The Mets (62-73) lost to the Nationals (69-67) by a score of 6-5 Sunday night at Nationals Park.
Jon Niese took the hill against Ross Ohlendorf as the Mets sought to sweep Washington on the road. Jon was handed a 2-0 lead before throwing a pitch thanks to Daniel Murphy’s RBI double and an RBI single from Lucas Duda. Matt den Dekker padded the lead in the top of the 2nd with his first MLB homer, and the Mets looked like they could be on their way to their fourth straight win with an early 3-0 lead.
After a good start to the game, Niese quickly lost his edge as the game progressed. The Nats fought back to make it a close game, with some help from former Met Scott Hairston. Niese finished up with two earned runs on ten hits and two walks in 5.2 innings of work. He left the game with a cramp.
The Mets added some insurance in the fifth and seventh innings with a pair of RBI hits by Murphy and Duda to put them up 5-2.
Then the wheels would come off for the Mets.
The Nats got a run in the seventh off Scott Atchison and three in the eighth off Gonzalez Germen — two of which were charged to Scott Rice. Germen ended up taking the loss as the Mets were unable to mount a comeback off of Rafael Soriano in the ninth. Erik Davis got the win for Washington.
It all happened so quickly — the Mets were definitively in control and six outs away from victory…and in a flash, we were down a run and Rafael Soriano was shutting down our offense for a save.
Despite the horrible end to tonight’s game, the Mets actually looked pretty good. Young and Murphy each had a pair of hits at the top of the lineup, Satin hit a couple of rockets, Duda was seeing the ball well, and even Travis d’Arnaud — who went 0-for-4 – cracked a shot to right which would have easily gone for extra bases if Jayson Werth hadn’t made a very nice play. At the bottom of the lineup, Matt den Dekker showed that his fantastic defense is not all he has to offer, hitting his first major league home run off Ohlendorf.
Omar Quintanilla has been awful lately. Q made a horrible play in the 8th, throwing a ball that had no chance of reaching Duda in time, ultimately allowing the tying run to score. Ruben Tejada will be up in a few days, and once Ruben is called up, I think we will have seen the end of Omar.
It wouldn’t be a Mets game without a health scare, but it seems like Jon Niese will be fine after leaving early with a cramp. And Scott Rice’s left arm is officially one month away from somehow surviving an abusive rookie season.
So overall, we ended up with yet another loss, but as we continue to evaluate some of the newer guys on the roster as we play out the string, it appears that the Mets have a few unexpected pieces who will be of use going forward.