John Maine pitched well enough to win Monday night, but the Mets offense returned to their anemic ways in a 3-2 loss to the Washington Nationals at Citi Field.
The Mets rallied for a run in the ninth inning when Angel Pagan hit a solo home run to the deepest part of the park. Alex Cora reached based with a two-out single, but Jason Bay’s struggles continued as he struck out against Miguel Batista to end the game.
The Mets spoiled Maine’s good effort. They went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position, left nine men on base and struck out 10 times. The Mets did not have a good approach at the plate and that has been the case more often than not this season. They took too many close pitches and tried to murder the ball on two-strike pitches that were on the outside part of the plate, Jeff Francoeur and Bay in particular.
A couple of days ago, someone made the point that the Mets have showed no urgency in these type of games. You have to wonder if the Mets still don’t take the Nats seriously. It was hard to imagine coming into this game that the Mets were playing a meaningful game against the Nationals, albeit in May. A quick glance at the standings revealed the Mets and Nats were tied for second place behind the Phillies. The Nats are for real, at least for the moment, and are not going any where.
Maine allowed back-to-back homers to Adam Kennedy and Ryan Zimmerman in the third inning. The righthander wasn’t very sharp and struggled with his command as he walked four, but battled through trouble in the first inning. The Nats had runners at second and third with one out, but Maine struck out Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham to retire the side.
I think that first inning showed how far Maine has come this season. It seemed everyone was questioning his mental makeup last month, but that’s changed the past three starts. Oliver Perez should take note.
The Mets had a chance to jump all over Nats starter Luis Atilano in the first inning when they loaded the bases with one out. But David Wrightand Ike Davis struck out to end the threat.
The Mets finally scored a run in the seventh when Luis Castillo hit an RBI single to make it 3-1 Washington. But with runners on first and second with two outs, Jose Reyes took a called third strike and got himself ejected in the process. Reyes slammed him bat to the ground and then his helmet, which ultimately caused the ejection. Jerry Manuel also was ejected.
I thought it was an immature move on Reyes’s part and I thought the same Sunday when Wright got ejected. Wright’s ejection could have put the Mets in a bad situation because they were out of bench players. Reyes struck out on a pitch that was right on the corner. I understand being frustrated, but those guys need to be smart as well.
Editors Note: Will Hernandez originally wrote this for Mets Fans Forever