Here we go again. With a thinner roster than they had in Friday’s win over Miami — we didn’t think that was possible — this team continued to fight their way through the fire.
It wasn’t enough today, but there’s plenty of good to take away from this one.
Rojas rattled off a few more roster moves ahead of the game, as well.
Left-hander Stephen Tarpley was activated off the COVID-19 IL (reports to Triple-A Syracuse). In order to clear a spot for him on the 40-man roster, outfielder Jake Hager was designated for assignment.
Both Yamamoto and Peraza would be available in reserve capacities on Saturday.
Nothing much was doing over the first few frames for New York. The Mets loaded the bases with two outs in the first and Jonathan Villar reached on a high-chopper leading off the third but Marlins right-hander Pablo Lopez prevailed in both scenarios.
Lopez was incredibly sharp on Saturday, holding the Mets scoreless through seven innings, striking out eight, and walking one.
Lucchesi held the Marlins at bay (get it?) early, working perfectly through the second with five strikeouts. Despite popular opinion, Joey Fuego can indeed be the effective pitcher everyone seems to think he can be.
Adjusting to a new — or in this case, versatile — role takes time. And it appears Lucchesi is finding his way in that regard.
When he’s locating his pitches, the southpaw will get outs. Dropping his sinker on the inside half to lefties and outside to right-handers opens things up for the churve on the opposite side of the plate.
Deception plays at this level. And Lucchesi’s got trickery by the bucketful.
Magnueris Sierra’s one-out single in the third was Miami’s first baserunner but Lucchesi erased him in short order with a first-pitch 1-6-3 inning-ending double play to keep his workload at the minimum through three.
Working through lineups a second time has been an issue for Lucchesi this season (1.462 OPS against in 15 plate appearances).
On Saturday, the man they call Fuego worked his way through the top of the Marlins’ order for the second time in the fourth and that was all for the lefty.
With just one hit and eight strikeouts to his credit (43 pitches, 34 strikes), Sean Reid-Foley was called upon to take over.
As noted, Lucchesi struggles once batters get a good look at him. Don’t tempt fate. Judging by his previous outings this season, getting four out of Fuego is like playing with house money. Cash-out and move on.
Reid-Foley, seemingly an ideal candidate to eat up a few frames coming off a perfect three-inning appearance in Atlanta on Monday, worked out of a second-and-third, one-out jam in the fifth, and put up a goose egg in the sixth.
Dickerson shot a shallow fly into left field, Brian Anderson tagged up and Maybin made a perfect throw home, but Tomas Nido had the ball knocked out of his glove (arguably by a rogue reach-in via Anderson), giving Miami a 1-0 lead.
Time to get it back.
Peraza, pinch-hitting for Loup, drew a leadoff walk in the eighth of Anthony Bass and Lindor added a base-on-balls a batter later, giving the Mets a juicy two-on-and-one-out situation.
Not today, Dick.
Home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez missed a huge third strike call, giving Smith another shot and Dom delivered a single through the right side, scoring Peraza and tying the game at one. Big knock.
Miguel Castro, coming off a game-tying homer allowed on Friday, put up a perfect eighth, benefitting from a sterling diving stop and from-the-backside toss via Dom Smith. Think he enjoys playing first base?
Yimi Garcia worked around a leadoff free pass to Tovar in the ninth and Drew Smith nearly worked around a two-out base hit in the ninth, but Garrett Cooper crushed a hanging slider onto the concourse in left-center, sending the Mets to a 3-1 defeat.
Can’t win them all. The fight in this team was on clear display, in any case. Keep it moving, boys.
Before we sign off, please indulge yourselves in Johneshwy Fargas and all his leather-flashing goodness to save an extra-base hit in the ninth. My word…
We’ll be back in the morning. Series finale at 1:10 PM EST on WPIX. The Mets haven’t named a starter as of publishing but keep it locked onto The Apple. We got you.
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