Immediately after he was pulled in the seventh, just after giving up a two-out double to Ruben Tejada that put the Mets ahead, Steve Cishek walked into the clubhouse and cued up the videotape machine.
Cishek thought he had struck out Juan Lagares on a check swing to start the eighth, and the video confirmed his belief. Had the umpires seen it the same way, it might have all turned out differently for Cishek and the Miami Marlins, who dropped a 4-3 decision on Sunday to the New York Mets.
“I looked at the video and it looked like he swung,” Cishek said. “Just the way it’s going right now. Just the way it’s being going this year.”
It’s been a rough year so far for Cishek, who lost the closer’s role in mid-May and took the loss on Sunday to drop his record to 1-5.
“We still believe in him,” manager Dan Jennings said of Cishek. “I don’t worry about his mental toughness. You don’t save 39 and 37 games in this league without being mentally tough.”
Cishek wasn’t singularly responsible for Sunday’s setback.
Marlins starter David Phelps gave up an RBI double to poor-hitting Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon. It was only the second extra-base hit of Colon’s long career.
First baseman Justin Bour had a routine ground ball go through his legs for an unearned run in the first inning.
And all four Mets runs were scored with two outs, continuing a pattern that plagued the Marlins when they were in Pittsburgh to start the road trip.
“You’ve got to shut that down,” Jennings said of the Marlins’ two-out troubles. “The two-out runs, it’s just a little demoralizing.”
The loss prevented the Marlins from pulling off their first series sweep on the road since July of last season. Now they return home from a 2-4 road trip to face the Chicago Cubs in a three-game series at Marlins Park.
A win on Sunday would have at least salvaged a split of the road trip. But it didn’t come about for all variety of reasons.
Take Colon’s RBI double.
Phelps thought Colon would bunt with a Mets runner aboard, only to discover that wasn’t the case when the portly pitcher took a full cut on the ball and sent it into center for a double that put the Mets on top, 2-1.
“That one, it was dumb on my part thinking he was still bunting,” Phelps said. “He tried to bunt the pitch before that, and I threw the same pitch, and that’s two RBIs that guy’s got off me this year.”
Colon, who was facing the Marlins for the third time, also kept his team in it on the mound. The 42-year-old pitcher held the Marlins to three runs on six hits over seven innings.
Bour tagged him for a solo homer in the sixth inning that made it 3-3. It was the third straight game in which Bour has homered and gave him five on the year, the second-highest total on the Marlins behind Giancarlo Stanton’s 15.
But it was the seventh inning that determined the final outcome.
Cishek entered to start the inning and thought he had struck out Lagares on the check swing.
“It was a close call,” Cishek said. “It was really minute, really close. It could have gone either way, to be honest with you. When you’re out there, you’re just hoping it does go your way.”
Given a second chance, Lagares singled on the very next pitch. Cishek then struck out Anthony Recker and got pinch-hitter Darrell Ceciliani on a fly ball. Next up was Curtis Granderson, who was walked intentionally to bring up Tejada, who doubled to drive in the deciding run.