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Mets Series Review Squish the Fish

The New York Mets faced the Miami Marlins for the first time in 2022, hosting a wrap-around four-game series. The Mets took three of four against the pesky Marlins, heading to Houston 45-24, the best record in the National League with a five and a half-game lead. In the series, the Mets got clutch hits and clutch outs to stay ahead of the Braves, who lost two of three to the struggling Cubs at Wrigley Field. 

The Mets got good news before the game as the Braves' 14-game winning streak ended at Wrigley Field. The Mets had Carlos Carrasco on the mound, while the Marlins countered with Pablo Lopez. Francisco Lindor was given a surprise visit from his mother, who came to watch him play for the first time at Citi Field. Lindor, who is in a wheelchair, suffered a head injury in 2020 and has difficulty traveling. The visit gave Lindor a boost as he hit a three-run homer to dead center to give the Mets a 3-0 lead in the first inning. He also made some stellar defensive plays in the field. The Marlins got a run back in the fifth, as Bryan De La Cruz homered in the fifth inning. The Mets, however, would break the game open in the sixth. 

The sixth inning would play like sliding doors for the game. The Mets got the first two runners on base when Luis Guillorme drove the ball to the deepest part of the ballpark. De La Cruz tracked the ball down but bobbled it before seemingly catching it on his back. Jeff McNeil and Mark Canha, confused about the catch, were called out, leading to a triple play. However, the Mets asked for a review, feeling that the ball was trapped. The review showed the ball hit the wall before De La Cruz closed his hand on it. The play was overturned, and the Mets had the bases loaded. J.D. Davis singled in the first run. After Tomas Nido and Brandon Nimmo failed to add to the lead, the Mets got two runs against reliever Tommy Nance as Starling Marte was walked and Lindor was hit with the bases loaded. Next up was Pete Alonso, who hit a grand slam to give the Mets a 10-1 lead. 

Carlos Carrasco was a chips ahoy cookie, just good enough to satisfy your snack cravings. He allowed eight hits with seven strikeouts as he ran out of gas in the seventh. Carrasco had three runs allowed as Adonis Medina allowed both inherited runners to score. Medina, who was pitching for the first time since his save in Los Angeles, was not sharp. Medina allowed one run on two hits ad had two walks and a hit by a pitch before Adam Ottavino came into pitch in the eight. The Marlins would have the bases loaded, but Ottavino got Avasail Garcia to ground out as the Mets won 10-4. 

On Saturday, it was Taijuan Walker on the mound for the Mets as Braxton Garrett started for Miami. It was a chilly day at Citi Field as a steady wind blew throughout the game. Instead of June, it felt like April as the wind was intense and nearly non-stop from the northwest, making it feel like it was in the low 60s. John Berti led off with an infield hit and stole second and third. However, he did not score as Taijuan Walker struck out the next three batters. Walker would retire 18 batters in a row, with nine strikeouts, in his best outing of the season. 

While Taijuan Walker was frustrating the Marlins, the Mets took the lead on a two-out single by Jeff McNeil in the second. In the third inning, Francisco Lindor drove one through the mind to make it 3-0. The lead stood at 3-0 until the seventh inning, when Avasail Garcia had an RBI double for Miami. After a solid inning by Drew Smith, Edwin Diaz came on looking for his 14th save. John Berti led off with a single, stole second, and stood at third after an error by Tomas Nido. However, Diaz struck out the next two batters before Garrett Cooper had an RBI single to make it a one-run game. Luke Williams would steal second as a pinch-runner, as Diaz ended the game with a strikeout of Garcia, giving the Mets a 3-2 win. 

Sunday would be the most challenging task for the Mets as the Marlins had ace Sandy Alcantra on the mound. Alcantara came into the game with a 1.68 ERA, second-best in the National League. The Mets countered with Chris Bassitt, who was coming off his best outing of the season. Bassitt and Alcantra matched zero for zero as the game was scoreless until the sixth inning when Starling Marte had a triple and scored on a single by Francisco Lindor. 

The Mets had a 1-0 lead, but Chris Bassitt's pitch count was high. Buck Showalter tried to get one more inning out of C-Bass, but after the Marlins loaded the bases, he called in Seth Lugo. Lugo did not have it; he gave up a grand slam to Jerar Encarnacion, who was making his MLB debut. Encarnacion became the fifth player in MLB history to hit a grand slam for his first hit; he also had an outfield assist and a stolen base while scoring two runs. The Marlins would win the game 6-2, adding a run against Lugo. Tommy Hunter making a remarkable return from a severe back injury, made his season debut for the Mets in the eighth and allowed an unearned run. 

The series concluded on Monday, with David Peterson getting the start for the Mets as he anticipated the birth of his first child. He is one of three Mets on labor watch, as Seth Lugo went on paternity leave on Monday, with Jeff McNeil also expecting his wife to give birth in the next few days. The Marlins had runners on base all day but failed to score, going 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position. They stranded a pair of runners in the first inning. The Mets would load the bases with no outs in the first and nearly failed to score themselves, as Mark Canha's walk was the only run the Mets would score in the first inning. 

In the fourth inning, the Mets added two runs, taking advantage of a poor throw by Luke Williams that gave the Mets runners on second and third. Eduardo Escobar had a sac-fly that scored J.D. Davis, while Jeff McNeil scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0. McNeil, however, left the game with hamstring tightness. The Mets added a run in the fifth on a sac-fly by Pete Alonso, while Eduardo Escobar had a two-run single to make the final 6-0, ending a lengthy hitless streak. 

The Mets now head to Houston for a quick two-game interleague series with the Astros before a three-game rematch with the Marlins in Miami.