Rookie Jonathon Niese gave up a fourth-inning grand slam to the Chicago Cubs’ starting pitcher Monday night as the Mets’ latest late-season collapse continued with a 9-5 loss at Shea.
With the loss, the Mets fall to 2 1/2 games behind the Philadelphai Phillies in the N.L. East and cling to a one-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers for the wild-card spot with six games left.
Cubs’ pitcher Jason Marquis added a fifth RBI in the fifth inning, scoring Ryan Theriot on a fielder’s choice. He also held the Mets to just two earned runs over six innings of work until David Wright tagged him for a two-run homer with two outs in the seventh.
Niese, on the other hand, lasted just three-plus innings, giving up six earned runs on six hits and two walks. He lost his no-hitter in the second inning when Mark DeRosa doubled to left-center, making it 7,476 games without a no-hitter. But of course we’d gladly advance our NoNoHitters.com count without question each night if we could just get a clutch victory or two here down the stretch.