Even when the Miami Marlins win, it has to be excruciating, their 17th of the season (worst in MLB) coming in the form of a 20-inning game against the New York Mets, as Adeiny Hechavarria hit a single RBI to finally allow the poor folks who remained in the stadium for nearly six and a half hours to go back to their homes.
Luckily, this wasn’t an evening game, which would have meant people heading back home from a baseball game during the hour of the wolf. The game was longer than two full games, with 561 pitches, as the two teams combined to use 16 pitches, including four who played more than six innings, as the relief pitchers for both teams (Kevin Slowey on the winning side, Shaun Marcum on the losing one) got a lot more than they signed up for.
By the time Hechavarria, a .196 hitter on most days but 3-of-7 on a truly special one, got the hit that eventually won the game, following a simple closing inning by Steve Cishek, a few hundreds were only left in the stadium out of a crowd that began at over 20,000 nearly 7 hours earlier.
The Mets would have like to see Matt Harvey, their best starter, do more than just 7 innings, but tightness in his lower back forced them to start using the bullpen. With Marcum going 8 inning to finish the game (allowing 5 hits while striking out 7 guys), the Mets became the first team to use two pitchers for more than 7 innings each in the same game since the Tigers in 1988 vs the Yankees. The last NL team to do it was the Pirates in 1984 vs the Giants.
Marcum himself is the first relief pitches to stay in the game for 8 innings since the Cubs’ Scott Sanderson in 1989 vs the Pirates. The last Mets pitcher to do that was Jerry Cram in 1974 vs the Cardinals in what was eventually a 25-inning game.
The Mets hit a terrible 13-of-71, while the Marlins did slightly better with 15-of-69. The real story was the runners left on base, and making the most of scoring opportunities. The Marlins were 2-of-4 with runners in scoring positions, which won them the game. The Mets? Historically bad with 0-of-19.
How bad is that? Only the third team in 40 years to do that badly with RISP, and the first since the Red Sox in 2004, playing the Yankees. Obviously, it was the worst in team history, in a performance that was as bad as any that walked around the field during the awful day for those only wanting to catch a decent game of baseball, which included three players on the Marlins going 1-of-8: Ed Lucas, Derek Dietrich and Placio Polanco.
Like before, the Mets had a couple of guys who did slightly worse: Omar Quintanilla, the leadoff batter, going 1-of-9, followed by Daniel Murphy, doing just as bad. Quintanilla is a .355 hitter this season, while Murphy is hitting .283.
The win and loss still means nothing for both teams. The Mets are now 12.5 games behind the Braves in the NL East while the Marlins are 20.5 games behind Atlanta, and five wins away from the next worst team in the league, the Houston Astros.