors by the Marlins—a throwing error by Rojas at shortstop and a dropped pop up by right fielder Bryan De La Cruz—but they couldn’t get it done.
However, that increased the error tally now to 4 for the Marlins and 3 for the Mets. There were now 7 errors in this game, which is also how many runs there were.
Edwin Díaz came on for the save and locked down his 9th consecutive save with a 1-2-3 inning with two punchouts. He’s allowed only two runs since July 19th.
With the win, the Mets moved back to within a game of .500 at 66-67, and kept pace with the Braves who also won. The Mets are still 5.0 games out of the division as they head for a 5-game series in Washington.
*illar of the game
This is starting to just become the Jonathan Villar award, as the infielder cranked another monster shot, this time to the Shea Bridge. Kevin Pillar was nowhere to be found.
Win Probability Added
Big Mets winner: Edwin Díaz, +15.1% WPA
Big Mets loser: Aaron Loup, -3.6% WPA
Mets pitchers: +28.2% WPA
Mets hitters: +21.8% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Dominic Smith hits an RBI single in the 7th inning +14.9% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Aaron Loup walks Lewis Brinson in the 6th inning -15.1% WPA