It’s not as if the Mets have lacked opportunities. Despite all that has gone wrong for them this season — the injuries, the offensive inconsistencies, the elongated stretches of lackluster play — they entered Tuesday’s game against the Cardinals still in position to make noise in the National League playoff race.
Not only that, the Braves were in the process of losing yet again, as the Mets carried a lead into the eighth inning against a team they’re chasing in the NL Wild Card race. Atlanta had already lost by the time New York put the winning run on third base with one out in the 10th.
None of it mattered. Javier Báez’s game-tying homer in the ninth didn’t matter. The scoreless efforts of multiple bullpen members didn’t matter. In the end, all that mattered was the Mets’ 7-6 loss to the Cardinals, which unfolded only after multiple opportunities came and went.
Leading for much of the game, the Mets fell behind when Jeurys Familia served up a go-ahead, two-run homer to Tyler O’Neill in the eighth. Báez once again tied things in the ninth, but Francisco Lindor hit into an inning-ending, 3-2-5 double play with runners on the corners and one out in the 10th. That led to rookie Jake Reed giving up three runs to the Cardinals in the top of the 11th.