Mets-Marlins Go 20 Innings, Mets Lose; Matt Harvey Hurt

The Mets-Marlins game was an epic, marathon affair at Citi Field Saturday afternoon and into the evening. It went on for 20 innings and nearly six and a half hours, and when it was all over, the Marlins emerged victorious. Oh, and Matt Harvey had to be removed from the game because of injury.

matt harvey
Matt Harvey had to leave Saturday’s 20-inning Mets-Marlins game with lower back tightness.

The Mets got to the Marlins own phenom, 20-year-old Jose Fernandez, first. Ike Davis led off the second inning with a walk and with one out Juan Lagares doubled to score Davis to make it 1-0.

Harvey allowed a run in the fourth on two singles and a sacrifice fly to even the game at one.

In addition to driving in the first run, Larages saved another run with his arm. With runners on first and second in the fifth with two outs, Juan Pierre singled to center. Lagares was playing shallow against the weak-hitting Pierre, and he was able to throw the runner trying to score from second to keep the game tied and end the inning.

Fernandez was lifted from the game after six innings and 97 pitches. He allowed one run on three hits with six strikeouts and three walks. It was Fernandez’s fourth start against the Mets already this year. His ERA against the Mets is 1.64.

Matt Harvey batted in the bottom of the seventh (he singled) and came out to pitch the eighth, but before he threw a pitch, Terry Collins and the trainer came running out to the mound. Harvey was removed with what is being described as tightness in his lower back.

So Matt Harvey got yet another no decision, his eighth in his past nine starts. He allowed one run on six hits, with six strikeouts and no walks. He remains 5-0 with a 2.10 ERA.

Brandon Lyon came on and promptly gave up a single and a walk. Pierre tried to bunt and missed, and the runner at second was caught too far off the base. He was thrown out for the first out. Pierre then grounded into a double play and just like that the threat and inning were over.

David Wright walked with one out in the eighth. Lucas Duda struck out for the second out with Wright stealing second on the play. Marlon Byrd was intentionally walked. Davis was due up next, but with a lefty on the mound, Collins pinch hit Justin Turner for him. The Marlins went with a righty. Collins stayed with Turner, but he flew out to end the inning.

Bobby Parnell followed up his blown save in Washington with a scoreless ninth.

John Buck led off the bottom of the ninth with a single. Lagares sacrificed him to second. Mike Baxter came in as a pinch hitter, but when Miami switched to a lefty, Collins sent Anthony Recker up to bat. Recker struck out for the second out. Omar Quintanilla walked. Daniel Murphy hit a sharp grounder to the second baseman, who made a good play to throw out Murphy and send the game into extra innings.

Some questionable strategy from Terry Collins in that inning. He did not pinch run for the slow-footed Buck, likely because he didn’t want to leave himself with no catchers on the bench. But then he used Recker as a pinch hitter, so he was gone anyway. And he wasted Baxter, who already has two game winning hits this season. Lefty pitcher or not, Baxter should have been up there instead of Recker.

LaTroy Hawkins was the pitcher for the 10th inning. With two outs he walked Adeiny Hechavarria. Justin Ruggiano singled on a hit and run that advanced Hechavarria to third. Then it was Scott Rice time. He got Pierre to fly out to left to end the inning.

With two outs in the tenth Byrd and Turner both walked, but Buck popped out to foul territory to strand the winning run at second.

Rice allowed a leadoff single in the 11th, got one out and was removed from the game. Greg Burke came on and got the next two batters.

David Aardsma, just called up to replace Collin McHugh, made his Mets debut in the 12th inning. Aardsma, by the way, has the distinction of being the first player on the alphabetical list of all players in MLB history, topping Hank Aaron (which I wrote on Twitter before Gary Cohen said it, just for the record). In any case, he threw a perfect 12th.

Murphy led off the bottom of the 12th with a walk. Wright hit a slow roller to third, but Murphy hustled to beat the throw to second. Duda flew out to center for the first out, deep enough for Murphy to tag up and go to third. Byrd hit a fly ball to right. Marcell Ozuna fired home with a perfect throw. The ball beat Murphy there, so he barreled into catcher Rob Brantly. Brantly was able to hold onto the ball for the double play to end the inning.

Starter Shaun Marcum, he of the 0-6 record, came on to pitch the 13th for his second relief appearance this season. He pitched in and lost that 15-inning game to the Marlins in April (coincidentally started by Matt Harvey and Jose Fernandez). He retired the Marlins in order.

Turner led off the bottom of the 13th with a single. Collins stupidly asked Buck to bunt, and he popped it up to the catcher for the first out. Lagares singled to move Turner to second. Rick Ankiel popped out in foul territory and Quintanilla struck out.

Wright, who had been hitting into tough luck all game, got a bloop single to right with one out in the 14th. Duda struck out for the second out. With no pinch hitters left, Marcum batted for himself and was hit by a pitch. Turner came up with the winning run on second and he grounded out.

Brantly singled to lead off the 15th but Marcum stranded him there.

Buck led off the bottom of the 15th with a single. Lagares grounded out, but Buck moved to second base. Ankiel, swinging for the fences, struck out for the second out and Quintanilla did the same to extend the game to the 16th inning and beyond!

Wright singled with one out in the 16th. Duda popped out to the third baseman in foul territory and Marcum flew out to left.

Turner led off the 17th inning with a double. Buck popped out to right, too shallow for Turner to advance. Lagares popped out to first and Ankiel struck out.

Quintanilla led off the bottom of the 18th with a single. Wright singled with one out to put the winning run on second. But Duda struck out for the fourth time of the game and Marcum flew out.

The Marlins finally broke through against a tiring Marcum in the 20th inning, Placido Polanco and Brantly both singled with one out to put runners on first and second. Hechavarria singled to center to score Polanco to make it 2-1. Brantly tried to advance to third but he was thrown out. Ruggiano flew out to center to end the inning.

In the 2oth Ankiel struck out for the third time, Quintanilla grounded out and Murphy flew out to end the game.

Marcum did a hell of a job despite taking the loss. He went eight innings in relief, allowing one run on five hits with seven strikeouts and no walks. He threw 105 pitches.

Mets lose a long day at the ballpark, 2-1.

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