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Mets vs. Phillies Recap: Mets drop fly ball, game to Phillies in fourteenth inning

The Mets had plenty of opportunities to beat the Phillies on Friday night and got a ton of great relief pitching, but they lost.

Rich Schultz

Several hours after the second of five games in Philadelphia began, the Mets lost to their division rivals following a dropped fly ball in the bottom of the fourteenth inning. The game lasted that long despite an early three-run lead for the Mets, which was quickly erased by the Phillies as they teed off on Rafael Montero, who now has a 5.40 ERA and 6.25 FIP in four starts with the team.

Neither team scored in the first inning, but the Mets plated three runs in the top of the second following back-to-back walks issued by A.J. Burnett to Curtis Granderson and Bobby Abreu. Lucas Duda doubled to score Granderson, Travis d’Arnaud grounded out to bring Abreu home, and Ruben Tejada singled to score Duda.

Philadelphia got on the board in the bottom of the third on a Chase Utley ground out, but that was all in that inning. Unfortunately, after the Mets didn’t score in the top of the fourth, the Phillies quickly took the lead in the bottom. Montero walked Marlon Byrd and gave up a single to Carlos Ruiz. He then served up a three-run home run to Domonic Brown, who has had a miserable year at the plate so far. After another single, d’Arnaud made an error as Burnett attempted a sacrifice bunt, putting runners on first and second with nobody out. Montero got a ground ball double play, but he walked Jimmy Rollins and was taken out of the game in favor of Daisuke Matsuzaka.

In total, Montero threw just three-and-two-thirds innings, gave up four runs on seven hits, walked two, and didn’t strike anyone out. Just 45 of the 80 pitches he threw were strikes, and he gave up plenty of solid contact. And his line could have looked worse if David Wright hadn’t ended the fourth inning with one hell of a catch as Matsuzaka got a shallow fly ball to left field off the bat of Chase Utley.

The Mets responded quickly, though, as Juan Lagares hit an infield single to begin the fifth and Daniel Murphy walked. After David Wright and Curtis Granderson struck out, Abreu came through with a hard-hit double down the right field line to score both baserunners and give the Mets a 5-4 lead. That, however, was the last run the Mets would score in the game.

Matsuzaka got into a tight spot with a one-out walk of Marlon Byrd and a subsequent double by Carlos Ruiz in the bottom of the fifth. He gave up just one run from there, though, on a Domonic Brown ground out. And then offensive futility set in for both teams.

A.J. Burnett somehow completed seven innings with eleven strikeouts, even though he had given up five runs and issued six walks in the process. And even though six Phillies relief pitchers combined to issue four more walks, the Mets were unable to score. Bobby Abreu even stole second base with nobody out in the eighth inning, but the bottom of the Mets’ order was not able to bring him in to score.

If there was a bright spot in the game for the Mets, it was the bullpen. After Montero’s far-too-short outing and a brief appearance by Matsuzaka—he was pinch hit for in the top of the sixth—a parade of relief pitchers kept the Phillies off the board through the thirteenth inning: Josh Edgin, Jeurys Familia, Scott Rice, Carlos Torres, and Vic Black. And when the game finally did come to an end with Jenrry Mejia on the mound, it was not exactly his fault.

Byrd led off against Mejia and hit a fly ball to right field. As it came down to Chris Young, who was seemingly camped under it, the ball hit the outside of Young’s glove and fell to the ground. Byrd was on second when he should have been in the dugout. Mejia gave up a hard single to Carlos Ruiz, which didn’t score Byrd but advanced him to third, and Terry Collins opted to intentionally walk the bases loaded. With the outfield playing extremely shallow given the circumstances, the fly ball that Reid Brignac hit to left field easily dropped for the single, and the Phillies had a walk-off win.

SB Nation GameThreads

* Amazin' Avenue GameThread
* The Good Phight GameThread

Win Probability Added

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Big winners: Carlos Torres, +40.3% WPA, Bobby Abreu, +28.6% WPA, Vic Black, +27.0% WPA, Jeurys Familia, +15.4% WPA, Josh Edgin, +11.3% WPA
Big losers: Jenrry Mejia, -36.5% WPA, Rafael Montero, -33.2% WPA, David Wright, -30.6% WPA, Juan Lagares, -11.2% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Abreus’ two-run double in the fifth, +27.8% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Brown’s two-run home run in the fourth, -26.4% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +20.1% WPA
Total batter WPA: -70.1% WPA
GWRBI!: Reid Brignac