Both the Marlins and the Mets open the four-game set at Marlins Park with nine wins under their belts.
The Mets also have 14 losses, to only six for the Miami Marlins. The discrepancy in the loss column puts the Marlins four games in front of the Mets in the “pennant race,” with a quarter of the season in the books for Miami, closer to half for New York.
Jordan Yamamoto starts, with 7 1/3 innings in the bank. He’s struck out nine in his limited action, but has also surrendered 13 hits, two walks, eight earned runs, and four homers. The Marlins seem to have Yamamoto’s opponent’s number. In 18 games against Miami, including four starts, Robert Gsellman has allowed a 1.485 WHIP over 33 2/3 innings, along with an opposing OPS of .856 and a 4.13 ERA.
Yamamoto started out questionably, issuing an eight-pitch walk to Mets leadoff man Brandon Nimmo. He was erased a second later on a Jeff McNeil 4-6-3 double play. Yamamoto completed the recovery by striking out J.D. Davis on a six-pitch at bat.
In the bottom of the inning, Jonathan Villar got to Gsellman quickly, drilling a 2-1 pitch into right for a single. After a Jesus Aguilar strikeout, Matt Joyce doubled Villar home for his first Marlins RBI. Brian Anderson followed by drawing an eight-pitch walk, prompting a visit to the mound by the Mets coaching staff. Anderson has now reached base in all 16 Marlins games this season.
With runners on first and second, Lewin Diaz flew out after an eight-pitch at bat, bringing up Francisco Cervelli, who walked on four pitches to juice the bags. The Marlins couldn’t cash in on their fortunes more than that one run, after Eddy Alvarez hit the first pitch to the right side and a 3-1 putout. In total, the Marlins got Gsellman to throw 32 pitches, more than halfway to his pitch count of 50.
Yamamoto issued another leadoff walk to begin the second, to Michael Conforto. After starting Robinson Cano’s plate appearance with a ball, Mel Stottlemyre and Cervelli visited Yamamoto on the mound to try and calm him down. Cano dropped the next pitch into short left field to put runners on first and second with nobody out. Pete Alonso drew yet another walk against Yamamoto to load the bases.
Dominic Smith gave Yamamoto no quarter, lining the first pitch of the at bat over Jon Berti‘s head for a two-run double and a 2-1 Mets lead. With two in scoring position and nobody out, Wilson Ramos grounded one to Brian Anderson, who instead of going to first for a sure thing, gambled and nailed Alonso trying to score.
Amed Rosario followed Ramos by hitting it over Berti’s head for another double, scoring Smith. Marlins manager Don Mattingly then replaced Yamamoto with Sterling Sharp, who has yet to allow a run in his 2 2/3 inning major league career.
Sharp induced Nimmo to ground to the right side, where Aguilar gobbled it up, stared the runner on third into place, then stepped on the bag for out number two. McNeil was then caught looking on five pitches, and Sharp proved true to his surname in stranding the two in scoring position.