- Adam Rubin, ESPNNewYork.com
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WHAT IT MEANS: Not only were the Mets officially eliminated from postseason contention Thursday, they were humiliated in the process.
At an empty Citi Field, the Philadelphia Phillies knocked out Jeremy Hefner in an eight-run, 33-minute top of the first inning without the rookie right-hander recording an out. The Mets eventually lost, 16-1, in a makeup of Tuesday’s rainout and again were swept in a home series.
NOT SO SWEET HOME
The Mets dropped to 4-24 at Citi Field since the All-Star break:
Hefner departed after surrendering six singles, then a walk to the seven batters he faced. He became the 19th starting pitcher in franchise history to fail to record an out, and the first since John Maine in his final major league start, on May 20, 2010 at Washington in the game remembered for pitching coach Dan Warthen calling Maine a “habitual liar” with respect to his injuries.
Hefner faced the second-most batters in franchise history as a starting pitcher without recording an out. Only Bobby Jones on Sept. 17, 1997 at Atlanta faced more batters -- eight (four walks, three hits and his own error).
The eight runs scored were the most ever in a first inning against the Mets in Flushing, and two shy of matching the most anywhere. The Mets surrendered 10 runs in the first inning at Cincinnati on July 19, 1988, in a game started by Ron Darling. Hefner, who ultimately was charged with seven runs, watched his ERA swell from 4.99 to 5.79.
The Mets fell to 4-24 at home since the All-Star break. That .143 winning percentage is on pace for the worst second-half percentage at home in MLB since the advent of the All-Star Game in 1933. The current record: .158 (6-32) by the 1979 Mets, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The Mets also are chugging toward a major league record for scoring futility. They failed to exceed three runs for the 16th straight home game, extending their franchise record and moving within two of the MLB record: 18, by the 1915 Yankees at the Polo Grounds, Elias notes.
The lone run came on a solo homer by Mike Baxter in the fifth against Cloyd.
The 21 hits surrendered by 10 Mets pitchers were the most since the Amazin's allowed that many on July 26, 2008 against the Cardinals. The 15-run defeat was the largest since the Mets lost to the Yankees, 15-0, on June 14, 2009.
HIT MEN: David Wright’s first-inning single gave him 1,414 career hits, four shy of matching Ed Kranepool’s franchise record.
DONE: Josh Edgin entered with two out in the ninth, in what should be a sour-tasting finale to his 2012 season because of an appearance limit. After inheriting the bases loaded from ineffective Jeurys Familia, Edgin plunked Chase Utley to force in a run. The southpaw then served up a grand slam to Ryan Howard and was pulled.
WHAT’S NEXT: Jose Reyes and the Miami Marlins visit Citi Field for the weekend, with last place in the NL East up for grabs. The Mets (66-83) lead Miami (66-84) by only a half-game. Jon Niese (11-9, 3.46 ERA) opposes right-hander Jacob Turner (1-2, 3.75) in the 7:10 p.m. series opener Friday. R.A. Dickey now bids for his 19th victory Saturday.