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Mets 5, Marlins 2: Sweepless in Miami

Continuing a season-long trend, the 2018 Marlins never put together a complete series.

MLB: New York Mets at Miami Marlins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that didn’t last long. The Marlins spent less than 24 hours ahead of the Mets in the NL East standings, dropping Sunday’s series finale 5-2 in an offensive struggle.

  • Dan Straily: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 7 K (106 pitches)
  • Steven Matz: 5.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 6 K (109 pitches)

The latest edition in the club’s collectible bobblehead series, featuring “superhero” Justin Bour, drew a larger-than-usual crowd. The slugger himself had a quiet performance, unfortunately (0-for-4, two strikeouts).

Working with an extra day of rest following his suspension, Straily matched a season-high in strikeouts and neared his highest pitch count as well. Problem was that he allowed too much hard contact (five balls in play with 100+ mph exit velocity). That doesn’t even include an RBI single by the opposing pitcher Matz.

Straily actually had his most success the third time through New York’s lineup, but already allowed three runs before reaching that point. The Marlins got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth inning, when the right-hander took matters into his own hands...and benefited from some sloppy Mets defense.

Still trailing 3-1 entering the eighth, the Marlins felt very much alive. Tayron Guerrero seemed to be on his way toward a scoreless inning until Lewis Brinson botched a high fly ball (charitably ruled a double). Asdrúbal Cabrera came around from first base to add an insurance run. Brinson’s reaction said it all.

Then, it was J.T. Realmuto’s turn for an uncharacteristic mistake. His overly aggressive pickoff attempt to check on Todd Frazier at third base deflected off Frazier’s arm into left field, making it 5-1. All of that with two outs.

The Fish would respond against the Mets bullpen. Cameron Maybin crushed a solo shot to the deepest part of the ballpark (Statcast projected it at 421 feet). That ended a career-long 79-game homerless streak for Maybin dating back to last season.

However, veteran Jeurys Familia pitched a clean final frame for the save.

Staying in Miami, the Marlins host the Tampa Bay Rays for a three-game set beginning Monday. Contrary to all preseason expectations, they come to town with a 42-41 record. Nathan Eovaldi and Wei-Yin Chen are your probables for the series opener.

July 1, 2018 win probability chart
Courtesy of FanGraphs

Attendance: 9,611

Please leave any Icthy picks in the comments below. Remember, we introduced a new grand prize for the contest this season!

Today's Lineups

Brandon Nimmo - CF Starlin Castro - 2B
Jose Bautista - RF Brian Anderson - RF
Asdrubal Cabrera - 2B J.T. Realmuto - C
Michael Conforto - LF Cameron Maybin - LF
Wilmer Flores - 1B Justin Bour - 1B
Todd Frazier - 3B Lewis Brinson - CF
Kevin Plawecki - C Miguel Rojas - SS
Amed Rosario - SS Yadiel Rivera - 3B
Steven Matz - LHP Dan Straily - RHP

7/6/18 Probable Starters

Name Team IP ERA FIP K/9 fWAR
Name Team IP ERA FIP K/9 fWAR
Dan Straily Marlins 59.1 4.70 5.87 7.89 -0.5
Gio González Nationals 90.2 3.77 3.92 8.54 1.1

Matchup Summary

As dominant as Pablo López has been all season in the minor leagues, talent evaluators remain skeptical of his ceiling being anything more than a back-end starter. But Saturday’s debut was awfully encouraging, with López rolling through the Mets lineup in between a pair of solo home runs. The Marlins rallied just in time to get him the win.

The arrivals of López and Sandy Alcántara put an exclamation point on the month of June. The team finished with a 14-14 record and a surprisingly productive offense.

There are some “good problems” on the horizon as Dan Straily returns from suspension to make the start and rehabbing veterans are close behind. Soon after, the focus turns to desirable trade chips who could further bolster the farm system.

Sunday’s objective, though, is to finally complete a series sweep. The Marlins haven’t been able to do that in 2018, but don’t have any excuses here as they host a legitimately inferior opponent.

Don Mattingly is going heavy on right-handed batters against Steven Matz and his big platoon splits. Straily should be very well rested. First pitch at 1:10pm.

Thread Question: You now have had a little taste of both Alcántara and López. Which of the two do you think starts more games for the Marlins this season?