It was a battle of phenoms in the Mets-Marlins game in Miami Monday night — Matt Harvey vs. Jose Fernandez. Neither had their best stuff, and they were both showered and shaved by the time this long, boring game was over, when the Mets blew leads in the ninth and 15th innings to drop a listless, five hour-plus game.
The Marlins got on the board first — two singles and a double play produced a run in the third inning.
John Buck got that run back in the top of the fourth, and then some — following a Lucas Duda walk, Buck he hit a long home run off of that atrocious sculpture beyond the center field wall to make it a 2-1 game. Buck now has nine home runs, tying the Mets record for home runs in April, and 25 RBIs, one shy of the Mets April record.
Fernandez was pulled from the game after four innings and 81 pitches. He did not look as good as he did in his debut against the Mets, but he’s got great stuff and has a bright future.
Matt Harvey lasted just 5.1 innings, throwing a career high 121 pitches. He allowed one run on seven hits, striking out seven and walking two. A clearly tired Harvey left with runners on first and second in the sixth, giving way to Robert Carson. He got Rob Brantly to fly out for the second out. Then Scott Atchison came in and got Nick Green on a fly ball to bail out Harvey.
Latroy Hawkins and Brandon Lyon pitched scoreless seventh and eighth innings, respectively.
Bobby Parnell came on in the ninth for just his fourth save opportunity of the season. Justin Ruggiano greeted him with a leadoff double to right. Brantly then hit a fly ball to center. Cowgill, just brought in for defensive purposes, was fooled on the ball, stepping back before dashing in. The ball landed in front of him to put runners on first and third. Green then hit a fly ball to right. It wasn’t deep, but Ruggiano was able to tag up to tie the score at two. A double play on the next pitch ended the inning, and we were on to extras.
Mike Baxter led off the 10th with a single up the middle. Justin Turner sacrificed him to second and Daniel Murphy grounded out to move Baxter to third. Duda was intentionally walked so righty closer Steve Cishek could face Buck. It worked — Buck struck out to strand Baxter.
Parnell was back out there for the bottom of the tenth. He hit Juan Pierre on the elbow to lead off the inning. Pierre hardly tried to get out of the way. Donovan Solano couldn’t sacrifice him over and ended up hitting a grounder to third. Pierre was out at second but Murphy was slow with the throw to first and Solano beat it. Giancarlo Stanton hit a dribbler in front of the plate. Buck threw him out for the second out. Stanton went down after crossing the base and left the game with what appeared to be a pulled hamstring. Placido Polanco lined to to right to end the inning.
The Marlins had the potential winning run on third with two outs in the 12th but Jeurys Familia was able to pitch out of it.
David Wright, who did not start because of a stiff neck, pinch hit in the 14th and struck out.
With no relievers left, Shaun Marcum entered the game in the bottom of the 14th. Green and Chris Valaika both singled to put runners 0n first and second. Juan Pierre flew out. Jon Rauch sacrificed to advance the runners for the second out. Marcum struck out Miguel Olivo to end the threat.
In the 15th, Duda roped a double to right with one out. Buck grounded out and the struggling Ike Davis was intentionally walked to face Ruben Tejada. Both runners advanced on what turned out to be a crucial wild pitch — crucial because Tejada then came through with an infield single to score Duda to make it 3-2. It was the Mets first hit with a runner in scoring position in 17 at bats.
Marcum allowed a single to Greg Dobbs and walked Ruggiano to put runners on first and second with one out in the bottom of the 15th. Brantly singled to right to score Dobbs to tie the game at 3-3. Ruggiano landed on third. Green then hit a sacrifice fly to win the game for the Marlins, 4-3.
This dull epic Mets-Marlins game featuring incompetent offense (a combined three-for-31 with runners in scoring position) but some pretty good bullpen work game lasted five and a half hours.