Flushing, NY—On Monday night, the Mets and Marlins began a three game set at Citi Field that will have bearing on which of the two clubs will finish in third place in the National League East. The Mets trailed Miami by one game when the series started.
Both managers started young and talented hurlers, who have promising futures in the big leagues. Both pitched impressively, yet neither was involved in the decision.
Jarred Cosart, 24, of the Marlins pitched his seventh consecutive quality start of his eight starts since being acquired by Miami in a trade with Houston on July 31.
Cosart yielded two runs in the first frame after striking out the first two batters he faced. Travis d’Arnaud singled to start the rally. Lucas Duda then drew a walk. Both were plated on a double to left by Wilmer Flores. The Texas native yielded two more hits but not an additional run in his final five innings.
Jacob deGrom, 26, of the Mets excited the home crowd by fanning the first eight batters he faced. His achievement broke the franchise mark set by Pete Falcone by striking out the first six batters in a game on May 1, 1980. The eight tied the modern record set by Jim Deshales of Houston on September 23, 1986.
Mets skipper Terry Collins gave his impression, “[He was] as dominating at the start of a game as I’ve ever seen. Location was outstanding. He’s learned how to change eye level.”
After the game, the rookie hurler told reporters how he felt in those early innings, “I felt good. I had a good fastball early on. When I got two strikes, I tried to strike them out.”
The ninth batter was pitcher Cosart who singled on the second pitch. “The first pitch was a ball. I thought he would take again and I threw it right down the middle”, said deGrom.
The rookie’s 13 strikeouts in the game was his career high, breaking his previous mark of 11 that he accomplished on May 31 and July 8. He scattered three hits and walked only one in the first six frames. This was his 12th straight start with two or less walks. He explained that he has made a concerted effort not to issue walks because “not letting guys get on base an easy way helps a lot.”
The troubles for deGrom began and ended in the seventh, his last inning. The first three batters hit safely, a single by Justin Bohr, a double by Adeimy Hechavarria and a two run single former Met Jordany Valdespin. The last run off deGrom was driven in on a sacrifice fly by pinch hitter Reed Johnson.
Runs were scored more easily after both starters were removed. The Mets scored three in the bottom of the seventh as seven batters reached base on two hits, four walks and an error.
The Marlins countered with three in the top of the eighth as four batters singled to give Miami a 6-5 advantage.
Detailing the two half-innings would be as boring to write and to read as they were to view, so they will be omitted in this story.
What began as a very interesting pitchers’ duel that was moving quickly terminated after three hours and ten minutes in a 6-5 victory by Miami.