Well, at least they kept Stanton in the yard.
That’s about the best you can say about the Mets’ desultory, deadly dull 3-1 loss to the Marlins. The offense was held completely in check by Miami lefty Justin Nicolino — a pitcher on whom the Mets usually feast — over the course of five innings. On the Mets’ side, Chris Flexen pitched…OK, but not terrific. He walked four in his five-an-a-third, giving up all the runs the Marlins would need early.
In the top of the second, Marcell Ozuna drew a charitable walk: home plate ump Larry Vanover was putting the squeeze on Flexen a wee bit. J. T. Realmuto then hit high fly over Yoenis Cespedes’s head and it landed in the party deck for a 2-0 Marlins lead. As Warner Wolf used to say, “Ya coulda turned your sets off right there.” But Miami added one for good measure in the third. With one out, home run sensation Giancarlo Stanton — on a pace for 60-plus legitimate longballs — drew his second walk of the night. Christian Yelich cracked a liner to the base of the left field wall, as Stanton held on at third. He would score when Ozuna sent centerfielder Juan Lagares to the wall to snare a long fly. The Mets got that one back in the bottom half, on one-out singles by Lagares and Asdrubal Cabrera and — after a Cespedes fly out — an RBI safety by Wilmer Flores.
After that, it was a game of attrition, neither side able to mount even a pale imitation of a rally. This was a game whose start was delayed by two hours due to thunderstorms and finished after midnight. My hat is off to the hardy few who stuck it out though nine innings at a damp ballpark in Queens. The biggest excitement came post-game, when word came out that Curtis Granderson was going to the Dodgers in yet another Sandy Special Salary Purge: the return is a player to be named later and cash considerations.
It’s Rafael Montero vs. Vance Worley Saturday night. Good luck with that.