By: Paul DiSclafani
For the first time since Labor Day (9/7), the Mets failed to either increase their NL East lead over the Washington Nationals or reduce their Magic Number as they fall to the Marlins at Citi Field, 9-3.
After losing two of three to the Marlins in Miami leading up to the Labor Day series in Washington, the Mets lead in the NL East was down to 4 and their Magic Number was 23. Even with the loss tonight, the Mets (83-62) maintain a 8.5 lead over the Nats and their Magic Number remains at 10 (Rusty Staub).
The Marlins (62-83) snapped the Mets 8-game win streak, roughing up Jacob deGrom (L, 13-7) for six runs in just five innings. It’s the first time all year deGrom has given up 10 hits. Mets have now lost three of his last four starts.
DeGrom hasn’t been real sharp since being touched up for 7 runs (6 earned) in Philadelphia, giving up 13 runs in his four starts since then. Prior to that, deGrom had given up just 17 runs total since June 1 (13 starts). Maybe he is feeling the strain of his 181 innings to date.
After the game, manager Terry Collins said that deGrom was obviously frustrated, “Probably the most upset I’ve ever seen him after a loss. when you are real good, people expect you to be good and you expect to be good. He’s pissed with his performance and I like that in a player.”
Mets got off to a quick start in the first inning, when David Wright doubled home Curtis Granderson for a 1-0 lead. It seemed like they had Marlins pitcher and local Stony Brook product Tom Koehler (W, 10-13) on the ropes (he had a 10+ ERA against the Mets), but the Mets left the bases loaded with one out when Travis d’Arnaud popped out to 2B and Lucas Duda popped out to SS.
You have to take advantage of a pitcher who is struggling in the first inning. Instead, Koehler settled down to get nine in a row.
The Marlins struck for three runs against deGrom in the fourth, stringing together four hits to start the inning and followed that up with three more in the fifth with another four hits and suddenly, the Mets were down 6-1.
Tonight, the comeback Mets just didn’t show up.
Bartolo Colon (14-11) has won four straight starts and has given up just 2 runs in his last 31.2 innings. He gets the start tomorrow against rookie Adam Conley (3-1). Colon is still auditioning for a spot on the possible post season roster, he seems to be getting stronger while the rest of the young staff (deGrom, Syndergaard and Harvey) is showing signs of fatigue.
POSITIVES: Yoenis Cespedes (0-4, 2K) is only the fifth player in baseball history to hit 17+ home runs with two different teams in the same season … Michael Conforto had two more hits and is flirting with .300 (.297) … Reuben Tejada also had 2 hits … Wright walked twice and had a double that missed being a 3R HR by six inches. He’s batting .295 … Mets walked six times … Bobby Parnell pitched an efficient 8th inning, throwing just 8 pitches to get his three outs – and he walked a batter … Cespedes threw out Justin Bour trying to stretch a single into a double.
NEGATIVES: deGrom’s ERA in last five starts is 6.41 and opposing batters are hitting .327 … Marlins had 15 hits including 3R, 5H and 2W against the bullpen in the last four innings … Mets left 10 on base … Relief pitcher Dario Alvarez was removed from the game with a groin strain … Cespedes was hit in the back with a pitch by Kohler in the first inning, then Erik Goeddel threw behind Koehler twice when he tried to bunt in the seventh inning. Worth keeping an eye on tomorrow …