The words of Jeff Wilpon and Brodie Van Wagenen provided an instant motivation that was missing or Derek Jeter's Marlins served as the perfect antidote to what afflicted the Mets.
It is safe to say this last, almost certainly the second.
Before the start of an essential stretch of 16 games against sub-.500 teams, the Mets juniors had a 90-minute meeting with manager Mickey Callaway to emphasize the importance of using the experience of last season's fall after A quick start to the right The ship and avoid a similar fate, reported Joel Sherman of The Post.
It worked, at least for one night.
The Callaway team responded by treating the Marlins, who are the worst baseball players, like the doormats they have become, exploding into eight runs in the first inning, five less than they did in their entire trip from 1 to 5, and sailing to feel good 11-2 Victory against 25,194 at Citi Field.
The offense blew up, hitting Marlins starter Pablo Lopez for three home runs, 10 hits and 10 runs in three innings, and beating the season with 15 hits. It started with the impressive opening frame.
The Mets (18-20) sent 13 batters to the plate, scored eight runs and produced eight hits. Amed Rosario had the big hit, his first grand slam in his career, a shot to right field, and J.D. Davis and Robinson Cano each had two singles.
Lopez allowed seven runs in the first 21 pitches he pitched, and was responsible for just two outs, one in a strikeout by starting pitcher Zack Wheeler, in the inning. The first out was recorded by right fielder Brian Anderson, who knocked down Jeff McNeil trying to go first to third with a Davis single. The inlet fortunately ended when Pete Alonso's hot shot went from Lopez to second baseman Starlin Castro.
It was the Mets' first eight-run inning in 29 years and the first similar frame at home in 39 years. His first longest inning was a nine-run outing against the Giants on August 16, 1988. The single inning also represented his biggest production of the season since he beat the Phillies, 9-0, on April 23.
Wheeler was the beneficiary, throwing seven innings of two balls and striking out 11 for his third win. Michael Conforto came out of a 1-for-15 skid with three hits and his seventh home run of the year. Davis added three hits and McNeil scored his 17th game of the season.
It all started with that conversation between Callaway, Wilpon and Van Wagenen. An opponent's punching bag, of course, did not hurt.