MIAMI - Marlins Park continues to be a brightly colored house of horrors for the Mets, who fell, 1-0, Wednesday, the second consecutive day they were shut out there.
The Marlins recorded their seventh walk-off win against the Mets at the stadium since it opened in 2012. This time, Marcell Ozuna knocked in the winning run in the ninth against Kyle Farnsworth. His sacrifice fly to medium right-center scored Giancarlo Stanton, who singled to lead off the inning against reliever Carlos Torres.
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Juan Lagares' throw arrived before Stanton, but it was off- line. When catcher Anthony Recker tried to backhand it, the ball bounced off his mitt and trickled into foul ground, allowing Stanton to slide in safely.
"I just did what I could, tried to throw it quick,'' said Lagares, who thought he had a chance when he let the ball fly. But with the throw wide of the plate, Recker's only chance would have been to make a clean pick on Lagares' throw, which stayed low.
Said Recker: "Looking at the replay, I don't know whether I'd have [gotten] him anyway.''
But the close play was hardly the biggest problem for the Mets, who squandered six shutout innings by Zack Wheeler because they haven't produced a run in 23 consecutive innings.
The Mets have dropped six of their last seven games and wrapped up their trip 2-6. They dropped below .500 (16-17) for the first time since April 19.
"We've gotten ourselves in trouble in the past,'' David Wright said. "Because we allow these things to kind of stretch out over a couple weeks rather than a series here and there.''
Wheeler was outdone by Stony Brook product Tom Koehler, who threw eight dominant innings.
Wheeler departed after holding the Marlins to two hits. The righthander demonstrated command of his secondary pitches, making his blazing fastball that much more difficult to hit. Only later in the game did he begin to lose his feel. Three of Wheeler's season-high five walks came in the sixth, when he survived his biggest threat.
He walked Christian Yelich and Derek Dietrich to begin the inning. But he jammed the dangerous Stanton, breaking his bat to get a grounder to third that the Mets turned into a double play.
"I made pitches when I had to,'' Wheeler said. "Today was a good overall day for me, except for the walks. They killed me.''
The Mets finally managed a threat against Koehler in the eighth. After Lucas Duda led off with a single, Recker moved him to second with a sacrifice bunt. Collins pinch hit for Ruben Tejada with Bobby Abreu, who struck out. Collins dipped into his bench again for Josh Satin, who also struck out.
Thursday's's off day will give the Mets a chance to regroup after being shut out in consecutive games for the first time since July 15-16, 2010, against the Giants.
Said Wright: "Hopefully, the difference in this year and the last couple of years is that if we go into these little slides, we stop it at a series, we stop it at two series, rather than let it carry over.''