MIAMI -- While Mets reliever Tyler Clippard struggled in Sunday's 4-3 loss to the Miami for the first time since coming to the New York in late July, manager Terry Collins didn't mind taking his chances with the usually-solid right-hander. Meanwhile, it's safe to say Collins didn't mind Addison Reed's performance either, as the recently acquired righty is beginning to settle into his key late-inning role.
Reed, acquired from the D-backs on Aug. 29, logged a scoreless seventh inning and maintained a one-run Mets lead. As for Clippard -- who entered Sunday having allowed just one earned run in 19 2/3 innings for the Mets this season -- he took the loss as he surrendered two earned runs in 1 2/3 innings, including Martin Prado's walk-off sacrifice fly.
Still, the combination of Reed and Clippard in tight games is exactly what Collins is looking for as the National League East-leading Mets continue their playoff push.
"If you had to go in the bullpen and say you want one guy out there who can execute some pitches in that situation -- with Prado up there, you know he's gonna put the bat on the ball -- it's Tyler Clippard," Collins said.
Following Reed's solid seventh, Clippard came on in the eighth and surrendered a game-tying home run to Justin Bour. Then, with the score tied at 3, the 30-year-old came back out for the ninth inning. He loaded the bases with one out on a strikeout wild pitch and two singles, before Prado notched his game-winning sac fly after a 12-pitch at-bat.
"We've faced each other a lot in the past and he's got a good idea of what I'm bringing to the table," said Clippard. "I was trying to speed him up and slow him down as much as I could in that count with being aggressive in the zone. But he did a good job of battling and fouling some tough pitches off and he got one out there in the outfield deep enough."
Despite the rough outing, Clippard still owns a 1.27 ERA with the Mets. Reed, meanwhile, hasn't surrendered an earned run in four appearances with New York and will pick up Clippard's workload on Monday should the situation call for it.
Collins said Clippard -- who threw 41 pitches on Sunday -- will be unavailable for the series opener at second-place Washington, sliding Reed into the eighth inning role for a day.
"We want to go there and hopefully separate ourselves more," Clippard said of the pivotal series. "That's our goal every time -- to win the series. So that's what we're gonna do."
Steve Wilaj is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.