The Mets' offense is vanishing.
After hitting a major league-low .211 in May, New York wasted a fine outing by Jacob deGrom in a painful manner Wednesday. Despite being gifted 13 walks by Chicago White Sox pitchers, the Mets lost 2-1 in 13 innings when pitcher Matt Albers doubled off Logan Verrett for his first hit since 2007, then came home on a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly.
"It was just a strange game, from start to finish," New York second baseman Neil Walker said. "Just weird."
Mets captain David Wright missed his fifth straight game because of a herniated disk in his neck. Rather than travel with the team to Miami, he remained in New York for treatment and will join the group Friday when the series at the Marlins opens.
"We'll assess the situation when he gets down there," manager Terry Collins said.
New York frittered away a four-run lead in Tuesday night's 6-4 loss, then couldn't maintain a 1-0 margin Wednesday provided by Rene Rivera's second-inning RBI single. Todd Frazier led off the seventh against deGrom with his major league-leading 17th homer, a drive over the original 16-foot Great Wall of Flushing, behind the current 8-foot left-field fence.
While the Mets had 20 baserunners — seven on singles to go along with the walks — only one crossed the plate. Chicago turned five double plays, and the Mets went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position while stranding 14 overall.
In addition to the absences of Wright, catcher Travis d'Arnaud (shoulder) and first baseman Lucas Duda (stress fracture in back), the Mets also were largely missing Yoenis Cespedes, who asked for his first day off from the starting lineup since April 27. He took a called third strike when he pinch hit in the ninth inning and has one hit in his last 24 at-bats.
"We're not driving anybody in. That's the most concerning," Collins said. "We're not a small-ball team. We don't steal bases. We're not a big hit-and-run team. We're more of a get-a-good-ball-to-hit, drive-it kind of team, so for us to do other things and to ask guys to do things they're not very good at, you're asking them to fail.
Michael Conforto struck out a career-high four times and grounded into a double play on an 0-for-6 afternoon. He hit .365 in April but his average is down to .252 after a 1-for-22 slide that now includes a hitless streak of 14 at-bats.
"I'm just getting away from my approach, going out of the zone," he said. "Not going to have success that way, so just got to get back to what was working."
On the fourth anniversary of Johan Santana throwing the only no-hitter in Mets history, deGrom lowered his ERA to 2.62, allowing five hits, walking two and striking out 10 to reach double digits for the first time since August. His fastball was consistently in the 93-95 mph range, perhaps a tad below last week's outing against the Los Angeles Dodgers but up from 92 mph at the start of the season.
"I felt good out there today. I had command of all my pitches," he said. "I think there's still some work to do. But I felt like I got more swing-and-misses on my fastball than earlier this season, so that's a good sign for me."
In the first extra-inning game at Citi Field since Kansas City won Game 5 of last year's World Series to take the title, Verrett (3-3) thought he could blow a fastball by Albers (2-4).
"You saw his first couple of hacks," Verrett said. "He was backing out of the box, so I was very surprised that he hit a ball that well."
Hansel Robles relieved for the Mets to start the 12th and left with one out and a 3-2 count on Alex Avila after hurting his right ankle.
"He's got a slight sprain. He'll be fine Friday, nothing severe," Collins said. "He caught his spike on the rubber when he made the one delivery."
Robles threw a couple of warmup pitches, and Collins pointed to the bullpen with his right arm. Left-hander Jerry Blevins jogged from the bullpen to the mound and found out Verrett, a righty, was supposed to come in. Blevins returned to the bullpen; Verrett came in, warmed up and induced a pair of groundouts.