PHILADELPHIA - The play still was fresh in his mind early Saturday morning. It had happened only minutes before. Still, as Mets rightfielder Chris Young leaned against his locker, he struggled for an explanation.
He could not understand how he botched a routine fly, making a two-base error that wound up costing his team the game.
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"It was just a flub-up," Young said after the Phillies sent the Mets to a bitter 6-5, 14-inning loss that concluded a 5-hour, 23-minute exercise in attrition.
By the 14th, things had disintegrated to the point of absurdity.
Jacob deGrom already had been summoned for pinch-hitting duty. He's a starting pitcher.
Anthony Recker began warming up in the bullpen. He's a backup catcher.
Jenrry Mejia began the 14th inning of a tie game. He's a closer.
Terry Collins was running out of bodies. Had Mejia reached 25 pitches, he would have summoned Recker for his second career relief appearance. But it never got to that point.
After Young began the 14th by muffing Marlon Byrd's routine fly ball for a two-base error, a single by Carlos Ruiz and an intentional walk to Cesar Hernandez loaded the bases with none out. Reid Brignac then lined Mejia's 0-and-1 pitch off the base of the leftfield wall to end it.
The Phillies' dugout emptied, the Liberty Bell in centerfield rang and the Mets watched their three-game winning streak evaporate. After the game, they announced that righty Buddy Carlyle will be promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas after posting a 1.33 ERA in 17 games.
For Young, it was yet another black mark on a season that has worsened by the day. He signed a one-year, $7.25-million deal during the offseason only to stumble out of the gate. With June looming, he's hitting .202.
"I don't care if you're hitting .400," Collins said. "If you drop a fly ball and it cost your team that's played so hard for five hours, you feel terrible for him."
Despite striking out 19 times, the Mets had their chances. But they went 3-for-15 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 runners, including three in the ninth as Bobby Abreu struck out.
In his fourth big-league start, Rafael Montero did not factor in the decision. He allowed four runs (three earned) and seven hits in 32/3 innings, his shortest outing with the Mets, and his ERA jumped from 4.96 to 5.40.
Montero already has allowed five home runs in his first four major-league starts, including a three-run shot by Domonic Brown in the fourth that gave the Phillies a 4-3 lead.
"It was a little bad tonight," Montero said through a translator. "But I'm going to keep working to fix those things."
After striking out 10 Diamondbacks in his last start, he managed none against the Phillies.
The Mets used a pair of second-inning walks by A.J. Burnett to take a 3-0 lead, with Lucas Duda picking up an RBI double and Ruben Tejada adding an RBI single.
Burnett, who struck out 11 in seven innings, allowed a two-out, two-run double by Abreu in the fifth that gave the Mets a 5-4 lead. Brown picked up his fourth RBI with a groundout in the bottom of the inning.
Notes & quotes: Top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard has been doing some light throwing, according to a team source, an indication he might be nearing a return from the disabled list. Syndergaard has been sidelined with a flexor pronator strain, though an MRI exam showed no structural damage. He's 5-2 with a 4.02 ERA with Triple-A Las Vegas . . . Reliever Gonzalez Germen (virus) is nearing a return to the mound, Collins said.