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Marlins lose on walk-off as Mets honor Wright

Richards wraps rookie campaign with 6 2/3 shutout innings in no-decision
September 29, 2018

NEW YORK -- On an emotional night when the Mets celebrated David Wright's likely final game, Marlins right-hander Trevor Richards kept his composure and capped his rookie season by throwing 6 2/3 shutout innings with eight strikeouts in a no-decision.But the Marlins managed just five hits, and the Mets finally

NEW YORK -- On an emotional night when the Mets celebrated David Wright's likely final game, Marlins right-hander Trevor Richards kept his composure and capped his rookie season by throwing 6 2/3 shutout innings with eight strikeouts in a no-decision.
But the Marlins managed just five hits, and the Mets finally snapped a scoreless deadlock in the 13th inning. Austin Jackson laced a walk-off double to left-center off Javy Guerra, and New York outlasted Miami, 1-0, on Saturday at Citi Field.
The Marlins are now 9-6 in extra innings.
Michael Conforto singled to open the 13th off Jarlin Garcia. With one out, Jack Reinheimer walked, prompting the Marlins to go with right-hander Guerra in place of the lefty Garcia. Jackson doubled on Guerra's only pitch of the night. Conforto scored the lone run of the night.
In terms of the Marlins' big picture, Richards strengthened his case to open 2019 in the rotation. He closed out his rookie season by tossing 13 2/3 scoreless innings. The 25-year-old lowered his ERA to 4.42, and ended up with 130 strikeouts in 126 1/3 innings.

"If you would have told me at the beginning of the season it would end like this, I probably wouldn't have believed you going into spring," Richards said of being a big part of the rotation. "Just a good year to get out of the way. I had some ups and downs. Obviously, I would have liked to have been a little more consistent. I'll take things from this year and build forward."
In a transitional year in which the Marlins are building from the Minor Leagues up, Richards was tested on Saturday in an emotional environment. The rookie also will be a trivia question someday, as he will likely be the last MLB pitcher to face Wright.
"Obviously New York loves him here," Richards said. "Just being a part of it, and being able to throw in that game, it was fun. I like throwing in front of crowds like that. I enjoyed it."
Richards, making his 25th big league start, twice faced Wright, who appeared in his 1,585th MLB game.

Understandably, there could have been some jitters with a sellout crowd of 43,928 rooting for Wright.
In the first inning, Richards walked Wright after running the count full. But after putting runners on first and third, he got Conforto to tap into a 1-6-3 double play.
"That was probably one of the last things I wanted to do to him was walk him," Richards said. "I wanted to attack the zone, obviously. I'm a competitor. I'm going to go out there and compete. I wasn't trying to walk him. Just something that got away." 
The second matchup came in the fourth inning. This time, Richards retired Wright on a pop foul to first baseman Peter O'Brien, who was booed for making the play. Richards retired Wright on a 91.1-mph four-seam fastball up and away in the zone.

"I'm not really thinking about that a whole lot," Richards said of getting Wright out in his last at-bat. "It's cool to say, but other than that, it's not a big deal."
Just three years ago, Richards was playing independent league ball, and now he has a chance for a promising big league career.
"Not that you're going to be able to build any kind of momentum going into next year, but I think he goes into the offseason, working on certain things," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "He knows what he has to improve. I'm sure he will start that process right away."
In the top of the fifth inning, Wright came out to third base. Moments later he hugged shortstop Jose Reyes, his long-time teammate. The Mets then made a change, with Amed Rosario replacing Wright. Rosario went to shortstop with Reyes shifting to third base.
Wright exited to a standing ovation, and he acknowledged Marlins players and staff, who cheered as he walked off the field.

For O'Brien, the rest of his night, he was booed.
"It hung on, too," Mattingly said. "[O'Brien] will be a cult hero now, for that. Pretty amazing, actually. The whole place caught on, too."
The lone time the Marlins advanced a runner to third was the 13th inning after Derek Dietrich was hit by a pitch. He advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and went to third on John Holaday's grounder. But Yadiel Rivera struck out, ending the threat. The Mets walked the game off in their half of the inning.
"Obviously, both sides threw the ball well," Mattingly said. "We weren't able to scratch any runs."

Dietrich was hit by a pitch to open the 13th inning. It was the 21st time this year, and 92nd time in his career, that he's been hit by a pitch.
Isaac Galloway made a game-saving catch with two outs in the ninth inning, robbing Kevin Plawecki of a hit that likely would have scored Reinheimer from first. Reinheimer singled with one out off Drew Steckenrider, and with two outs, Plawecki laced a sinking liner; Galloway sprinted into the gap in right-center and made a sliding, backhanded grab to send the game to extra innings.
According to Statcast™, Galloway's catch was a 5-star play. He had an 18 percent catch probability, and he covered 71 feet in four seconds. His sprint speed was 28.1 feet per second.

Normally catching a routine foul ball doesn't create much of a stir. That wasn't the case for O'Brien, who became a Citi Field villain for catching Wright's foul ball in the fourth inning. From that point, O'Brien was widely booed in the rest of his at-bats and whenever he was involved in a play. Even after he singled in the 12th inning and was replaced by pinch-runner Magneuris Sierra, O'Brien heard it from the crowd.
"That's the atmosphere that you like to play in," O'Brien said. "As an away guy, getting booed on the road, it's the best feeling."
Richards, who retired Wright in the fourth, found the fans' reaction amusing.
"That was hilarious," Richards said. "That was priceless. That was good."

The Mets threatened to win the game in the 11th when Reinheimer reached on a walk, then put himself into scoring position with the first stolen base of his career. Reinheimer was ruled safe at second on a close call that stood after a Marlins challenge. Miami reliever Drew Rucinski then walked Jackson, but got Plawecki to hit into a double play to escape the jam.

A transitional season filled with predictable growing pains comes to an end for the Marlins on Sunday at 3:10 p.m. ET against the Mets at Citi Field. For the finale, rookie Sandy Alcantara, who gave up two runs in seven innings in a no-decision at the Mets on Sept. 13, gets the starting nod. Noah Syndergaard goes for New York.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.