New York Mets: 5 Crucial Games from the Season

Erick Fernandez@erickgfonsportsCorrespondent IIAugust 22, 2011

New York Mets: 5 Crucial Games from the Season

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    As Mets fans we head into every season excited to see our beloved Mets back on the field. At the same time, we are always reluctant to set our expectations too high because they have a tendency to break our hearts time and time again with some tough losses.

    Although we are trained as Mets fans to handle disappointments, nothing could prepare us for some of the tragic losses the Mets have suffered this season. I already mentioned some of the Mets' best wins from the year so I thought it would be fitting to make a compilation of our not-so-favorite moments from this season as well.

When Things Started To Go Terribly Wrong

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    After sweeping four games from the Cincinnati Reds, and then taking the opener from the Nationals series, the Mets were four games over .500 and only 6.5 games back of the Atlanta Braves in the wild card.

    Then it went all went terribly, terribly wrong for the Mets.

    Although they lost on July 30th, the game on July 31st against the Washington Nationals truly marked the point when the season started to go downhill for the team. It was a low-scoring affair throughout. The Mets trailed 2-1 heading into the 9th inning. Mets outfielder, Scott Hairston was responsible for the only run up to that point when he hit a home run in the seventh inning.

    With the offense being non-existent on this day, Hairston knocked a game-tying home run with two outs in the ninth. 

    Despite that clutch hit by Hairston, the Mets were unable to use the momentum to produce a win.

    It seems as if the Mets relievers do anything they can to get themselves in trouble each inning they're out there. Mets' reliever Bobby Parnell certainly did that when he allowed the first two runners to get on to start the bottom of the ninth inning. Parnell then threw a wild pitch to put runners on second and third with one out.

    Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond then hit a chopper off of Parnell's glove to win the game for Washington. The Mets lost this nail-biter 3-2. 

Despite Duda's Heroics, Bullpen Blows It Again

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    On August 1st, 2011 the Florida Marlins' Mike Stanton's grand-salami against Mets' closer Jason Isringhausen was the difference in a 7-3 Mets loss.

    Isringhausen, like he has all month, struggled mightily in late-inning situations. He gave up three straight one-out singles to Gaby Sanchez, Hanley Ramirez and Dewayne Wise.

    A defensive lapse by Mets' first baseman Daniel Murphy allowed a wandering Dewayne Wise to get back to first base. Wise, assuming that Sanchez was going to score on his single, was trying to take the extra base when he was caught in no-man's land.

    Murphy, who has had a mediocre glove throughout his career, took some blame after the game. Who was really at fault for putting the team in such a bad position was Izzy—for being extremely ineffective.

    Despite our favorite right fielder, Lucas Duda, tying the game with two outs in the bottom the ninth, the bullpen and the defense blew it for the team.   

Bullpen Implosion and Turner's Errant Throw

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    On August 2nd, 2011 the Mets lost a game 4-3 against those pesky Marlins. It seems as if the Marlins hurt the Mets every year, but in this game the Mets shot themselves in the foot. This third straight heartbreaking loss ultimately changed the direction of the team. 

    Many are going to remember Mets' second baseman, Justin Turner's throw that allowed the game-tying and game-winning runs, but not everyone remembers how much closer Jason Isringhausen put the Mets and Turner in a bad position. Izzy walked the leadoff hitter in the inning, Logan Morrison, allowed a one-out single to Mike Cameron and then hit John Buck with a pitch to load the bases.

    With the bases loaded, Bryan Peterson then hit a slow grounder to Turner. Turner, not sure of whether he should throw home or start a double play, panicked and sailed a throw over first baseman, Lucas Duda's head.

    This was extremely tough for the young Justin Turner, who faced most of the blame for the loss. Don't worry Justin, no one can blame you for the next 10 bullpen implosions. 

An Inspiring Comeback Leads to a Devastating Loss

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    No. No. The Mets CAN'T lose this game...

    Yes they can. They're the Mets remember?

    On August 20th, the Mets played the Milwaukee Brewers. With the Mets down 7-1 heading into the bottom of the 7th inning the Mets started an improbable comeback by putting a crooked number on board.

    With the score 7-6, Francisco Rodriguez, facing his old team for the first time, was called into the game to stop the bleeding. When he entered the game, K-Rod was serenaded with boos by Mets fans.

    In spite of getting the first two outs of the inning, the Mets started another great rally. After an RBI double by catcher Josh Thole that tied the game, outfielder Angel Pagan hit a bomb against K-Rod and gave the Mets a 9-7 lead.

    Yet Mr. "Generation Base on Balls," Jason Isringhausen, walked the first two batters of the inning, gave up a single and walked pinch hitter Mark Kotsay with the bases loaded to narrow the lead. I'm pretty sure Izzy would have walked Brewers' manager, Ron Roenicke if he had come up to the plate.

    This was when Mets fans started screaming profanities to the TV at the top of their lungs. Or it might have been before that. Either way Mets fans knew they were going to lose this game.

    Manager Terry Collins removed Izzy from the game and inserted Manny Acosta. After getting the first out, Acosta allowed a single to Brewers' first baseman, Prince Fielder. The image of Fielder motioning an emphatic "claw" towards the Brewers bench will be in the minds of many Mets fans for some weeks to come.

    Oh yeah, Brewers' Casey McGehee went opposite field to give the Brewers an 11-9 lead. At that point, not even "Tom Terrific" could have saved the Mets.    

Now Balk It Out

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    And the "'Are you serious?! Award" goes to...

    D.J. Carrasco!

    On June 16th, the Mets lost a game in the worst possible way. To add insult to injury the Mets lost against their bitter rivals, the Atlanta Braves. 

    After coming from four down earlier in the game to take an 8-6 lead, it fell apart again for the Mets. This collapse took the cake though for its unorthodox ending.

    With the lead heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, K-Rod, while he was still with the team, then proceeded to blow the save by giving up a two-run HR to the Braves' Brooks Conrad.

    Mets reliever D.J. Carrasco then came in in the bottom of the 10th inning. He gave up a double to Diory Hernandez. Hernandez was then able to reach third on an error. What then transpired, no Mets fan could have anticipated.

    D.J. Carrasco was pitching from the stretch and when he got set, he flinched. The umpires called a balk and Hernandez was able to advance and score the winning run. Just like that the game was over—Mets lose 9-8.

    Mets fans were left blankly staring at the TV. Still trying to figure out what happened.

    Erick Fernandez is the creator of I Want to Thank My Hood & My Psychiatrist