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Mets takeaways from Sunday’s tie with Marlins, including Justin Verlander’s final start of spring

Mar 26, 2023; Port St. Lucie, Florida, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) throws a pitch against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Clover Park. / Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets tied the Miami Marlins, 3-3, on Sunday in their final spring training game.

Here are the takeaways…

Justin Verlander got the start for his final tune-up before the regular season, and allowed back-to-back singles in the first. Verlander then settled in and got a strikeout and forced a ground ball up the middle Jeff McNeil turned the inning-ending double-play. The veteran continued to make his way through the Miami lineup, escaping the second and third innings with two more inning-ending double-plays.

Verlander let up an RBI triple to Troy Johnston in the fourth and then gave up a sacrifice fly as the Marlins took a 2-1 lead. Verlander got hit in the leg by a ground ball, the second time it happened during the game, but stayed in and then gave up an RBI single to make it a 3-1 game. He luckily escaped the bases loaded jam by getting a ground out to end the fourth. Verlander allowed a leadoff single in the fifth, but then got a strikeout and catcher Omar Narvaez threw the runner out at second.

– The 40-year-old day’s ended after 95 pitches (55 strikes) over 5.0 IP as he allowed three runs on eight hits with three strikeouts and four walks.

Brandon Nimmo singled with two outs in the third and Starling Marte drove him in from first on a double to left as the Mets took a 1-0 lead.

Pete Alonso led off the bottom of the fourth with a single and moved up to second on Darin Ruf‘s walk. McNeil grounded into a fielder’s choice, as Ruf was called out at second on the force to give the Mets runners at the corners. Mark Canha drove in Alonso from third on a sacrifice fly as they trailed, 3-2.

– Marte doubled for the second time with two outs in the fifth and Francisco Lindor drove him in to tie the game up at 3-3. Marte finished the game 3-for-3 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored.

Stephen Nogosek came in for relief and struck out back-to-back Marlins to end the top of the sixth. Tommy Hunter tossed a 1-2-3 seventh inning with two strikeouts and Dennis Santana pitched a 1-2-3 eighth with three quick outs. Grant Hartwig pitched the ninth and issued a one out walk, but got out of it thanks to an inning-ending double-play.

– Ruf struck out with a runner on first to end the eighth, as he went 0-for-3 at the plate with a walk and a strikeout.


What’s next

The Mets will begin the regular season on Thursday, March 30 against the Miami Marlins at 4:10 pm on SNY.

Max Scherzer will start on Opening Day and is set to face reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Sandy Alcantara for Miami.

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