For two games Tuesday, the New York Mets provided glimpses at the form that made them a first-place team for most of the season.
The Mets will look to extend a rare winning streak Wednesday night, when they are slated to host the Miami Marlins in the third game of a four-game series between the National League East rivals.
Taijuan Walker (7-11, 4.57 ERA) is scheduled to pitch for the Mets against Elieser Hernandez (1-3, 4.24) in a battle of right-handers.
The Mets swept a doubleheader from the Marlins Tuesday, when Francisco Lindor homered and collected three RBIs in a 5-2 win in the opener and James McCann delivered the walk-off fielder’s choice in the ninth inning of a 2-1 victory in the nightcap.
The doubleheader featured plenty of impressive individual performances by the Mets (75-82), who were in first place for 114 days but are out of playoff contention and ensured of a losing season after going 19-34 since Aug. 1.
Lindor’s big game in the opener backed Marcus Stroman, who stole his first career base in the second and beat Jazz Chisholm Jr. to the bag to complete a 3-1 putout in the fifth. Catcher Tomas Nido threw out two baserunners, including Chisholm to cap an inning-ending double play in the third.
In the eighth inning of the nightcap, Jeurys Familia picked off automatic runner Magneuris Sierra before Pete Alonso — whose diving stop of Chisholm’s grounder set up the Stroman putout in the first game — made a similar play to rob Miguel Rojas of a leadoff hit.
“I love watching the guys play the way they did tonight,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said.
Don Mattingly wasn’t quite as enthused about the Marlins (64-93), who committed three errors in the opener before careless play may have cost them an opportunity to win the nightcap.
After Sierra’s miscue in the eighth, Miami left the go-ahead run at third in the top of the ninth before the Mets walked it off when James McCann’s dribbler in front of the mound glanced off the glove of pitcher Anthony Bass, who was trying to shovel the ball towards home to nab the speedy Javier Baez.
“This was a day (when) we made too many mistakes — we’re just not playing good baseball,” Mattingly said after the Marlins extended their losing streak to seven games and fell to 2-9 in their last 11 games.
Walker’s second half woes continued in his most recent start Sept. 22, when he took the loss after giving up six runs over two innings as the Mets fell to the Boston Red Sox, 12-5. Since finishing the first half with a 2.66 ERA and appearing in the All-Star Game, Walker is 0-8 with a 7.74 ERA in 12 official starts. He also gave up three runs in 4 2/3 innings of relief Aug. 31 in the resumption of a game against the Marlins suspended by rain on Apr. 11.
Hernandez took the defeat Sept. 22, when he allowed four runs over four innings in the Marlins’ 7-5 loss to the Washington Nationals. He was also the official starter in the game completed Aug. 31, when he took the mound for the bottom of the first and allowed one run in five innings.
Walker is 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in four games (three starts) against the Marlins. Hernandez is 0-1 with a 2.57 ERA in eight games (three starts) against the Mets.
–Field Level Media