By: Paul DiSclafani
Mets (74-60) came back twice against the Marlins, including tying the game in the ninth with two outs, only to lose in the 11th inning, 6-5.
Eric O’Flaherty, the 7th pitcher used by manager Terry Collins, gives up a game winning double to Martin Prado to the opposite field, just over the first base bag, scoring Christian Yelich from first. Yelich, who grounded into a fielder’s choice, was running on the 3-2 pitch to Prado with two outs and scored easily. Prado had a career high five hits in the game.
The loss, coupled with the Nationals extra inning win over Atlanta, drops the Mets lead in the NL East to 5 games.
Mets came back twice in the game. Starter Jacob deGrom (ND) struggled in the fourth inning, when the Marlins took a 3-0 lead, touching the 2014 Rookie of the Year for five hits.
Yoenis Cespedes capped the first comeback, hitting a two-run home run in the 7th to give the Mets a 4-3 lead after helping the Mets score two runs in the sixth with his 3rd triple as a Met. Cespedes has hit home runs in three consecutive games and has 11 as a Met, 29 overall.
But once again, the bullpen failed the Mets in the 7th inning. Sean Gilmartin started the inning for deGrom (6.0 innings, 9H, 4K) but didn’t get an out, giving up consecutive singles to start the inning. Addison Reed came in and was greeted by Prado for a run scoring single and it was a tie game, 4-4. Reed got Justin Bour swinging for the first out, but Derek Dietrich singled to load the bases and then walked Marcell Ozuna to force in a run and the Marlins had the lead again, 5-4.
The Mets had a chance in the 8th and loaded the bases with two out, but David Wright grounded out to third. Wright had an awful night, 0-5 and stranding 7 base runners.
Things didn’t look any better in the 9th for the Mets against AJ Ramos, who got the first two outs. Travis d’Arnaud singled to keep the inning alive and was replaced by Juan Lagares. With Lagares running, Juan Uribe singled to center and sending Lagares all the way to third. Kelly Johnson then singled home Lagares and the Mets tied the game.
Bartolo Colon (12-11) goes tomorrow night for his third straight win against Brad Hand (4-4). Colon has not allowed a run in his last two starts.
The loss tonight keeps the Mets Magic Number to clinch the NL East at 24.
POSITIVES: Johnson had two hits and drove in two runs, both with two outs … Lucas Duda starts a rehab assignment tomorrow and could be back with the team on Monday in Washington … d’arnaud had two hits and a two walks … Mets had 12 hits.
NEGATIVES: deGrom has given up four multi-run innings in his last three starts … Marlins had 17 hits … Michael Cuddyer was not available with a wrist problem (tendonitis) and Daniel Murphy was still out with a quad injury … Wright (in the 3rd) and Uribe (in the 10th) grounded into crucial inning ending double plays. Wright made the last out of an inning three times … Michael Conforto hit cleanup for the first time in his career and was 0-6 with 2K,but drove in a run.