Miami, FL—The Mets woke up in second place in the division for the first time since April and decided to make it the Marlins’ problem.
The Miami Marlins have traditionally played spoiler to the Mets in September, perhaps most notably when they eliminated the Metropolitans from playoff contention in their last game at Shea Stadium in 2007.
Saturday was simply not one of those games. The Marlins looked every bit of the bottom-tier team that they are, while the Mets looked like they were simply practicing for their October run.
Most of the damage came in the fourth inning. Marlins starting pitcher Pablo López gave up four of his five runs in that frame, and was then tagged with three more runs when reliever Andrew Nardi gave up a grand slam to Mark Canha later in the inning.
Francisco Lindor went 3-for-5 with a solo home run in front of the Mets-heavy crowd (announced attendance of 17,441).
López continued both his second-half rockiness and his general struggles against the Mets. In nine starts since the All-Star break, López has a 6.52 ERA. His career ERA against the Mets is 6.53. If you take out all of his nine starts against the Mets, his career ERA is 3.15.
Mets starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco is on the other end of the spectrum when he plays Miami. He has whatever the opposite of “South Beach Flu” is. In two starts at loanDepot Park, he has given up one earned run in 13 ⅓ IP. In four starts against Miami this year, he has a 2.15 ERA.
The lone two runs from the Marlins came on a Garrett Cooper line drive double in the first inning and a Jacob Stallings single to left field in the eighth. Cooper has driven in a run in three straight games for the first time since June 3-5.
The Atlanta Braves overtook the Mets by half a game with a win over the Seattle Mariners late Friday night. The Mets had given up their 10.5-game division lead, despite going 52-35 over their last 87 games. As of 10:20 p.m. on Saturday, the Mets and Braves share the NL East lead.
The Marlins and Mets will meet for the rubber match on Sunday at 1:40 p.m. Jesús Luzardo will take the mound against Taijuan Walker.