Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Amazin' Win Streak Is Snapped

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Amazin' Win Streak Is Snapped

Article excerpt

ATLANTA -- Two innings before the Mets' six-game win streak ended on a walk-off single, Wilmer Flores stood at second base with two outs while representing the tying run.

Flores is one of the team's slowest runners, and it presented a prime opportunity to insert a pinch runner who could give the team a better chance to score on a hit.

No replacement came for Flores, though, and moments later a single dropped into right field. Flores dived headfirst toward the plate in hopes of scoring the go-ahead run, but the throw beat him.

"I should have run for him there," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Trying to get the pitching set up. My fault."

Collins blamed himself for Saturday's 4-3 walk-off loss to the Braves in 10 innings. Flores suffered a neck contusion on the play and X-rays were negative. Josh Smoker allowed the two-out, walk-off single to Adonis Garcia.

The Mets (75-67) are now a half-game behind St. Louis for the second wild-card spot.

"We certainly have enough guys on the bench that could have run for him," Collins said. "I got distracted [with upcoming decisions]. My fault."

After Mets starter Bartolo Colon wasted 2-0 and 3-2 leads in a six-inning, three-run effort, the Mets and Braves began a battle of the bullpens.

On Aug. 6, the Mets lost when Jay Bruce was thrown out at the plate to end the game when a pinch runner likely would have scored.

On Saturday, Flores doubled off the wall with two outs in the eighth in a 3-3 game. Though the Mets lack a speedster, they had options such as Alejandro De Aza and Gavin Cecchini, and both likely would have scored on the hit on which Flores was thrown out.

Collins said he didn't pinch-run for Flores because he was focused on making sure he had his reliever ready for the bottom of inning, and a pinch hitter ready if the team got to the pitcher's spot two batters later.

T.J. Rivera followed Flores' double with a single to right, and Nick Markakis made a strong throw home that brought catcher A.J. Pierzynski into Flores' path. Flores' head crashed into Pierzynski's knee while attempting to touch home plate, and the catcher tagged him to keep the game tied. …

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