Let the record show that on April 11, 2021...
- Marlins starting pitcher John Curtiss was removed from the game before throwing any pitches, while the Mets’ Taijuan Walker threw 100 pitches on only two days’ rest
- Elieser Hernandez took over Curtiss despite having been placed on the injured list earlier in the week
- Bryan De La Cruz and Alex Jackson each played for Miami, months before being officially traded to the organization
- Javier Báez, likewise months before being acquired by the Mets, capped off a five-run rally and scored the clinching run
In reality, due to inclement weather on the original game date, 98% of the action took place on August 31.
Jazz Chisholm Jr. shined brightly for the Marlins. He doubled in the top of the second inning and came around to score on Miguel Rojas’ single to give them an initial lead. Chisholm and Marlins third base coach Trey Hillman exploited Dom Smith’s inaccurate arm on the play.
De La Cruz followed with an RBI single of his own, then in the fifth, Jazz’s RBI double stretched the advantage to 3-0. The swaggy second baseman later added a third hit and a pair of stolen bases in the seventh.
Making his first “relief appearance” since 2019, Elieser Hernandez delivered a classic Elieser Hernandez performance. He held the Mets scoreless through four frames before surrendering a no-doubt solo shot to Jonathan Villar in the bottom of the fifth. Hernandez struggled with his location throughout that inning, loading the bases with one out before getting Smith to pop out and Pete Alonso to chase a slider for a strikeout.
Jesús Aguilar had a fulfilling afternoon, teasing the Mets for their now-defunct “thumbs down” celebration and delivering two critical insurance runs with a bloop single in the sixth. Those ribbies count toward his April total, by the way.
24 April RBI for Jesús Aguilar! Tied for third-most in franchise history behind only Giancarlo Stanton (31 in 2014) and Moises Alou (30 in 1997)— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) August 31, 2021
It wasn’t enough.
In the bottom of the ninth, Brandon Nimmo trimmed the deficit to 5-3 with a homer off of Anthony Bass. Bass now has an incomprehensible 15.00 earned run average when pitching in the ninth inning, compared to 2.84 in all other innings. Richard Bleier couldn’t shut the door, either.
Only then did Don Mattingly call upon his preferred closer, Dylan Floro. Floro allowed back-to-back groundball singles to Báez and Michael Conforto to bring the four-hour/four-month marathon to a stunning finish. Jorge Alfaro—inexplicably kept in left field rather than giving way to a defensive sub—misplayed Conforto’s hit enough for Báez to slide into home safely.
The Marlins’ arms combined to hold New York hitless with runners in scoring position until that disastrous final inning. Meanwhile their bats worked deep counts, averaging 4.63 pitches per plate appearance.
Prior to the game, rookie Zach Pop (right middle finger soreness) was activated from the injured list.
Edward Cabrera and Trevor Williams will take the mound for the seven-inning night game, which starts at 7:10 p.m.