After emerging from the All-Star break with a victory against the anemic San Diego Padres, the Mets appeared poised to situate themselves for a run at meaningful baseball down the stretch in 2014. Two days and two bad losses later, the Mets are in danger of beginning the second half slide that has grown commonplace in recent years.
After being utterly dominated by All-Star Tyson Ross on Saturday evening, Padres rookie Odrisamer Despaigne had the Mets guessing for 7 2/3 innings yesterday afternoon. The Cuban right-hander did not allow a hit until the 8th inning. In only the fifth big league start of his career, Despaigne cruised for the first six innings of the ball game before running out of steam and walking the bases loaded in the 7th.
Escaping the jam without allowing a hit, Despaigne garnered the first two outs of the 8th inning before Daniel Murphy doubled to the gap in left field to end the no-hit bid. The 27 year old righty was subsequently knocked from the contest when David Wright smacked a base hit up the middle to tie the ball game at 1-1.
"It took us a little while to get to him," Murphy said. "I thought I saw the ball pretty well, he just kept me off-balance. I got some pretty good pitches to hit myself, I just missed them. I didn't make him pay for some of the mistakes he made. (DiComo, MLB)
Pitching was the order of the day in San Diego on Sunday afternoon. Zack Wheeler complimented Despaigne’s no-hit bid with 6 innings of 1 run ball and 7 strikeouts. The lone blemish on Wheeler’s line was a fourth inning solo home run by Yasmani Grandal.
After tying the game in the 8th inning, Jeurys Familia navigated his way through a scoreless bottom frame despite allowing a Will Venable lead off-triple. Familia overpowered Chris Denorfia on three straight 98 plus MPH fastballs for the first out before intentionally walking Jake Goebbert to set up the double play. Like clockwork, Familia then induced 2B Chris Nelson into a 5-4-3 double play in order to preserve the lead.
After failing to muster any offense in the top of the 9th, Vic Black entered to try and send the game to extra innings. Following a walk to pinch hitter Carlos Quentin, speedster Cameron Maybin entered the game to run the bases. Alexi Amarista sacrificed himself to move the runner into scoring position, but Black let the ball trickle through his legs resulting in a 1st and 2nd situation with nobody out.
Black recovered nicely, inducing 3B Chase Headley into a 4-3-6 double play. With the lefty Seth Smith coming to the plate, Terry Collins called on south paw Josh Edgin for the favorable matchup.
After running the count full, Smith hit a dribbler just to the right of the pitcher’s mound. Edgin, having followed through to the left of the mound, quickly spun around to field the ball but lost his balance. By the time he could recover, Maybin had scored, Smith was safe at first and the ball game was over.
After dropping 2 of 3 to the Padres, the Mets will head to Seattle to face the upstart Mariners. Jonathan Niese (5-4, 2.96 ERA) will make his first start off of the disabled list against Roenis Elias (7-8. 4.54 ERA). Last time out against Minnesota, Elias allowed six earned runs in just 3.1 innings. First pitch at Safeco Field is slated for 10:10 PM ET.