Mets 4, Marlins 3: Three Up, Three Down

When Marlon Byrd stepped to the plate in the ninth inning Sunday, do you think he knew he was at risk of losing a point in this space for the first time this season? I do too.

Three Up:
1. OF Marlon Byrd: Can’t lie to you: Byrd was on the Three Down list before coming up with a game-winning two-run single in the ninth. Was his soft ground ball more a product of opportunity than anything else? Sure. But here at Three Up, Three Down, we reward walk-off hits 100 percent of the time.

2. RHP Greg Burke: The only reason the Mets stayed close all afternoon is because Burke wriggled out of Laffey’s jam in the fifth inning, giving the Mets 1 2/3 key innings of relief. For the first time this season, he aimed for strikeouts instead of ground balls, finding some success in the process.

3. SS Ruben Tejada: Not only did Tejada’s error streak end, but he also reached base twice and stole a critical base with one out in the seventh. Most importantly, he made an aggressive (and fortuitous) dash on the base paths, going first to third on Kirk Nieuwenhuis’ one-out single in the ninth. That was huge.

Three Down:
1. LHP Aaron Laffey: Ten hits in 4 1/3 innings ain’t going to cut it. Laffey’s rope in the rotation can’t be very long, which is bad news for the Mets; with Shaun Marcum out indefinitely, they don’t really have a good in-house alternative.

2. OF Lucas Duda: Two strikeouts and an 0-for-4 were bad enough, but Duda also took an, um, questionable route to Rob Brantly’s double in the seventh. That one did not come back to bite the Mets, but it reminded them that Duda is hardly a natural out there.

3. OF Collin Cowgill: Known primarily for his work against lefty pitching, Cowgill drew a tough assignment leading off against hard-throwing Marlins rookie Jose Fernandez, an electric right-hander. But, again, life ain’t fair.

Three Up, Three Down Season Standings:
+2
LHP Jon Niese, C John Buck
+1
RHP Matt Harvey, RHP Dillon Gee, INF Justin Turner, RHP Jeremy Hefner, 2B Daniel Murphy, OF Mike Baxter, OF Marlon Byrd
-1
RHP LaTroy Hawkins, RHP Jeurys Familia, 3B David Wright, 1B Ike Davis, LHP Josh Edgin, RHP Greg Burke, SS Ruben Tejada, OF Lucas Duda, LHP Aaron Laffey
-2
OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis

Follow me on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo.

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