The Miami Marlins (63-83) defeated the Mets (83-63) by a score of 6-0 behind a brilliant performance by rookie lefty Adam Conley. Conley went 7 and allowed no runs, while Bartolo Colon allowed 3 runs over 5 2/3 innings.
The game was scoreless through the first three, with Bartolo Colon setting down the Marlins easily and Adam Conley mowing down the Mets in order. Colon gave up a long home run to Martin Prado in the 4th and a shot down the line in the 5th to J.T. Realmuto, and the game was 2-0 Miami. Further damage was avoided when, after a Donovan Solano double, Juan Lagares threw Solano out at the plate on a single by Conley. Justin Bour tacked on a sacrifice fly in the 6th, and Colon’s night was over, allowing 3 runs in 5 2/3 IP. Colon left runners at 1st and 2nd, but more damage was avoided when Hansel Robles, following a walk, retired Ichiro Suzuki to end the inning.
Conley, though, was fantastic for the Marlins tonight and had all of his pitches working. He allowed only a 1-out double to David Wright in the 4th, a 1-out single by Michael Cuddyer in the 5th, and a 2-out single to David Wright in the 6th. Conley finished with 7 shutout innings while allowing only 3 hits, walking none and striking out 6.
Miami tacked on a run in the 8th against Tyler Clippard when Justin Bour hit a long home run to the Shea Bridge, the 2nd home run Clippard has allowed to Bour in as many weeks. Mike Dunn, in for the Marlins in the bottom of the 8th, walked leadoff pinch hitter Dilson Herrera, retired Eric Campbell and defensive replacement Ruben Tejada, and walked Juan Lagares before Bryan Morris ended the threat by getting David Wright to ground out.
The Marlins tacked on another run in the 9th against Erik Goeddel, with a 2-out single by defensive sub Miguel Rojas and a walk to pinch hitter Derek Dietrich. Against Sean Gilmartin, Dee Gordon singled in Rojas, on a ground ball through the right side, giving him 35 hits against the Mets on the season, a new record for hits in a season against the Mets (he surpassed Curt Flood‘s mark of 32 from 1963). Christian Yelich followed with another single to make it 6-0.
In the bottom of the 9th, Kyle Barraclaugh retired the side to complete Miami’s 6-0 victory. It is the first time the Mets have been shut out since facing Clayton Kershaw on Thursday, June 23rd, a day before the promotion of Michael Conforto and the trade for Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe. The Mets have lost 2 in a row for the first time since August 28th-29th against the Red Sox.
Combined with the Nationals’ 12-2 victory over Philadelphia, the Mets’ lead is reduced to 7.5 games and the magic number remains at 10. The Mets are off tomorrow before the Subway Series this weekend. Steven Matz faces Masahiro Tanaka on Friday at 7:10 at Citi Field. The Nationals will face the Marlins tomorrow, with Jarred Cosart facing Tanner Roark.
There were a few things worrisome about this loss, but it’s by no means panic time. A 7.5 game lead with 16 to play would have been any Met fan’s dream in March, but an off day is exactly what this team needs before a big 3-game set against the Yankees. The offense hasn’t been shut down like this in a very long time, and their offense lately has been enough of a strength to carry them. The right-handed platoon lineup didn’t work tonight, and Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez made a good point during the broadcast – that sometimes stacking righties against a lefty can work to the pitcher’s advantage. They argued that he could possibly get into a groove against right-handed batters (Conley didn’t face a single lefty tonight). Granderson’s numbers against lefties are enough to keep him out of the lineup, and Duda and Murphy have struggled of late, so I have no problem using the platoon lineup. That being said, it’ll be nice to see Granderson, Duda, Murphy, and Conforto back in the lineup on Friday.
The more concerning thing is the bullpen, but again, it should hold strong enough. Tyler Clippard has given up 4 home runs in his last 6 outings, but I’d rather him do it in these games than later when it counts. Let him work past it now. The more glaring hole is the one the Mets have had all year, the lack of a LOOGY (left-handed one-out guy). Just when it appeared Dario Alvarez had what was needed, he struggled and promptly suffered a groin injury. Right now, the Mets have O’Flaherty and Gilmartin as the only lefties out of the bullpen. Gilmartin has retired lefties and righties fairly evenly this season, but he is by no means a specialist. Gilmartin struggled against the lefties he faced today. The Mets may just have to enter October with Addison Reed and Tyler Clippard as their primary weapons against lefties.
Time for the Mets to take advantage of a weakened New York Yankees rotation, and though Masahiro Tanaka and C.C. Sabathia have been good of late, it’s certainly a weakness the Mets should try to take advantage of. The Mets will have Steven Matz facing Tanaka on Friday, Noah Syndergaard against Michael Pineda on Saturday, and Matt Harvey in a possibly shortened outing against C.C. Sabathia on Sunday.
WPA Winners: None over .040
WPA Losers: Bartolo Colon (-.137), no one else below -.100
Best Play: A 6-0 shutout against Miami, you expect a play decidedly in the Mets’ favor?
Worst Plays: Martin Prado homered, 1-0 Miami (4th) (-.157); J.T. Realmuto homered, 2-0 Miami (5th) (-.129)
Miami WPA Winner: Adam Conley (.340)