Adam Conley faced the minimum through the first three innings, striking out five batters. I mentioned in this matchup's game thread, which can be seen right here, that the great Mets lefty Al Leiter got the chance to talk with Conley during this series, offering various forms of advice from being a lot more confident in his pitches to general mound demeanor. While any direct correlation regarding this talk to his early game success is nearly impossible to calculate, what was evident is that Conley knew his game plan and stuck to it - attack hitters inside.
From the batters box for the Marlins, things did not go as smoothly early on. Dee Gordon saw four pitches in two at bats, with the only bright spots being a Christian Yelich double that carried over Curtis Granderson's head and a sharp single through the left side by Miguel Rojas - as Adeiny Hechavarria got the day off.
Logan Verrett, starting in place of Jacob deGrom, was able to match Conley through the first three innings with two strikeouts and three clean innings of his own. Once an Orioles prospect, the young Verrett mixed all four of his higher-use pitches and was able to neutralize any threats the Marlins brought to the table.
The second time through the order for starter Adam Conley was a little bit different. Now that his 'pound-them-inside' game plan was a lot more apparent, allowing Curtis Granderson and David Wright both reached on singles on the inner half of the plate to start off the fourth inning. It was fantastic to see a young pitcher like Conley settle down, as he jumped off the mound after a well placed changeup to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, the game still tied at 0 - 0 and three Mets runners stranded behind him. Conley continued through the 5th and 6th innings with confidence - I believe because of his ability to get out of that 4th inning bases loaded jam. His final line was 6 IP, 5 baserunners (1BB), with a career-high 9 punch outs on 93 pitches.
Ichiro lead off the fourth inning with double lined into the right-center gap. Unfortunately, similar to other times this year the Marlins couldn't get their bats going as they stranded Ichiro at second base after a failed bunt attempt by the pitcher Adam Conley (please hit the cages before your next start Adam) and a poor decision to go to the other way by Christian Yelich that failed to move the runner over.
In the other dugout, Verrett received handshakes going into the bottom of the 6th inning, signaling the end of his outing. He finished with a line of 6 IP, 5 baserunners (2BB), and 6 strikeouts - fooling Marlins hitters all day and neutralizing the big bat of Giancarlo Stanton.
The 7th inning was highlighted by missed opportunities by the Marlins. Loading the bases off of former Brewer Jim Henderson was followed by a failure to convert, after two great strikeouts from Mets reliever Hansel Robles and a fly out by Dee Gordon off of lefty Jerry Blevins.
Kevin Plawecki forced the first crooked numbers up on the scoreboard after he took a 1-2 slider from Dustin McGowan under the glove of Miguel Rojas, pushing the score to 2-0 Mets.
In the bottom of the 8th, Terry Collins made the decision to bring in closer Jeurys Familia with Christian, a clear signal as to how important Collins thought it was for the team not to get swept at home this early in the season. While Familia surrendered one of his inherited runners on a Justin Bour opposite field knock.
The move ultimately paid off, netting the Mets closer the rare 5 out save.
Things to note...
- Adam Conley is projected to square off against the Phillies at Citizen's Bank park
Hero of the Game: Adam Conley (+0.326 WPA)
Goat of the Game: Dustin McGowan (-0.307 WPA)
Play of the Game: Kevin Plawecki singled to left field in the seventh inning, Wilmer Flores and Asdrubal Cabrera scored. Kevin Plawecki out.