Following a gut-wrenching 2-1 loss on Monday night, Miami got back in the win column behind a robust Braxton Garrett performance and some late-game heroics from Jake Burger on Tuesday night. It was a wild and wacky affair, with errors from both clubs leading directly to runs and bloop hits galore. Nevertheless, Miami walked off the Mets to a 4-3 win.
Brax worked himself into and out of trouble early on, allowing the first two Mets hitters to get to second and third with no outs in the first inning. He bounced back and got a strikeout and a couple of groundouts to end the inning without allowing a run. The first of the ground outs was a fielder’s choice hit to Garrett Hampson, who made an outstanding play to cut down the runner at the plate.
With two outs in the top of the third inning, some more wackiness occurred as Pete Alonso singled and went to second on a fielding error by Jon Berti, then went to third on a single by Francisco Lindor, and scored on a throwing error by Braxton Garrett on Lindor’s single. Lindor then stole third base and, with a 2-2 count of Francisco Alvarez, broke for the plate, causing Brax to panic and throw a quick pitch to the plate that looked like it should’ve been called a balk. The Mets dugout erupted, asking for a balk to be called and a run to be scored, but the umpires ruled that Braxton had properly disengaged the rubber before throwing home, and it was a “no pitch.”
The game remained tied until the bottom of the fifth inning when all hell broke loose. Jon Berti led off the inning with a double, and Nick Fortes got on base with his first of two hit-by-pitches of the game. Then Xavier Edwards laid down one of the prettiest bunts I’ve seen all year to move the runners up… Oh my goodness, Joey Lucchesi threw the ball to third, and there was nobody there! Jon Berti came home to score, Nick Fortes lost sight of the ball and got thrown out at third base, and Xavier Edwards trotted into second, wondering what on earth just happened.
Braxton Garrett pitched a scoreless sixth inning and left with a 2-1 lead heading to the bottom of the sixth inning. The Marlins scored another run in the bottom of the sixth, putting Brax in line for the win as A.J. Puk took the mound for the top of the seventh.
Final line for Brax: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 91/56 P/S.
A.J. Puk loaded the bases on three hits, one of which deflected off his back, in the seventh. He handed the ball to… Is that Andrew Nardi??? WITH CORNROWS!?!?
A different hairstyle, same stranded runners; he got a groundout to leave them loaded. He went on to pitch a scoreless eighth inning before giving way to Tanner Scott for the ninth inning. That’s when it all came crashing down.
Tanner gave up a double and a single to put runners on the corners, got two ground balls to put runners at second and third with two outs, then hung a slider to Brandon Nimmo that was sent to the gap in right-center to tie the game at three. A blown save for Tanner.
From the depths of despair to the height of excitement.
Nick Fortes continued to get absolutely destroyed physically as he took a pitch off his right hand to begin the bottom of the ninth and was in significant pain. Skip likened his season to the famous YouTube skit of a soccer player continuously getting hurt no matter where he went. (Look up “Scott Sterling” on YT if you don’t get that reference.) Xavier Edwards laid down another gorgeous bunt to move Nick to second base. The Mets intentionally walked Jorge Soler, and Skip sent Joey Wendle out to pinch run for Nick Fortes. Yuli Gurriel grounded out to move the runners to second and third, and then Jake Burger delivered the knockout blow. A base hit to shallow center sent the ballpark into a frenzy. Marlins win 4-3. Time of game: 2 hours, 45 minutes.
Noah’s Notes and What’s Next
- Luis Arraez injured himself pregame on Tuesday fielding a ground ball during infield drills. He suffered a sprained left ankle and is day-to-day.
- Bryan De La Cruz returned to Miami’s lineup after missing the team’s last three games with right ankle discomfort.
- The Marlins tied a franchise record by grounding into their 145nd double-play of the season.
- The Marlins claimed left-handed reliever Matt Moore off waivers from the Cleveland Guardians before Tuesday’s game. He’s expected to join the team on Wednesday.