After hearing that Cubs manager Joe Maddon brought in a magician to help his slumping club, manager Terry Collins was asked Wednesday night if he had anything in mind for the Mets.
"I brought in a witch doctor," Collins joked. "Clean up the clubhouse. Get all the bad spirits out of there."
And this after the Mets had lost just one game after a four-game winning streak. But the team is not scoring runs -- other than when Steven Matz is at the plate -- and that disturbing trend continued Wednesday night in an agonizing 2-0, 11-inning loss to the Cubs before 23,906 at Citi Field.
The Mets, who were shut out 1-0 on Tuesday, wasted seven shutout innings by Bartolo Colon and saw a botched suicide squeeze bunt in the eighth ruin their best chance for a precious run.
They have not scored in 20 innings. A double play that was not turned in the 11th led to Chicago's runs, even though the Cubs gave the Mets an out with a baserunning blunder.
Starlin Castro's two-out infield hit off Carlos Torres (2-4) drove in the game's first run. With runners on first and third, Castro hit a slow roller to third. Daniel Murphy charged and threw on the run, but Castro beat it by a step as Anthony Rizzo scored.
Dexter Fowler led off the 11th with a walk. Rizzo hit a potential double-play ball to short, but Wilmer Flores -- in his third game at second base since switching over from short -- bounced the relay throw to first and Lucas Duda could not make the scoop.
Three batters later, Castro singled in the go-ahead run. Miguel Montero's single off Sean Gilmartin made it 2-0.
Collins tried a suicide squeeze play in the eighth and it went very, very badly.
Ruben Tejada reached against Pedro Strop on Castro's throwing error to open the inning. One out later, Daniel Murphy doubled in the leftfield corner with Tejada stopping at third.
Collins sent Darrell Ceciliani up as a pinch hitter. With the count 0-and-1, Collins called for the squeeze. Ceciliani bunted through the pitch and Tejada was hung up between third and home.
Murphy took third and Tejada was chased back to the base by catcher Montero. With Murphy standing on the base, Tejada ran through the bag. Montero tagged both runners. Third-base umpire Chris Guccione initially called Murphy and Tejada out. But after the umpires conferred, they correctly ruled that only Tejada was out on the 2-5-2 caught stealing.
Strop then struck out Ceciliani to end the inning. Boos filled the stadium.
The Cubs had a chance to take the lead in the ninth against Jeurys Familia. Rizzo led off with a double. One out later, Chris Coughlan was intentionally walked.
With Castro batting, the runners tried a double steal. The throw to third beat Rizzo, but Murphy never tagged him as Rizzo stopped his slide short of the base and popped up onto the bag. The Mets challenged, but the call was upheld.
Familia didn't buckle, however. He induced Castro to fly out to short center and got former Met Mike Baxter to ground to short to send the scoreless game to the bottom of the ninth.
Colon allowed three hits, walked one (intentionally) and struck out eight. For the Cubs, Jon Lester also threw seven shutout innings. Lester gave up five hits, walked one and struck out seven.