"We had a lot of opportunities to win a number of games on this homestand," manager Terry Collins said after the Mets dropped their fourth of six games at Citi Field. "Couldn't put a big hit on the board."
The Mets, who were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position, became the second team in recorded history to earn 13 walks and score one run or fewer, according to Baseball-Reference. The other occurrence was in 1953.
Their offense hasn't been a non-factor this year, though. The team sits at 29-23 in part because of its National League-leading 73 long balls. Twenty-five of those wins, however, have come when they've homered.
Collins has said the Mets are "fun to watch" when they are hitting balls out of the park. But when they aren't?
"We're not a small ball team. We don't steal bases. We're not a big hit-and-run team," Collins said. "We're more of a get-a-good-ball-to hit-and-drive-it-kind-of-team. For us to do other things and to ask guys to do things they aren't very good at, you're asking them to fail."
Collins, of course, was without four of his best hitters: catcher Travis d'Arnaud, first baseman Lucas Duda and third baseman David Wright (all on the disabled list), and left fielder Yoenis Cespedes (didn't start).
Cespedes pinch-hit in the bottom of the ninth but was called out on strikes.
Left fielder Michael Conforto hardly accepted the absences as an excuse, though, assuming blame after finishing 0-for-6 with four strikeouts.
"I am pressing a bit," Conforto said. "I need to take a deep breath, get back to what was working. That just starts with hard work and feeling confident."
Rivera singled again in the bottom of the 11th, and infielder Wilmer Flores followed with a walk. But Curtis Granderson flied out to center to end the frame.
"It's not easy to hit a homer," shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera said. "If it was so easy, everyone could hit a homer every day. It's not easy."