Mets back home to face Marlins, continue to eye postseason

The New York Mets earned a dramatic win in London on Sunday afternoon, hours after owner Steve Cohen said there was still time for the team to climb into the playoff race.

The work continues Tuesday night, when the Mets return home to host the Miami Marlins in the opener of a three-game series.

Right-hander Tylor Megill (1-2, 3.00 ERA) is slated to start for the Mets on Tuesday against left-hander Jesus Luzardo (2-5, 5.30).

Both teams were off Monday after playing Sunday. The Mets earned a split of their two-game London Series with the Philadelphia Phillies by scoring three times in the ninth inning and hanging on for a 6-5 win. The host Marlins fell to the Cleveland Guardians 6-3 in the deciding game of a three-game series.

The Mets needed every bit of the cushion provided by their ninth-inning rally Sunday, when the Phillies loaded the bases with one out before Alec Bohm walked to force home a run. Nick Castellanos followed with a dribbler in front of home plate, where Luis Torrens fielded the ball, touched home and threw to first to catch Castellanos by a step.

It was believed to be the first game-ending 2-3 double play in MLB history.

“Unbelievable play,” Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo said. “Really heads-up in a pressure situation.”

The win was the sixth in the last nine games for New York, which went 10-24 while losing 10 of 11 series from April 22-May 29. At 28-36 overall, the Mets are better than just two teams in the National League: the Colorado Rockies and Marlins.

But New York is just three games out of the last wild-card spot entering Monday. The Mets conclude their homestand over the weekend with a three-game series against the San Diego Padres, who entered Monday as the NL’s second wild card at 34-35.

“Obviously, nine games to get to .500,” Cohen said at a news conference prior to Sunday’s game. “What are we, four games out of the wild card? We shouldn’t be proud of that, right? We’re still nine games under .500. It gives you the opportunity to make the season a success.”

Such opportunities are likely out of reach for the Marlins, who went 7-24 in March and April before going 14-13 in May. But Miami is 1-6 this month and has been outscored 43-14.

On Sunday, Miami took a 2-1 lead on Nick Gordon’s fifth-inning RBI single, but the Guardians tied the score on David Fry’s one-out RBI single in the sixth and went ahead for good on Tyler Freeman’s three-run homer in the seventh.

Even the Marlins’ one June win — a 3-2 victory over the Guardians on Friday — came with a hefty price. Budding staff ace Ryan Weathers, who is 3-5 with a 3.55 ERA, exited after 2 1/3 innings due to a left index finger strain. He was placed on the injured list Saturday.

“As well as I take care of my arm in workouts and running, for it to be something as small as my finger, it’s definitely frustrating,” Weathers said Saturday. “But it’s something I can’t control.”

Megill earned the win in his most recent start June 3, when he gave up five runs (four earned) over five innings as the Mets edged the Washington Nationals 8-7. He is 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA in four career games (three starts) against the Marlins.

Luzardo took the loss last Tuesday after allowing nine runs over 4 1/3 innings as the Marlins lost to the Tampa Bay Rays 9-5. He is 3-2 with a 3.00 ERA in seven starts against the Mets.

–Field Level Media