If Terry Collins’s intention for suggesting that the Mets have given up on the season was to fire them up, then he has succeeded, as the Mets thrashed the Marlins Friday night. It didn’t hurt that the Mets were playing a team that is somehow far more hapless than they are.
The Mets exploded in the first. Daniel Murphy reached on an infield single with one out. With two outs he stole second. He would score when Ike Davis singled on a sharp grounder to second that was initially called an error. Scott Hairston then homered to make it 3-0. Lucas Duda reached on a pop fly that third baseman Gil Velazquez was calling for the entire way, but then suddenly backed off. The ball fell right in front of Justin Ruggiano. Duda was credited with a gift single (he should have been on second). He was stranded on base. Three runs in one game, let alone an inning, is an explosion for the Mets these days.
The Marlins awful defense continued in the second. Josh Thole hit a ball that Ruggiano misplayed for a double. Jonathon Niese hit a grounder to Jose Reyes. Thole was a dead duck at third, but Reyes’s throw bounced and Velazquez couldn’t handle it. Thole was safe on the throwing error. Fred Lewis hit a grounder back to the pitcher and Thole was caught in a rundown. The Marlins tried to botch the rundown with a couple of poor throws, but ultimately Thole was tagged out. Lewis and Niese advanced to second and third, respectively. A wild pitch brought Niese home to make it 4-0 while Lewis went to third. He scored on a Murphy sacrifice fly to extend the lead to 5-0.
But the Mets showed they are nearly the equal of the Marlins. Velazquez led off the inning with a single when Murphy and right fielder Mike Baxter (who replaced Duda in the game, perhaps because Duda did not bust it out of the box on his single) couldn’t decide who should catch a pop fly. He later came around to score to make it 5-1.
Murphy led off the fifth by striking out, but the ball got past the catcher and Murphy was safe at first. He was on second base with one out when Ike Davis hit a liner to Reyes. Murphy should have been doubled off of second to end the inning, but Reyes did not even attempt to run to the base to beat Murphy back. Hairston followed with a triple past a diving Ruggiano (who hurt his shoulder on the play) to score Murphy — 6-1 Mets.
Niese ran into trouble in the sixth. A single and a double scored a run to make it 6-2. A passed ball and a walk put runners on first and third with no outs. A two-out hit brought in another run to cut the lead to 6-3.
Niese went 6.1 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits. He struck out seven and walked one as he raised his record to 12-9.
Davis hit a monster shot into the upper deck in right to bring the score to 7-3. It was his 28th homer on the year.
Mets win 7-3 to snap their losing streak at five games.