By Paul DiSclafani:
Mets (31-24) take two out of three against the Marlins (30-27) this weekend, but after a 1-0 domination at the hands of Jose Fernandez in the finale and losing more players to injuries, they probably can’t wait to get out of Miami.
The weekend started with the news that Captain David Wright will miss significant time with a herniated disk in his neck, but that didn’t stop them from winning on Friday night behind Noah Syndergaard, 6-2. Then on Saturday, Yoenis Cespedes came up lame with a sore hip before the game and later on, they lost CF-Juan Lagares after he made a game saving diving grab in the sixth. The Mets were able to score four times in the last two innings to win the game, 6-4.
Matt Harvey matched up with Marlins Ace Fernandez, who had won seven straight starts, and pitched well again, allowing just one run in his seven innings without walking a batter. Although he allowed just four hits in the game, two of them came in fifth when the Marlins scored the only run of the game. After giving up five runs against the Nationals on 5/24, Harvey has rebounded with two straight solid starts, allowing just one earned run and six hits over 14 innings.
After getting Justin Bour to pop out to third to start the inning, Harvey was ahead 0-2 against David Dietrich when he lined a 2-2 pitch off the wall in right for a double, just the third hit for the Marlins. But after falling behind 2-0 to JT Realmuto, the Miami catcher powered a base hit to center that scored Dietrich.
Meanwhile, Fernandez seemed like he was just toying with the Mets depleted lineup. No Cespedes, no Wright, no Duda, not even Lagares. Fernandez tied a career high with 14 strikeouts in seven shutout innings, holding the Mets to just four hits. Mets got just one runner to second – Curtiis Granderson, who doubled in the first; and one runner to third – back to back singles from Michael Conforto and James Loney in the seventh, but both scoring opportunities came with two outs, and both were extinguished by strikeouts.
Fernandez (W, 9-2) has an amazing 23-1 record at Marlins Park with a 1.53 ERA in 33 career starts. Harvey posted his second consecutive solid start, but this time was just outmatched. Harvey dropped to 4-8 on the season.
“It was one of those game where you have a great pitching match-up head to head, and that’s exactly what you would expect — a 1-0 game,” Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Now the Mets move onto Pittsburgh, where Neil Walker will make his return as an opposing player for the first time as the Mets face Jonathan Niese, who was traded by the Mets for Walker in the off-season. Niese (5-2, 4.36) will face Steven Matz (7-1, 2.60).
LAGARES INJURY UPDATE:
Lagares was diagnosed with a sprained thumb on Sunday in Miami, but will travel with the Mets to Pittsburgh before heading to New York for more extensive tests with Mets team doctors. Lagares still had some swelling after making a diving catch on Saturday that saved two runs. “It just feels like last night – a little bit of swelling”, Lagares said. No Pain.”
POSITIVES: Cespedes was able to pinch hit and flied out … New 1B James Loney had a very productive series in Miami, going 6-13 with a HR and 3 RBI. Since Lucas Duda went down, the Mets have gotten only 7 hits from that position before Loney took over … Michael Conforto had one of the hits against Fernandez and drove in two runs on Saturday … Alejandro De Aza drove in two runs on Saturday and had another hit on Sunday … Rene Rivera caught Ichiro Suzuki stealing and has gunned down six of eight since joining the Mets.
NEGATIVES: Granderson and Walker struck out three times. Every regular in the lineup struck out except for Rene Rivera, but he was 0-3 …