Flow and tempo seemed just fine for the Mets, who jumped on Marlins starter Anibal Sanchez, ultimately knocking him out in the fourth. Pagan, who reached base four times, singled to lead off the game and walked to extend a rally in the second, scoring his first run on Daniel Murphy's RBI single.
Their own offensive outburst, combined with the Marlins' defensive mistakes, allowed the Mets to score four runs off Sanchez in the first four innings -- even if that lead was not yet safe.
"It hasn't happened in a while," catcher Omir Santos said of the early offense. "When it happened, the team got going. Everyone got going in the dugout. We felt good about it."
All the while, though, Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez sat in the home dugout, watching Redding pepper the strike zone and knowing his team could hit those pitches.
"It was one of those things where I felt comfortable the whole game," Gonzalez said. "I felt we were going to come back and put a big number up. Tip your cap to Redding. He gave them an opportunity to win the ballgame. We weren't able to put a big number up."
Instead, they put three small numbers up. Of the five hits Redding allowed in his 6 2/3 innings, three were solo home runs -- two by Chris Coghlan, the third a booming shot off the bat of Dan Uggla. Those hits, though, were the byproduct of Redding attempting to throw as many first-pitch strikes as he could -- at any cost.
Even in a scoreless tie, that is his style. Given an early lead, he wasn't about to abandon it.
"You mind them," Redding said of the homers. "But I can look back and I can live with the three home runs, because they were solo home runs."
Efficient until the seventh, Redding then tired and had to be removed for the first of four relievers. But by that point, Murphy had broken the game open, hitting a two-run double off Cristhian Martinez in the fifth. Tatis and Pagan hit their solo shots in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively, capping the most complete game the Mets had played in some time.
They banged out 17 hits in all against the Marlins, reaching base nearly two dozen times.
"It's so contagious," Murphy said. "It just starts rolling and everybody starts putting together really good at-bats, and all of the sudden, those good at-bats come with runners in scoring position."
Such is how the Mets scored 10 runs, or four more than they had in their previous three games combined. And such is how they won for the first time in six games, and for just the second time this season at Land Shark Stadium.
They are not a better team than they were Tuesday or Wednesday or any other recent day. Certainly, they are not more complete. But on Thursday, they ran into a struggling pitcher, they played behind a starter who threw strike after strike, and they were able to translate all that into a win.
More than that, there were no new injuries Thursday, no news of surgeries. And so for the Mets, who have endured so many forgettable days recently, Thursday was a memorable one.
"The goal right now is to play good baseball," Murphy said. "Maybe this game right here can launch us into a month and a week of good baseball. That's what we're trying to do -- finish strong, play good, and I think today was a good launching point for that."