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.
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, 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.