MIAMI — After the Mets’ weekend of intense games, “isn’t it supposed to be spring?” weather and a 5:30 a.m. arrival at their South Florida hotel, the Marlins Park welcoming committee at least tried to make them feel at home.
They beat Miami, 4-2, on Monday night in front of a heavily pro-Mets crowd of 7,003 for their sixth win in a row. That streak tops the Mets’ longest from 2017, a five-gamer in mid-April. The 8-1 Mets are tied with the Red Sox for the best record in the majors and kept pace with the 2006 and 1985 teams for the best start in franchise history.
“Everybody was a little tired today,” closer Jeurys Familia said. “But at the same time, we’re hungry to keep playing the way we’re playing right now. That’s most important.”
Familia allowed the potential tying run to reach second base with one out in the ninth but extricated himself by striking out Miguel Rojas and Starlin Castro, capping the bullpen’s three scoreless innings. He became the first Met to earn five saves in the first nine games of a season.
Amed Rosario went 2-for-4, scoring the winning run and driving in a late insurance run. He led off the third with a booming 400-plus-foot double off the wall in straightaway center, the hardest-hit ball of the night at 106.2 mph, according to Statcast. He scored on Jay Bruce’s two-out single to center, which prompted chants of “Bruuuuce!” followed by “Let’s go Mets!”
In the seventh, Rosario singled to drive in Adrian Gonzalez after an error by first baseman Justin Bour turned a potential inning-ending double play into a Mets rally. That was the Mets’ only hit in the final six innings.
Rosario’s big game came a day after he went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts against the Nationals. “It means to me that he’s not dwelling on what’s happening in the past,” manager Mickey Callaway said. “He’s staying in the moment and trying to do the best he can to get the pitches that he wants to hit.”
Noah Syndergaard’s six-inning outing, only the Mets’ second quality start in nine games, seemingly was split in half. In his first three innings, he faced the minimum number of batters and needed only 35 pitches. In his last three, he allowed two runs (one earned) and four hits, walked two and needed 55 pitches.
The Marlins (3-7) broke through against Syndergaard with an unearned run in the fifth, which began with shortstop Rosario’s error. Rookie Brian Anderson added an RBI double the next inning.
Syndergaard was dealing with minor blisters on the index and middle fingers of his right hand, which he said is common for him. He said he was more annoyed by his long, sweaty hair whipping him in the face.
His underwhelming evening — initially dominant, then faltering — underscored the underwhelming start to the season for the Mets’ ballyhooed rotation. Their starters have a 3.09 ERA and 1.18 WHIP, both top-10 marks in MLB, but none has lasted more than six innings. Their average of 5.1 innings to start the week ranked in the bottom third in the majors. Syndergaard (2-0, 3.94) has averaged 5 1⁄3 innings in his three starts, which he called “pretty so-so” by his standards.
That inability to pitch deep has forced Callaway to lean on the bullpen. “It’s been adequate,’’ he said of the rotation. “Beginning of the season is tough. The conditions we played in were tough, and tonight it’s tough coming into the humidity for the first time.’’
Early on with extra off days, that has worked out to great success; the Mets began the week with a top-five relief unit by most measures. But as the schedule normalizes — on Friday they will start a stretch of 16 games in 17 days — giving relievers more rest will grow critical.
This time it didn’t matter. They won anyway.
“It’s a contagious feeling,” Syndergaard said. “Everybody is pushing for one another. Everyone is on the edge of the dugout, cheering each other on. It’s a lot of fun to be a part of and continue to keep it going.”
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