TORONTO -- A quick take on the Mets' 2-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon at Rogers Centre.
WHAT IT MEANS: The Mets remain over .500, with a 21-19 record. But the rest of the NL East also is above breakeven. So Saturday’s 2-0 loss at Toronto has dropped the Mets into a last-place tie with Philadelphia pending the outcome of the Phillies’ Saturday night game against the Boston Red Sox.
The David Wright-less Mets lineup mustered only three hits in a complete game by Blue Jays right-hander Brandon Morrow. The Amazin’s also lost the latest occupant of Mike Pelfrey’s rotation slot.
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Brandon Morrow tossed his second shutout this month on Saturday.
Miguel Batista departed the game without throwing a pitch in the bottom of the third inning with what the team announced as lower-back discomfort. Batista also has been dealing with a groin injury of late.
Newly promoted Jeremy Hefner entered the scoreless game in the bottom of the third for Batista and immediately posted a pair of zeroes. The Blue Jays then touched him for two runs in the fifth, on consecutive run-scoring hits by ex-Atlanta Braves Kelly Johnson and Yunel Escobar. Yet Hefner held the deficit at 2-0 before turning the ball over to Tim Byrdak for the eighth.
Hefner’s final relief line: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K. He had thrown 92 pitches Tuesday in a start for Triple-A Buffalo.
Hefner’s relief outing was the longest by a Met since the May 20, 2010 game at D.C. in which John Maine was contentiously pulled in the first inning with shoulder issues and Raul Valdes tossed five relief innings (and Dan Warthen called Maine a “habitual liar” with respect to his injury).
Incidentally, the last time the NL East had every team at .500 or better on May 19 or later? That was May 26, 2010, according to ESPN Stats & Information. That day, the Phillies (26-19) led the Braves (24-22) by 2-1/2 games. The Nationals, Marlins and Mets all were 24-23.
The last pitcher to toss a complete-game shutout against the Mets: Philadelphia’s Roy Oswalt on Sept. 12, 2010.
UGGH: The Mets rallied in the ninth against Morrow on a walk by Scott Hairston and then a seeming one-out double by Mike Baxter. However, second base ump Brian Knight ruled Baxter had been tagged out -- an apparent missed call. Rather than have the tying run in scoring position, the Mets had out No. 2.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Mets conclude their north-of-the-border excursion Sunday at 1:07 p.m., with clean-shaven Dillon Gee (2-3, 5.65 ERA) opposing right-hander Henderson Alvarez (3-3, 2.62).