If the Mets “had their hitting shoes on,” they were buffed and, in the words of Shawshank Prison Warden Samuel Norton, “looking like mirrors.”
Mark Canha’s first career grand slam keyed an eight run, fourth inning rally and the Mets’ bats awoke for an 11-3 thrashing of the Marlins at loanDepot Park last night.
The Mets went back into first place by a half game as the Braves had their eight game winning streak snapped in Seattle last night. Mets are 11-5 vs. Miami and are 45-22 against the NL East with nine divisional games remaining, including three against Atlanta. Remember, there will be no one game playoff to decide a division winner. The tiebreaker will be head to head and right now, the Mets are 9-7 against the Braves.
Francisco Lindor and the red hot Eduardo Escobar both came up a triple short of the cycle to key a 16 hit attack as the Mets’ bats broke out in a big way.
“I think we got some people out there and we cashed them in,” Mets Manager Buck Showalter said. “It was a big difference, we had some last night, we weren’t able to cash them in.”
Carlos Corrasco took advantage of the offensive explosion to toss six innings of one run ball with six strikeouts to earn his 14th win of the season. The Mets right hander was looking to bounce back from a poor outing against Washington last Sunday when he gave up five runs (one earned) in 2 2/3 innings.
“My last game was a little bit rough, I only went two innings, fifty something pitches. I just came back, throw my bullpen and just get ready for this start,” Carrasco said after the game.
Miami took a 1-0 lead in the first on Garrett Cooper’s RBI double off of Corrasco but the Mets right hander would give up no more. Jeff McNeil’s RBI single in the third inning tied the game at one before the explosion in the fourth.
Canha began the rally with a walk off of Marlins’ starting and losing pitcher Pablo Lopez. After Daniel Vogelbach singled to put runners on first and second, Escobar’s RBI double snapped the 1-1 tie. James McCann singled in a run to make it a 3-1 game. Brandon Nimmo walked to load the bases and Lindor’s single to right scored McCann to make it 4-1.
McNeil hit a sacrifice fly and after Pete Alonso flied out, Tyler Naquin walked to re-load the bases. Left hander Andrew Nardi relieved Lopez and gave up the grand slam to Canha on a 1-2 pitch that blew the game wide open with a 9-1 lead.
Lopez was charged with eight runs on 10 hits in 3 2/3 innings. The Mets have had Lopez’ number this season. In four starts, the Mets have touched up the Marlins right hander for 22 earned runs in 16 2/3 innings pitched.
The Mets were pleased to get the run production, but Showalter felt Carrasco’s performance should not be overlooked. “I thought the key was the way Carlos kept attacking people and getting a zero right out there,” he said. “There’s nothing worse than scoring four or five runs and coming back out and giving up two.”
Lindor, who homered in the fifth and drove in two runs, has 91 RBIs and is one shy of his career high. Escobar went deep with his 16th home run in the seventh to complete the scoring.
Escobar has been on fire of late. In his last 11 games, the switch-hitter is batting .447 with four home runs and eight runs batted in. Lindor has turned it up as well. In his last 11 games, the Mets’ shortstop is 13 for 42 (.310) with a HR and six runs batted in.
Escobar credited his recent surge to being healthy. “Going to the IL, it did me a lot of good, I was able to kinda recover from all the little injuries that I was dealing with,” he said through an intrepreter after the game.
Even through his struggles, Showalter has been supportive of Escobar all season long and is pleased to see him playing up to his potential. “Eduardo continues to be a force for us,” he said.
The Mets promoted Mark Vientos and Showalter announced he will be in the lineup to make his Major League debut later today in the series finale against Miami.
Vientos is a right handed hitter who figures to see much of his playing time against left hand pitching. Miami is scheduled to start left hander Jesus Luzardo. Darin Ruf has not filled the bill, so Vientos will get a shot.
The 22-year-old had 24 home runs and 72 RBIs in 101 games for Syracuse and will be making his debut in his hometown. Vientos hails from Plantation, Florida, which is about 30 miles from Miami.