For the second straight night in San Francisco, a pitchers' duel carried the ball game into extra innings. And while Friday's game didn't last 16 innings like the previous night, it ended in a loss just as deflating.
In the bottom of the 10th inning, with two runners on, Jacob Rhame forced a weak pop up to shallow left field off the bat of Pablo Sandoval. With Dominic Smith coming in and Amed Rosario drifting out, there was a brief moment of hesitation Smith's part, and just like that, the ball dropped to the grass and a hustling Alex Dickerson scored all the way from first base, handing the Mets a 1-0 loss
Smith was charged with an error on the game-ending play.
"It looked like Dom was coming to get it, and it looked like he was peaking down to see if Rosario was there and in his way, and then by the time he looked back up it was already on him," Mickey Callaway said. "It looked like Rosario probably called for it early, obviously like you would, and then veered off like you should, and then I think Dom looking down to see where Rosario was, and then looking up too late, it was on him."
The reason for Smith's hesitation turned out to be an almost identical play in April 2018, when Smith collided with Rosario on what should have been a routing pop-up, allowing the Giants to score the winning run in a 2-1 game.
"Late in the game, obviously extra innings, so playing no doubles, so playing back and then trying to keep the ball in front of you, so the run doesn't score," Smith said when asked about the play. "The ball went up and I had a good read on it, good beat, and the last second just got a little scared because last year we collided and stuff like that, so just took my off the ball because of what happened and ended up dropping it.
"I called it because I felt I had a great jump on it and I was coming in easy, just a little miscommunication and the ball dropped and it cost us the game."
Rosario, meanwhile, explained that he was simply trying to get out Smith's way when the ball landed in shallow left.
"I got a good jump on it so I started to go back, but once Dom called me off I just backed off," Rosario said via translator afterwards. "I think it's just part of the game. I think it's just one of those things where maybe he felt that I was a little too close to him and that's why the play happened the way it did tonight."
Once the ball dropped, the Mets still had a chance to throw Dickerson out at the plate, but Todd Frazier's throw went to the backstop because Wilson Ramos was also out of position at the end of the play.
"On that, he throws the ball in a little offline, so Ramos, assuming that they might not cut it, had to move to the inside, and then we cut it and he tries to get back over," Callaway explained. "Frazier throws it to that side of the bag, and then we just don't have him, so a couple mistakes in the same play."
The Mets have now lost back-to-back games in heart-breaking fashion, cooling off significantly after a four-game win streak. They'll look to get back on track on Saturday afternoon, with Walker Lockett starting for the injured Zack Wheeler.