NEW YORK -- The elements played havoc with Marlins rookie Jeff Brigham getting back on the mound. The right-hander originally was scheduled to pitch Sunday at Pittsburgh and then Monday at the Mets, but rain postponed both of those games, so he was moved to Wednesday, but his part of
NEW YORK -- The elements played havoc with Marlins rookie Jeff Brigham getting back on the mound. The right-hander originally was scheduled to pitch Sunday at Pittsburgh and then Monday at the Mets, but rain postponed both of those games, so he was moved to Wednesday, but his part of the doubleheader was washed out.
Brigham finally got the ball Thursday as part of the rescheduled doubleheader, and the 26-year-old showed some promise before appearing to run out of gas in the fifth inning of Game 2 at Citi Field. Once again, Michael Conforto did the damage, driving in three runs and the Mets rallied to a 5-2 victory and a doubleheader sweep.
"I was really the human rain delay out there," Brigham joked about pitching four days later than originally scheduled. "I was supposed to go Sunday, and preparing every single day. Then Monday, the same thing.
"I was just happy to get out there for the first time in a while. I was just pounding the strike zone a lot better. I felt I got into a little bit better of a rhythm early on."
Miguel Rojas belted a two-run home run off Jason Vargas that gave the Marlins the lead in the third inning.
After winning Tuesday, the Marlins dropped the final three games in a soggy series that featured a five-hour, 35-minute rain delay Wednesday, which prompted playing two Thursday.
"It definitely hadn't been routine-oriented for us, but again, everybody else is doing the same thing," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.
In the first game, the Mets walked off the Marlins, 4-3, with back-to-back home runs from Conforto and Todd Frazier off Kyle Barraclough with two outs in the ninth inning.
"We really didn't do a lot either game, honestly," Mattingly said. "Miggy's homer tonight. The first game we get back-to-back homers and the hit. We didn't really do enough. We had a lead, but still, we didn't really do a lot."
Brigham made his second Marlins start, and first since Sept. 2, when he gave up three runs in three innings in a loss to the Blue Jays at Marlins Park.
Ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Marlins' No. 20 prospect, Brigham has flashed big league potential for years, but has dealt with numerous injuries. Things came together for him in the Minor Leagues this season, where he combined for a 2.36 ERA.
To help guide Brigham through his second big league start, Mattingly started catcher Chad Wallach, who was with the right-hander at Triple-A New Orleans.
"We definitely have a comfort together," Brigham said. "He caught most of my games in New Orleans. I shook him off maybe once or twice. We were on the same page for the most part, which was kind of nice."
Against the Mets, he was charged with three runs in 4 1/3 innings, and they all came in the fifth inning. He was done after 79 pitches, with 57 for strikes.
"He threw the ball better," Mattingly said of Brigham's outing compared to his debut. "The ball came out of his hand better. There weren't misses that were scattered all over the place. He had some well-thrown balls down in the zone. You could tell the ball had finish. It was not nearly as many scattered misses. He had a tighter breaking ball today. The other day it was more of a slow curveball almost. Just a lot better today."
The Mets rallied in the fifth with Tomas Nido delivered his first MLB home run, which came on a 1-2 pitch. With one out in the inning, Brigham was replaced by left-hander Jarlin García, who inherited two runners. Conforto's two-out, two-run double gave the Mets the lead.
"I felt good out there, actually," Brigham said. "I felt stronger as the game went on, but I wasn't executing pitches. My two-strike pitches weren't where they needed to be. That Vargas knock really kind of killed me."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
The Marlins didn't manage much offense off Vargas, and they scored their two runs in the third inning on Rojas' homer. Brigham's first big league hit set up the blast. Lewis Brinson walked, but Miami couldn't manage anything else. After the third inning, Brian Anderson's two-out single in the eighth was Miami's lone hit the rest of the game.
Rojas now has 11 home runs and 50 RBIs. He's the first Marlins shortstop since José Reyes in 2012 with at least 10 home runs and 50 RBIs in a season. Reyes finished that year with 11 homers and 57 RBIs in Miami's inaugural season at Marlins Park.
HE SAID IT
"I'm just trying to hit the ball hard somewhere, or hit the ball in general, somewhere. Definitely awkward being out there, but definitely nice getting that out of the way early." -- Brigham, on his first big league hit
Wei-Yin Chen, who has a 2.90 ERA over his last seven starts, goes for the Marlins on Friday in the series opener against the Phillies at 7:05 p.m. ET at Citizens Bank Park. Chen, however, has a 9.13 overall ERA on the road. Zach Eflin starts for the Phillies. Miami is 7-9 vs. the Phillies this year.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.