Mets Game 57: Mets Lose to Marlins in 20 Innings

On Saturday, the Mets more than made up for their two consecutive rainouts by playing 20 innings of baseball. They fell to the Miami Marlins, 2-1 (Box Score).

Adeiny Hechavarria singled in Placido Polanco in the top of the twentieth inning off of a tiring Shaun Marcum for the go-ahead run. Marcum (0-7) was the hard-luck loser, pitching 8 innings of relief (more than the Mets’ starter Matt Harvey, who went 7), giving up a run on 5 hits, walking none and striking out 7.

Kevin Slowey (W, 2-5) pitched an equally impressive 8 innings of relief for the Fish. He gave up no runs on 8 hits while striking out 8. Steve Cishek picked up his 6th save with a 1-2-3 twentieth.

The Mets offense was clearly the collective goat of this game. They left 22 men on base, were 0-19 with runners in scoring position, and struck out 19 times as a team.

The Mets had at least one man on base in almost every inning from the sixth on, but couldn’t cash in on their opportunities. They’re best chance to score cam in the bottom of the twelfth. Daniel Murphy led off with a walk. He advanced to second on a fielder’s choice by Wright. After a fly ball by Lucas Duda that advanced Murphy to third, Marlon Byrd hit a fly ball to shallow right field down the line. Ozuna made a great throw to home that beat Murphy by a mile, and catcher Rob Brantley survived a vicious collision with the Mets’ second baseman.

They had endless chances to put the game away, but could never come up with that one clutch hit.

Harvey Injured

Harvey, meanwhile, was cruising along, allowing 1 run on 6 hits with 6 Ks and no walks through 7. He singled with two outs in the bottom of the seventh. When he took the mound to warm up, Terry Collins spotted something wrong with him. He was removed with apparent tightness his lower back. It remains to be seen how this will affect his next start.

And now, with Marcum having essentially used up his start this week, the Mets may have to call up more than just Zack Wheeler to round out this rotation.

Harvey collected his 8th no-decision in his last 9 starts.

The Rest of the Story

The Mets got on the board first in the second. Ike Davis led off the inning with a walk. A batter later, Juan Lagares ripped a slider into the left center field gap. Despite the fact that Juan Pierre cut it off before it reached the wall, Davis scored all the way from first. Good call by third base coach Tim Teufel to take that chance, considering the pitcher was up next, and because Pierre might have the weakest arm in the major leagues.

Lagares got the start over Rick Ankiel, despite the fact that a tough right-hander was on the mound for Miami. It makes sense to keep the young outfielder in the lineup instead of the veteran because A) the Mets are rebuilding, and B) Ankiel hasn’t had a good season in three years. Ankiel struck out 3 times after entering the game in a double switch.

In the fourth, the Marlins evened it up at 1 on Chris Coghlan‘s sac fly. Harvey surrendered back-to-back singles to Derek Deitrich and Pablo Ozuna. He then fell behind Coghlan 2-0, challenged Coghlan with fastball, and the Marlins’ center field hit it to medium depth right field to drive in Dietrich.

Fernandez really found his breaking ball in the bottom of the fourth. He struck out Davis, John Buck, and Lagares, all looking at the slurve. He pitched well overall, going 6 innings, allowing 1 run on 3 hits, walking 3 and striking out 7. The Marlins took him out after 97 pitches, being ever-vigilant with the 20 year-old’s workload.

In the fifth,  Lagares helped the Mets with his arm. Pierre singled up the middle, but Lagares threw a strike to Buck at home plate nail Adeiny Hechavarria by about 15 feet. With Pierre’s lack of power, the Mets’ outfield was able to play unusually shallow, which facilitated the play.

But in the end, it was the Marlins who finally found a way to get a run home, 6 hours and 25 minutes after the first pitch. I’ve found myself using the word “slog” an awful lot this season. This game was a slog. 20 innings, lots of opportunities, no payoff, and a freshly beaten-up pitching staff. There’s really not much good to take away from this game.

Up Next

The second, and final, game of this series takes place on Sunday at 1:10 PM. RHP Tom Koehler (0-4, 3.70 ERA) faces LHP Jon Niese (3-5, 4.40 ERA).

Paul is a freelance writer, blogger, and broadcast technology professional residing in Denver. A New Jersey native, he is a long-suffering Mets fan, a recently-happy Giants fan, and bewildered Islanders fan. He's also a fair-weather Avalanche and Rockies supporter. In his spare time, he enjoys the three Gs: Golf, Guitars, and Games.
  1. Dan42 June 8, 2013 at 9:04 pm
    Murphy made some nice plays, but his delayed tag up may have cost them the win, since he might have been able to slide under and around the tag if he had just stayed on the bag until the ball was caught. There was no reason to break for home with ball hit to the outfield.

