Marlon Byrd's two-run walk-off single gave the Mets a dramatic and unexpected come-from-behind victory, as they defeated the Marlins 4-3 to win consecutive series to start the season for the first time since 2006.
The Good Stuff:
- Down 3-2 in the bottom of the 9th, Ruben Tejada got hit by a pitch from side-armed closer Steve Cishek. That brought up pinch-hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who laced a single in to left. Aware of Juan Pierre's weak arm, Tejada bolted for third, sliding in safe ahead of a throw that allowed Nieuwenhuis to take an extra base. That brought up Marlon Byrd, who hadn't started the game but had already struck out twice. But with the infield in, and on Cishek's second pitch, Byrd poked a groundball down the third base line to score both runs and made sure everyone knew that for the first time as a New York Met, the Byrd was the word. Justin Turner knew the word and made sure it was properly punctuated with the first whipped cream pie-in-the-face of the young season.
- The Mets were outhit 13-5 over the course of the game but were kept in it thanks to stellar relief work from the bullpen. Greg Burke, Josh Edgin, Scott Atchison, LaTroy Hawkins, and Scott Rice combined for 4.2 scoreless innings after starter Aaron Laffey made his exit in the 5th, with Rice picking up his first career W after finishing the 9th.
- With the hot-hitting John Buck getting the day off, Anthony Recker filled in nicely both behind the plate and at it, throwing out Donovan Solano on what could've been a passed ball and punching an RBI double to get the Mets on the board in the 5th.
- Daniel Murphy launched an absolute bomb to dead center in the 6th inning to get New York within one. It was his second home run of the young season; last year, when he hit just six, it took him until June 17 at Wrigley Field to get his second home run (his first two of the season came in that game).
- Aaron Laffey was less-than-stellar in his first start in a New York uniform, giving up 3 runs on 10 hits in 4.1 innings, walking one and striking 5 on 90 pitches.
- The Mets couldn't get anything going against highly-touted prospect Jose Fernandez, who made his major-league debut to the tune of 8 strikeouts on 80 pitches over 5 innings. It was the beginning of a breezy afternoon at the plate for the home team, who struck out 13 times overall.
Every time the Fish looked like they would pull away in this game, the Amazin's kept reeling them back in, and with every reel, they felt that maybe, just maybe, they could catch them for good. The usually paper-thin New York bullpen kept the game from getting out of the way all day, and Marlon Byrd's heroics secured the unlikely victory. And as the Mets go out on the road for the first time tomorrow, they take with them a winning record and hopes for a continued strong start.