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Mets vs. Mariners Recap: Niese struggles in return, lineup struggles again in loss

The Mets' slim postseason hopes seem to be slipping away again.

Otto Greule Jr

On Monday night in Seattle, the Mets picked up right where they left off in San Diego. Their offense was once again dormant, and with Jon Niese’s struggles in his first start back from the disabled list, the Mets never seemed to have a shot in the game after falling behind 4-1 in the early going.

That makes the Mets 46-53 on the season, still three games up on the Phillies for fourth place but eight games back of the second place Braves and nine back of the division-leading Nationals. If they are to fancy themselves contenders in 2014, they will need to rattle off another 8-2 stretch over the course of ten games in a hurry, a run that would get them to 54-55 and the fringes of legitimate contention.

The Mariners scored first last night after Willie Bloomquist, who had a big game because of course he did, led off the bottom of the first with a single. Niese struck out James Jones and Robinson Cano, but Bloomquist stole second base on the latter whiff. He came in to score easily on Kyle Seager’s ensuing single. Neither team scored in the second, but the Mets evened the game at one on a two-out single by David Wright, who debuted in the big leagues ten years ago yesterday. It didn’t take long for the Mariners to reclaim the lead, though.

Mike Zunino led off the bottom of the third with a moonshot of a home run against Niese, and later in the inning, Kyle Seager hit another run-scoring single. And after a scoreless top of the fourth, Seattle scored once more in the fourth, with Willie Bloomquist hitting a ground rule double with two outs. If the ball hadn’t bounced over the fence, the Mariners would have scored two runs on the play instead of one.

The Mets’ bats went mostly silent from there, but Travis d’Arnaud, who went 2-for-4 on the night, very nearly hit a solo home run with one out in the bottom of the sixth. Unfortunately, Dustin Ackley made a great catch just above the left field fence to rob him.

Seattle notched one more insurance run with Daisuke Matsuzaka pitching in relief for the Mets in the bottom of the eighth, as Ackley doubled in Brad Miller. The Mets scratched out one run in the ninth but nothing else, and the game was over.

SB Nation GameThreads

* Amazin' Avenue GameThread
* Lookout Landing GameThread

Win Probability Added

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Big winners: David Wright, +7.2% WPA
Big losers: Jon Niese, -23.3% WPA, Curtis Granderson, -10.7% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: David Wright’s game-tying single in the third, +10.5% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Mike Zunino’s go-ahead home run in the third, -12.2% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -23.4% WPA
Total batter WPA: -26.6% WPA
GWRBI!: Kyle Seager’s third-inning single