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Feisty Mets nearly spoil Marlins again, but fall 4-3 in their last at-bat
Joey Lucchesi was solid for six innings despite committing a bad error, and both Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil's bat stayed hot in the loss
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets lost to the Marlins in their last at-bat by a score of 4-3 in Miami on Tuesday (box)
Trailing 3-1 with two outs in the ninth inning, Brandon Nimmo doubled in Mark Vientos and DJ Stewart to tie the game, but the Marlins walked off the Mets in the bottom of the ninth after Jake Burger singled in Joey Wendle for the winning run
Joey Lucchesi started for the Mets and gave the Mets a quality start, allowing three runs in six innings, although he committed an error on a bunt play in the fifth when he threw to third base unoccupied to allow the go-ahead run to score (watch)
The Mets are now 9-8 in September, lost for the 15th time in their last at-bat, 3-71 when trailing after eight innings, 20-21 against the NL East, 14-55 when scoring three or fewer runs, and 28-33 since the All-Star Game
Injury Updates 🏥
OF Starling Marte (groin) could return to the lineup in the next week to ten days
INF Brett Baty (groin) is expected to start at third base on Wednesday
RHP Edwin Díaz (knee surgery) will not pitch in 2023
Luisangel Acuña was hit in the face by a pitch during Double-A Binghamton’s playoff game on Tuesday. His faced was reportedly bloodied but he walked off the field under his own power
Over his last 61 games, Jeff McNeil is hitting .291/.336/.440 with 11 doubles, two triples, seven home runs and 27 RBI
Over his last 16 games, Mark Vientos is hitting .293/.339/.483 with one triple, three home runs and seven RBI
Over his last 20 games, Brandon Nimmo is hitting .326/.370/.605 with seven doubles, a triple, five home runs and 11 RBI
Prospect Watch 🔎
OF Jaylen Palmer (Triple-A Syracuse): 2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R
INF Jett Williams (no. 3 prospect, Double-A Binghamton): 1-for-4, HR, 3 RBI
RHP Luis Moreno (Double-A Binghamton): 5 IP, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (70-81) vs. Marlins (79-73)
Where: loanDepot Park – Miami, FL
Starting pitchers: RHP Kodai Senga (11-7 2.95 ERA) vs. RHP Eury Pérez (5-5, 3.06 ERA)
When: 6:40 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
The Mets are at least showing up down the stretch… ✍️
I’ll say this about these Mets - they do have some fight in them and they’re at least trying to play the role of spoiler for these contenders.
The Mets nearly spoiled the Marlins again on Tuesday and in their last at-bat at that. They were down two runs with two on and two outs in the ninth when Brandon Nimmo doubled in two runs to tie the game for the Mets and give the Mets something to smile about in a wild card race they’re not in.
Unfortunately for the Mets, they didn’t have enough of a punch to hold on and get the game to extras. But the energy the Mets displayed in that ninth inning was really great and fun to see.
There have been plenty of teams - and plenty of Met teams - over the course of history which have been in this situation the Mets are in, one that leaves them closer to the bottom of the league than the top who come into September, play out the string and just count days off the calendar until game-162.
But not these Mets.
They appear to at least be playing with an incentive, and that is to spoil the chances of the contenders they are playing down the stretch of the season. They’re making the opposition work and fight just as hard. Now, the teams they’re playing now certainly have better rosters than they do, which in part led to the result last night. But as a fan, I can appreciate the energy and the purpose the Mets are playing with in these games.
They’re not boring, they’re not lifeless, they’re not lethargic. They may not be very good, but quite honestly, they had a better roster earlier in the season that didn’t have half the energy this one does.
Now, of course there are no stakes for the Mets other than to try and impact the wild card races in each league. It’s a different incentive they’re playing for than that of the team on the other side of the field for sure, one which lacks the same pressures that make every moment in every game critical to the outcome of the season. Many of them are playing for roster spots in 2024, many of them are simply trying to make a name for themselves in this league, many of them are playing for better salaries and contracts.
All of that is fine, as it’s translating into an injection of energy this team simply didn’t have earlier this year.
They are by no means close to complete - that isn’t what I am saying here. They’re fun and entertaining now and they’re showing up to have a say in these other team’s fates. That at least has entertainment value in the limited time left we have to watch them in 2023.
And in the process, we are learning about a lot of players. Mark Vientos is starting to get it at the plate (not so sure about the field, but ok for now), Ronny Mauricio is demonstrating he can be a versatile player and an offensive force from both sides of the plate, DJ Stewart has earned his keep as a role player, and there are four clear contenders for the back of the rotation in 2024 (yes, they still need to sign to legit starting pitchers).
We are also learning that the bullpen can indeed be worse than it was before the trade deadline, and that they need to completely remake it in the coming month.
But for now, all of that is ok. This is what they signed up for after August 1, which are two months of tryouts.
And to their credit, they’ve shown to be a feisty bunch.
Around the League 🚩
Shohei Ohtani underwent successful elbow surgery on Tuesday in LA - he will be able to hit by Opening Day and is expected to be able to pitch in 2025
The Orioles maintained their small lead in the AL East with their 9-5 win over the Astros, while the Rays kept pace with the Orioles thanks to their 6-2 win over the Angels - Baltimore leads Tampa Bay by 2.5 games in the AL East
Both the Rangers and the Mariners crept closer to the Astros in the AL West, as Texas defeated Boston 6-4 while Seattle beat the A’s 7-2 - both are now just 1/2 game behind Houston for the lead in the AL West
The Reds fell out of playoff position and are now behind the Marlins in the NL Wild Card race thanks to being shutout by the Twins 7-0. Meanwhile, the Diamondbacks pushed the Giants three games out of the Wild Card race with their 8-4 win, and the Cubs held serve thanks to their 14-1 rout of the Pirates