If there was ever a play that epitomizes just how bad this Mets team is, it happened in the fifth inning of the Mets game against the Cubs Sunday at Citi Field. But when all hope was lost, Kirk Nieuwenhuis hit a stunning three-run home run to give the Mets a win in the bottom of the ninth.
The Cubs got a run off of Jeremy Hefner in the first inning on three singles.
Then came the sequence in the fifth that would have been funny if it were not so sad. With runners on first and second with two outs, David Wright made a great play on a grounder that should have ended the inning. But his throw to first base was over Daniel Murphy’s head, allowing one run to score. Murphy chased down the ball and threw home, but that throw was wide and another run scored. Omar Quintanilla tracked the ball down and also threw home, and that throw was wide. Fortunately Murphy was backing up the throw so the runner had to stop at third. When it was all over, two runs scored on two errors and the Cubs led 3-0. Ironic that the errors were charged to the only regulars on the Mets who are actually worthy of being on a major league team.
Lucas Duda led off the bottom of the fifth with a double, just the second hit off of Cubs starter Matt Garza. With two outs Kirk Nieuwenhuis walked, so Terry Collins used a pinch hitter for Hefner in an effort to try to get some offense. Justin Turner popped out.
Hefner threw just 87 pitches over five innings, allowing three runs, only one of them earned, of course. He did allow six hits, but he also struck out five batters. Hefner’s ERA is now 3.96, the first time it has been below 4.00 since his first start of the season.
Carlos Torres came on in the sixth for his first appearance with the Mets. He looked good, throwing two scoreless innings.
Jordany Valdespin led off the bottom of the sixth by reaching on an error. Murphy walked to put runners on first and second with no outs. Wright flew out to the warning track in left for the first out, deep enough to advance the runners to second and third. But both Marlon Byrd and Duda struck out to end the inning.
Byrd hit a solo home run to lead off the ninth to get the Mets on the board. Carlos Marmol walked Duda and John Buck singled to put runners at first and second with no outs. Collins idiotically ordered Quintanilla to bunt to move the runners to second and third as they gave away the first precious out. Nieuwenhuis then hit a three run home run to give the Mets an absolutely shocking win, 4-3.
Mets avoid the sweep at the hands of the Cubs with an unlikely come from behind victory.