Eduardo Escobar mets
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

It was looking grim for the Mets as they entered the bottom of the seventh inning at Citi Field on Wednesday night. New York was finishing up a two-game series against the Marlins, and Buck Showalter’s squad was about to squander a golden opportunity.

But then, Eduardo Escobar happened. As SNY announcer Gary Cohen said at the conclusion of a thrilling win, “It’s the month of Escobar!”

Instead of remaining tied atop the NL East with the Braves, the Mets now hold a one-game lead ahead of these two teams facing off this weekend.

So, what happened?

Game 1

  • Marlins 6, Mets 4
    • Winning pitcher: Pablo Lopez
    • Losing pitcher: Carlos Carrasco
    • Home runs hit: Pete Alonso, J.J. Bleday

Game 2

  • Mets 5, Marlins 4
    • Winning pitcher: Drew Smith
    • Losing pitcher: Dylan Floro
    • Home runs hit: Bryan De La Cruz, Eduardo Escobar

Mets players who thrived

Pete Alonso hit yet another three-run homer to keep his own powerful month of September going, but this two-game span was about Jeff McNeil and Escobar. The Flying Squirrel slashed .500/.556/.500 in nine plate appearances, scoring two runs and posting a 195 wRC+.

As for Escobar, he was the only other Mets hitter to post a positive fWAR (0.1) thanks to Wednesday night’s five-RBI performance. That led to a 185 wRC+.

Taijuan Walker pitched well in the finale (three runs on six hits, two walks, and eight strikeouts in five innings), but the bullpen was excellent both nights. Showalter’s relievers combined to post a 2.45 ERA with a 42.9% strikeout rate, a 9.5% walk rate, and 0.5 fWAR in 11 total innings.

Seth Lugo, David Peterson, and Trevor Williams were the only relievers to surrender runs. Adam Ottavino, Tylor Megill, Drew Smith, and Edwin Diaz all held Miami scoreless. Diaz provided his typical dominance, striking out six of the seven hitters he faced.

Mets players who struggled

Carlos Carrasco has typically thrived in starts against teams with a losing record, but it didn’t happen this time around. He allowed four runs on six hits in just three innings of work. It’s the fourth time in Carrasco’s past six starts that he failed to last more than four innings.

Among hitters who played in both games, Francisco Lindor, Brandon Nimmo, and Mark Canha all failed to post a wRC+ higher than 65 against Miami.

Marlins players who gave New York a hard time

Coming into Tuesday night, Pablo Lopez had an 11.34 ERA in 16.2 innings pitched against the Mets this season. In his final start against New York, he finally figured things out. The hurler allowed three runs on five hits, no walks, and five strikeouts in six innings. Jesus Luzardo gave Met hitters fits Wednesday night, too — he allowed just two runs on four hits, two walks, and six strikeouts in six innings.

Four Marlins hitters (Bryan De La Cruz, Brian Anderson, Charles Leblanc, and J.J. Bleday) owned a wRC+ greater than 150 against New York pitching while appearing in both games. De La Cruz was the biggest pain — he posted a 1.375 slugging percentage off the strength of four extra-base hits (three doubles, one homer).

Miscellaneous Mets notes

Former Mets reliever Jerry Blevins took the place of Keith Hernandez in Game 1 of this series as color commentator next to Gary Cohen.

With his three-run homer on Tuesday night, Pete Alonso became the first player since J.D. Martinez in 2018 to compile 40 homers with 130 RBI. He’s also the first Met in club history with multiple efforts of 40-plus dingers and 120-plus RBI.

James McCann singled on Tuesday night, which broke an 0-for-20 funk.

Unfortunately, Starling Marte is still having issues gripping baseballs and bats, and Showalter said a return isn’t imminent.

The Mets were willing to move Wednesday’s game to a 4 pm EST start time so they could begin their series against the Braves on Thursday because of potential complications caused by Hurricane Ian. Atlanta declined, but these squads could play Friday afternoon instead of in the evening.

If you’re hoping to see less of Darin Ruf once the playoffs start, you might end up being disappointed.

For any Mets fans who live in the Miami area, the Marlins want you to join them at loanDepot park next week to root against the Braves.

What’s next on the schedule

The Mets are off Thursday as they head to Atlanta for their biggest series of the season. Here’s what the probable starters look like at the moment:

  • Mets @ Braves, Friday September 30th at 7:20pm ET
    • TV: SNY, Radio: WCBS 880
    • Probable starters: Jacob deGrom (5-3, 2.93) vs. Max Fried (13-7, 2.50)
  • Mets @ Braves, Saturday, October 1st at 7:20pm ET
    • TV: FOX, Radio: WCBS 880
    • Probable starters: Max Scherzer (11-4, 2.13) vs. Kyle Wright (20-5, 3.18)
  • Mets @ Braves, Sunday, October 2nd at 7:08pm ET
    • TV: ESPN, Radio: WCBS 880
    • Probable starters: Chris Bassitt (15-8, 3.27) vs. Charlie Morton (9-6, 4.29)

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Matt Musico can be reached at and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.