Flushing, NY- The Mets win ballgames in different ways and again Monday afternoon at Citi Field they handled the Marlins 6-0. It was their sixth series win of the season and 11th shutout tied the Yankees for most in the majors.
And they win without hitting the home run ball, 18th in the league, though, first in runs scored. Monday was no different as they scratched runs across the board and took three of four in their first meeting this season with the Marlins.
First place continues to look good, 45-24 in the NL East. Considering the circumstances of waiting for returns of ace Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer to the rotation, manager Buck Showalter made reference to the runs scored.
Part of the winning formula has been the production of two out hits, this season and a starting rotation that has effectively filled in as deGrom and Scherzer are close to returning. Scherzer is set for a Double-A rehab start in Binghamton Tuesday night and deGrom is throwing with an eventual return prior to the All-Star break.
But a first place standing in the NL East and best record in the National League is also attributed to the pitching. Monday, David Peterson had his second scoreless start of the season and a career second of at least 5.0 innings.
“We played baseball today,” Showalter said. “We cashed in on the opportunities we had and took what was there.”
Peterson (4-1) took advantage of the opportunity. He pitched and gave the Mets enough innings to earn the win and send the Mets to Houston and Miami on a good note. In fact, the Mets will see the Astros and Marlins the next two weeks, 16 games, in between series with the Texas Rangers and Cincinnati Reds. These are series they can win and widen a gap more in their division with the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies.
They will take it one game at a time and await the anticipated return of deGrom and Scherzer. Important also, as Showalter said, injuries play a factor during a long season and teams need seven or nine starters.
“He (Peterson) had all of his pitches available to him,” Showalter said. “You could tell he was in good, aggressive, attack mode. I would have loved to see him get through the sixth.”
And without the home run the Mets find a way to win. Here is a glance at the fourth inning that produced two runs and increased their lead after scoring in the first off Marlins starter Trevor Rogers.
J. D. Davis scores on a sacrifice fly from Eduardo Escobor
Jeff McNeil scored on a wild pitch that Rogers threw to Tomas Nido
Brandon Nimmo said, “It’s just guys stepping up and really taking advantage of their opportunities,” He also recorded his second three-hit game of the season.
But the win could be costly. McNeil extended his hitting streak to a season-high eight games with a double in the fourth, but was pulled from the game with right hamstring tightness. J.D. Davis, with more playing time at DH, was hit on the left hand in the eighth and remained in the game.
Showalter said the Mets are fortunate. Initial -rays for Davis were negative and McNeil is day-by-day. But losing one or both for an extended period will change a complexion of the lineup, more so with McNeil who has hit .458 during the hitting streak.
A win that has become the Mets way. But the Mets anticipate the return of deGrom and Scherzer.
NOTES: Escobar with a two-run single to center in the eighth extended the Mets lead and snapped a 0-for-23 skid…Marlins’ Miguel Rojas has his 12th multi-hit game of the season (2-for-4) and stole a base in the sixth inning….’
After his MLB debut Sunday and a grand slam home run, Marlins’ Jerar Encarnacion (Bayaguana, Dominican Republic) went hitless in four at bats.
Rich Mancuso is the senior writer @Latinosports.com. Twitter @Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso. “Sports With Rich ” and co-host Robert Rizzo live every Tuesday evening 10pm ET on SLG Network via YouTube also available on Spotify. Like, Comment, Subscribe: Rich Mancuso YouTube
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