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Ichi-pro! Vet's pinch-hit finds hole, sinks Mets

June 27, 2017

MIAMI -- There was nothing flashy about Ichiro Suzuki's 3,051th MLB hit, other than the placement and perfect timing. The slapped pinch-hit single through the hole at short in the seventh inning drove in the go-ahead run in the Marlins' 6-3 win over the Mets on Tuesday night at Marlins

MIAMI -- There was nothing flashy about Ichiro Suzuki's 3,051th MLB hit, other than the placement and perfect timing. The slapped pinch-hit single through the hole at short in the seventh inning drove in the go-ahead run in the Marlins' 6-3 win over the Mets on Tuesday night at Marlins Park.
The exit velocity of the RBI single was a mere 87.8 mph, and according to Statcast™, the hit probability was just 29 percent. To the Marlins, the single was highly impactful because it helped them take the series opener against the Mets at a time both clubs are looking to track toward the .500 mark and into contention.
"The thing about Ich is you know he's always ready," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "You don't even think about it. You know he's totally prepared for all situations. That's the thing you know, if you put him in the game late, if you start him one day, he's going to be ready. For Ich, you try to match him up right. Sometimes you don't really get that opportunity. Ich is a guy you always feel good when he's up there."

Christian Yelich added a two-run single in Miami's three-run seventh. Ichiro moved to within two hits of reaching Rod Carew, who is 24th all-time with 3,053 hits, according to Elias. Ichiro's hit total jumped by one after an official scoring change from Sunday, when an error against the Cubs was overturned.
Curtis Granderson homered on Dan Straily's second pitch, marking his third leadoff shot of the season and his 21st since joining the Mets. New York relied on the long ball again in the seventh inning, making it 3-3 on Travis d'Arnaud's home run to left.

"Those guys really made me work for every out tonight, that's for sure," Straily said. "Seems like not a whole lot happened to throw that many pitches [94] in a five-inning outing."
Miami followed Granderson's homer with three runs off Robert Gsellman in the first inning, on a two-out, two-run single by Justin Bour and an RBI double from Martin Prado. Gsellman lasted three frames, injuring his left hamstring running the bases in the fourth.

"It's a little tough to comprehend," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "The basics of the game are running down the first-base line. And I know he was running hard -- I salute him for that. He had a chance to beat that play out and create a big inning for us. Just another frustrating night as far as injuries go."
Lefty-lefty knocks: The Mets played the odds, going with lefty Jerry Blevins with runners on the corners and no outs in the seventh and the game even at 3. Blevins drew the left-handed-hitting Ichiro, and the 43-year-old outfielder delivered. With one out and runners on second and third, Giancarlo Stanton was intentionally walked to get Blevins to face the left-handed-hitting Yelich. But Yelich laced a two-run single to center, giving the Marlins a three-run cushion.
"If you get a pitch to hit against him, you can't miss it, because he's got all kinds of stuff to make you chase," Yelich said of Blevins. "All he is trying to do in that situation is to roll over something into a double play."
First-inning frenzy: Prado and first-inning doubles are starting to become a trend. After knocking a two-run double in Sunday's 4-2 win over the Cubs, Prado turned on a Gsellman 94-mph fastball and lined it down the left-field line. Bour raced around third standing up to cap the three-run frame. Miami has scored three runs in the first inning of each of the last three games, but hasn't scored more than four in any of them.

"That a pretty cool play to be that close and see Dee do that. He always breaks for the ball, he doesn't always trust us pitchers. So he always breaks for the ball. That was one of the cases he really bailed me out big time there." -- Straily, on Gordon making a run-saving defensive play on Gsellman's ground ball in the fourth

Granderson's leadoff homer was the 45th of his 14-year career with the Tigers, Yankees and Mets, snapping a tie with Ian Kinsler for most among active players. It was also Granderson's 21st as a Met, extending his franchise record.
Just when it appeared Gsellman was settling into a nice groove on the mound, he pulled up with a left hamstring strain while running to first base. With two on and two outs in the fourth inning, his ground ball deflected off Straily's glove and toward second base. Sensing he could leg out an infield hit, Gsellman dashed to first, but Gordon made a nice barehanded play to throw him out. Just before reaching first base, Gsellman pulled up.
"It's no fun," Gsellman said. "I've just got to work hard and get back on the field."
The Mets were also without outfielder Michael Conforto, who underwent a second round of X-rays on his left hand before the game. Those tests confirmed that Conforto had suffered only a bad bruise, but the Mets may be without him for several more days.
Mets: Their bullpen taxed from its heavy relief work behind Gsellman, the Mets will look for a lengthy start Wednesday out of Steven Matz at 7:10 p.m. ET at Marlins Park. Since returning from the disabled list earlier this month, Matz (1-1, 3.60) has delivered at least six innings in each of his three outings.
Marlins:Jeff Locke (0-3, 5.70) seeks his first win as a Marlin in the second game of the three-game series. The left-hander is 0-2 with a 6.63 ERA in four career starts against the Mets.
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Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook.