Jeff McNeil led off the ninth inning with a home run to right field, snapping a tie and sending the Mets to a 2-1 victory over the Marlins Monday night in Miami.

Pitchers have been busting McNeil inside all season and for the first four months of the year, McNeil had no answers. But the pitch he homered on Monday was on the outside third of the plate. But McNeil pulled it anyway, using a swing that reminded Gary Cohen of Kirk Gibson’s home run off of Dennis Eckersley.

Jose Butto did not factor into the decision but turned in another strong performance, allowing just one run in six innings. Butto apparently gave up a two-run homer but the umpires conferred and changed the call to a foul ball. The Marlins’ manager came out to complain and ultimately they had a crew chief challenge. The issue was that the ball was hit very high, clearing the top of the foul pole. We never got a definitive replay but judging from where the ball landed, it’s hard to imagine that it was a fair ball. If it was fair, it took a very serious left turn to land where it did.

It was a good night for the bullpen with three relievers providing a scoreless inning apiece, with Phil Bickford picking up the win and Adam Ottavino earning his 11th save of the year.

The Mets are now 6-2 against the Marlins this year. Do you think there are Marlins fans out there lamenting that the Mets always play them tough? Since 2014, the Mets have taken the series from the Marlins eight times in nine seasons, are leading this year and have a 104-69 record against their division rival.

3 comments on “Gut Reaction: Mets 2, Marlins 1 (9/18/23)

  • NYM6986

    Nice outing by Butto as he vies for a rotation spot for next year or at least being one of the first alternatives when one of the top five goes down. Nice job by the pen. Always hard to tell if we will get Dr. Hartwig or Mr. Hyde when Hartwig appears but he did the job. Love spoiling it for the Marlins who took us out of a few playoff hopes in the mid 0’s. McNeil with the big blow and with 2024 being an even year, he might get back into the batting race again. Must be showcasing Narvaez for an off season trade or Alvarez’s hand must be sore. Guillorme at 3B – yes he can field the position but we can’t stand his bat for another season. 3-0 Lucchesi with a 2.83 ERA throws tonight. Another pitcher trying to impress for next year.

  • TexasGusCC

    My gut reaction from this game is how did McNeal’s ball go out? Like Gary and Keith said, there wasn’t any follow through, he lunged across the plate, and pulled open his front side…. wow. On the pitching front, I can’t quite trust Butto/Peterson/Megill/Lucchessi over a full year, but, I would let them duke it out for the last two spots if the Mets get a top pitcher and everyone can promise me that Quintana at 36 will be just as good as he has been this year.

  • Metsense

    Gut Reaction: Butto pitched a good game. He is forcing himself into the conversation as a fifth starter in 2024. Spring training should be interesting if the Mets have an open mind.
    Since August 1st:
    Lucchese 0.00 ERA, 3.34 FIP, 1.11 WHIP
    Butto 3.15 ERA, 2.06 FIP, 1.10 WHIP
    Peterson 4.06 ERA, 4.69 FIP, 1.54 WHIP
    Megill 4.56 ERA, 5.35 FIP, 1.69 WHIP

    McNeil had a clutch homerun. He has turned his season around. Since August 1st he has 294/333/461/794 119 wRC+ 7 HR 19 RBI.
    Let’s keep dominating the Marlins tonight.

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