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Big bats lament missed chances vs. Mets

Special to MLB.com

NEW YORK -- The D-backs wanted to believe they were putting these frustrating nights in their past. They wanted to believe games like Tuesday, where they scored seven runs and looked more like their early-season selves, would become the norm again.

It could still happen. It just didn't happen Wednesday.

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NEW YORK -- The D-backs wanted to believe they were putting these frustrating nights in their past. They wanted to believe games like Tuesday, where they scored seven runs and looked more like their early-season selves, would become the norm again.

It could still happen. It just didn't happen Wednesday.

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They had runners on base all night. They had runners in scoring position plenty of times. They had a runner on third with less than two outs in the first, third, fifth and seventh innings.

They ended up with a 4-2 loss to the Mets at Citi Field.

The D-backs remained a half-game ahead of the Rockies, who lost to the Royals, for the top National League Wild Card spot, with the Brewers three games behind Colorado.

It was the D-backs' first loss to the Mets in six meetings this season, but in so many other ways, this felt all too familiar.

"You can't do it all in one day," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "You can't get it all back in one day. I think we're coming out the other end of it."

There's a lot to come out of. Since June 28, the D-backs have hit .216 as a team with runners in scoring position. Since July 27, it's even worse, with a .190 batting average.

Seen that way, their 2-for-11 performance with runners in scoring position Wednesday night sounds like nothing out of the ordinary. If there was a difference in this one, it was that National League Most Valuable Player Award candidate Paul Goldschmidt may have been the biggest culprit.

Goldschmidt, who came into the game with a .388 batting average with runners in scoring position, struck out with one out and runners at first and third in the first inning. He hit a ground ball with runners at second and third and one out in the third, only to have David Peralta thrown out at the plate. Goldschmidt got credit for an infield single in the fifth, but it didn't drive in a run.

Video: ARI@NYM: Flores throws home to nail Peralta

And to top off his night, he struck out with runners at first and third and one out in the seventh.

"I had four opportunities and didn't come through on any of them," said Goldschmidt (aka "Goldy" for Players Weekend). "The guys did the job in front of me. It's definitely on me. I've got to do a better job.

"I just look at myself. Everyone else did their job."

Video: ARI@NYM: Sewald nullifies the threat in the 7th

That's nice of him to say, but it's not completely true. J.D. Martinez (aka "Flaco" for Players Weekend) drove in a run with a first-inning single, but he had three other chances and wasn't able to get a run home in any of them. His fifth-inning fly ball was too shallow to get A.J. Pollock home from third base, and Pollock was thrown out by Mets center fielder Juan Lagares.

Lovullo called Pollock's decision to try to score "risky," but he also said he could live with it. It was certainly understandable that the D-backs would try to force the issue, on another night when runs weren't easy to get.

"If it wouldn't have been a perfect throw, he would have scored," Martinez said.

The D-backs can still come out of New York with three wins in four games if they can take Thursday's finale, but in a second half of too many missed opportunities, Wednesday's loss was more of the same.

Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York.

Arizona Diamondbacks, Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb, J.D. Martinez