The D-backs lost, 5-3, settling for a split of the four-game weekend series. This one was particularly frustrating.
New York's rally began when Jose Bautista hit a two-out, pinch-hit RBI double that scored Jose Reyes, who had reached on a bunt and took second on defensive indifference. Then, with the lead trimmed to a run, Boxberger gave up a two-run home run to Brandon Nimmo. And as if that wasn't enough, New York went back-to-back as Asdrubal Cabrera added a solo shot.
"By that time, we were all pretty much in shock about what happened," Lovullo said. "Before you opened your eyes, the next batter hit a home run."
Added Boxberger: "I have to make a better pitch to Nimmo. Just pulled a changeup right into his barrel. Just got to make a better pitch, and we wouldn't be standing here."
Before those long balls, two plays jump-started the comeback.
First, Reyes said he noticed D-backs third baseman Jake Lamb playing farther back than he expected, so he bunted. Boxberger said the bunt had the potential to roll foul. Lovullo said he couldn't tell from his vantage point.
Catcher Alex Avila picked it up. By the time he turned around, Reyes had reached first base.
"He made a perfect bunt," Avila said. "The ball was just dead there in the grass and I was going to try to make a barehanded play. You just react."
Bautista then drove a ball deep to right field. It went off of Jon Jay's glove. Per Statcast™, the ball had a 99 percent catch probability.
Boxberger said his rhythm was thrown off after the bunt. Nonetheless, he said, he left his fastball up.
It was Boxberger's third blown save of the season.
"I [stunk] today, and tomorrow is a new day and I can be great tomorrow," he said.
The Mets' ninth-inning rally spoiled an otherwise splendid performance. Arizona scored two runs in the fourth to take a 2-1 lead, then added an insurance run in the eighth. After Clay Buchholz went 5 2/3 innings, Andrew Chafin, Yoshihisa Hirano and Archie Bradley combined to shut down the Mets. Upon entering, Boxberger struck out the first two batters in the ninth.
"When you get to a certain point, you feel very comfortable," Lovullo said. "I was in that very comfortable stage."
Then the Mets stole a win, leaving the D-backs to regroup as they head to Anaheim to begin a 10-game road trip to three cities.
"Unfortunately, that's what makes this game so great," Lovullo said. "It's heartbreaking, it's rewarding, it's fulfilling. We experience all those emotions -- sometimes all in one game -- but when it ends the way it did today, it is tough."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Gave them some cushion: The D-backs led, 2-1, in the eighth inning. They were looking for some insurance and got it when Lamb blooped an RBI single into left field.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS There were two outs in the top of the fifth when Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler lined a ball that was slicing toward the left-field line. However, David Peralta made a fantastic diving catch. It was a four-star catch, per Statcast™. He had to run 54 feet in 3.5 seconds.
HE SAID IT "We play for these reasons. We're all adrenaline junkies and we take the highs and the lows and we move on." -- Lovullo, on tough losses
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY In the eighth, Paul Goldschmidt hit a soft grounder to third base. Todd Frazier picked it up and fired to first. Goldschmidt was called out, which would have been the second out of the inning. However, the D-backs challenged the play and it was overturned. The next batter, Lamb, hit an RBI single.
UP NEXT The D-backs will embark on a road trip, beginning with a two-game tilt in Anaheim before traveling to Pittsburgh. Zack Greinke will toe the rubber in Monday's meeting with the Halos at 7:07 p.m. MST, and will be opposed by Jaime Barria (5-2, 2.61 ERA). Greinke allowed five runs over 4 2/3 innings in his last start against the Pirates, but before that, he hadn't given up five earned runs in an outing since April 25.
Justin Toscano is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.