As today’s game progressed there was a feeling the Mets would do something. When Miami went to its bullpen it was a lock, even when Heath Bell came on. Bell has never forgiven the Mets for letting him go and the thought was he’d get too amped and overthrow.
That’s what happened and Bell struggled with his command. After walking Justin Turner in a dramatic 13-pitch at-bat to force in the tying run, he looked spent and moments later Kirk Nieuwenhuis delivered a game-winning single to give the Mets a sweep of the Marlins, their third walk-off victory and sixth time they’ve come from behind to win this spring.
What does sweeping the Marlins mean?
There was concern how the Mets would do with their tough April schedule, but they’ve responded with 11 victories, including sweeps of Atlanta and Miami at home, and winning two of three in Philadelphia.
The Mets have played with grit and heart and showed they can be competitive within the division. They also sent out a message there is life after Jose Reyes.
This afternoon the Mets did nothing against Ricky Nolasco through seven innings, but were kept in the game by Jon Niese, who also worked seven strong innings. The Mets caught a huge break when first base umpire CB Bucknor blew the call and called Reyes out on a 3-6-3 double play. Replays showed Reyes was safe and the Marlins would have had another run.
The Mets head to Colorado riding a three-game winning streak after losing five of six to Atlanta and San Francisco.
Thoughts on the sweep:
* Reyes went 1-for-12 in the series and clearly pressed. Reyes has always been a player fueled by emotion and you have to think the boos might have gotten to him. Things should be different in Miami and when the Marlins return to town.
“Jose Reyes is a human being and one of the nicest people I’ve ever been around,” said manager Terry Collins. “If it didn’t bother him I’d be shocked, because he gave his heart and soul to the people here.”
* The story of the series was the Mets’ pitching, which walked just three batters in the three games. Conversely, the Marlins had two innings with four walks. It is a small window, but you have to like how the Mets are working the count. Turner’s at-bat was a classic.
* Ike Davis had a hit and walked in the ninth-inning rally. Sometimes a walk can jump start a struggling hitter. It’s not out of the question this could happen with Davis.
* Daniel Murphy started a double play and is looking more comfortable at second base. Murphy’s defense at second was one of the key issues heading into the season. It’s too soon to say he’s another Roberto Alomar, but his progress is encouraging.