On Friday night the Mets continued their furious surge…towards the worst record in the National League.
New York’s night in Miami got off to a rocky start long before first pitch, when starting pitcher Jacob deGrom had to be scratched late due to a family emergency. In his place, young Corey Oswalt made his first Major League start and, to put it lightly, it did not go well.
Oswalt kept the Marlins off the board in each of the first two innings, but ran into immediate problems in the third. Miami center fielder Lewis Brinson led off the frame with a long home run, and while Oswalt got the pitcher to lightly ground out afterwards, he was far from out of the woods. Leadoff man Derek Dietrich then walked and moved to second on a base hit from Brian Anderson, and a single from J.T. Realmuto suddenly doubled the Marlins’ lead to 2-0. Two batters later, Starlin Castro extended the advantage to 3-0 with an RBI single of his own, and then one swing from J.T. Riddle took this from a bad inning to a nightmarish one. The three-run homer knocked Oswalt out of the game, and with the perpetual struggles of the Mets’ offense, being down 6-0 in the third basically meant game over.
Devin Mesoraco did put New York on the board in the road fourth with an RBI double to left, but with two on and two out, pinch-hitter Dom Smith grounded out to end that threat.
The 6-1 score held until the bottom of the seventh when Cameron Maybin plated Brinson with a two-out single off rookie reliever Tyler Bashlor, sending this game to the eighth at 7-1. New York immediately put themselves in position to get back into the contest, putting the first three hitters on base with nobody out. Wilmer Flores then unfortunately bounced into a run scoring 6-4-3 double play, but the Marlins were more than thrilled to trade the run for two outs. In the bottom of the inning, Miami got the run right back anyway on a sac fly from Miguel Rojas, and that would be the final run scoring play in the 8-2 final.
Really the only two positive takeaways for the Mets in this one were the performances of Jerry Blevins and Amed Rosario.
Blevins, New York’s struggling lefty specialist, faced four batters and retired them all, including a strikeout against the right handed hitting Anderson.
Rosario, meanwhile, had drawn only eight walks all season prior to Friday night, the primary reason his on-base percentage has been underwhelming. He recently sat for a few days to work on plate discipline and it apparently paid off, as he looked good at the plate, tracking the ball well en route to drawing three walks in a game for the first time in his career.
Up next the Mets will send deGrom to the hill on Saturday afternoon, provided everything is okay with the familial situation he dealt with.
Photo credit: Steve Mitchell – USA Today Sports