He may not have been consistent, but Rafael Montero did his job Monday night at Citi Field.
Not minding his six free passes, Montero tossed five scoreless innings of two-hit ball in his first start in the Majors since Apr. 28, 2015.
He did his job. The same could be said for the bullpen.
Despite a hiccup from Addison Reed in the 8th, the Mets’ relievers combined for five innings of one-run ball in a 2-1, 10-inning victory over the Marlins.
Unfortunately, New York wasn’t able to solve Miami ace Jose Fernandez for a fourth-consecutive time.
Entering tonight’s game, Fernandez boasted a 3-5 record with a 4.42 earned-run average on the road.
However, his lifetime numbers against the Mets thus far are simply sparkling. Surprised?
Fernandez toed the Citi rubber, sporting a 2-0 career record and a 1.42 ERA versus the Amazins.
The Mets didn’t need to beat Fernandez though. They just needed to hang in. And hang in they did.
Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the eighth, Jose Reyes led off with a double to put the tying run in scoring position. Two batters later, he came home from third on a wild pitch to even the score.
“Now, I’m not taking anything away from Rafael Montero,” Mets’ manager Terry Collins stated. “But you’re facing one of the best pitchers in the game, who has really pitched well against us. We were short tonight a little bit. You’re just saying, ‘Geez, if we can just hang in there.’ And we hung in there.”
Then, in extras, the Amazins’ got some two-out magic from their most likely hero.
Yes, it was Yoenis Cespedes, after a one-day flare-up of his quad in Sunday’s series finale versus the Phillies.
On a 1-1 offering from Mike Dunn, Cespedes hit a no-doubter to left-center for the walk-off win in the 10th.
“We’re going into September,” said Reyes. “That’s the way we want to play right now. That’s a huge win against a Miami team that was in front of us. It’s always fun to take the first game of a series. Now, we’re in a better position.”
The Mets may have rallied, but the Cardinals did the same in Milwaukee.
Still 2 ½ games back in the Wild Card race.