Jeremy Hefner tough-luck loser as Mets fall in 9th in Marlins
MIAMI -- David Wright signaled for timeout and began yelling in the face of third-base umpire Tim McClelland. He waved his arms and pleaded his case to no avail.
Wright's view -- confirmed later by instant replays -- proved to be correct. Chris Coghlan slid past the bag at third base. Wright tagged him before he could recover. He shouldn't have been in position to score the tying run in the bottom of the ninth.
But these are the Mets. And after one month of a season souring quickly, they have already displayed a special talent for losing in the most excruciating ways possible, as they did in falling 2-1 to the Marlins.
"I'm [ticked] off," manager Terry Collins said, following the Mets' sixth consecutive defeat. "I'm extremely [ticked] off."
The blown call proved to be only one part of the madness that unfolded in the ninth, when the Marlins emerged with a rare walk-off victory thanks to a wild pitch.
Brandon Lyon bounced an offering past backup catcher Anthony Recker -- who endured a miserable half inning. Juan Pierre scored the winning run, sending the Mets to sulk in yet another miserable finish.
The Mets' loss came just one night after a marathon 4-3 defeat in which they took the lead in the 15th inning only to lose it in the Marlins' half of the frame.
"We can't allow it to kind of consume us and take over for a week or two weeks," said Wright, who declined to address the blow call at third. "We've got to snap out of it and start offensively going out there and having good at-bats."
The Mets' offense, which has hit just .165 during this six-game skid, managed just one run against Marlins starter Kevin Slowly. They finished 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position.
Yet, tough-luck loser Jeremy Hefner nearly made it enough.
The righthander struck out a career-high eight batters against a Marlins team missing slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who landed on the disabled list with a hamstring strain.
Hefner came out for the ninth aiming for his first career shutout. He had yet to allow a runner into scoring position.
"I wish I could have finished it off," said Hefner, who wound up getting charged for both runs in the loss.
Fate conspired against him.
Coghlan began with a leadoff single off Hefner, then advanced to second when Recker failed to glove a pitch. At the plate, Pierre laid down a sacrifice bunt. But instead of taking the sure out at first base, Recker threw high to third base. The play was only close because of Coghlan's botched slide. Still, the call went against the Mets, despite Wright's protests.
Ordinarily, Collins would have gone to closer Bobby Parnell. But because he pitched two innings the previous night, Collins opted against using Parnell.
So, the responsibility fell to Lyon, who allowed a Donovan Solano's game-tying single before throwing the wild pitch that sent the Mets reeling.