Florida at New York

Scoreboard
Florida (70-91)000000000013
N.Y. Mets (88-73) «23302111x13190

Maine falls just short of no-hitter, helps Mets stop bleeding

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

NEW YORK -- John Maine stopped the Mets' slide with an overpowering performance that pulled them into a first-place tie. He nearly did a whole lot more than that.

Maine flirted with the first no-hitter in team history before allowing an infield single to Paul Hoover with two outs in the eighth inning, and New York snapped out of its September doldrums by routing the Florida Marlins 13-0 in a fight-filled game Saturday.

"We weren't going to lose today," Maine said.

Maine finished with 14 strikeouts, the most by a Mets pitcher in eight years, and departed to a raucous ovation long after Florida catcher Miguel Olivo charged across the diamond and threw a punch at buddy Jose Reyes in the fifth -- setting off a bench-clearing brawl.

Once order was restored, the Mets ended a five-game skid that cost them their NL East lead. Hours later, they moved back into a tie with Philadelphia for first place in the NL East when the Phillies lost 4-2 to Washington.

After squandering a seven-game cushion with 17 to play and falling a game behind Philadelphia, New York entered Saturday with a chance to suddenly be eliminated from postseason contention. A loss to Florida and a Phillies win over Washington later would have sent the Mets home for the winter.

Instead, Maine (15-10) gave them the dominant outing they've desperately needed for two weeks.

"We needed a stopper and he was our guy," David Wright said. "Hopefully, it's not too little too late."

New York will hope for another big effort from 300-game winner Tom Glavine in the regular-season finale Sunday. The Mets face nemesis Dontrelle Willis (10-15), who is 11-3 with a 2.49 ERA in 18 career starts against them -- including 5-0 at Shea Stadium.

Lastings Milledge homered twice, Ramon Castro also connected and Luis Castillo had three key hits for the Mets, who had lost eight straight home games and 11 of 15 overall -- putting them in danger of completing one of baseball's most colossal collapses.

Maine was looking to make his own bit of history for the Mets, born in 1962. He struck out seven straight during one stretch and held Florida hitless into the eighth. With the crowd of 54,675 getting more and more excited, Hoover hit a dribbler up the third-base line that left Wright with no chance to make a play.

"You couldn't have rolled the ball any better," Maine said. "What are you going to do?"

Wright put his arm around Maine on the mound as manager Willie Randolph walked out to lift the right-hander after 115 pitches. Maine took a curtain call before Willie Collazo and Carlos Muniz finished the one-hitter.

The crowd let out another huge roar when Washington's early 1-0 lead at Philadelphia was posted on the out-of-town scoreboard.

Milledge flopped on a clubhouse couch to watch the Phillies' game on television for a while, but most of the Mets scattered, saying they would keep an eye on it with family and friends or get updates via cell phone.

The teams first spilled onto the field when Florida pitcher Harvey Garcia threw behind Castillo in the fifth. Holding the bat in his hand, Castillo walked toward the mound with his arms spread wide. Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson was incensed, pointing angrily toward Marlins coaches as the benches and bullpens emptied.

"That's irresponsible. That's not how you play the game," Peterson said. "It was a knee-jerk reaction."

No punches were thrown, however, with both teams mostly just milling close to each other near home plate.

After a brief delay, play resumed. Castillo walked and Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez came out to make a double switch.

Reyes, on third base, was jawing with Olivo, who was standing on the mound during the pitching change. Reyes said he was kidding with Olivo, figuring it was harmless because the two chat all the time.

"I'm on the mound waiting for the pitcher, and he yelled at me. He says, 'You want to fight?' I said, `OK,"' Olivo said. "We're good friends. Maybe he just got a little excited. We play winter ball in the Dominican all the time. I don't care. He wants to be my friend? I'll be his friend. But I don't care."

Reyes' story was slightly different, though he also said the two are friends. He said Olivo was the one who asked him if he wanted to fight, so he answered yes -- but again thought they were simply joking.

Suddenly, though, Olivo charged at Reyes and took a swing that failed to connect.

"I'm too quick for that," Reyes said. "He (took) it serious. I don't know why."

Mets third base coach Sandy Alomar held off Olivo, and Florida third baseman Miguel Cabrera grabbed hold of Reyes as both teams poured onto the field. There was plenty of pushing and shoving, but it appeared no other punches were thrown.

Olivo was ejected -- and replaced by Hoover. Reyes wasn't tossed. He scored on Wright's single, making it 10-0.

Marlins star shortstop Hanley Ramirez appeared to be hit on the left hand by Maine's pitch in the fourth, though he wasn't awarded first base. Plate umpire CB Bucknor ruled it a foul ball off the knob of the bat.

Robert Andino replaced Ramirez, and X-rays on his hand were negative.

New York chased rookie Chris Seddon (0-2) in the second inning.

