October 26, 2018 at 8:13 am #17029
The Marlins overtook the Mets on the scoreboard and in the standings Saturday.
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Brian Anderson hit a two-run homer off Jacob deGrom and the Marlins climbed out of last place in the NL East by rallying past the reeling Mets, 5-2.
”We’re not in last place? Awesome,” said J.T. Riddle, whose scratch RBI single put Miami ahead to stay.
The Mets (32-48) lost for the 10th time in 11 games and fell into last place for the first time this year. They finished 5-21 this month for the worst June in franchise history, and they’ve plummeted from 10 games over .500 to 15 under at an earlier date than any team in major league history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
”It was not the goal when we came in,” deGrom said. ”This is the complete opposite. Nobody’s happy with that.”
Meanwhile, the rebuilding Marlins (34-50) went 14-14 in June, their best month this season.
They seem to get better as they get younger. Pablo Lopez (1-0) allowed two runs in six innings in his major league debut less than 24 hours after Sandy Alcantara won his first big league start Friday. Both are 22.
The last time two pitchers on the same National League team earned wins in their first career starts in consecutive days was in 1967 when Gary Nolan and Mel Queen did so for the Reds, according to Stats LLC.
DeGrom took a 2-0 lead into the sixth, but Anderson’s fifth homer tied it. Riddle beat out a dribbler to the first baseman for a two-out RBI hit that put Miami ahead.
”I thought that swinging bunt was foul,” deGrom said. ”I should have gone over there and got it.”
Another fielding lapse cost the Mets in the seventh. J.T. Realmuto hit a two-run double after an error by shortstop Amed Rosario prolonged the inning.
Drew Steckenrider pitched a perfect eighth, and Kyle Barraclough earned his eighth save with a 1-2-3 ninth. Steckenrider has thrown 15 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings, and Barraclough has thrown 20 2/3 – two more reasons the Marlins are on the rise.
”We’re gaining some type of identity as to what kind of games we need to play to win,” manager Don Mattingly said. ”We’re not going to outslug anybody. We’re going to have to pitch and play defense and scratch for runs.”
The Mets’ runs came on solo homers against Lopez. Jose Bautista hit his fifth of the year, his third with the Mets. Todd Frazier added his ninth.
DeGrom (5-4), who departed after six innings trailing 3-2, fell to 1-4 in his past five starts despite allowing only 15 runs. His ERA, lowest in the majors coming into the game, rose to 1.84.
”I am definitely frustrated,” he said. ”I’m tired of losing.”
Lopez was the 17th rookie and 12th rookie pitcher used by Marlins, both most in the majors.
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Four pitchers have made their first major league start against New York this year, and they’ve combined to go 3-0 with an ERA of 1.57. But at the moment, the Mets are having trouble beating anybody.
”It’s difficult right now,” first-year manager Mickey Callaway said. ”I know the players are feeling it. I know the fans are feeling.”
Mets pinch-hitter Jose Reyes appeared not to run out a grounder to short in the seventh.
”It looked like that to us, too,” Callaway said. ”I went to talk to Rey-Rey, and he said he felt something out of the box and he was scared he was going to pull something. He kind of pulled up halfway. I thought that maybe he was frustrated, but he felt something coming out of the box.”
Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard (finger) and LHP Jason Vargas (calf) are expected to start against each other in a simulated game next week at Single-A Port St. Lucie.
Mets LHP Steven Matz (3-5, 3.69), who has thrown 13 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings at Marlins Park, is scheduled to start the series finale Sunday against RHP Dan Straily (3-3, 4.82).
Doug Pederson called for a pass to his quarterback on fourth down, went for 2-point conversions when the chart said otherwise and stuck with the same aggressive approach in the biggest game of his coaching career.
The Philadelphia Eagles are Super Bowl champions because they weren’t intimidated and wouldn’t back down just like their coach.
”We just wanted to stay aggressive,” Pederson said. ”My mentality coming into the game was that I was going to stay aggressive with Nick (Foles), and allow his playmakers to make plays.
They made one big play after another in a 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday night to win the franchise’s first NFL title since 1960.
Pederson was criticized for being too aggressive in his rookie season when the Eagles were 7-9. He didn’t change his philosophy this year, but his players executed the plays.
On fourth down from the 1 with 34 seconds left in the first half, running back Corey Clement took a direct snap and pitched to tight end Trey Burton, who threw to Foles for a touchdown that gave Philadelphia a 22-12 lead.
”A quarterback going out on a route? I was pumped to go over there and talk to Doug and we agreed to do it,” Foles said. ”We worked on it for a long time and executed perfectly. We’ve been working on it for a month.”
Burton was recruited as a quarterback out of high school by Florida. He was confident he’d make the right throw and Foles would make the catch on a play called ”Philly Special.”
”Coach has some guts,” Burton said. ”People don’t realize how great of an athlete Nick is. I would’ve thrown to him even if he was covered. He would’ve gone up to get it.”
Other teams who failed to topple New England after taking leads in playoff games were too conservative. Atlanta blew a 28-3 lead in last year’s Super Bowl and Jacksonville had a 20-10 fourth-quarter lead in the AFC championship game.
But the Eagles never let up the same way they went after Minnesota in a 38-7 win in the NFC title game two weeks ago.
”We wanted to be aggressive,” running back Jay Ajayi said. ”We understood that this is a team that doesn’t quit, that plays four quarters and we were going to have to be aggressive all game long. We showed that. We wanted to set the tone early and we wanted to keep our foot on the gas.”
Pederson’s aggressive nature almost backfired when he went for a 2-point conversion early in the second quarter because Jake Elliott had missed an extra point on the team’s first score. When it failed, the Eagles led 15-3 and that loomed large when they fell behind 33-32 in the fourth quarter.
But Pederson didn’t hesitate going for fourth-and-1 from the Eagles 45 with 5:39 left in the game and the team trailing by one point. Foles tossed a 2-yard pass to Zach Ertz and later connected with Ertz on the go-ahead TD pass .
”Doug has been aggressive since he came here,” Ertz said. ”That’s part of our identity. It’s a big reason we’re here and now we’re champions.”
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