Thursday was get-away day. The Mets left the comforts of their “home sweep home” behind, and hopped a flight for the desert lands of the American southwest. After taking three games from the Colorado Rockies at Citi Field, the Mets hoped to keep their mojo going Friday evening against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Jeremy Hefner climbed the hill for his twenty-third start of the season. The Mets got him off the hook in his last outing on August 3rd against the Royals. Jeremy exited the game after six innings with his team trailing 3-1, before they tied it in the eighth, and lost in twelve. In taking his eleventh no-decision of the season, Jeremy allowed three runs on eight hits, walked none, and struck out six. He entered tonight’s game with a 4-8 record, and 4.23 earned run average.
Hefner’s mound opponent was Arizona’s left-hander Patrick Corbin. Entering Friday’s game, his twelve wins (12-3) ranked second in the National League, and his 2.33 ERA was third best behind Matt Harvey and Clayton Kershaw.
Jeremy Hefner and Patrick Corbin previously locked horns back on July 2nd. The Mets won that game in a 9-1 romp. They roughed up Corbin for five earned runs on six hits over six innings pitched. Hefner was the victor that day. He pitched seven innings, allowed one earned run on four hits, walked two and struck out six to earn his third win of the season.
Here’s the line-up Coach Terry assembled to face left-hander Patrick Corbin: LF-Eric Young; CF-Juan Lagares; 2B-Daniel Murphy; RF-Marlon Byrd; 1B-Josh Satin; SS-Justin Turner; 3B-Wilmer Flores; C-John Buck; SP-Jeremy Hefner
Patrick Corbin opened the game by retiring the Mets in order, striking out Eric Young and Daniel Murphy. In the bottom half of the first, Adam Eaton opened with a single off Hefner. But left fielder Martin Prado bounced to Wilmer Flores who started a 5-4-3 double-play. Hefner then struck out number three batter Paul Goldschmidt to retire the side.
In the second, Marlon Byrd just missed a home run on two counts. First, he struck a deep fly to straight away center that took a wacky carom off the wall. Martin Prado had to come over from left field to make the play. Meanwhile, Byrd was motoring around third and headed home, but was thrown out at the plate.
In a little pitcher on pitcher violence, Patrick Corbin hit Jeremy Hefner with a pitch in the third to put runners on first and second with one out. But Eric Young and Juan Lagares left them stranded. With two outs in the bottom of the third, Jeremy Hefner walked his first batter of the game, but no harm came of it.
Josh Satin drew a two out walk in the top of the fourth, then moved to second on a wild pitch. Justin Turner followed with a base hit to right field, delivering Satin from second base to give the Mets a 1-0 lead.
With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Patrick Corbin helped himself out with a double. Lead-off batter Adam Eaton then drove a liner to right for a double which scored Corbin to tie the game at one. Martin Prado then smashed the Diamondbacks third consecutive double. Eaton scored to put Arizona ahead.
Daniel Murphy led-off the sixth with a single, and Marlon Byrd became the second batter struck by a Corbin pitch. With runners on first and second with no outs, Corbin faced Josh Satin, who flied to right field, advancing Murphy. Justin Turner then bounced a hit through the left side to score Murphy. After Wilmer Flores flied to right for the second out, John Buck looked at strike three to end the inning, but not before the Mets tied the game at two.
Arizona continued putting good wood on Jeremy Hefner’s offerings. Aaron Hill led off the bottom of the sixth with a hard single, then Cody Ross doubled to right. Catcher Wil Nieves was next and yanked yet another double down the left field line, scoring both base runners. That finally spelled the end of Jeremy Hefner’s night. Coach Collins summoned Pedro Feliciano from the bullpen to face shortstop Didi Gregorius, and struck him out. With one out and a 4-2 lead, manager Kirk Gibson sent up A.J. Pollock to pinch hit for his starting pitcher, who drew a walk off Feliciano. Back to the top of the line-up, Adam Eaton advanced the runners to second and third on a 5-3 put out. Coach Collins then called in his second reliever, David Aardsma, who ended Arizona’s threat.
The Mets faced new Arizona pitcher, Will Harris in the top of the seventh. Juan Lagares broke one of the cardinal rules of baseball – never make the first or last out at third base. With two outs, he was thrown out at third base in an ill-advised attempt to stretch a double into a triple. That was the second major outfield assist converted by the Diamondbacks, the first coming off Marlon Byrd back in the second inning.
Coach Collins handed the ball off to Gonzalez Germen, who pitched a scoreless seventh.
The Mets loaded the bases in the top of the eighth off Heath Bell. Justin Turner stepped in with no outs and grounded to short, scoring Daniel Murphy. Marlon Byrd advanced to third on the play. With runners now on second and third, Wilmer Flores bounced to second, allowing Marlon Byrd to score on the play, and tying the game at four.
Scott Rice entered the game to pitch a scoreless eighth inning.
For Arizona, reliever Brad Ziegler pitched the top of the ninth, and retired the Mets in order. Scott Atchison took over, becoming the Mets fifth and last reliever of the game. With one out, Paul Goldschmidt launched an Atchison offering to the opposite field, and over the wall for a game winning, walk-off……, you know.
The Mets lose 5-4 in heartbreaking fashion to begin their eleven game road trip.
- Josh Satin had a very good night with the glove, making a pair of nifty plays, and saving at least a pair of runs in the seventh. Good overall team defense considering Arizona was zeroed in on Hefner.
- Any time you come back and tie a ball game, is a good thing.
- Good work by Feliciano, Aardsma, Germen, and Rice.
- Wilmer Flores drove in another run. Justin Turner drove in three.
- Arizona hit Jeremy Hefner hard all night long – even the outs. He threw five innings and faced three batters in the sixth. He allowed four earned runs on eight hits, walked three batters and only fanned one. The Mets got him off the hook however. Hefner settled for his twelfth no decision of the season.
- Juan Lagares was certainly more guilty than Marlon Byrd, as the Mets twice could have been in scoring position, but opted to stretch things a bit too far and got thrown out.
- A hanging slider by Scott Atchison and losing in walk-off fashion. Atchison suffered his first loss of the season.
- Travis d’Arnaud was promoted to AAA-Las Vegas.
- Jonathon Niese will make his Mets re-appearance on Sunday in Game Three versus Arizona.