NEW YORK -- The biggest takeaway for Jarred Cosart on Monday night was that he was part of a team effort. The Marlins offense broke through early off Mets left-hander Steven Matz for a huge lead, the bullpen stepped up and the team prevailed 10-3 in the series opener at Citi Field.
Personally, Cosart is a bit frustrated that after he was staked an eight-run lead through three innings, he was unable to last the necessary five frames to qualify for the win.
"In a situation like that, obviously, five would have been huge," Cosart said. "But six, seven [innings] is ideal. Then you have to use two guys out of the bullpen instead of a couple more. Again, we got a big win."
Cosart's line was three runs on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. His night was cut short largely because of a 34-pitch fourth, when he allowed three runs. In the fifth, the right-hander put himself in a bind with a one-out walk to David Wright, which gave New York two baserunners.
Yoenis Cespedes lined out to second after he crushed a long foul ball to left, which had the distance for a home run. With Cosart at 101 pitches, manager Don Mattingly made a change, going with Chris Narveson, who struck out Lucas Duda to end the threat.
Mattingly was hoping Cosart could have got the necessary five innings for the win, but he wasn't about to take any chances with Duda.
"I was trying to. I'd have liked to," Mattingly said of allowing Cosart to get one more out. "You don't want to take a guy out there, but the -pitch fourth puts him in danger. Then the walk to Wright. If there is one guy on, maybe. But when they have two guys on, Cespedes just hit a seed and just missed one foul. I can't give Duda a shot there. It might change the game."
Cosart was understandably rusty since he last pitched in a game situation against a big league opponent on March 21 against the Mets in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Initially, Cosart was scheduled to start on Sunday at Washington, but that start was pushed back due to Saturday's postponement.
"The guys were locked in today at the plate," Cosart said. "It's a little different to go out there as a pitcher and not be too fine. I got a little too fine, a little too cute in a couple of counts. That ended up ultimately hurting me. But, obviously, to have that kind of lead was comforting to go out there and kind of take your foot off the gas a little bit, which also can hurt you, which it did a little to me today."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.