By: Paul DiSclafani
Noah Syndergaard induced the Miami Marlins (3-3) to swing and miss 26 times, striking out 12 of them during his seven innings, but the Mets offense continues to be stuck in neutral as they managed just three hits in a 2-1 loss. The Mets (2-5) have now lost four straight, scoring just six runs on 20 hits.
“I’m concerned about them”, manager Terry Collins said about his slumping offense, “We are not able to get a big hit when we need it when we got guys on base. I’m not sitting here today down in the dumps thinking the season is a waste, we have a stinking marathon to go here. We’ll take it again tomorrow and see how it goes and then we’ll get at it on the road.” Collins had previously promised to make some lineup changes if the lineup continued to struggle. Tomorrow’s finale will be interesting.
Syndergaard (ND) was masterful, registering his sixth career double-digit strikeout game of his career (26 games) and gave up just one run on a sacrifice fly in the third inning. Unfortunately, the Mets could only manage one themselves against Marlins Ace Jose Fernandez (ND), even though they had him on the ropes in the first two innings and got into the Marlins bullpen by the sixth inning.
Curtis Granderson led off the game for the Mets with a double and scored on a Lucas Duda base hit, but Duda took the Mets out of what could have been a big inning when he tried to take advantage of Giancarlo Stanton fumbling his hit, but he was thrown out at second. Instead of first and third and one out, the inning came to a grinding halt with David Wright on third (he walked) when Neil Walker grounded out.
In the second, the Mets loaded the bases off Fernandez, but Wright popped out to right to end the threat. The Mets didn’t have another baserunner against Fernandez after that as he settled down and got the last ten batters, including striking out the last four.
Syndergaard struck out seven Fish in the first three innings (including four of the first five) while nursing that 1-0 lead, but they changed their hitting approach in the fourth as they began swinging and making contact on the first pitch. Four straight batters put the first pitch in play and after two infield singles, Derek Dietrich picked up a 2-out RBI to tie the game at 1-1.
Jim Henderson (L, 0-1) relieved Syndergaard in the eighth and needed 34 pitches to get through just four batters as the Marlins kept battling in each at bat. Dee Gordon started off the inning by fouling off 11 straight pitches in an epic 16-pitch at bat before finally lining a single. Henderson got a strikeout as Gordon stole second, but Christian Yellich worked out an 8-pitch walk, followed by another 8-pitch walk to Stanton to load the bases with one out. PH Martin Prado then hit a sacrifice fly against Jerry Blevins to give the Marlins a 2-1 lead.
Once the Mets got into the Marlins bullpen, they were stymied once again. Although they did get two hits in the sixth off reliever Craig Breslow, Michael Conforto grounded into an inning ending double play. The Mets didn’t get another base runner until there were two outs in the ninth as Asdrubal Cabrera singled to keep hope alive, only to have Travis d’Arnaud strike out on three pitches to end the game and earn AJ Ramos his second save of the year.
Logan Verrett takes the hill tomorrow afternoon in place of Jacob deGrom, hoping to avoid a sweep. Adam Cronley makes the start for the Marlins. Mets then head out on the road to Cleveland, Philadelphia and Atlanta.
Baby deGrom: Jacob deGrom and his wife welcomed Jaxon Anthony deGrom (7 pounds, 12 oz) on Monday. The Mets did not place deGrom on the “Paternity” leave list because they may want to put him on the 15-day DL, which can be backdated to Friday (the last day he pitched). If he was put on paternity leave and then the DL, it could not be backdated.
POSITIVES: Syndergaard has 21 K’s in his first two starts, tying Mets record held by Dwight Gooden and Pedro Martinez … Mets scored in the first inning for the first time this season … Yoenis Cespedes has hit in three straight and had a home run blown back in the third inning by gusty winds … Mets struck out 11 times … Gordon has hit in 19 straight games against the Mets
NEGATIVES: Mets are 1-4 on their opening home stand … Gordon drove in the winning run after an epic 16-pitch at bat, but struck out four times, earning the Golden Sombrero … Cespedes had a home run blown back in the third inning by gusty winds … Henderson threw 34 pitches (to four batters) in the eighth inning, but only threw 33 pitches in his first three appearances …