    Ankiel might as well leave his bat in the rack when he goes to the plate. There has to be a better alternative somewhere.

  2. Wohjr June 8, 2013 at 9:58 pm
    Totally disagree with not pinch running for buck in the ninth; then even worse using recker as punch hitter committing buck to 20 innings o Bataan march. I can’t believe I got up at 10am for this game!
  3. Izzy June 8, 2013 at 11:31 pm
    Missed the game. Was I lucky or not? But looking at box score proud of both managers for playing game the right way and not putting any non-pitchers on the mound.
  4. TheDZA June 9, 2013 at 3:09 am
    Got to give it up for Marcum – coming in pitching a whole ballgame, in relief, on a rest day and getting zilch for it…he deserved a ‘W’…all those guys on base and no-one can advance the runner and SAC the guy in?!
    17th – Turner opens with a double and I was thinking ‘that’s it’…then 3 outs on pretty much the 1st pitch faced by Buck/lagares/ankiel…
    I may have it wrong as I was checking in on ESPN gamecast (in London UK) so I went to bed after the 18th (about 1am)….
  5. Happy59 June 9, 2013 at 3:28 am
    20 innings of great pitching, 20 innings of total hitting ineptitude, Harvey & Marcum each deserved to win…..

    Pleased to see Ankiel released and Nieuwenhuis called up. Watching Ankiel under-swing and miss at fastballs Saturday made me wonder if he needs glasses! I got the impression watching Ankiel hit lately that he wanted to be released. Would like to hear Ankiel’s thoughts on playing for Collins…

    Pitch-hitting for a pitch-hitter, one less player to use later…

    How come we never see the hook-slide utilized anymore? Particularly at second base and home, Murphy might have scored if he used it, the catcher was on the far side of home and had a long reach, he made it much to easy running right into him……… just curious.

    • gary s June 9, 2013 at 9:07 am
      Just from watching the replay i had the same thought,, If Murphy hook slides he is safe..Catcher never could have reached him with ball.But what can we expect from Murphy? Just another flawed player who would be a bench player or pinch hitter for a good team. Clueless when it comes to baseball instincts…
      • Happy59 June 9, 2013 at 10:15 am
        I don’t blame Murphy, I blame the fact that they don’t teach the hook slide any more apparently. I don’t recall seeing any modern player using the hook slide, only in newsreels of old games or historical promotional photographs.

        Murphy is one of the Mets bright spots, he hits for average with lots of doubles, and is getting to be a better second baseman everyday. He is relatively slow running the bases. I’ve noticed how he is positioning himself at second [playing a little deeper for one] based on the hitter and he is stopping many would be hits from getting through. It’s a learning process which is making him a better player.

        Buck is clearly exasperated with his hitting funk, give him a break and let Recker play for awhile to see what he can do before d’Arnaud arrives and claims the most playing time. I would not like to see Recker demoted when d’Arnaud comes without being given a chance to show his skills since Buck is just a stop gap catcher anyway. Mets will most likely use a combination of d’Arnaud and Recker anyway with Buck traded.

        I got the feeling that the back tightness of Harvey’s was more an Alderson phone call to the dugout to cut his pitch count. Otherwise why did Collins wait until Harvey was on the mound warming up? Just a gut feeling.

        • Dan42 June 9, 2013 at 1:15 pm
          Murphy’s having to return to the bag to tag made the charge the catcher necessary, the one or two steps lost and a simple slide under the tag would have done the trick.
  6. Dan B June 9, 2013 at 12:48 pm
    I assumed Collins let Harvey warm up and if his back loosened up, he would of continued. How often do you see four pitchers throw at least six innings in the same game? Another oddity was the Mets had eleven players in the nine spot over the course of the game even after their starter pitched seven innings. Hey Joe, how good do you think Buck’s knees feel right now after catching 20 innings?
  7. Joe June 9, 2013 at 1:48 pm
    I was thinking Joe Janish must have been salivating with someone not ‘being a wimp” and colliding with the catcher, but since Murphy might have flubbed tagging up (I didn’t see it), might have focused on that.
  8. Joe June 9, 2013 at 1:59 pm
    Kevin B. noted Murphy mentioned it was a contact play, which might explain why he started going, and then had to go back.