The Marlins came out on top of not just one, but two video replay challenges Saturday on bang-bang plays at first.
Strike up the band, right?
Alas for the Marlins, that and Dee Gordon’s five-hit performance were the highlights of their evening at Citi Field.
Though they rallied late, scoring four runs over the final two innings, they didn’t do much else right, losing 5-4 to the Mets.
“It’s about the outcome,” said Gordon, dismissing his big night.
On a day that started with a players-only clubhouse meeting to talk over issues that are contributing to their poor start, the Marlins remained flat, falling to 3-9 with their third loss in a row.
With Mets ace Matt Harvey scheduled to take the mound Sunday, the Marlins face the very real prospect of being swept in the four-game series against their division rivals.
As it was Saturday, Jacob deGrom was trouble enough on his own.
DeGrom, the National League’s reigning Rookie of the Year, limited the Marlins to six hits while striking out eight. Gordon accounted for half of the Marlins’ hits off deGrom, and then made it a five-hit night — the second of his career — with a late-inning RBI double and a two-run single off the Mets’ bullpen.
It was the speedy Gordon who zipped down the line to beat out a couple of infield hits, both of which survived replay challenges, while also lining a single to left.
Otherwise, it was slim pickings on the offensive side for the Marlins, who avoided being shut out for a third time by coming up with a run in the eighth and three more in the ninth, which included a Michael Morse solo homer.
Against, deGrom, however, they mustered only one scoring threat. It came in the sixth when they managed to put two aboard with one out.
But after falling behind 3-0 in the count to Giancarlo Stanton, deGrom battled back, striking him out for the second time, and then took care of Martin Prado on a foul pop to end the inning.
DeGrom stretched his streak of consecutive scoreless innings to 181/3.
For the first time in six games, Stanton failed to homer against New York.
If there was one somewhat bright spot for the Marlins other than Gordon, who drove in their first run with his fourth hit of the game, it was Mat Latos, who looked better in his third start than he did in his second, an improvement over his dreadful season debut.
Latos gave up a pair of runs over five innings, striking out five while walking one. He lowered his ERA to 10.24, which isn’t good but is a far cry from the 94.03 ERA he owned after his first start. Latos is now 0-3.
“It’s tough right now,” Latos said. “But when we get it together — pitching, defense and hitting — there’s going to be hell to pay.”
But Latos was no match for deGrom, who was in complete control.
Stanton struck out three times Saturday. Christian Yelich whiffed four times, including his final at-bat when the Marlins had the tying run aboard in the ninth.
And so it went for the Marlins, who already reside in last place and are off to their worst start (after 12 games) since opening the 2012 season with a 2-10 mark.
Gordon is the only member of the lineup who is hitting with any kind of consistency, the only regular with an average above .256.
He raised his average to .400 with Saturday’s 5-for-5 performance. He also made a diving stab of a line drive to go with his hitting effort.
“This is why we got the guy, to be the catalyst,” said manager Mike Redmond of Gordon, who was acquired in an offseason trade with the Dodgers.