If any team couldn’t be blamed for looking ahead of an opponent on Sunday, it’s the injury-riddled Mets, who have survived the last week without their ace and close to three-quarters of their Opening Day lineup.
On Sunday in Miami, the Amazin’s — who are somehow still on top of the National League Eastern Division in spite of their recent misfortunes — fielded a lineup that resembled, and ultimately performed, like a fourth-place team playing out the September string. The result was hardly surprising; they got drubbed by the Marlins, 5-1.
Jordan Yamamoto got the call from Syracuse to make the spot start for the Mets, facing his former team for the first time. In his short career, Yamamoto found little fortune in LoanDepot Park, pitching to a 6.47 ERA in 40.1 innings thrown for the Fish.
But Yamamoto’s hope of finding a measure of success and revenge in Miami was quickly dashed in the bottom of the second. He loaded the bases with nobody out, but after a clutch strikeout to the Marlins’ eight hitter, centerfielder Magneuris Sierra, Yamamoto surrendered a weak infield hit to opposing pitcher Cody Poteet that scored the game’s first run.
After giving up an RBI single to Jazz Chisholm Jr., Yamamoto appeared to be on his way to limiting the damage when he got Mel Rojas Jr. to hit a ground ball to first baseman Dominic Smith that seemed destined for an inning-ending double play. But after getting the out at second, shortstop Francisco Lindor threw the ball into the camera well on the first base side — a two-base error that plated two more runs for the Marlins.
Miami first baseman Jesus Aguilar drove in the fifth run of the inning for the Fish with a single. Yamamoto shouted into his glove in visible disgust after striking out the next batter, Corey Dickerson, to retire the side.
Yamamoto kept the Marlins off the board the next two innings before giving way to Robert Gsellman; both Gsellman and reliever Yennsy Diaz kept Miami off the scoreboard the rest of the way with four innings of scoreless relief.
Meanwhile, the Marlins’ young right hander, Poteet, became the latest Miami rookie to stymie the Mets lineup. He went seven innings for the Fish, striking out just three and retiring the last 15 consecutive batters he faced.
New York got their lone run in the seventh when infielder Wilfredo Tovar got a two-out single that scored centerfielder Johneshwy Fabras, who had led off the inning with a double.
The Mets’ biggest bats in Sunday’s starting nine failed to produce yet again. Lindor went 0-for-4, while Smith went 1-4 with a ninth-inning single.
Sunday’s loss brought an end to a dismal 3-6 road trip for the Mets, but there’s hope on the horizon — along with a plethora of players working their way back from injury.
Jacob deGrom is scheduled to return for the Mets on Tuesday night at Citi Field against the Colorado Rockies. JD Davis, though held out of his latest rehab start for Syracuse on Sunday due to a stiff neck, is also recovering from his earlier hand injury.
Outfielder Kevin Pillar, who was struck in the face with a thrown pitch in Atlanta on May 17, had surgery and is now beginning light activity toward returning to the field.
Reliever Seth Lugo continues to make progress with Syracuse en route to his anticipated June return, and on Sunday, Mets skipper Luis Rojas announced that starter Noah Syndergaard is on track for six rehab starts as he prepares for a return in July.
For now, the grind goes on for the Mets Monday night at home against the Rockies, the first of a four-game series, with first pitch at 7:10 p.m. ET.