The Mets spent another night at the heartbreak hotel with a close play at the plate that could have given them a rare 9th inning rally.
Battling back from a 6-1 deficit, NY pulled within one with runners on first and second when Travis d’Arnaud poked a two out single to shallow right.
But Jay Bruce, whose bat has finally found good fortune, was gunned down at home on a one-hop throw by the savvy charging J.D. Martinez to end all hope of any heroics. How unlucky are the Mets? On a night when they finally get a crucial hit with RISP, they still come up short.
“I was kind of in a way anticipating it a little bit,” Martinez said. “I wasn’t confident that he was really going to drive something over my head, so I kind of just shaded in a little bit more than perhaps they say you should.”
Mets pitcher Logan Verrett lasted a lean 3 2/3 innings, giving up 6 runs on seven hits, falling to 3-7, in his latest attempt to be a viable a MLB starter.
Tied at one in the bottom of the 4th, Detroit went Motown on the Mets scoring five runs on a double by Victor Martinez followed by a barrage of singles by J.D. Martinez, Ian Kinsler, Jarod Saltalamacchia, and Miguel Cabrera.
Jon Niese, the lateral move the Mets made to replace Antonio Bastardo, relieved Verrett, and with two on and two out two additional runs crossed the plate.
Bruce and Granderson both went deep, but the merry go round of men left on base continued, as the Mets were 2-12 with RISP.
And in what has been a series of missed opportunities, Terry Collins second-guessed his dubious decision to not challenge the final play at the plate.
“Our guys said he was out on the replay, so we didn’t bother,” Collins said. “Maybe that’s a play that you challenge no matter what, because the worst that can happen is you still lose the game.”
Yeah, well the worst is happening. NY is nine in back of the Nationals, two behind the Marlins and Cards for the wildcard, two from a .500 record, and enough players on the DL to make an entire lineup.
Sunday, Jacob degrom is the great white hope to avoid a three game sweep and keep the Mets out of first place by double digits.