The Mets overcame a four-run deficit and forced extra innings, coming back and pulling out a 5-4 win over the Miami Marlins on Friday at Citi Field in New York. >> Box score
Five Takeaways from Tuesday's game
1) Winless since Sept. 2's 7-3 road victory against the Washington Nationals, RHP Noah Syndergaard (10-8, 4.30 ERA) struggled early against the Marlins but limited the damage, allowing four runs on 10 hits while striking out seven and walking none. Syndergaard's issues started in the top of the second inning, allowing Isan Diaz's leadoff home run to center field. The Marlins scratched another run across during the frame when Jon Berti beat out an infield single and Austin Dean scored from second, catching the Mets sleeping after 2B Robinson Cano's bare-handed grab on the ground ball to the right side went to 1B Pete Alonso. Diaz got Syndergaard again in the top of the third inning when his single past Cano scored Neil Walker, deepening the Mets' 3-0 hole. Likely the 27-year-old Syndergaard's last start of 2019, he would end his season just short of 200 strikeouts at 193.
2) Jorge Alfaro continued to tag the Mets after he busted Monday's 8-4 game open with his grand slam off LHP Steven Matz in the top of the sixth inning. In the top of the fifth inning against Syndergaard, Alfaro singled to center field, scoring Walker for the second time and putting the Mets down 4-0. The Marlins took advantage of Syndergaard and the Mets on the basepaths, stealing six bases -- highlighted by four swipes from Berti.
3) The bullpen, the biggest weakness for the Mets all year long, held its own against the Marlins despite the offense's lack of production. After Syndergaard, RHP Chris Mazza (5.74 ERA) set the tone with three strikeouts to offset two walks in 1.2 hitless shutout innings. With one out to get in the top of the seventh inning, manager Mickey Callaway's decision to bring in LHP Luis Avilan (5.12 ERA) paid off, getting Diaz out on a strikeout looking and stranding two runners on first and second. RHP Seth Lugo (2.77 ERA) stepped in for the top of the eighth inning and was perfect, fanning two along the way and bringing his total up to 102 for the season -- one short of his career-high 103 set in 2018. Only Milwaukee Brewers LHP Josh Hader (134) has more among NL relievers. LHP Justin Wilson (2.54 ERA) entered the ninth and closed the door, overcoming a leadoff walk by retiring the next three batters.
4) The Mets avoided a shutout in the bottom of the seventh inning when RF Michael Conforto's one-out, two-run home run to right-center field put broke the dry spell. LF J.D. Davis got the ball rolling with a leadoff double on a sharp line drive to right field. While the Mets were unable to captialize after SS Amed Rosario reached first on a throwing error by Walker -- PH Joe Panik, C Wilson Ramos and CF Brandon Nimmo went down in order -- Conforto's 32nd home run of the season continued a career-best mark, but he had more in the tank when an even bigger moment arrived two frames later. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Davis got on again with a leadoff single for Conforto, who hit another two-run home run -- his 33rd -- and tied the Mets at 4-4. He went 3 for 5 with four RBI while Davis and 3B Jeff McNeil each went 2 for 4, pacing the Mets at the plate.
5) The Mets avoided getting mathematically eliminated after the Washington Nationals (87-69) and Milwaukee Brewers (87-70) recorded respective wins over the Philadelphia Phillies (4-1) and Cincinnati Reds (4-2). Down four runs in the final three innings, the Mets stayed up and lived to fight another day as the second half of the four-game series continues. CF Brandon Nimmo, who went 0 for 5, stayed within himself during the bases-loaded plate appearance with one out in the bottom of the 11th and worked a walk-off walk to score Rosario. While the postseason chances remain slim, the Mets refused to roll over and let the season end as the team rallied around Davis and Conforto.
Five games remain, including the last two against Miami, starting Wednesday at 7:10 p.m. on SNY as the Mets send Jacob deGrom (10-8, 2.51 ERA) to the mound while the Marlins start RHP Robert Dugger (0-3, 4.45 ERA) from Citi Field in New York.