In what had to be the worst game of the season, and that’s saying something, the Mets lost to the LA Dodgers, 3-2, in 11 innings. They committed five errors, two in the 11th inning, and could have gone ahead except Ryan Church didn’t step on third base and was called out on appeal. He caught a break earlier when an umpire didn’t see that he was picked off first.
Let’s focus on the positive for now. Angel Pagan, who started for the Mets for the first time this year and played left field, had a double to allow Church to run home. He had his first four-hit night of his career. David Wright kept up his red-hot batting streaking with two more hits, both doubles, and two walks.
Mets starter Tim Redding joined the rotation tonight, coming off the disabled list and had a shaky first inning, giving up two runs. It looked like it could be a big offensive night for the Dodgers. But he settled down and pitched four more scoreless innings, keeping the Mets in the game. Nelson Figueroa was designated for assignment – again. Jonathon Niese also was sent down.
The Mets were able to tie the game at two in the eighth inning when Gary Sheffield drove in Pagan. The bullpen pitched very well.
Now for the bad news. The Mets could’ve had an even bigger inning in the eighth after Pagan led off with a double. With no outs and Pagan on second, Castillo took it upon himself to try to bunt and popped up for an out. It didn’t appear that Jerry Manuel had called for a bunt attempt.
Alex Cora was placed on the disabled list earlier today due to a pulled muscle in his finger. The Mets called up Fernando Ramon Martinez from Triple-A Buffalo and promptly was tapped to replace Cora at shortstop. Jose Reyes was held out of yet another game with that aching shin. His inexperience showed as he committed an error and threw more than one high ball to first base. He also was 0-for-5 at the plate but did have an RBI.
The Mets offense was once again stagnant. Luis Castillo, Carlos Beltran, Fernando Tatis and Ramon Castro were a combined 0-for-19 at the plate.
The Mets lost the game after Pagan and Beltran almost collided in the 11th inning on an outfield fly ball in the gap by Xavier Paul. That came after Brian Stokes walked Mark Loretta. With runners on second and third, Stokes intentionally walked Juan Pierre to load the bases.
After Rafael Furcal flied out to Pagan, Orlando Hudson grounded a ball to Jeremy Reed who had come in for Tatis. Reed, who was playing first base for only the third time as a Met, threw the ball away as he tried to throw Loretta out at home.
It was an excruciating game to watch. It was a game they deserved to lose and frankly, did everything they could to lose. Thank God it’s over.