Don Mattingly talks about team's 4-2 loss to the Mets
Giancarlo Stanton said if he’s invited he’s willing to participate in this year’s Home Run Derby.
The Marlins’ three-time All-Star put on a great audition for the second consecutive game.
Stanton put two more baseballs in the Citi Field bleachers Wednesday, one of which was the longest in the park’s history and the other his 200th career home run.
The Marlins couldn’t score any more than that, however, and dropped their second game in three days to the Mets, losing 4-2.
Wilmer Flores hit two solo home runs of his own, and a two-run single by Curtis Granderson off Marlins starter Justin Nicolino over the first four innings, gave the Mets the cushion they would need. The Marlins (44-41) fell to 2 1/2 games behind the Mets (46-38) after going 3-6 during their nine-game, four-city road trip.
“We’ve had a couple of streaks where we’ve played very well but we haven’t had enough consistency,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “But it’s half a season. We have all the opportunity to get hot like anybody else and we’re capable of it.”
Stanton is scorching right now.
On Wednesday, Stanton became the first Marlins player ever to hit a home run in four consecutive at-bats, and the last to accomplish the feat since Albert Pujols on April 16-17, 2006, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Following his two homers Tuesday night, Stanton joined Derrek Lee (June 9-10, 2002) as the only other Marlin to put together back-to-back multi-homer games with his two solo blasts off Jacob deGrom on Wednesday.
Stanton led off the ninth inning with a chance at becoming the first player to ever homer in five consecutive at-bats.
But Mets closer Jeurys Familia struck him out and went on to close out his 30th save when following a Chris Johnson single, Ichiro Suzuki grounded into a double play.
Stanton said he wasn’t aware of the historic significance of the at-bat in the moment.
“None of that, we were losing, trying to get back,” Stanton said. “I sit back and understand it now, but during the game, it’s just figure out the best way to win.”
Stanton, the Marlins’ all-time leader in home runs, also became the seventh-fastest player by games played (781) to reach 200.
“It’s pretty cool. I got my 200th, too,” Stanton said. “I didn’t know that until a little bit ago.”
Stanton became the first player to ever post back-to-back multi-homer games at Citi Field, and his 17 home runs are the most at the venue by an opposing player.
Stanton’s fourth-inning home run was estimated at 470 feet, making it the longest in the history of Citi Field, which is in its eighth season.
“I can’t really attest [hitting so many at Citi Field] to anything,” Stanton said. “Big city, bright lights.”
Mired in a major hitting slump that dipped his average as low as .192 on June 12, Stanton has raised it to .231 and has a team-high 19 home runs and is tied with Marcell Ozuna for a team-high 47 RBI.
Seeing opposing fastballs better is something Stanton credits as one of the keys to his recent surge.
“On top of the fastball, that’s what I’ve been successful with,” Stanton said. “That’s what I fell off of for a little while. When you’re on top of that, not much they can do.”
Nicolino allowed four or more runs for the fourth consecutive start and was removed after the fourth inning.
After winning his first two starts this season, Nicolino is 0-5 with a 6.31 ERA over his past 10. Nicolino was recalled from the minors on July 1 following a two-week stint in Triple A.
“Flores’ first at-bat he was first-pitch hacking, ambushed me, I was up a little bit,” Nicolino said. “Second home run I tip my cap to him. It was a 3-1 changeup off the plate down and away. I don’t know what you want me to say about that. He’s been swinging the bat really well lately. That’s that.”
The Marlins left the bases loaded in the first inning without scoring on deGrom and wasted another big chance in the fifth inning after Nicolino exited the game.
Cole Gillespie led off with a double, but was only able to reach third on a single by Derek Dietrich. J.T. Realmuto, who went 0 for 4 after seven consecutive hits, popped out and Christian Yelich hit into a double play.
▪ Mike Dunn appeared in a game for the Marlins for the 368th time in his career, matching Braden Looper’s club record.