New York-The New York Mets have not been a very pretty team to watch in the early going in 2014. The Mets have struggled to score runs, ranking towards the bottom of the National League in many offensive categories. The Mets also have had their share of bullpen struggles, but they entered Friday night's game with the Miami Marlins carrying a 12-10 record. In spite of all the problems with the team, the Mets have found ways to win games. They continued that trend Friday, rallying for two runs in the bottom of the ninth to walk off with a 4-3 victory over the Marlins.
The Mets grabbed a 2-0 lead in the third inning against Marlins' starter Henderson Alvarez as David Wright and Daniel Murphy drove in runs. That lead would be good enough for Zack Wheeler. Wheeler had a strong outing for the Mets (13-10), going six innings and allowing only one run on four hits while walking three and striking out 10. Wheeler only allowed one run in the fifth inning, on an RBI single to Marcell Ozuna. The damage could have been worse, as Wheeler got himself into jams in both the fifth and sixth innings. Wheeler was able to get himself out of trouble, however, saving the bullpen some much needed innings.
The score remained the same until the eighth inning, when Gonzalez Germen ran into trouble in his second inning of work. Germen surrendered back to back home runs to Jarrod Saltamacchia and Garrett Jones, giving the Marlins a 3-2 lead. The game appeared to be over as the Marlins turned the ball over to closer Steve Cishek in the bottom of the ninth. Cishek had converted 33 straight saves entering the game, but he had struggled against the Mets in the past.
The inning got off to a good start for the Mets as Lucas Duda blooped a single to left field. After Travis d'Arnaud sacrificed Duda to third, Cishek got pinch hitter Bobby Abreu to fly out to left for the second out. Cishek (1-1, 2.35 ERA) had the Mets down to their final strike when Omar Quintanilla singled to left field, bringing Duda home to tie the game at three. Terry Collins then rolled the dice, pinch hitting for Eric Young Jr with Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who has had success against Cishek in the past. The move paid off as Nieuwenhuis doubled into the left center field gap, moving Quintanilla to third and setting the stage for Curtis Granderson. Granderson pulled a single under the glove of Morrison to bring home Quintanilla and help the Mets walk off for the second time in a week.
One big takeaway for the Mets in the early season is their knack for grinding out wins. The Mets haven't been a statistically impressive team, but they have been tough and clutch in late game situations so far. On a team that lacks true star power, that grit can make up for a lot of flaws. It may only be April, but the Mets can hope that these late wins can build momentum for an exciting summer in Queens.
Player of the Game:
Today's Player of the Game award goes to starting pitcher Zack Wheeler. Wheeler struck out 10 Marlins over six innings of one run ball, and could have easily picked up a win if Gonzalez Germen didn't blow it for him in the eighth.
Post Game Notes:
- David Wright and Travis d'Arnaud each got two hits for the Mets.
- Eric Young Jr has reached base in 19 straight games.
- Marlins' right fielder Christian Yelich's 17 game hitting streak was snapped tonight as he went 0 for 4 on the evening.
- Jeurys Familia (1-2, 5.19 ERA) picked up his first career major league win after throwing a scoreless ninth inning.
The Mets will look to extend their winning streak to four games tomorrow night as they resume their series with the Marlins. Jenrry Mejia (3-0, 1.99 ERA) will start for the Mets, while the Marlins will counter with righty Kevin Slowey (0-0, 4.15 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 pm at Citi Field.Tags: Baseball, Curtis Granderson, Daniel Murphy, David Wright, Gonzalez Germen, Jeurys Familia, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Miami Marlins, MLB, New York, New York Mets, Omar Quintanilla, Steve Cishek, Zack Wheeler