Their legacy is secure. Saturday night’s scoreless marathon will ensure the 2018 Miami Marlins are remembered as the team that always kept battling, even when nobody wanted to watch them play. David Wright’s farewell was drawn out during a four-hour, 14-minute game until the Mets mercifully plated the first run to win 1-0.
- Trevor Richards: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K (104 pitches)
- Steven Matz: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K (97 pitches)
Most fans who showed up or tuned in did so because of Wright. They got four-plus innings of him: 0-for-1 with a walk and foul pop-up at the plate; involved in one routine play defensively at third base.
Wright exited in the top of the fifth to a thunderous ovation. The entire Marlins roster applauded from the visitor’s dugout. The game paused for several minutes as he saluted fans in every corner of Citi Field and hugged each of his teammates.
The ending to Wright’s career was equal parts heartwarming and heartbreaking, if that makes sense. He looked to be on a Hall of Fame trajectory if not for a series of debilitating injuries that are extremely uncommon to baseball players.
Aside from a few deep fly balls to the warning track, both Trevor Richards and Steven Matz cruised through the middle innings. Richards had his trademark changeup working and racked up eight strikeouts. He carries a 15 2⁄3-inning scoreless streak into the winter and should have the inside track at a 2019 rotation spot.
Congrats to Trevor Richards! He finishes tied with José Ureña for the Marlins team lead with 130 strikeouts.— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) September 30, 2018
From Division II Drury University to the independent Frontier League to affiliated baseball to a major league rotation spot, and with a long career still ahead of him. pic.twitter.com/2ZhBUIC9xT
Don Mattingly dusted off Adam Conley after a full week of rest to relieve Richards. He escaped a seventh-inning jam to preserve the 0-0 tie.
The lone baserunner to reach in the eighth, Amed Rosario, was erased on a caught stealing. Turns out that nobody has stolen a base against Conley in the past two seasons combined (153.1 IP). He’s the one left-hander who feels like a lock for the Opening Day roster.
Drew Steckenrider took over in the ninth after an equally long layoff (most recent appearance on Sept. 22). He owes Isaac Galloway a slice of New York pizza.
MR. GALLOWAY SENDS US TO THE 10TH. pic.twitter.com/gh9hAynX33— Miami Marlins (@Marlins) September 30, 2018
That means for the 15th time this season, the Fish needed extra innings to decide the outcome. Not ideal in this situation! The fans—many of whom entered the building hours before first pitch—had been encouraged to stick around for Wright’s post-game comments.
But the Mets ought to take full responsibility for the inconvenience. They had baserunners in every single inning from the fourth through 12th and couldn’t convert any of those opportunities.
Jarlin García took the loss. Doubtful to work a third straight game on Sunday, he’s heading into the offseason with serious concerns. García didn’t strike out any of the 21 batters he faced in September and the crisp stuff he showed as a reliever in 2017 never carried over to his sophomore season.
Who will we see in Game 161? Sandy Alcántara gets the start, while the Mets have Noah Syndergaard on the mound. J.T. Realmuto will try out a new role: honorary manager. His responsibilities will include bringing out the lineup card and making pitching changes (should Sandy not take it the distance on his own).
Special game time of 3:10 p.m. to coincide with all over major league games.