July 12, 2014: Pinch-Hitters Come Through in Clutch

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Date: July 12, 2014
Mets starter: Daisuke Matsuzaka
Mets: 5
Marlins: 4
Winning pitcher: Vic Black
Key player(s): Chris Young, Eric Campbell
Key play: Young’s home run, Campbell’s single

The Mets faced the Marlins on a Saturday afternoon at Citi Field. The teams played the second of three games in a series. As pinch-hitters, Chris Young and Eric Campbell came up with key hits to give the Mets a 5-4 win over Miami.

Daisuke Matsuzaka and the Marlins’ Tom Koehler each started the game with two scoreless and hitless innings pitched. Adeiny Hechavarria doubled to begin the top of the third. Koehler’s sacrifice bunt moved Hechavarria to third base and Christian Yelich drew a walk. Donovan Solano reached on third baseman David Wright’s error to score Hechavarria for a 1-0 Miami lead. Matsuzaka struck out both Giancarlo Stanton and Casey McGehee to end the inning. Koehler then surrendered only a walk to Ruben Tejada in the bottom half.

Matsuzaka set down the side in order in the top of the fourth. Koehler hurled a perfect bottom of the inning and Yelich hit a solo home run with two outs in the top of the fifth. Solano went down on strikes to close out the inning and Travis d'Arnaud singled to lead off the bottom half. D’Arnaud advanced to third base on Kirk Nieuwenhuis’s double and came home on Juan Lagares’s ground out to second baseman Solano. Tejada followed with a squeeze bunt (on which he reached via an error by catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia) to score Nieuwenhuis from third, tying the game at 2-2. Koehler then fanned Matsuzaka and retired Curtis Granderson on a fly ball to center fielder Marcell Ozuna that ended the inning.

With one out in the top of the sixth, McGehee walked and advanced to second base on catcher d’Arnaud’s passed ball. Garrett Jones hit a double to drive home McGehee with the go-ahead run. Ozuna doubled to plate Jones and increase the Fish lead to 4-2. Saltalamacchia went down on strikes and Hechavarria was given an intentional walk. Matsuzaka struck out Koehler to finish off the inning. Koehler then shut down the Mets in the bottom half.

Mets’ reliever Carlos Torres retired all three batters in the top of the seventh. Tejada drew a walk against Koehler with one out in the bottom of the inning. Pinch-hitting for Torres, Young came up to bat against Miami reliever Bryan Morris. Chris slugged a two-run homer that tied the game at 4-4. Granderson hit a single and Daniel Murphy grounded to Solano for an inning-ending double play. McGehee singled against New York’s Vic Black to open the top of the eighth. Jones hit a force play grounder to second baseman Murphy. Ozuna flied out to right fielder Granderson and a walk to Saltalamacchia ensued. Black then got Hechavarria on a line drive for which Murphy leaped high to make the catch and close out the inning.

Morris threw a called third strike past Wright to begin the bottom of the eighth. Marlins’ reliever Mike Dunn retired Lucas Duda on a ground ball to Solano. D’Arnaud hit a double and Campbell came up to pinch-hit for Nieuwenhuis. Eric delivered a single to bring home d’Arnaud and put the Mets in front by a run. Dunn struck out Lagares to end the inning and the Mets’ Jenrry Mejia retired pinch-hitter Reed Johnson on a grounder to Murphy to start the top of the ninth. Mejia then fanned Yelich and got Solano on a grounder to shortstop Tejada for the final out of the game. The Mets had a come-from-behind victory.