All Don Mattingly wanted was for the Marlins just to "hang in there" as long as they could against Jacob deGrom.
Mattingly got his wish.
The Marlins hung in, and then they won.
Trailing 1-0 entering the ninth, the Marlins came up with two runs off Mets closer Jeurys Familia to pull off the comeback win and take the series. It was the first time since the 2016 season that the Marlins won a game in the ninth in which they trailed entering the final inning.
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"A testament to us finishing the game hard," said Marlins starter Dan Straily.
J.T. Realmuto and Starlin Castro delivered RBI hits off Familia in the ninth, and Brad Ziegler closed it out for his ninth save.
With deGrom making easy work of the Marlins, it was only after he came out that their offense finally came to life.
The Marlins had runners in scoring position in each of the three middle innings but came up empty every time. That came as no major surprise given their own shortcomings at the plate. But having deGrom on the mound made it doubly difficult. The Mets ace entered Wednesday on an 0-for-21 streak when facing hitters with runners in scoring position.
Save for one pitch, Straily held his own with deGrom as the two battled zero for zero for six innings. Straily's only mistake was a solo homer he gave up to Brandon Nimmo in the fifth.
"Pitcher’s duels, they’re really fun to be in," Straily said. "You just can’t be the first one to blink, the first one to make a mistake, and I did."
But Realmuto helped save a run by throwing out Amed Rosario attempting to steal second right before Nimmo put one out.
"It was a great throw and a great tag," Straily said. "That was just a great throw by J.T."
Straily came out after the sixth while deGrom made it through seven scoreless inning in which he allowed just four hits. The Marlins didn't produce their first hit until the fourth when Justin Bour beat the infield shift by bunting his way aboard. It was his second career bunt hit.
It all changed in the ninth, though. Following Martin Prado's one-out single and Derek Dietrich's double, Realmuto followed with a soft single to center. It scored pinch-runner Yadiel Rivera, but Dietrich was cut down at the plate.
No matter. After Bour was walked intentionally, Castro ripped a hard single to left to score Realmuto with the go-ahead run.
That left it to Ziegler, who had a hand in Sunday's meltdown in Atlanta in which the Marlins blew a five-run lead in the ninth before losing.
"The further we get away away from that one, the better," Ziegler said.
Ziegler gave up a one-out single to Adrian Gonzalez, but then retired Luis Guilloreme and Wilmer Flores on ground balls to seal the win.
"It’s just a good way to go into the off day and get back home," Ziegler said of the 3-3 road trip.