In a game of total attrition, Yoenis Cespedes would have no more of it. With two outs in the bottom of the tenth, he sent a ball deep into the left field seats and the Mets home with a crucial win.
Rafael Montero made his first start in a year-and-a-half and most unsteadily made the most of it. Throwing exactly 100 pitches in five innings, Montero allowed two hits, no runs, struck out three…and walked six. In short, he did what he had to do, by whatever means necessary. His opposite number, the formidable Jose Fernandez kept the Mets off the board as well, but by prettier looking stats: six innings, three hits, four walks, six strikeouts and no runs, either. Both teams kept putting runners on base, then finding ways to not bring them home. Add in the fact that the Mets’ bench was so thin that Terry Collins had to resort to sending Jacob deGrom to the plate to pinch hit for Montero in the fifth. Attrition.
By the time the eighth arrived, the Mets had appearances by Sean Gilmartin and Jerry Blevins, who each had relatively uneventful innings. Addison Reed came in smack dab in his personal comfort zone, starting the eighth. After two quick outs, he gave up back-to-back doubles to ageless Ichiro Suzuki and nondescript Xavier Scruggs to put the Mets behind 1-0. They clawed that run back, though in the bottom half. Jose Reyes continued to bring back sweet memories with a line double to right leading off. Alejandro De Aza then sent a ball to deep left, deep enough for Reyes to scoot to third. With Cespedes hitting, reliever A.J. Ramos uncorked a wild pitch on an 0-2 count and this game was tied. Attrition returned in the ninth, as Jeurys Familia set the Marlins down in order. In the bottom of the ninth, James Loney sent one into the left-center gap that Christian Yelich ran down, Travis d’Arnaud struck out and pinch hitter Jay Bruce scalded one that was expertly snared by Scruggs. Josh Smoker struck out two in the top of the tenth. With fans and viewers starting to settle in for what promised to be a long rest of the night, Reyes sent a liner that held up just long enough for Marcel Ozuna to run down in the right-center alley. De Aza was called out on strikes and starterd woofing at the umpire. You could hear the despair from here to Flushing.
Then Cespedes came up.
We pin our hopes on Seth Lugo tomorrow, as the Mets now sit tied with Miami, two-and-a-half games out of the playoffs.