Some Positive Signs in Mets Win Over Marlins

AP Photo/Rich Schultz

Consider the Marlins make the most errors in baseball and have the worst record in the National League. Then look at the Mets, a team that is in a stretch of eight straight games against NL East opponents, attempting to sustain momentum. This series would be called an opportunity. 

The Mets need wins, they need a streak. Before opposing the Marlins Wednesday evening at Citi Field, the Mets were within reach of the third NL wildcard with 3½ games separating them from five other teams. In mid-June, and with 15 games before the halfway point of their schedule, their 10-4 win posed some hope for optimism.

Yes, the Mets need to sustain a nice, long winning streak, something they have not accomplished. And with a National League this season that is filled with mediocrity, the Mets, even with their failures, have every reason to feel they are always in the hunt for a wild card.

Manager Carlos Mendoza changed his lineup a bit, sitting down Brandon Nimmo for a night, inserting outfielder Tyrone Taylor, slotting Harrison Bader second, and putting Pete Alonso back in the cleanup spot. That was a difference and scoring 10 runs also at home was a difference for the Mets.

Perhaps, the Mets are showing something here, especially with Taylor having the second four-hit game of his career. Bader hit the early two-run homer, Starling Marte, who is starting to resemble the hitter he was a few years ago, also hit a home run. And Francisco Lindor is starting to be more consistent with his at-bats, also going deep with his 11th home run in the eighth inning and a leadoff double in the first.

You saw signs of the Mets offense doing what was expected. There were 14 hits, which also has become rare over the first stretch of this season and catcher Francisco Alvarez had two RBI in his second game back from the injured list. Then again the Marlins also have one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball to go along with errors that keep them from winning ball games.

Regardless, the Mets will go for a series win Thursday evening and then take on the Padres for three, who just happen to be one of those teams ahead of them in the wild card chase.

The Mets also had that rare occurrence of capitalizing on mistakes from the other side. Alvarez and J.D. Martinez had RBI singles in a three-run second inning, with an assist of two errors from the Marlins infield and a wild pitch thrown by starter left hander Braxton Garrett.

Said Taylor, “I think we had a good approach as a team. That’s like, part of the momentum in baseball. To be able to come through after those big mistakes is huge.”

Also a huge game for Taylor, mostly regulated to the bench. But Mendoza made some changes with Garrett because the Mets entered the game 5-7 against left handed starters. He delivered and so did Bader.

I think our lineup is very dynamic,” Bader said. “It’s just staying in the pocket and being ready. He (Garrett) is a good pitcher. He mixes very well with multiple pitches. When he lives on the edges, he is obviously tough to hit.”

When Bader sees his pitch the Mets lineup is that much more dynamic. He was acquired mostly for his defense in the outfield, but as the trade deadline nears in late July, and if the Mets want to sell, Bader will be highly sought after because he is a good contact hitter.

But right now, the Mets still have an opportunity and despite their misfortunes, talking about selling pieces for the future is not on their agenda. This can be an offense that scores runs, again, though it’s all about consistency and seeing the results.

Having success in this game is good,” said Taylor.” We are really good players. That is something we are capable of and to see it happening. I think baseball is a sport of momentum.. Hopefully, we’ll keep it going.”

This night the Mets took the lead and scored often. It was something different also at Citi Field where they average two more runs per game on the road and were 13-23 at home entering last night’s play.

They got a relatively good start from David Peterson, four runs over five innings. And the bullpen with a nice lead preserved the win, including Dedniel Nunez retiring all seven Marlins he faced and striking out a career high five. With closer Edwin Diaz expected to be activated off the injured list, Nunez could be optioned down Thursday.

We were ready to hit from pitch one,” Mendoza said.” Put some good swings on it from one through nine.” The manager did not take credit for changing the lineup and inserting Taylor. This was the type of game the Mets have lacked.

Creating momentum offensively is big for us,” Bader said. “Just a good night for us. We got 14 hits. Anytime you do that, you put yourself in a good position to win.”

But now they have to sustain the momentum after this positive win.

Rich Mancuso: (X) Formerly Twitter @Ring786 Mancuso

About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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