Astros 4, Mets 3
Just 18 games into the season, Mets fans are sporting paper bags
over their heads at Citi Field.
With the team off to its worst start at home in franchise
history, it’s easy to see why they feel that way.
On Thursday night, the Mets had two runners thrown out on the
basepaths in the last two innings and New York lost 4-3 to the
The Mets fell to 1-8 at Citi Field. They began 1-7 at the Polo
Grounds during their 1962 expansion season before winning their
next home game. They were 2-7 in 1981, too.
The Mets’ seventh straight home loss dropped them to 5-13
overall, their poorest start since going 3-15 in 1964, according to
”I think we have to find some kind of way to be honest about
what kind of team we are,” Mets starter R.A. Dickey said. ”We
can’t just keep telling ourselves, ‘We’re a better team than this.’
We may not be. We got to be honest about that and identify what
we’re doing wrong and do it better.”
The Mets should get some help for an offense that is batting
just .238. Jason Bay is set to be activated from the 15-day
disabled list Thursday.
Hunter Pence hit a blistering go-ahead home run in the eighth
inning. Then Astros reliever Jose Valdez made a sweeping tag at
home to end the Mets’ eighth-inning comeback.
In the ninth, after Jose Reyes got his fourth hit, Josh Thole
popped up a bunt and closer Brandon Lyon threw to first for the
”When you play as poorly as we’ve played, those big plays are
going to go against you,” said Mets star David Wright, who went 0
for 3 and is in a 0-for-19 slump.
Daniel Murphy hit a tying, two-run homer in the sixth to spoil a
fine outing by Houston starter Bud Norris.
Dickey flustered the Astros after a three-run second inning. But
Pence lined a tiebreaking shot deep into the first section beyond
the left-field wall.
”It’s hard to fight the mentality – ‘What’s next mentality. How
many ways can we lose a ballgame?”’ Dickey said.
Norris was pitching with a 3-1 lead in the sixth. He gave up a
one-out double to Willie Harris before Murphy hit a fly just inside
the right-field pole for his first homer of the season and second
of three hits on the night.
Murphy should see significantly more playing time at second base
because the Mets cut December draft pick Brad Emaus on Monday.
Learning a new position this season, Murphy turned two double plays
to back Dickey (1-3).
Mark Melancon (2-1) walked the leadoff hitter in the seventh and
Fernando Abad did the same in the eighth, walking Angel Pagan on a
10-pitch at-bat. Then after a strikeout, Murphy had a perfect
hit-and-run single that sent Pagan to third.
Valdez relieved and struck out pinch-hitter Justin Turner with a
pitch in the dirt. The ball got away from J.R. Towles and Pagan
broke for home. Towles chased the ball up the first base line and
tossed it to Valdez, who swept around to tag Pagan.
”I thought I had a fair chance to make it,” Pagan said,
”thought it was far enough to make something happen for our
Lyon pitched the ninth for his fourth save.
Norris worked out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the first –
the Mets were 4 for 17 with the bases loaded coming in. And to
form, Ike Davis struck out and Pagan hit a long fly to right to end
”R.A. pitched very good,” manager Terry Collins said. ”I
think if we would have gotten something in the first that would’ve
Norris then drove in a run in the second with a single. A run
had already scored on Dickey’s wild pitch and Michael Bourn
followed Norris with an RBI single to put Houston up 3-0.
But Dickey figured out how his knuckleball was reacting to
Wednesday’s light breeze and shut down the Astros, allowing only
three hits from the third inning through the seventh. He was aided
by three double plays.
Astros second baseman Bill Hall left in the fourth because of a
sprained right ankle. He was injured when he slammed into the wall
behind first base making a running catch of Harris’ foul pop in the
second inning. Matt Downs took over at second in the fourth.
NOTES: Mets reliever Bobby Parnell has a circulatory problem in
the middle finger of his pitching hand and will have further tests
to determine if a blood clot is causing the numbness. He will
likely go on the 15-day DL. … The Mets have lost their last five