In a time when the Mets need to win every day to hold off the Braves, they dropped yet another game to a team 20+ games under .500 on Tuesday night, falling to the Marlins by a score of 6-3.
Carlos Carrasco did not have it from the start, and one of the worst offenses in baseball knocked him around for four runs on six hits in just three innings pitched. The Marlins didn’t necessarily sting the ball off Carrasco, as most of the hits against him were soft—including one of the shortest home runs of the season—but they count all the same.
The first inning started ominously, as a hit by pitch and two bloop singles loaded the bases with one out. A sacrifice fly by Bryan De La Cruz scored the first run, and after a walk, a wild pitch that probably could’ve been blocked better by James McCann scored a second run. Carrasco escaped the inning without allowing more to score, but found more trouble later.
The Marlins loaded the bases once again in the second inning, this time with nobody out. But a huge, 1-2-3 double play on a tapper back to the mound gave Carrasco a lifeline to get out of it, and he did so by inducing a ground out by Brian Anderson.
Funnily enough, the third inning was probably Carrasco’s most effective of the night, but he still allowed two runs. He struck out the first batter he faced, served up a ringing double to De La Cruz, and then got J.J. Bleday to hit a high, arching fly ball into the right field corner that snuck its way into the shortest part of Citi Field—just 344 feet—for a two-run homer to put the Marlins up 4-0.
The Mets have famously beat up Pablo López all year long, but struggled to figure him out for the first three innings on this night. Lopez was perfect through three innings before the Mets finally broke through in the fourth. Two straight hits by Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor set it up for Pete Alonso, who launched his 40th home run, a 3-run shot, of the season to get the Mets closer at 4-3.
Trevor Williams was on in relief of Carrasco, and got through the fourth unscathed, but allowed two runs on a hit by Jacob Stallings in the fifth to extend the Marlins lead back out to 6-3.
And that was basically it from there. David Peterson tossed two scoreless innings in relief, including finding his way out of a jam in the seventh to keep it at 6-3. Tylor Megill pitched a scoreless eighth and wiggled out of a jam as well. Edwin Diaz handled the ninth by striking out the side, as he does, and stranding a runner in scoring position.
The Mets offense couldn’t get anything else going for the rest of the night, though. They would scatter a few singles, but could not string a rally of any kind together against López or the Miami bullpen. The were gifted a run in the eighth when Jeff McNeil reached on a single, and then Richard Bleier balked not once, not twice, but three times, awarding him a free 270 feet and pushing across the fourth run. It was the first time a pitcher balked three times in one inning since 1988.
Dylan Floro was on for the save in the ninth, and the Mets couldn’t touch him. Three feeble at bats later, the Mets had dropped the first game of the series to the Marlins. The Braves handily beat the Nationals tonight, securing a tie for first place in the NL East once again. There are 7 games left.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winner: Pete Alonso, +12.0% WPA
Big loser: Carlos Carrasco, -27.2% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -38.2% WPA
Total batter WPA: -11.8% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Pete Alonso hits a three-run homer in the fourth inning, +18.7% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Jacob Stallings hits a two-RBI single in the fifth inning, -13.9% WPA