ST. LOUIS -- The Mets had plenty of chances to take the lead against the Cardinals on Sunday at Busch Stadium before first doing so in the top of the 13th inning and then doing so for good in the 18th.
At the conclusion of their 5-hour and 55 minute marathon 3-1 win, the final numbers on the scorecard added up to a victory in the series finale, but they certainly weren't pleasing to the eye.
The Mets finished the game with one hit in 26 at-bats with runners in scoring position and 25 runners stranded on base, which tied the team record, set back on Sept. 11, 1974 in a 25-inning game against the Cardinals.
"That's not good enough," Collins said, jokingly. "It used to be not good enough. I don't know what the new standards are today, but that used to be a not very good stat. Years ago you didn't want that to have that happen."
But Collins turned serious when talking about his team's struggles.
"We aren't happy about it, I can tell you, and neither are some of the guys that left them on," the manager said. "I've never seen more flying helmets in my life than going down that runway."
The Mets were hitless in their first 15 at-bats with runners in scoring position before rookie catcher Kevin Plawecki delivered an opposite-field RBI single in the 13th inning to score Curtis Granderson from second base.
Plawecki, who finished with two hits in eight at-bats, redeemed himself after his own failures with RISP earlier in the game.
He made the final out of the second inning with a runner on second. He struck out with the bases loaded to end the sixth inning. Then, with two runners on in the eighth, he grounded out to end the inning.
"We're just going to keep battling till the last out," Plawecki said. "Offensively, it's been frustrating for sure, but we've still found ways to win ballgames and that's what it's all about. We have to keep grinding. We've been hitting the ball hard, too, and haven't had a whole lot to show for it. That's also encouraging. We just have to continue to grind as an offense."
The Mets are well aware of their recent offensive struggles.
Their 1-for-26 performance with RISP on Sunday is part of an unsightly 3-for-37 slump with RISP during the three-game series in St. Louis and a 3-for-55 mark over their past seven games.
The Mets have won five of those seven games, however.
"It was one we needed to win," Eric Campbell said of Sunday's victory. "We had a lot of chances to do it, left a lot of guys on base which is frustrating, but to come out with the W kind of cures that frustration."
Nate Latsch is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.