Notes

  • It was the most strikeouts by a Mets pitcher since Al Leiter had 15 on Aug. 1, 1999, at Chicago.
  • New York had a season-high 19 hits.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Remember the Maine! Mets fans won't soon forget the starter's near no-no as the Mets fight for October.   (AP)
Remember the Maine! Mets fans won't soon forget the starter's near no-no as the Mets fight for October. (AP)

Players of the Game
New York

J. Maine
IP 7.2
H 1
ER 0
BB 2
K 14
New York

L. Milledge
AB 5
R 3
H 3
HR 2
RBI 3
 

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Florida Marlins
Hanley Ramirez, SS2000010 .334
    Robert Andino, SS2000000 .385
Dan Uggla, 2B1000210 .246
    Marcos Carvajal, P0000000 .000
   a- Reggie Abercrombie, PH1000010 .197
Jeremy Hermida, RF3000022 .292
Miguel Cabrera, 3B2000000 .320
    Alfredo Amezaga, 3B-2B1000001 .263
Mike Jacobs, 1B3000030 .265
Todd Linden, LF2000020 .246
    Mauro Zarate, P0000000 .000
    Jason Wood, 3B1000000 .241
Miguel Olivo, C1000010 .237
    Paul Hoover, C2010010 .375
Alejandro De Aza, CF3000021 .221
Chris Seddon, P0000000 .000
    Ross Wolf, P1000010 .000
    Harvey Garcia, P0000000 .000
    Brett Carroll, LF2000000 .184
Totals27010215  
a-struck out for Carvajal in the 9th
Batting
CS - Dan Uggla (1, 2nd base by Maine/Castro)
Team LOB - 2
Fielding
E - Marcos Carvajal (1, Misplayed grounder), Mauro Zarate 2 (2, Throwing)
Florida Marlins
Chris Seddon (L,0-2) 1.2755100 8.83
Ross Wolf 0.2433101 11.68
Harvey Garcia 2222131 4.38
Mauro Zarate 1.2211011 10.80
Marcos Carvajal 2421110 6.75
WP - Harvey Garcia (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Chris Seddon 42-25, Ross Wolf 26-15, Harvey Garcia 37-23, Mauro Zarate 24-16, Marcos Carvajal 37-25
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Seddon 2-3, Ross Wolf 1-1, Harvey Garcia 1-2, Mauro Zarate 1-4, Marcos Carvajal 4-2
Batters Faced - Chris Seddon 13, Ross Wolf 7, Harvey Garcia 9, Mauro Zarate 8, Marcos Carvajal 12
New York Mets
Jose Reyes, SS5110002 .283
   a- Anderson Hernandez, PH-SS1000001 .333
Luis Castillo, 2B4232100 .301
   b- Ruben Gotay, PH-2B1010000 .296
David Wright, 3B4331101 .325
   c- David Newhan, PH-3B1011000 .203
Carlos Beltran, CF6011028 .275
    Carlos Muniz, P0000000 .000
Moises Alou, LF4022012 .342
   d- Carlos Gomez, PH-LF^CF1000000 .232
Carlos Delgado, 1B5022002 .258
    Shawn Green, 1B0000000 .291
Ramon Castro, C5221014 .293
Lastings Milledge, RF5333000 .275
John Maine, P2100111 .109
    Willie Collazo, P0000000 .000
   e- Marlon Anderson, PH-LF0100100 .298
Totals4413191345  
a-flied out for Reyes in the 8th
b-singled for Castillo in the 8th
c-singled for Wright in the 8th
d-grounded out for Alou in the 7th
e-walked for Collazo in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jose Reyes (36, H. Garcia), Luis Castillo 2 (18, Seddon, Wolf)
HR - Ramon Castro (11, Zarate), Lastings Milledge 2 (7, Wolf, H. Garcia)
SH - John Maine (14)
RBI - Luis Castillo 2 (38), David Wright (107), David Newhan (6), Carlos Beltran (112), Moises Alou 2 (49), Carlos Delgado 2 (87), Ramon Castro (31), Lastings Milledge 3 (29)
2-OUT RBI - Luis Castillo (18), David Newhan (3), Carlos Beltran (29), Moises Alou 2 (14), Carlos Delgado 2 (29)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - Castro-Reyes
New York Mets
John Maine (W,15-10) 7.21002140 3.91
Willie Collazo 0.1000000 6.35
Carlos Muniz 1000010 7.71
Pitches-Strikes - John Maine 115-68, Willie Collazo 2-2, Carlos Muniz 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Maine 1-7
Batters Faced - John Maine 25, Willie Collazo 1, Carlos Muniz 3
Game Information
Attendance - 54675
Game Time - 3:03
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - C.B. Bucknor, First Base - Joe West, Second Base - Ed Rapuano, Third Base - Ed Hickox