The Mets (19-22) fell to the Nationals (22-19) by a score of 5-2 on Friday night in Washington.
Jon Niese got the start for the Mets and struggled, giving up five runs (three earned) on eight hits and two walks in just four innings pitched, while striking out two.
The Nats jumped on Niese in the first inning. Denard Span led off with a single just past a diving Daniel Murphy, and Anthony Rendon reached on an error by David Wright. Jayson Werth chased home Span with a single and took 2nd on the throw, putting Niese in an early jam. Wilson Ramos drove in Rendon with a sacrifice fly to center, and after an Ian Desmond walk and a Scott Hairston single, the Nats had 2 runs in and the bases loaded with just one out.Niese got Tyler Moore to hit a double-play ball to second, but Murphy bobbled the ball and was only able to get one out, allowing the third run to score.
The Mets caught a break when they nabbed Desmond in a rundown caused by Moore’s baserunning error to get out of the inning, but the 3 runs scored by Washington in the frame were all that Tanner Roark would need.
Washington tacked on 2 more runs against Niese in the bottom of the 4th. Ramos singled, Hairston doubled him home, and Moore brought Hairston in with an RBI single to left to make it 5-0 Nationals.
The Mets made a bit of noise against Roark in the top of the 5th to make things interesting. Lucas Duda led off with a single up the middle and Anthony Recker doubled to left to put runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. In a stunning turn of events, the Mets actually scored both runners! Ruben Tejada snapped a 22-inning scoreless streak by scoring Duda with a grounder to third. With a runner on 3rd and 1 out, Terry pulled the plug on Niese by sending in Chris Young to hit in his place, but CY popped out to Rendon at 3rd. The next hitter, Eric Young, doubled over Scott Hairston’s head
and Juan Lagares was never seen or heard from again on a ball which the former Met misplayed, cutting Washington’s lead to 3. Murphy walked to bring Wright to the plate as the tying run, but the Captain popped out to 2nd to end the scoring threat.
Before long, both teams had gone to their bullpens, and the relievers in this game all got the job done. Carlos Torres threw a 1-2-3 inning in the 5th and tossed another scoreless frame in the 6th. Jose Valverde looked pretty good in his scoreless inning of work (although he was partially bailed out by a pretty nice throw to the plate from EY and a great tag by Recker), and Josh Edgin cruised through the bottom of the 8th. Meanwhile, the Mets were unable to make a dent against Ross Detwiler in the 6th, and Drew Storen worked around a 2-out double from Eric Campbell in the 7th.
The Mets threatened to score in the 8th when a single from Murphy, a fielder’s choice from Granderson, and a walk from Abreu brought Lucas Duda to the plate as the tying run with 2 outs against Tyler Clippard. However, Duda lined out to center to keep Washington’s 3-run lead intact.
The Mets staged a made a valiant comeback effort in the 9th against Rafael Soriano. Soriano looked wild out of the gate and fell behind Anthony Recker. However, despite the situation (down 3, nobody on, nobody out, 9th inning), Recker seemed hell-bent on chasing a homer and before long, the count was full. Recker almost got the homer he was looking for, but his deep drive to center seemed to get knocked down at the warning track and fell into Span’s glvoe for the first out. After a Mets fan briefly delayed the game by running onto the field, Ruben Tejada lined one right to Werth for the 2nd out.
Juan Lagares, who is apparently still on the team, came in to hit for the pitcher and walked on 4 pitches. Eric Young followed Juan up with a walk of his own, and with 2 outs, the Mets had the tying run at the plate in Daniel Murphy. Murphy swung at the first pitch and ripped one to right that looked like it could go out and tie the game. Unfortunately, the Warning-Track Gnomes struck again, and Werth leapt to make the catch at the top of the wall (I don’t think it was going out, but the announcers seemed to), ending the ballgame and handing the Mets their 3rd straight loss.
Another tough loss for our Mets. After losing 5 straight and 8 of 9, the Mets won 3 in a row, but have now dropped 3 straight. The offense has been bad these past 3 games… and for nearly the entire month of May. The pitching has been decent, but not great. The defense has been average at best. What do you get when you combine decent pitching, poor offense, and average-at-best defense? Losses. Losses as far as the eye can see.
So we’re 3 games under 500 now. It hasn’t been the worst start to the season, especially considering how tough our schedule has been, but I still would have liked to have been at or above 500 at this point.
I don’t get why Lagares doesn’t play. I really don’t. I’m almost sure he’ll be in the lineup on Saturday though. I couldn’t possibly see Terry Collins benching him again.
Wright has fallen into another slump, and while he’s having a pretty nice season, he has fallen short of his lofty standards. I still think he’ll turn it around and find his grove before too long, though. He’s David Wright.
Granderson has had a pretty nice May (he’s hitting around 300), and was great in Yankee Stadium. I hoped that would really get him going, but he has struggled since he left his old stomping grounds after Tuesday’s game. I think a lot of it is in his head, and he’s definitely been better than he was in April, so I’m hopeful for Grandy, as well. He got robbed of a hit today on a fantastic play by Ian Desmond, so it was a bit of an unlucky 0-for-4 for Curtis.
The bullpen has been solid the past 2 nights. I’ve never been an Edgin fan, but he’s looked good. Hopefully he’ll prove me wrong. Familia and Mejia could develop into really solid late-inning relievers if they can locate more consistently, and Torres has impressed me from day 1. There’s hope…
The Mets just don’t look very smart at the plate. I’m not much of a Dave Hudgens fan, and when Keith is talking in the booth, the former Mets star often seems to unintentionally (I think) shine light on many reasons why the Mets could use a new hitting coach. Now that I think about it, Keith wouldn’t be such a bad choice, himself…
Again, this was a tough loss. Let’s see if we can get to Gio tomorrow, for a change.
Up Next: The Mets will look to even their series with the Nationals on Saturday at 4:05 PM in Washington DC. Bartolo Colon (2-5, 5.84 ERA) will start for New York, while Gio Gonzalez (3-3, 3.97 ERA) will start for the Nats.