Miami Marlins lefty Adam Conley mesmerizes New York Mets

By Jerry Beach, The Sports Xchange  |  Aug. 20, 2017 at 6:54 PM
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NEW YORK -- How much information is too much information for Miami Marlins left-hander Adam Conley? Anything about his success against the New York Mets and at Citi Field.

Conley continued to thrive against the Mets in New York on Sunday afternoon. He struck out a career-high 11 in seven innings of one-run ball and picked up the win in the Marlins' 6-4 victory.

"Adam's seven strong is really what set the tone for today," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "And he seemed to get better as the game went on."

Conley (6-5) seems to be getting better every time he faces the Mets. With the win, he improved to 3-1 with a 1.87 ERA in nine games (seven starts) against the Mets. At Citi Field, Conley is 3-0 in three starts, during which he has allowed just two runs in 19 innings.

But the less said about Conley's past performances against the Mets the better as far as he's concerned.

"It's been brought up to me," Conley said. "I think a dangerous thing would be to look into that (and) assume today would go well.

"Wasn't really sharp last outing. It's a day game (Sunday), getaway day on the road, and so to assume those types of things, I think (it's) dangerous. I try to guard myself from that."

One bit of information Conley didn't mind absorbing Sunday was his pitch count. Conley threw 102 pitches in seven innings and said the efficiency made him more willing to go for strikeouts. He'd never whiffed more than nine in a start -- and relied more heavily on his put-away pitches, his changeup and slider.

"I love being able to see where I'm at, pitch count-wise," Conley said. "It's a good measure of where I'm at. It seems like, as games go on, I start to be able to gauge better what it is that I'm trying to do."

Conley allowed three hits, including a homer to Yoenis Cespedes in the first inning, and two walks. He appeared to be in line for an easy win when the Marlins scored four runs in the top of the seventh -- an inning in which Dee Gordon beat out an infield single to put runners at the corners before Giancarlo Stanton crushed his major league-leading 45th homer -- to extend their lead to 6-1.

The homer was the first in four games for Stanton, who homered in six straight games from Aug. 10-15. He said he's getting used to being pitched around like he was this weekend, when he drew five walks in eight plate appearances on Friday and Saturday.

"Changed the whole dynamic of my at-bat, for sure," Stanton said of Gordon's hit. "Figure that's the next step to this, being even more patient and make sure I don't miss the few (pitches) that I get."

Mets starter Jacob deGrom, who exited after surrendering Stanton's homer, said he would have been more likely to pitch around Stanton if there were two outs and a runner on third.

"You try to get him to chase, probably," deGrom said. "I think you're more willing to walk him. But that's on me. I have to do a better job."

Marcell Ozuna added an RBI single later in the eighth for the Marlins, whose insurance came in handy when the Mets scored three runs, all charged to Odrisamer Despaigne, in the bottom of the eighth.

Cespedes hit an RBI double off Despaigne before Kyle Barraclough entered and surrendered a sacrifice fly and a run-scoring single. But Barraclough struck out the potential tying run, Amed Rosario, and Brad Ziegler picked up his sixth save with a one-hit ninth.

Christian Yelich had three hits, including two run-scoringinfield singles, for the Marlins (60-62), who have won seven of nine. Gordon scored three runs and stole two bases.

DeGrom (13-7) took the loss after allowing five runs, 10 hits and no walks while striking out eight in 6 1/3 innings. He has given up 10 earned runs in his last two starts, a span of 13 2/3 innings, after posting a 1.82 ERA (16 earned runs in 79 1/3 innings) during an 11-start stretch from June 12 through Aug. 10.

"He's always deep into the game," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "There might be a little fatigue in there."

NOTES: The Mets acquired RHP Jacob Rhame from the Los Angeles Dodgers as the player to be named later in the trade that sent OF Curtis Granderson to the Dodgers on Friday. Rhame, who was 0-2 with a 4.31 ERA and two saves in 41 games for Triple-A Oklahoma City, will be assigned to Triple-A Las Vegas. ... Mets RHP Matt Harvey (shoulder) will make his third rehab start, and his first for Double-A Binghamton, on Monday. ... Marlins LHP Jarlin Garcia (left biceps) threw a bullpen Sunday and could be activated from the disabled list when eligible on Tuesday. ... Marlins 2B Dee Gordon stole second base in the first inning with his batting gloves in his mouth. He said he was trying to switch to his running gloves when he realized it was time to take off for second.

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