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Mets fail to capitalize on opportunities in series opener

David Peterson was pulled early and the Mets almost clawed their way back, but two double plays in key situations sunk their chances and a poor outing from Joely Rodríguez sealed the deal.

New York Mets v Miami Marlins Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images

The Mets fell to the Marlins 4-3 in the series opener in part due to a poor performance by David Peterson and in part due to a failure by the offense to cash in on RBI situations in the later innings.

The struggling Marlins offense had no problems getting to David Peterson early, as Garrett Cooper got the Marlins on the board with a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning. Despite striking out seven batters in the 3 23 innings he pitched, Peterson failed to record a clean inning. After a leadoff double by Miguel Rojas in the second, Peterson bounced back to strike out the next three Marlins in order and subsequently kept them off the board in the third despite a bloop single. But, Nick Fortes led off the fourth inning with a single and Miguel Rojas drove him in with a double to plate the Marlins’ third run. Peterson retired the next two batters, but then issued a walk to Garrett Cooper and with his pitch count rising, Buck Showalter had seen enough and gave Peterson the early hook.

Meanwhile, the Mets scratched out a run in the third inning on a Tomás Nido double and a Brandon Nimmo RBI single. But, after Francisco Lindor singled to keep the rally going, Jeff McNeil grounded into a double play, which prevented a potential big inning against Edward Cabrera.

Tommy Hunter was successful in stranding his inherited runners from Peterson in the fourth, but the Marlins added a run off Hunter in the fifth on a pair of doubles by Garrett Cooper and Nick Fortes to extend their lead to 4-1. But, in the top of the next frame, Brandon Nimmo walked to lead things off and Pete Alonso took Cabrera deep with two outs to bring the Mets within a run. At this point, the game felt within reach for the Mets. Mychal Givens pitched a scoreless sixth, assisted by some poor base running by the Marlins; Bryan De La Cruz foolishly tried to advance to third base on a grounder to short and was thrown out at third base and Jon Berti was subsequently picked off for the final out of the inning.

The Mets had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the seventh inning when a pair of singles from Eduardo Escobar and Tomás Nido and a walk from Brandon Nimmo loaded the bases with one out against Tanner Scott. That prompted Don Mattingly to pull Scott from the game in favor of Steven Okert to face Francisco Lindor, who grounded into a back-breaking double play to end the rally. Givens gave the Mets another scoreless inning in the bottom of the seventh also thanks to a double play. The Mets got the tying run on base again in the eighth via a hit by pitch, but Mark Canha lined out sharply to short to end that threat as well.

Then, inexplicably, instead of going to Edwin Díaz who hadn’t pitched in a week, Buck Showalter put in Joely Rodríguez in the eighth inning instead, who let the game get away. Charles Leblanc hit a two-run homer to give the Marlins a 6-3 lead and put any illusions of a Mets comeback to rest. After the homer, Rodríguez walked two straight batters and Edwin Díaz ended up coming in the game anyway to record the final two outs of the inning, which he did so successfully.

The Mets went down quietly against Dylan Floro in the ninth to seal a disappointing loss that saw them give away sole possession of first place in the NL East once more.

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Win Probability Added

What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Brandon Nimmo, +22.4% WPA
Big Mets loser: Francisco Lindor, -26.0% WPA
Mets pitchers: -22.5% WPA
Mets hitters: -24.5% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Pete Alonso’s two-run homer in the sixth inning, +16.8% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Garrett Cooper’s first inning home run off David Peterson, -17.8% WPA