New dad Mike Pelfrey started for the first time in eight days and the rust showed. For the third straight start in Arizona against the Diamondbacks, Pelfrey took the loss, allowing five runs and two walks in six innings. His record evened up at 8-8.
Elmer Dessens came into the game in relief and wasn’t able to keep it close. He gave up two more runs to put the game out of reach.
The Mets did rally a little in the ninth inning against D-backs closer Chad Qualls. Daniel Murphy singled and scored after Anderson Hernandez hit a double with one out. Jeremy Reed struck out. Then Angel Pagan singled, scoring Hernandez, pulling the Mets within three. With one man on, Luis Castillo got the count to 3-2 after falling behind. But he struck out to end the game, keeping David Wright in the on-deck circle.
The other Mets’ runs came in the fourth inning. Castillo walked and Wright singled, but Jeff Francoeur flied out. Fernando Tatis then hit a triple, scoring Castillo and Wright. That rally was killed when Murphy failed to get Tatis home from third and Omir Santos grounded out.
The Mets could not take advantage of two other leadoff walks. The Mets offense has been pretty stagnant lately. They have scored three runs or less in four of the last five games, losing all of those games.
The defense tonight also was miserable. The Mets made two errors, one in which Daniel Murphy failed to cover first base on a double-play ball in the eighth inning. Hernandez threw the ball to first, expecting Murphy to be there, but the ball sailed into the dugout. Luckily, it did not end up in a run.
For the most part, the Mets looked tired in the field and at the plate. In the post-game interview, Jerry Manuel said he thinks fatigue might be an issue right now for Wright and Francoeur. He said he’d give Wright a day off, probably Tuesday.
One player who is ready to come back is Gary Sheffield. He pinch-hit tonight, just missing a two-run homer. Sheffield, who earlier today said he wants to keep playing until he gets his 3,000th hit, said he was ready to get back on the field, but Manuel did not opt to do so.
Livan Hernandez takes the mound Tuesday night.