By: Paul DiSclafani
MIAMI: Bartolo Colon gets his third straight win, going the distance for a complete game shutout, as the Mets (75-60) go deep three times in a 7-0 whitewash of the Marlins.
Travis d’Arnaud and Wilmer Flores hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning on consecutive pitches and Juan Lagares went deep the next inning, giving the Mets a 7-0 lead and chasing Marlins starter Brad Hand (L, 4-5) after just five outs.
But the story tonight was the 42 year-old Colon (W, 13-11) who became the oldest player in Mets history to throw a complete game shutout and has tossed 25 straight shutout innings since getting chased after just 3.2 innings in Colorado when he gave up 7 runs. Tonight he struck out two and walked none, completing the shutout with just 100 pitches. He even made the play of the game, flipping a behind-the-back throw on a grounder up the first base line as he crossed over into foul territory to end the sixth inning.
Terry Collins posted a head scratching lineup that left Curtis Granderson and Michael Conforto on the bench with Eric Young Jr in right, Flores at short, Juan Uribe at second and Eric Campbell at first with Juan Lagares leading off. But that lineup put up 7 runs in the first two innings, highlighted by a long 3-run homer by d’Arnaud (433 feet), his 10th. Flores followed with one of his own on the next pitch (15). In the second inning, Lagares poked an opposite field home run that scored Young to make it 6-0. D’Arnaud made it 7-0 with an RBI single and had the first 4-RBI game of his career.
Rookie Steven Matz (2-0) makes his first start on Sunday afternoon since coming back from a partially torn ligament in his elbow as the Mets try to win the rubber game of the series before heading into Washington for three games on Labor Day afternoon.
Nationals won their 4th straight, beating the Braves (who have lost 11 in a row), so they remain 6 games behind the Mets. The Mets win reduces their Magic Number to 23 to win the pennant in the NL East.
POSITIVES: Mets have beaten the Marlins 10 of their last 15 games … Lucas Duda had two hits in a AA rehab start with Binghamton and could rejoin the big club on Monday for the Nats series … After a miserable 0-5 night, David Wright had two hits and a walk … Lagares had two hits, 2 RBI and his 6th HR in the leadoff spot … All four of d’Arnaud’s RBI were with 2 out …
NEGATIVES: Matt Harvey spoke with the media before the game and seemed to indicate he is on board with what his agent (Scott Boras) and Dr. Andrews have said regarding shutting him down after 180 innings (about two more starts). If Harvey shuts himself down and refuses to pitch down the stretch and in the post season (if the Mets get there), it will ruin his relationship with Mets fans. I have to believe they will be able to work something out in the next two weeks to avoid what would be career suicide for Harvey here in NY. Harvey said he is concentrating on his next start (in Washington on Tuesday). So are we …