Another 14-inning marathon, but this time Mets win
PHILADELPHIA - At first base, David Wright clapped his hands. At home plate, Ruben Tejada scored the go-ahead run.
And in the dugout minutes later, in the bottom of the 14th inning, manager Terry Collins steeled himself for another nerve-wracking ending.
But Collins and the Mets were able to exhale after outlasting the Phillies Saturday, 5-4, in the second straight 14-inning game between the teams.
Wright singled home Tejada in the top of the 14th before Carlos Torres, the Mets' last available relief pitcher, shut the door on the Phillies after letting the first two men reach base.
Though it wasn't pretty for the Mets, whose offense again faded as the day went on, they avenged a brutal 6-5 loss in the teams' previous game.
"It's about the only thing we accomplished is that we won it," said Collins, who had watched his team fall to the Phillies early Saturday morning after Chris Young dropped a fly ball in the 14th. "Don't ask me how, because I'll tell you what, they're tired. There are some tired, tired bodies out there."
Victory proved costly. For the second straight game, the Mets fried their bullpen, prompting the team to call up another fresh arm from the minors. Lefty Dana Eveland, who hasn't pitched in the big leagues since 2012 with the Orioles, will arrive Sunday.
On Saturday, 36-year-old righthander Buddy Carlyle was called up. He hadn't pitched in the majors since 2011 with the Yankees. Playing with Triple-A Las Vegas, Carlyle pitched in El Paso, Texas, on Friday night before catching a flight to Philadelphia.
He arrived at the park about 30 minutes before first pitch, and his schedule was so hectic that his first face-to-face conversation with his catcher, Anthony Recker, took place on the mound before he pitched the 11th inning.
With the score tied at 4-4, Carlyle tossed three scoreless frames, good enough for his first major-league victory since 2008. It also was his first win since he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2009.
"Getting back here now at 36 feels special," said Carlyle, who might find himself back in the minors Sunday with the Mets again needing a fresh arm. "It's been a long road, a lot of contemplating [of] maybe retiring and stuff like that. It's very gratifying to be here."
As if the Mets' bullpen issues weren't enough to deal with, centerfielder Juan Lagares was scratched from the starting lineup because of back spasms. Though Lagares insisted he could have played, Collins said he was in so much discomfort when he used him as a pinch hitter in the 14th that he had him put down a sacrifice bunt.
"I know it's nothing bad," said Lagares, who is questionable for Sunday's game.
Remarkably, the banged-up Mets endured.
Starter Jacob deGrom did his part, allowing three runs in 61/3 innings. His one mistake was a three-run homer by Ryan Howard in the seventh inning, a rough ending to an outing in which he racked up 11 strikeouts.
"That was the best stuff I've had," said deGrom, who left with a 4-3 lead.
Tejada, who later helped the Mets rally, hit his first homer since 2012, then knocked in another run with a single. Lucas Duda and Bobby Abreu also had run-scoring hits.
But when fill-in closer Jeurys Familia allowed Domonic Brown's tying RBI single in the ninth, deGrom lost his chance for his first big-league victory and the Mets found themselves in yet another extra-inning game.
Wright delivered his go-ahead single in the 14th, then breathed a sigh of relief when Torres struck out Chase Utley to end it. It took 5 hours, 32 minutes -- nine minutes longer than the previous game -- but the Mets got some revenge.
Said Wright: "It [stinks] to burn up your bullpen, burn out everybody and in the end not get the W."