Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Midday Recap: Marathon Baseball

Lynne Sladky | AP

It was a tough night in Mets land.

The Mets blew two leads and fell to the last-place Miami Marlins 4-3 in a 15-inning marathon that lasted nearly 5 1/2 hours.  In the 9th inning, Bobby Parnell blew a 2-1 lead, surrendering a lead-off double to Justin Ruggiano, who would score on a Nick Green sac-fly.

After some scoreless innings, the Mets found the ability to break an 0-for-16 with runners in scoring position with Ruben Tejada's single that brought home Lucas Duda in the top of the 15th.  But, with the bullpen completely spent, Shaun Marcum returned to the mound in the bottom of the 15th, and after getting the first out, fell into trouble with Greg Dobbs singling, Ruggiano walking, and then Rob Brantly singling to tie the game at 3-3.  But when Nick Green popped out to Lucas Duda, Ruggiano tagged up and brought home the winning run, ending the game at 12:40.

It was the first time this season where a Matt Harvey start didn't translate to a Mets win.  The last time he pitched, the Mets rallied back in the 9th and won the game in 10 innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Harvey only went 5 1/3rd innings, but used up 121 pitches in the effort, his career high.  

As mentioned above, the Mets went 0 for 16 with runners in scoring position before Ruben Tejada brought Lucas Duda home from 2nd in the 15th inning, a franchise record.  The Marlins weren't much better, going 2 for 13.  Combined, the two squads left 28 runners on base.  John Buck, who gave the Mets the lead with his 2 run shot in the 4th, stranded 6 runners as he struck out three times.

One bright spot for the Mets, especially their pitchers, was how they used the Double Play to get themselves out of trouble.  Marlins hitters grounded into double plays 5 times, with a few coming at key times during extras.

However, the Mets and Marlins did not gain the sympathy of the Los Angeles Angels or the Oakland Athletics, who set franchise records with their 19 inning marathon that began at 10:10PM Eastern and finally ended at 4:42AM Eastern with Brandon Moss's walk-off homer.  

There were a few similarities to the Mets/Marlins game.  Like the Marlins, the A's tied the game up in the bottom of the 9th, as Coco Crisp crossed home plate on a Yoenis Cespedes single.  Like the Mets, the Angels were able to take the lead in the top of the 15th when Queensbury's Brendan Harris came home from 3rd Base after J.B. Shuck was walked.  However, the A's were able to tie things up on an Adam Rosales single.  After a scoreless three innings, in came Brandon Moss, whose shot in the 19th brought the remaining crowd home happy.

After taxing the bullpen for all its worth, the Mets will need to make sure that Jeremy Hefner goes a long distance in tonight's game.  Especially since the two teams will need to bounce back after tonight's game with a day game tomorrow.  The Marlins send Kevin Slowey, who had a no-decision as the Marlins lost to the Chicago Cubs 4-3.  He gave up 5 hits, including a home run as he allowed 3 runs in his 6 inning effort, striking out 6.  Radio Coverage: 6:30PM on 1230 FOX Sports Radio

LATER TODAY: The NBA Playoffs see teams hold off elimination, and the NHL Playoffs get under way tonight with a pair of Western Conference games.  Preview on the way.

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