The New York Mets know how difficult it is to bounce back the day after losing a marathon game. They hope to find out Sunday that it's easier to deal with the nature of the quick turnaround following a long extra-innings win.
The Mets will look to complete a winning homestand on a victorious note Sunday afternoon, when they host the Detroit Tigers in the finale of a three-game series. New York's Zack Wheeler (3-3, 4.74 ERA) is scheduled to oppose Detroit rookie Spencer Turnbull (2-3, 2.68 ERA) in a battle of right-handers.
Tomas Nido finally sent the Mets home happy early Saturday evening, when his 13th-inning homer lifted New York to a 5-4 win in a game in which the two teams completely emptied their benches in using 20 players apiece, including a starting pitcher as a pinch-runner in extra innings (Steven Matz for the hosts and Daniel Norris for the Tigers).
It was the second marathon Saturday game for the Mets this month. On May 4, New York took the lead in the top of the 18th before falling to the Milwaukee Brewers, 4-3.
That loss was the second of four straight defeats for the Mets, who endangered manager Mickey Callaway's job by going 4-10 from May 3 through May 19. But New York has won five of the first six games on the homestand and can get back to .500 with a victory on Sunday.
"We get tired with those long games," said Mets catcher Wilson Ramos, who hit two homers and collected New York's first four RBI on Saturday. "But you forget about that when we're winning."
Now the task for the Tigers is to forget all the what-ifs that accompanied their longest loss since they fell to the Oakland Athletics, 1-0, in 13 innings last Aug. 3.
"Well, we pretty much went through everything we possibly had -- all of our pitching, the whole package," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said afterward. "We had our opportunities to get some big hits and so did they. That's kind of what always happens in these extra-innings games. Everybody's waiting for that one more big hit and they finally got it there at the end. We pretty much exhausted everything we had."
Neither Wheeler nor Turnbull factored into the decision in their most recent starts Tuesday night.
Wheeler gave up three runs over seven innings as the Mets beat the Washington Nationals, 6-5. It was the sixth time he's given up three runs or fewer over his last eight starts, a span in which Wheeler has a 3.74 ERA.
Turnbull's winless streak hit four starts after he surrendered three runs over five innings in the Tigers' 5-4, 11-inning loss to the Miami Marlins. He is 0-1 despite posting a 2.91 ERA in four starts in May.
Wheeler has never faced the Tigers. He is 4-4 with a 5.05 ERA in 14 interleague starts.
Turnbull has never faced the Mets. He is 1-1 with a 3.22 ERA in four interleague starts.
--Field Level Media
Mets look to complete homestand with win over Tigers