The Mets skipped a Matt Harvey start for the second time this season Monday night at Citi Field, and for the second time, they didn't skip a beat. Harvey's personal pitching caddie Logan Verrett pitched five innings of one-run ball, and David Wright's two-out double in the seventh drove in the winning run in a 4-3 victory over the Miami Marlins, the eighth consecutive victory for the first-place Mets, who remained 91/2 games ahead of the Nationals in the NL East.
The Mets trailed 3-1 before Travis d'Arnaud's two-run homer in the sixth tied the score. It was the 16th comeback win for the Mets since Aug. 1, the most in the majors in that span. Jeurys Familia got the save, his 41st.
Describing the impact of Wright's return to the lineup and his production, manager Terry Collins said: "It's huge, not only for us but for David. If you talked to David Wright in May, the frustration was in his voice, not knowing if his injury was going to keep him from playing this year. He's such a great leader. It's nice to have him back."
In his previous start Aug. 23 at Coors Field in Denver, which also was in place of Harvey, Verrett pitched eight innings and allowed only one run in the notorious hitter-friendly park.
Verrett was even better than could have been expected after being optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas and then being recalled one week ago. He retired the first nine batters he faced and was staked to a 1-0 lead when Yoenis Cespedes continued his torrid hitting with a two-out bomb to the second deck in leftfield in the third inning.
The lead could have been 2-0 if not for an overaggressive baserunning blunder by Juan Lagares. The centerfielder led off the inning with an infield single, but when Wright drove a fly ball to deep center, Lagares tried tagging up and running to second. The throw from Christian Yelich clearly beat Lagares to complete an odd double play. So the bases were empty when Cespedes delivered his 17th home run as a Met.
Verrett's no-hit bid ended when Dee Gordon led off the fourth with an infield single. Shortstop Wilmer Flores ranged near second to make the pickup, but his off-balance throw bounced in the dirt. Yelich then grounded into a double play, and Verrett got out of the inning having faced the minimum number of batters.
The fifth was a different story for Verrett, who yielded singles to Derek Dietrich and J.T. Realmuto with one out. Ichiro Suzuki walked to load the bases, and Dietrich scored the tying run on a groundout by Miguel Rojas. Verrett retired Miami starter Justin Nicolino, but he was lifted after five innings and only 63 pitches.
Collins called on Sean Gilmartin in the sixth. He gave up an infield single to Gordon, who stole second with one out. Martin Prado was walked intentionally before Justin Bour was retired on a fly ball. But Gilmartin gave up RBI singles to Dietrich and Realmuto for a 3-1 Marlins lead.
But comebacks have become standard procedure for the Mets. In the bottom of the sixth, Juan Uribe laced a two-out double down the leftfield line, and d'Arnaud crushed a 1-and-1 fastball over the fence in center to tie the score at 3. One inning later, the Mets regained the lead when Wright's ground-rule double scored Eric Young Jr., who was inserted as a pinch runner after Flores walked.