New York Mets: Gil Velazquez

Rapid Reaction: Mets 7, Marlins 3

September, 21, 2012
WHAT IT MEANS: In a battle for last place in the NL East, the Miami Marlins made a strong case for supremacy with a disgusting series of fielding gaffes that left manager Ozzie Guillen with his head at least briefly buried in his palms in the dugout.

Multiple Marlins miscues led to rookie right-hander Jacob Turner surrendering five runs in the first two innings, and the Mets went on to win, 7-3, Friday night at Citi Field.

The Mets snapped a nine-game home losing streak and improved to 5-24 at Citi Field since the All-Star break -- matching the Braves’ second-half win total in Flushing and moving to within one of the Nationals’ MLB-leading total in the ballpark during that span.

Aided by the Marlins’ gaffes, the Mets snapped a streak of 16 straight home games failing to exceed three runs. The streak ended narrowly shy of matching the MLB record -- 18 straight home games of three runs or fewer by the 1915 Yankees at the Polo Grounds.

The Mets (67-83) opened a 1-game lead over the Marlins (66-85) for fourth place in the division. The teams have five games remaining, including a season-ending series in Miami from Oct. 1-3.

Jon Niese, who surrendered three runs in 6 1/3 innings, benefited from the run support en route to his career-high 12th win.

PULLED: Lucas Duda was removed from the game for the start of the third inning and replaced by Mike Baxter in the outfield. The Mets announced the decision was made by Terry Collins and not injury-related. In his first at-bat, Duda jogged and only reached first base on a pop-up, which dropped in shallow left field after a miscommunication by Marlins fielders.

Seemingly fearful of losing his players, Collins had retracted pregame his previous night’s insinuation that players had quit. Still, Collins must have been on the lookout for an opportunity to make a point.

MILESTONES: After a scoring change on his first-inning grounder, Ike Davis was credited with an RBI. Davis then passed David Wright for the team lead with his 83rd RBI on a solo homer in the seventh. Davis’ 28 homers are the fourth most by a first baseman in franchise history. Carlos Delgado had 38 twice (2006 and 2008) and Dave Kingman had 37 in 1982. Davis passed Eddie Murray, who had 27 in 1993.

Scott Hairston’s first-inning homer was his career-high 18th long ball.

Wright went 0-for-4 and remained four shy of matching Ed Kranepool’s franchise-record 1,418 career hits.

LOL MARLINS: Had the official scorer not changed his original ruling -- an error on Marlins second baseman Donovan Solano -- to a single for Davis with two outs in the first, the first six runs the Mets posted would have been unearned.

Hairston followed the Solano-error-turned-Davis-single with a two-run homer off Turner.

In a two-run second, Thole doubled off left fielder Justin Ruggiano’s glove. Later in the inning, Jose Reyes had Thole nailed at third base on a grounder to shortstop, but the ex-Met errantly bounced the throw to Gil Velazquez and Thole was ruled safe.

The Mets’ sixth run also scored after some lackluster Marlins fielding. Daniel Murphy reached first despite striking out on a passed ball in the fifth. Later in the frame, Davis lined out to Reyes, and the shortstop had Murphy dead to rights -- having strayed too far off second base. But Reyes showed no awareness and Murphy successfully scampered back with Reyes making no attempt at a double play. Hairston followed with a run-scoring triple for a 6-1 lead.

WHAT’S NEXT: R.A. Dickey bids for his 19th win Saturday at 1:10 p.m. Dickey (18-6, 2.67 ERA) opposes left-hander Mark Buehrle (13-12, 3.78).

Series preview: Mets vs. Marlins

September, 21, 2012

US Presswire
The Mets are due to face (l to r) Jacob Turner, Mark Buehrle and Ricky Nolasco this weekend.
METS (66-83, fourth place/NL East) vs. MIAMI MARLINS (66-84, fifth place/NL East)

Friday: LHP Jon Niese (11-9, 3.46) vs. RHP Jacob Turner (1-2, 3.75), 7:10 p.m. ET

Saturday: RHP R.A. Dickey (18-6, 2.67) vs. LHP Mark Buehrle (13-12, 3.78), 1:10 p.m. ET

Sunday: RHP Chris Young (4-8, 4.37) vs. RHP Ricky Nolasco (12-12, 4.42), 1:10 p.m. ET

Marlins short hops

Giancarlo Stanton is expected to return for the weekend series. He has been sidelined with a left intercostal strain for the past three games.

Matt Slocum/Associated Press
Jose Reyes returns to Citi Field this weekend.

In Stanton’s place, Justin Ruggiano started twice and Austin Kearns once in right field. Stanton’s 90 homers rank sixth in MLB history for a player before turning 23. Those ahead: Mel Ott 155, Eddie Mathews 112, Tony Conigliaro 104, Alex Rodriguez 95 and Frank Robinson 93. Stanton turns 23 in November.

• Right-hander Jacob Turner was acquired from the Detroit Tigers on July 23 in the deal that shipped out Omar Infante and Anibal Sanchez. He is 2-4 with a 6.06 ERA in 10 career major league starts between the two teams, but is coming off tossing seven scoreless innings against the Cincinnati Reds. Turner, 21, was the ninth overall selection in the 2009 draft -- three picks after the Giants selected Zack Wheeler.

• The Mets snapped the career-high 26-game hitting streak of Jose Reyes on Aug. 9 at Citi Field. Reyes’ 35 steals are tied with Juan Pierre and Carlos Gomez for third in the NL. Michael Bourn leads with 39, followed by Shane Victorino with 37.

• Former Mets farmhand Gil Velazquez was promoted Sept.14 -- two weeks after completing his minor league season with the Marlins -- because third baseman Donnie Murphy suffered a season-ending concussion.

• Team president Larry Beinfest is expected to be fired, USA Today reported.

Last series results

Mets won, 3-0, at Marlins Park, Aug. 31-Sept. 2 (AP game recaps)

Mets 3, Marlins 0: R.A. Dickey pitched a five-hit shutout and Ike Davis backed him with a homer. More

Mets 5, Marlins 3: Kelly Shoppach hit a go-ahead two-run single with two outs in the ninth inning that cleared the bases when center fielder Justin Ruggiano misplayed the ball. The Mets had been frustrated most of the night by Josh Johnson. He allowed a run and three hits in eight innings and held the Mets hitless until the fifth. Johnson departed leading 3-1. More

Mets 5, Marlins 1: Jason Bay hit his fifth career grand slam in the Mets' five-run first inning. More



Daniel Murphy
.298 8 43 62
HRL. Duda 19
RBIL. Duda 60
RD. Murphy 62
OPSL. Duda .864
WB. Colon 10
ERAJ. Niese 3.23
SOZ. Wheeler 125