Flushing, NY—The Mets concluded their homestand on Thursday afternoon with an exciting, come from behind 3-2 victory over the Miami Marlins. The fast moving contest turned slow when former Mets closer Heath Bell entered the game in the bottom of the ninth. Bell, extremely wild, walked three batters to load the bases. Then Pinch hitter Justin Turner fouled off pitch after pitch in a marathon 13 pitch at bat that ended in a game tying base on balls.
With two out and the sacks still full, Nieuwenhuis singled to right to score the winning run for the Mets. The blown save and the loss were the third of each for Bell. The win concluded a three game sweep over the visiting Marlins; viewed by a very sparse crowd, announced as 20,660 under overcast skies. Rain fell before the game ended.
After the contest, Collins said of the Turner at bat that tied the game, “It was a tremendous at bat. Closers usually don’t throw 50 pitches and I thought that may have worn him [Bell] down.”
The two starting hurlers, Jonathon Niese and Ricky Nolasco, hooked up in an impressive pitching duel that lasted seven innings. In his seven frames on the mound, Niese yielded only four hits and did not walk a batter, but two of the four Miami base runners scored. Mets skipper Terry Collins remarked, “Jon pitched really well today and deserved a better fate.” Niese’s ERA this season dropped to 2.81.
The action had began quickly for the Mets as Kirk Nieuwenhuis, one of the .300 hitters in the Mets starting lineup, lifted a lead-off triple off the glove of rightfielder Giancarlo Stanton in the bottom of the first. The next batter, Rubén Tejada, drove Nieuwenhuis across the plate with a sacrifice fly to right.
After retiring the first six Miami batters he faced, Jonathon Neise surrendered a game tying home run to Gaby Sanchez in the third. Sanchez has the second highest lifetime batting average against the Mets, behind only Derek Jeter.
Omar Infante scored the first tiebreaking run on a double-play in the fifth. Infante, the only .300 hitter in the Marlins starting lineup, doubled to center to start the inning. He moved to third on a single to Stanton and scored on the next play.
Nolasco gave up only five hits and one base on balls in his seven inning stint. He was especially effective after giving up his only run in the first. In the final six innings he pitched, the righty faced 21 batters. Only one of the 21, Josh Thole in the second, advanced as far as second base.
Mets reliever Ramón Ramirez pitched two scoreless innings to earn the victory while former Yankee Randy Choate pitched a scoreless eighth for the Marlins.
Ike Davis ended a 0 for 11 hitless streak with a single that could not be reached by Miami shortstop José Reyes in the second. The cheers for the missed ball were the only ones heard by Reyes during the contest as he was roundly jeered as his name was announced prior to each at bat. Collins expressed sympathy for his former star player after the game ended, “José Reyes is a human being. He’s one of the nicest guys. If it [the booing] didn’t bother him, I would be shocked.”
Catcher Jose Thole extended his career high hitting streak to nine games with a single in the fourth. Thole has reached base in all 17 Mets games this year.
Pitcher Mike Pelfrey will be on the disabled list and is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery.
Interestingly, for the first game since September 1971, all nine Mets in the starting lineup were drafted by the Mets and never played for another organization. Collins pointed out that 10 home-grown Mets were on the field as the game began as José Reyes was at bat.
The Mets will now travel to Colorado for three games and then go to Houston for three before returning home on May 4.