The Marlins haven’t been good at much of anything this season. There have been few bright spots.
But the later their games go, the deeper into the night they play, the better they seem to become. And Saturday’s 4-3 win over the Mets in 11 innings provided the latest example of their nocturnal success.
Bryan Holaday’s one-out double in the 11th gave the Marlins another victory over the Mets and improved the Marlins’ record in extra-inning games this season to 7-4. It was the second walk-off hit of the season for Holaday, the Marlins’ backup catcher, who was sent in to pinch-hit in the 11th.
“Let’s play extras again tomorrow,” said manager Don Mattingly.
Holaday was the last position player remaining on the Marlins’ bench when Mattingly sent him up to face Jacob Rhame with Miguel Rojas on second and one out in the 11th. Holaday, who delivered the first walk-off hit of his career in July 9 win over the Brewers, came through again on Saturday.
“Who’s counting?” joked Holaday, who is hitting .183 on the season.
It might have never reached the point had Marlins pitchers received a more generous strike zone than the one they were forced to deal with Saturday.
Dan Straily was the victim of a poor call by home plate umpire Ed Hickox, who called his full-count pitch to Brandon Nimmo in the fourth a ball. Straily showed his disgust by dropping into a squat and covering his mouth with his glove. Replays showed the pitch to be clearly in the strike zone for what would have been the second out.
Instead, the walk loaded the bases and Todd Frazier followed with a three-run double to put the Mets on top.
“That changed the complexion of the game completely,” Straily said. “Some go your way. Some go their way. It’s hard to swallow sometimes when it’s completely over the plate. At the same time, there’s balls we throw that are nowhere near the plate and we get called strikes.”
But the Marlins got two back in their half of the inning on Martin Prado’s single and tied it in the fifth on J.T. Realmuto’s RBI single off Mets starter Corey Oswalt.
Straily was done in the fifth after two reached with two outs.
But the Marlins bullpen did a nice job after that and were aided by a pair of nice defensive plays, one on Brian Anderson’s sliding catch in foul territory in right and another on Starlin Castro’s superb stop of a sharp grounder that he turned into a double play. Marlins relievers delivered 6 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing only two Mets hits during that span.
The Marlins had a chance to take the lead in the eighth when they had the bases loaded with one out. But Mets reliever Paul Sewald struck out Magneuris Sierra and retired Isaac Galloway on a fly ball.
But after Rojas singled to lead off the 11th and advanced to second on Sierra’s sacrifice bunt, Holaday came through with the game-winner off Rhame.
“I’m glad that happened,” Mattingly said. “We were running out of bullets there.”
Mattingly said Rojas had even volunteered to pitch if it came to that.
Javy Guerra earned his first win of the season for the Marlins.
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