After getting swept by Atlanta in a three-game series at Citi Field with a 6-3 loss Sunday, the Mets find themselves trailing the wild-card-leading Braves by 12 games with 12 games remaining in the season -- meaning one more Atlanta win or Mets loss mathematically ends postseason contention.
The big blow Sunday came on a tiebreaking grand slam by Derrek Lee off Manny Acosta in the seventh inning. Jerry Manuel said he went with Acosta for that matchup in part because Bobby Parnell was unavailable. Parnell has been dealing for a week with a triceps strain. He's still been able to pitch, but he had been up the previous four days, even though he did not get into all of those games.
"We didn't really have many choices," Manuel said.
The grand slam was the 12th surrendered by the Mets this season. That's the most grand slams surrendered in a season since the Baltimore Orioles also allowed 12 in 2006. In the National League, no team has allowed that many since the Montreal Expos in 2000.
The Mets have yet to hit a grand slam this season. If they do not hit one in the season's final 12 games, the Mets will become the first team in major league history to surrender 12 or more without producing one in a season, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Eight of the 12 grand slams allowed by the Mets have come with two out.
"It's unbelievable," Manuel said. "Not to have one is probably as unbelievable as giving up 12. I don't think I've ever been on a team that's ever been that lopsided."
At least an ex-Met had the prospect of his record remaining intact helped by Braves manager Bobby Cox. With Billy Wagner having worked the first two games of the Mets series and the Braves heading into a showdown in Philly on Monday, Cox used rookie Craig Kimbrel, who produced his first major league save. That leaves the retiring Wagner (420) still four behind John Franco (424) for the most saves by a left-hander in major league history.
David Wright had staked the Mets to a 2-0 lead in the first inning with a two-run homer off Derek Lowe. That gave Wright 655 career RBIs, tied with Mike Piazza for second on the franchise's all-time list. Darryl Strawberry ranks first with 733 RBIs.
Wright did also strike out once. He has 152 strikeouts this season. The franchise record is 156, by Dave Kingman in 1992 and Tommie Agee in 1970.