MIAMI — Joey Lucchesi’s brain cramp Tuesday night sabotaged what otherwise was a decent pitching performance.
The left-hander’s oops moment occurred in the fifth inning for the Mets when he fielded a bunt and threw to an uncovered third base.
As the play was unfolding — producing the Marlins’ second run of the night — a stunned Lucchesi removed his cap.
Live and learn.
Late-inning resiliency gave the Mets and Lucchesi a chance to survive the miscue.
But Jake Burger’s walk-off RBI single in the ninth against Trevor Gott sent the Mets to a 4-3 loss at loanDepot Park.
The loss guaranteed the Mets (70-81) a non-winning season.
Jake Burger of the Miami Marlins reacts after hitting a walk-off RBI-single to defeat the New York Mets at loanDepot park on September 19, 2023, in Miami.Getty Images
Lucchesi lasted 5²/₃ innings and allowed three runs, one unearned, on six hits with five strikeouts and two walks.
It was the latest positive sign for the Mets from a pitcher with minor league options (in a group that also includes Jose Butto, David Peterson and Tylor Megill) who might factor in some manner into next season’s starting rotation.
The 30-year-old Lucchesi has pitched to a 2.88 ERA in eight starts for the Mets this season.
Brandon Nimmo of the New York Mets celebrates after hitting an RBI double against the Miami Marlins during the ninth inning.Getty Images
Braxton Garrett’s throwing error in the third gave the Mets an unearned run.
Pete Alonso reached on a two-out single and took second on Jon Berti’s fielding error before Francisco Lindor hit a squib that Garrett fielded and threw away toward first base.
The Marlins tied it 1-1 in the bottom of the inning on Josh Bell’s RBI double.
Jorge Soler began the rally with a two-out double against Lucchesi before Bell hit a grounder past first base to bring in the run.
Joey Lucchesi talks strategy with Francisco Alvarez during the fourth inning of the Mets’ loss.AP
Lucchesi’s gaffe in the fifth allowed the Marlins to go ahead 2-1.
Xavier Edwards bunted and Lucchesi fielded the ball — with Ronny Mauricio also charging — and threw to an empty third base.
Berti scored, but Nick Fortes was thrown out trying to advance from first-to-third.
Garrett Hampson’s RBI single in the sixth extended the Mets’ deficit to 3-1 after Burger singled leading off and took second on a wild pitch.
Buck Showalter argues a call with home plate umpire Brian O’Nora during the Mets’ loss.AP
The Mets loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh before left-hander Andrew Nardi entered to retire Mauricio.
In the inning, Jeff McNeil, D.J. Stewart and Brandon Nimmo all singled.
Nimmo’s two-out double against Tanner Scott in the ninth tied it 3-3 after McNeil’s leadoff double and Mark Vientos singled.