The Mets came into this Sunday afternoon contest trying desperately to avoid the ignominy of being swept by the worst team in baseball, the Miami Marlins. Oh, and there was the added bonus of manager Mickey Callaway’s job possibly hinging on the outcome. While the players themselves had no say about the latter situation, Noah Syndergaard was entrusted with staving off the former.
He would be opposed by the young right hander, Sandy Alcantara and for the first five-and-a-half innings, there was nothing to choose between them: each near-perfect, each throwing a near-minimum number of pitches. J.D. Davis became the first base runner of the day, worming a single into left with one out, but was he erased when Robinson Cano failed to run out a squibber at the plate he assumed would roll foul (it did not). Miami got its first runner when Neil Walker led off the fifth with a broken-bat flare over second base. Starlin Castro bounced back to the mound for a double play of his own. After Miguel Rojas drew the first walk of the game, Chad Wallach grounded out to short. Rosell Herrera roped a 3-1 double to right center to start the home half of the sixth. He advanced to third on a bunt single by the pitcher Alcantara. That brought up old buddy Curtis Granderson, who hit a one-hopper to Cano at second. The double play was turned and the Marlins took the lead. With the Mets in the midst of a scoring drought eighteen innings long, that turned out to be enough.
The Mets got their second hit of the afternoon when Davis blooped a one out single to right center in the seventh, but Cano hit into another double play, running this one out, at least. Walker laced a double to right center to start the Miami seventh. Castro hit a grounder up the middle that was scooped up by shortstop Adneiny Hecchavaria for the first out, Walker crossing to third. He would score on a fly ball by Rojas, hit just deep enough to center fielder Juan Lagares. In the eighth, Pete Alonso walked on four pitches leading off — the 3-0 count passing for a rally these days — but Brandon Nimmo struck out. Hecchavaria hit a bouncer back to the mound, but Alcantara threw it to nobody and suddenly, the tying runs were on base. Dom Smith pinch hit for Lagares and hit into yet another Miami double play. Seth Lugo replaced Syndergaard in the eighth and was greeted by a one-out homer by Granderson, possibly shoveling a little more dirt onto Callaway’s managerial tenure.
The Washington Nationals come in to Citi Field tomorrow, Patrick Corbin for DC, vs. the ever popular TBD for the Mets. Presumably after the press conference…