The revamped Mets bullpen survived perhaps its toughest test of the young season in Sunday's 4-3 walk-off win over the Marlins.
After fill-in starter Aaron Laffey allowed three runs in only 4 1/3 innings, the bullpen kept the Marlins scoreless for the next 4 2/3 innings.
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"This game was about that bullpen keeping us in the game," said manager Terry Collins, who deployed five relievers to hold the line until Marlon Byrd's two-run single in the ninth. "We hung in there and we didn't let the game get away."
Submariner Greg Burke, who struggled in his first two outings, struck out three in 1 2/3 scoreless innings. He inherited a jam in the fifth but escaped with a pair of strikeouts. In the sixth, Burke retired the side in order.
"It was huge," Burke said. "I needed that result to build up confidence."
Rice gets first win
With Byrd's timely swing, career victory No. 1 swung from the 20-year-old phenom making his debut to the 31-year-old rookie who needed 14 years in the minors before making it to the bigs. The Marlins' Jose Fernandez struck out eight and allowed one run in five innings, but it was Mets lefthander Scott Rice who emerged with the victory after pitching a scoreless ninth. Said Rice, "It won't sink in until I see it on the [ESPN] bottom line."
In his debut with the Mets' organization, righthander Noah Syndergaard threw four shutout innings for Class A St. Lucie, allowing three hits with five strikeouts. Syndergaard, 20, came to the Mets as part of the R.A. Dickey trade in the offseason. Dickey, meanwhile, walked off the mound to boos after allowing eight runs and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings.