Putz, Wright Fail Late in 4-3 Mets Loss to Marlins

Two straight bullpen letdowns leave Mets reeling before Phillies series

Wednesday began with their manager questioning the Mets' ability to perform in pressure situations. It ended with the team on the short end of another game that got away late, and even more questions about their confidence when the chips are down. 

Johan Santana handed J.J. Putz a 3-2 lead to start the eighth inning, but Putz wasted little time in handing the lead to the Marlins. He walked the first two men he faced, then, after a bunt, surrendered a two-run single to Cody Ross. Just like that Santana's strong start -- visions of 2008 -- was wasted, and the pressure was back on a Mets lineup that hasn't proven its worth in the clutch yet this season. 

We're still waiting for proof. They got two runners on in the eighth and loaded the bases in the ninth, but couldn't push a run across in either inning. The at-bat you'll hear the most about came with two on and none out in the ninth. David Wright fouled off Matt Lindstrom's first two pitches and then watched strike three cross the plate without offering at it.

Wright also hit into a double play with runners on the corners and one out in the third. While it's hard to blame one guy on a day when the Mets left 14 runners on base, Wright is the face of the franchise and, thus, becomes the face of its struggles.

And the Mets are struggling. A month of the season's gone by, too much to just say it's early, and the Mets are 9-12. Ten of their next 13 games are against the Phillies and Braves, which means things have to the potential to get much worse real quick. 

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.

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