Marathon of futility: Mets blow lead in 18th to fall to Brewers


MILWAUKEE — The Force definitely wasn’t with them.

As Star Wars night was unfolding Saturday at Miller Park, the Mets went to the plate and had their lightsabers reduced to rubble in another display of uninspiring baseball. And yet, after five-plus grueling hours that stretched into the 18th inning, Jeff McNeil found a hole with an RBI single to give the Mets a lead.

But Chris Flexen — the Mets’ eighth pitcher of the night, working his second inning in relief — crumbled. The Brewers loaded the bases before Ryan Braun slashed a two-run single for his sixth hit of the game, sinking the Mets 4-3 in the longest game in innings in this ballpark’s history.

“This one really doesn’t sit well,” said Pete Alonso, who had homered in the ninth to tie it 2-2. “In a positive light, we got back in the ballgame, our pitchers did an absolute hell of a job, [McNeil] came up clutch and put us there in the lead and it was just real unfortunate to come up on the short end of this one.”

The Mets (16-17) fell below .500 for the first time this season and will be on fumes as they attempt to avoid getting swept — with Jason Vargas on the mound — Sunday.

“To have a loss like that, it’s a big letdown on my part and I failed to do my job,” said Flexen, who was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse before the game.