Wednesday August 31st, 2016: The hot New York Mets (69-64) hosted Don Mattingly's slumping Miami Marlins (67-66) in game three of an important four game series.
Today the Mets learned that they will most likely loose their second baseman Neil Walker for the rest of the season as he will need back surgery. With David Wright & Lucas Duda also gone for the year to back issues 3/4 of the Mets projected infield for 2016 is gone. But these Mets have stepped up & are making an exciting hopeful playoff run going into September. The Mets win tonight, (their third straight) marks their ninth win in eleven games, putting them within 1 1/2 games of the wild card.
Bartolo Colon took the mound for his team leading 27th start of the year. Who would have though the oldest pitcher on the young staff would be leading the club in starts? In the top of the 2nd, sloppy Mets errors by Colon & Jose Reyes led to a Marlins run.
But the resilient Mets answered back as Curtis Granderson led off the home 2nd with a walk & Wilmer Flores hit a two run HR, his 15th of the year off Marlin starter Jason Esch who was making his MLB debut. 2-1 Mets.
Quotes: Wilmer Flores- "Righty, lefty, I don't really care who's out there. I have the same approach. Whenever you're feeling good, you hit righties, lefties, it doesn't matter. I feel good against anybody."
The Mets let some opportunities go leaving seven men on base & having pitcher Colon ground into two double plays killing rallies. But again these resilient Mets wont give up. After the Marlins tied it on another Christian Yelich HR, the Mets answered in the home 8th.
Yoenis Cespedes started it off with a base hit, Granderson followed with a walk. After Flores flew out, the struggeling Jay Bruce popped out for the second out.
But A.J. Ramos then lost control & walked Travis d'Arnaud to load the bases. Ramos got Kelly Johnson to afull count before the clutch hitting veteran delivered a three run double to right field.
The big crowd of 33,471 including the Little League World Series Champions from upstate New York who were honored by the Mets tonight, went wild. Lets Go Mets!
Quotes: Kelly Johnson-"It's nice to look up in September and we're still right in the middle of it. It's there. You talk about the Wild Card, you've got half the teams still in the race there. Honestly, we've just got to win."
Colon got no decision but the workhorse threw seven innings allowing two runs (one earned) on seven hits with three Ks. Addison Reed got the win (4-2) lowering his ERA to 2.01 & Jeruys Familia got the save. It was his 44th save on the year setting a new Mets single season save mark.
Deuces wild- Johnson, Cespedes, Bruce & d'Arnaud all had two hits each on the night.
After the game manager Terry Collins broke his own rule stepping into the clubhouse to tell the team how proud he is of them. "I took 30 seconds and told them how proud I was of the fact that they've hung in there," Collins said. "Through all the midsummer injuries and all the different things that have happened, they've hung in there."