New York Mets starter Jonathon Niese (8-6) was cruising. Through 3 innings he had struck out 6 Florida Marlins while allowing only 1 base runner. His Mets led 4-0 over the Marlins and their starter Anibal Sanchez (11-8) in the bottom of the 3rd and had the bases loaded with 2 outs looking to add more. But things had already started to go wrong. Ruben Tejada was at the plate and he was there because in the previous inning starting shortstop Jose Reyes had aggravated his previously injured oblique muscle and been replaced by Tejada. He’s not slow but he isn’t as fast as Reyes so when he was called out at 1st base on a close play ending the Mets 3rd inning rally it hurt knowing that should have been Reyes running. It hurt even more when replays showed that Tejada beat the throw and should have been called safe. It hurt still more when the Mets never scored again while the Marlins put up 11 unanswered runs en route to an 11-4 victory.
It was such a promising start. With 2 outs in the bottom of the 1st Carlos Beltran singled then David Wright crushed a 2-run homer off the facade of the upper deck in left field to give the Mets a 2-0 lead. In the bottom of the 2nd Luis Castillo walked and Angel Pagan doubled him home for a 3-0 Mets lead. Prior to the ill-fated Tejada play in the 3rd Jeff Francoeur‘s RBI single drove in Wright to give the Mets that 4-0 lead. It was the best of times.
Hanley Ramirez hit a line drive 2-run homer in the bottom of the 3rd cutting the Mets lead in half making it 4-2. Things remained relatively quiet until Marlins grew feet and roamed the earth in the 6th. Niese hit Logan Morrison with a pitch to start the inning. Ramirez singled to put 2 runners on. Met-killer Dan Uggla doubled driving home Morrison to make it 4-3 then Gaby Sanchez walked to load the bases. Mike Stanton then struck out but a Wes Helms sacrifice fly tied the game. Brett Hayes doubled home Uggla for a 5-4 Marlins lead which knocked Niese from the game. Pinch-hitter Donnie Murphy greeted Mets reliever Elmer Dessens with a single to drive home Sanchez, then Cameron Maybin singled to drive in Hayes and finally Morrison’s 2-run double scored Murphy and Maybin and just like that Florida had a 9-4 lead. The Marlins added 2 completely unnecessary runs in the 9th. Meanwhile Marlins pitchers walked the Mets lead off batter in the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 9th innings but none of them scored including Francoeur who walked leading off the 5th then was thrown out trying to go from 1st to 3rd on a single to left field. The Mets record fell to 51-24 when they score first. It was the worst of times. Final score Florida 11, New York 1.