It was only a few days ago that the Marlins were tailspinning, riding a bumpy nine-game losing streak, while the New York Mets were whipping up on the New York Yankees — you know, the Bronx Bombers — for a four-game sweep.
The Marlins could do no right.
The Mets could do no wrong.
So much for that. With a come-from-behind, 11-6 win on Sunday, the Marlins brought the Mets back down to earth in capping their first series sweep of the season.
Yes, you read that right.
The Marlins, worst team in the majors, defeated the Mets for the third consecutive day and did so in a surprising manner, blowing an early 4-1 lead, recovering from a 6-4 deficit, and rallying for their most satisfying win of the season.
“I knew that this day was going to come,” manager Mike Redmond said.
Given how poorly the Marlins had played the first third of the season, drawing comparisons to baseball’s all-time worst teams, perhaps Redmond was just more optimistic than most.
But Sunday’s where-did-that-come-from performance gave him plenty of reason to smile.
Chris Coghlan continued his resurgence with a four-hit game. Ed Lucas, the 31-year-old rookie who spent the past 10 seasons in the minors, also came through with four hits. Marcell Ozuna drove in four runs by scorching a pair of line drives over outfielders’ heads.
Heck, the Marlins even connected on a home run in their home ballpark for the first time since May 16 when Greg Dobbs put the game away in the eighth with a three-run blast.
“It was just an awesome game,” Coghlan said.
Though the Marlins failed to pin a loss on Matt Harvey, the young Mets pitcher who brought a 5-0 mark into the game, they tagged him for four runs and knocked him out after the fifth inning.
“I’m sure everybody counted us out,” Coghlan said. “We did a great job jumping on him early. We got him out of the game early, and then we come back and won. It was fun.”
The season up to the Mets series had been anything but fun for the Marlins. But Sunday’s win gave them reason to celebrate before heading out on a six-game road trip that takes them to Philadelphia and New York.
After the Marlins opened a 4-1 lead on Harvey, the Mets chipped away against Marlins starter Kevin Slowey, who couldn’t keep the ball in the park. Lucas Duda hit a solo shot in the second, Omar Quintanilla added one of his own in the third, and the Mets tied it on Ike Davis’ two-run blast in the fourth.
“For me personally it’s been a tough three or four weeks now where I just haven’t been consistent,” Slowey said. “It’s lack of execution for me right now, and it’s something that needs to be addressed.”
But the Marlins took Slowey off the hook, starting in the sixth inning when Mets reliever Scott Rice walked three successive batters and Ozuna made him pay by ripping a two-run double to left that shot over Duda’s head. Coghlan drove in another run with a ground ball, and the Marlins had themselves a 7-6 lead.
After the Marlins added one more run in the seventh on a Lucas double, his fourth hit of the game, Dobbs put it out of reach in the eighth with his three-run homer off LaTroy Hawkins.
“I was really happy with the way we answered back,” Redmond said of the comeback. “Those last three games have been pretty fun. That’s a different atmosphere in there, and hopefully we can keep it going.”
It was the top half of the Marlins lineup that caused most of the damage. Coghlan, Lucas, Ozuna and Juan Pierre — four of the first five hitters in the lineup — combined for 13 of the team’s 16 hits, eight of the 11 runs, and eight of the 11 RBI.