The Mets could not capitalize on the worst bullpen and one of the worst teams in the majors as they fell to the Diamondbacks 4-3 in 14 innings. It was their sixth loss in seven games on this road trip.
Jon Niese only last five innings, allowing three runs on six hits and six strikeouts. His opposite number in Dan Haren also had a similar night.
Five of the seven runs scored by both teams came on home runs. Angel Pagan hit a leadoff blast and Rod Barajas added one in the sixth to tie the game. Mark Reynolds, Chris Young and Rusty Ryal each hit solo shots for the D-backs.
The Mets got their other run after Pagan led off with a double in the third inning. Carlos Beltran then drove him with his first RBI of the season.
Those would be the only runs scored through the first six innings as both bullpens were lights-out, or both offenses were anemic, depending on how you look at it.
With the game going into extra innings, both sides had to dip deeply into their bullpens. This meant the Mets brought in Oliver Perez, who had just been activated Wednesday, in the 12th inning.
Perez began by allowing a leadoff hit and a walk. Any Mets fan who was still awake surely had to be thinking they were going to see the old Ollie. However, he managed to get out of the inning with no damage done. He struck out Kelly Johnson in the 13th, but hit the next batter. Jerry Manuel did not hesitate to relieve Perez.
Fernando Nieve, who has been very vulnerable lately, came into the game with Francisco Rodriguez the last pitcher in the bullpen. Nieve got two outs to end the 13th. In the 14th, however, he allowed a leadoff double and then intentionally walked Miguel Montero. After striking out Reynolds, he surrendered the game-winning hit.
So, despite a team meeting with Manuel, the Mets could not gain ground on the Braves or the Phillies who both lost. The Mets are just three games over .500 and really need to stop the bleeding.
The increasingly erratic Hisanori Takahashi will take the mound in Los Angeles as the Mets take on the Dodgers for a four-game series.