Kelly Shoppach's 2-out single plus an error capped a 4-run 9th and Frank Francisco nailed down the save for the Mets, who strung together a thrilling comeback over the Marlins 5-3.
The Good Stuff:
- Down 3-1 in the 9th, the Mets caught a break when Ozzie Guillen pulled Josh Johnson, who had limited his opposition to 3 hits over 8 innings, in favor of closer Steve Cishek. Daniel Murphy got things going with a leadoff single, and David Wright followed with one of his own. After Ike Davis struck out, Lucas Duda chopped a groundball through the middle to score Murph and send Wright to third. Mike Baxter popped out and Andres Torres drew a full-count walk, bringing up Kelly Shoppach, who had replaced Josh Thole on a double switch an inning earlier. Right decision: Shoppach grounded a base hit to center that was mishandled by Justin Ruggiano; when the dust had settled all three runs scored and Shoppach was on third with 2 RBIs, another clutch hit, and a strengthened case for a return trip to Flushing in 2013.
- After Cishek did his best Heath Bell impression, Frank Francisco came in looking to shut the door on the Marlins and his doubts. The last time he was down here, Frank-Frank blew 2 saves, lost his temper, and nearly lost his job. But he put those days behind him and sat Miami down 1-2-3, striking out John Buck to end the game and send the Met fans within the Marlins Park crowd of 26,042 home happy.
- Jeremy Hefner pitched well enough to win, tossing 6 innings of 2-run, 6-hit ball, but was unfortunately let down by his offense.
- Josh Thole pounded out his first hit in half a month, a single in the 8th to go along with his RBI groundout in the 5th.
- See Innings 1-8 when Josh Johnson allowed just 5 baserunners all together.
- Ramon Ramirez picked up the W but allowed an insurance run to the Marlins in the 8th.
The Mets were dead in the water but went completely Jaws on the fish tonight, staring off September in thrilling fashion. Henfer continues to impress on the mound, Shoppach makes that waiver-wire trade in August seem better and better, Frank Francisco has one of his better days to close it out. The result was New York's 6th win in 7 games and third straight series. We'll take it.