By Jason Schott - Associate Editor - @JESchott19
The Mets lost another marathon on Friday night, a 14-inning, five-and-a-half-hour affair, to the Phillies 6-5.
In the bottom of the 14th, with closer Jenrry Mejia in the game, Marlon Byrd hit a routine fly ball to right field, which Chris Young lost in the lights. Byrd, hustling out the box, made it to second on the error. Young said of the play, "I was looking dead at it when it was coming down. I can't explain it. I have no idea how I dropped a routine fly ball, but it happened."
Carlos Ruiz followed with a single to make it first and third for Philadelphia, so the Mets walked pinch-hitter Cesar Fernandez to load the bases and set up a force at any base. Reid Brignac launched one deep into the outfield to score Byrd and win the game.
This was what one has come to expect from the Mets in this frustrating season, a ridiculously long game in which they left 12 men on base and basically lose the game on a ball getting lost in the lights.
Mets starter Rafael Montero did not have any follow through from his stellar outing last Sunday. The Mets gave him a 3-0 lead in the top of the second, but he could not hold it. Montero gave a run back in the bottom of the third on a Chase Utley RBI groundout, and then a monstrous three-run homer to Domonic Brown in the bottom of the fourth that made it 4-3 Phillies.
The trouble did not end there, as Reid Brignac singled and pitcher A.J. Burnett laid down a perfect bunt and reached on a fielder's choice as Travis d'Arnaud made a wild throw to second base. Ben Revere grounded into a double play, but Montero walked Jimmy Rollins. At this point, with his pitch count in the inning climbing and overall at 80, Montero was pulled. Montero went 3 2/3 innings, and allowed 4 runs (3 earned) on 7 hits, 2 walks, and no strikeouts. Daisuke Matsuzaka came in and got Chase Utley to pop out to end the inning.
The Mets responded in the top of the fifth against Burnett. Juan Lagares singled and Daniel Murphy walked, but David Wright and Curtis Granderson were then struck out. Bobby Abreu saved the inning when he laced a double into the right field corner to score two runs and make it 5-4 Mets.
In the bottom of the fifth, Matsuzaka walked Byrd with one out, followed by a double to Ruiz. Brown then got an RBI groundout to tie the game at 5.
Burnett threw seven innings, and the Mets did not have a good scoring chance until the top of the ninth inning. With Mike Adams on the mound for the Phillies, Chris Young walked and Juan Lagares bunted him over. With first base open, he actually walked left-handed hitting Daniel Murphy to get to the Mets' best hitter, David Wright. It was the right move, as Wright popped out. Pinch-hitter Eric Campbell walked to load the bases, but Abreu struck out to end the threat.
The Mets had another great chance in the top of the tenth against Jonathan Papelbon, who they always do well against. Travis d'Arnaud and Ruben Tejada got singles with one out, but Papelbon got Chris Young to fly out to center field and Lagares struck out to end the inning.
Vic Black, on another stint up from Las Vegas, came in to pitch for the Mets in the bottom of the 12th. After getting the first two outs quickly, he gave up singles to Ruiz and pinch-hitter John Mayberry. Black recovered to strike out Brignac to get out of the jam. It was the same thing in the 13th for Black, as he got the first two outs and then walked Rollins and Utley before striking out Ryan Howard to end the inning.
After the game, it was announced by Mets Manager Terry Collins that veteran lefty Buddy Carlyle will be brought in to help the overused bullpen. It is possible that Montero might be sent to the minots to open up the roster spot, and Matsuzaka would take the spot in the rotation until Dillon Gee returns. On Montero's outing tonight, Collins said, "The troubling part is the deep counts, the ball-one counts, because that is not how we thought he would attack up here. Certainly the whole history, as we've said so many times before, has been he's a strike thrower. To be behind in the count like he is and to get himself in some deep situations, that's the troubling part." Montero said, through an interpreter, of falling behind in counts, "I don't really look much into that. Each start is different."