Mets 5, Marlins 0
MIAMI (AP)—It wasn’t perfect, but it’s as close as the New York Mets have ever come in their 42-year history.
Rookie right-hander Jae Seo combined with two relievers on a one-hitter, as the Mets faced the minimum 27 batters and beat the Florida Marlins 5-0 on Tuesday night.
Seo (5-2) went 6 2-3 innings, allowing only a fifth-inning single to Juan Encarnacion before splitting a nail on the index finger of his pitching hand and being removed from the game.
“I didn’t know anything about it,” said Seo, through an interpreter, of the Mets’ first-time feat. “I’m more happy about making up for the tough loss we took last night.”
It was the third straight game that the Mets were involved in a one-hitter. Steve Trachsel threw a complete-game one-hitter at Anaheim on Sunday. Florida rookie Dontrelle Willis threw a one-hitter against them on Monday night.
The Elias Sports Bureau, baseball’s statistician, was unable to immediately determine if a team had ever been involved in three consecutive one-hitters.
“It’s crazy how it happened,” Marlins outfielder Juan Pierre said. “That’s baseball, a tale of two nights.”
New York’s starting pitchers have allowed only six hits in their last 20 2-3 innings. David Weathers and Armando Benitez pitched 2 1-3 innings of perfect relief to close out Seo’s fourth straight winning start.
“Our pitching has been good. It’s been fun to watch,” said outfielder Jeromy Burnitz, who homered in the seventh to break a scoreless tie. “When the pitching has been dominating as ours has been, it does take some of the pressure off the hitters.”
Carl Pavano (5-8) took the loss after allowing seven hits, three runs—two earned. He struck out three in eight innings.
“Turnabout’s fair play,” Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. “We threw a one-hitter at them last night, they threw a one-hitter at us tonight.”
With two outs in the seventh, Seo threw a first-pitch strike to Ivan Rodriguez then walked off the mound and motioned to the dugout.
Manager Art Howe and assistant trainer Mike Herbst went to the mound and examined Seo’s hand. Seo, grimacing in obvious pain, was removed and replaced by Weathers.
“There was some blood showing,” Howe said. “When I saw that I knew I had to get him out of there.”
Seo threw first-pitch strikes to 15 of his 21 batters. He threw 71 pitches, 55 for strikes.
“It was strike one on all hitters, all night long,” Pierre said. “You’re very effective when you can do that.”
Seo retired his first 13 batters before Encarnacion’s single off the left-field wall. He faced the minimum 18 batters through six innings, helped by the fact Encarnacion was thrown out trying to steal second. Television replays showed that second-base umpire Jim Joyce missed the call.
“He called me out, so there’s nothing I can say about it,” Encarnacion said. “You’ve got to give credit to the pitcher. He pitched a pretty good game.”
Seo then retired the first two batters in the seventh before leaving.
Not only did Burnitz put the Mets ahead with his 11th home run, but he kept the Marlins off the scoreboard. Burnitz reached over the right-center field wall to take a home run away from Derrek Lee in the second inning.
That was one of several sparkling defensive plays made by the Mets—who entered the game with the second-worst fielding percentage in the National League.
Reyes, at shortstop, leaped and snared Rodriguez’s line drive to end the fourth inning, prompting the Marlins’ catcher to toss his bat high in the air in frustration. Reyes also had a gem in the eighth, diving to his left and throwing out Encarnacion.
Seo has a 1.51 ERA in his last six starts and hasn’t lost any of his last nine. The Mets said he was not expected to miss any starts because of his injury. … Burnitz hurt the Marlins twice in the second inning, first fouling a ball off Rodriguez’s leg, then taking away Lee’s would-be homer. … Florida committed three errors in its 18 previous home games, then was charged with two in the ninth. SS Alex Gonzalez booted Roberto Alomar’s grounder, then Hollandsworth dropped Floyd’s popup to left. … Mets CF Timo Perez entered the game hitting .412 against Pavano, but went 0-for-4 Tuesday. … The attendancewas 10,359.