Starter Livan Hernandez actually pitched pretty well tonight, leaving the game after 5 1/3 innings with a one-run lead, but Sean Green could not maintain the lead in the seventh. Green gave up four runs to allow the Marlins to go ahead 7-4, which was the final score.
This was the second time Green gave up four runs or more to take the loss. What was questionable was leaving Green in after he allowed the tying run and could not locate his pitches after. Why not bring in Brian Stokes, who pitched a scoreless 1 2/3 innings or Pedro Feliciano, who was up and down in the bullpen like a pogo stick? It was especially troubling since Green had a similar meltdown earlier in the season.
Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco looked shaky in the beginning, allowing three runs in the first two innings. He settled down afterward, allowing only one more run, thanks to an RBI single by David Wright. It was his only hit of the night, and he struck out two more times.
This was the fourth time so far this season that the Mets lost after having a lead of three runs or more. They had 14 such situations all of last year. Again, the Mets could not tack on more runs stalling after the fifth inning.
Once again, Gary Sheffield started in left field over Daniel Murphy and did have a two-RBI triple. He was retired three more times after that. Meanwhile, Murphy came into the game in a pinch-hit situation and got a single. Last night, he had a pinch-hit triple. Sure Murphy has had trouble in left field but so has Sheffield.
On the bright side, Alex Cora, filling in for an ailing Luis Castillo, had a great game both on the field and at the plate. He was 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs.
The Mets need Johan Santana to be his usual self tomorrow afternoon, but the needs also need to provide him run support. He faces Josh Johnson again, who out-pitched him last time but only because of Murphy’s outfield problems.