On a team that traditionally kills the Mets, Christian Yelich is the ultimate Mets killer.
It started in the second inning when he robbed Jacob deGrom:
At the time, the Mets had Jose Urena on the ropes with two outs and the bases loaded. Between last night and tonight, the Mets have loaded the bases four times, and Kelly Johnson is the only one who has gotten a base hit.
In the following half inning, Yelich struck again hitting an RBI single off deGrom scoring Ichiro Suzuki giving the Marlins a 1-0 lead.
In this series, the Mets responded each time the Marlins took a lead, but not tonight. It would be the Marlins who struck next, and once again Yelich would be in the mix.
That would be it for deGrom. His final line was five innings, six hits, three runs, three earned, four walks, and six strikeouts. Considering he has struggled recently and the Mets skipping a start, it was hard to tell if he was rusty or if he’s just lost right now. Whatever it is, the Mets need him, and he hasn’t been able to help.
In the sixth, the Mets would narrow the gap with a Jay Bruce solo home to to make it 3-1.
Yelich would once again be a factor. So would Terry Collins.
Despite a well rested bullpen and newly acquired Fernando Salas available, Collins would push Josh Smoker to pitch a second inning. Smoker didn’t record an out in the seventh, and he gave up an opposite field home run to Yelich giving the Marlins a 6-1 lead. It was Yelich’s third opposite field home runs in as many days.
Credit should be given to Keith Hernandez here. During the Yelich at bat, he noted how well Yelich goes the other way, and he noted Smoker should pitch Yelich inside. Smoker didn’t.
Salas would then make his Mets debut pitching a scoreless inning.
The Mets would build a rally in the eighth. Curtis Granderson and Johnson would lead off the inning with opposite field singles off Nick Wittgren. Bruce followed suit hitting an opposite field RBI single.
Don Mattingly would bring in Kyle Barraclough. Wilmer Flores battled back from an 0-2 count to draw a walk loading the bases bringing up Michael Conforto. Barraclough threw him nothing but breaking pitches, and Conforto hit into the 1-2-3 double play. Despite going 2-4 with a double reaching on an error and making a nice play in the field, knowing Collins, Conforto won’t play in another game this year.
Yoenis Cespedes, who didn’t start the game due to the slick field conditions, would pinch hit for James Loney. He struck out to end the inning and the rally. Again, the Mets couldn’t score a run with the bases loaded.
To the Mets credit, they didn’t go down without a fight. Travis d’Arnaud led off the inning an infield single thanks in part to a lacksadasical Dee Gordon. Asdrubal Cabrera, who also sat due to field conditions, hit his first career pinch hit home run making it 6-4. The Mets would get no closer.
Fittingly, the last three batters would all fly out to left with Yelich getting all three put outs. On the night, Yelich was 3-4 with two runs, four RBI, one walk, a homer, and a sparkling defensive play in center. He was the lone Marlin who came to beat the Mets this series, and he finally accomplished his goal tonight.
With the loss, the Mets missed an opportunity to gain some ground on the idle Cardinals, and yes, for the delusional fan, the idle Nationals.