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NYM 6, MIA 4; Sandy’s struggles and Nimmo’s dagger give Mets series opener

New York Mets v Miami Marlins Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images

Miami, FL—After a 4-3 road trip, the Miami Marlins came back home to face one of the best teams in the NL: the New York Mets. Friday marked the beginning of a series with a big impact on their NL Wild Card hopes.

In the top of the 1st inning, with two outs and men on 1st and 2nd, newly acquired Met Daniel Vogelbach hit an 84.4 MPH liner to center field. JJ Bleday dove and caught it to keep the Mets without a run.

In the bottom of the 1st inning, Chris Bassitt took the mound for the Mets and the offense didn’t back down. With 2 outs, Lewin Díaz drew a walk, Avisaíl García singled, and JJ Bleday singled as well. The bases were loaded with 2 outs and Miguel Rojas hit a bases-clearing double to give the Fish a 3-0 lead.

Usually, Sandy turns 3 runs of support into an easy win, but it got ugly very quickly. Mark Canha began the next inning with a double, then Canha advanced to 3rd on a fielder's choice, Tomás Nido walked, and Brandon Nimmo doubled to give the Mets their first run of the game.

Pitching Coach Mel Stottlemyre Jr. made a mound visit. Things wouldn't get any better in that inning though.

With men on 2nd and 3rd, former Marlin Starling Marte shot an RBI triple to tie this game up 3-3. This would be Marte’s fourth triple of the year. Something else to note was the high pitch count (52) that Sandy had going through just two innings of work.

Luckily, the Marlins offense responded in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Luke Williams walked, Jacob Stallings singled—hit-and-run moved Williams to third—and Joey Wendle grounded into a double play that drove in Luke Williams. Marlins lead 4-3.

Once again, the lead didn’t hold up. In the top of the 4th inning, Marte came up to the plate and hit a solo homer that went 413 ft at a 106.6 MPH exit velocity.

After 5 innings of work, Sandy Alcantara’s night came to a close. This was arguably his worst start of the season. The ace’s command and control just seemed off all game. He had more hits allowed than swinging strikes, and none of his individual pitches could be trusted.

He is expected to be back in action on Wednesday against the Cincinnati Reds.

After 6 innings of work, Mets starter Chris Bassitt was done for the night. He only struck out two batters. Just like Sandy, Bassitt had issues when it came to pitch control and command.

Bassitt made the sinker his primary pitch and mixed in sliders, 4-seam fastballs, curveballs, cutters and changeups. Bassitt also left this game with a no-decision.

Final Line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO, 103 NP, 3.83 ERA

With both starting pitchers out of the game and the game tied 4-4, something had to give. That was Steven Okert giving up a 2-run homer to Brandon Nimmo in the top of the 8th inning, a no-doubter the second the ball was hit (406 ft at 104.0 MPH). This was also Nimmo’s 10th homer of the year.

The bottom of the 9th came around and the best closer in baseball ran into the sound of trumpets in the minds of Mets fans. His name: Edwin Díaz. Díaz was one pitch away from an immaculate inning, striking out Nick Fortes, Jesús Sánchez, and Joey Wendle.

The Marlins are now 47-53 (4th in the NL East and 6th in the NL Wild Card race) and the Mets go up to 62-37 (1st in the NL East and 2nd-best record in the NL). The starter for Miami on Saturday has been chosen but not announced due to the need for a corresponding move. As for the Mets, Carlos “Cookie” Carrasco will be on the mound.