NEW YORK -- Terry Collins has managed more than 1,200 games in his career, but he had a swift, succinct answer when asked if he'd ever managed a more frustrating game than Saturday's 2-1, 20-inning loss to the Marlins.
"Never," he quickly replied. He never had been in one even remotely close to as frustrating.
"We had so many chances to win the game," the Mets manager said. "You're looking for that bloop single, you're looking for that bad hop that makes a difference."
Those bad hops never came. Neither did the bloop singles -- at least not strung together well enough to do any damage. New York successfully put men in position several times in extra innings, but went 0-for-19 with runners in scoring position and stranded a total of 22 men.
In the bottom of the 12th inning with Daniel Murphy 90 feet from home, Mets outfielder Marlon Byrd lifted a fly ball into right field, deep enough for Murphy to possibly score.
"The throw's off line," Collins said, "the guy scores."
Instead, Marcell Ozuna's throw to the plate was perfectly straight and way ahead of the charging second baseman. Rob Brantly absorbed Murphy's collision to tag him out -- another opportunity squandered for New York.
The loss wasted some remarkable feats, too. David Wright collected three hits, starting pitcher Matt Harvey threw another strong seven innings and Shaun Marcum -- usually a starter -- tossed eight innings of one-run ball in relief and was saddled with his seventh loss of the year. Catcher John Buck is out of Sunday's lineup after catching the full 20 innings of Saturday's loss.
Collins will still have him off the bench if he's needed, but his wasted effort and ensuing day off is one scar of the remarkable loss.
"Catching 20 innings, I was surprised he walked in there this morning. I thought he might have to come in in a cart." Collins said.
"He was good," he added before a pause and a moment to think, then put his reaction to the marathon as matter-of-factly as he could. "That's a long game."
Chris Iseman and David Wilson are associate reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.