Chris Young was victimized in late innings as has been the theme, the bullpen faltered and despite a ninth inning rally including two solo home runs, the Mets lost the second game of the series, 4-3.
Chris Young had a pretty solid outing, going six innings allowing two runs on six hits, walking one and striking out two. Young was good for the most part, but as has been the case in his last few starts he gave up a late-inning homer that put the Nationals on the board first. The big problem with Young is not endurance, but his variety and sharpness of pitches after the sixth inning. Young does rely fairly heavily on control and drawing weak contact, so that will always doom Young third time around the order.
The bullpen had some major work today, with Miguel Batista allowing two runs on three hits with one strikeout in two-thirds of an inning. Batista wasn’t particularly ineffective, with one hit coming off a freak ricochet off of Miguel Batista’s shin. However, the most egregious sin was leaving a fastball down the middle that Steve Lombardozzi drilled for a two-RBI double. Josh Edgin came out for a third of an inning, and got Bryce Harper to fly out. Jon Rauch came out to pitch the eighth, and had his best outing in a few weeks, striking out two and allowing no hits. Rauch seemed to have some extra zip on his fastball, turning it up to 93 MPH.
The bullpen still struggles, and Jesus wept. Reinforcements cannot come soon enough.
Offensively, the Mets were kept in check by Jordan Zimmerman for the course of his start, but came alive in the late innings. A Lucas Duda RBI double set up Andres Torres for an RBI single, but in a boneheaded move tried to stretch it into a double down by two. The real comeback began in the ninth, when to leadoff the inning David Wright sent a blast to right field for a solo HR. After Davis & Duda struck out swinging, Jason Bay sent a moonshot off the LF foul pole to bring the Mets within one. Yetserday’s hero, Jordany Valdespin came to the plate to try and recreate his magic from the night before, but struck out swinging to end the game.
Outside of the baserunning error, the Mets were aggressive at the plate today, and it didn’t translate into hits.
Turning Point: Miguel Batista giving up the freak hit. If it goes up the middle, Murphy has a play on it if not Tejada to end the inning. Instead, it caroms into no-mans land and keeps the inning alive.
Game Notes: David Wright – 3 for 4 with an RBI and a run on a solo HR. Can he play any better? On a day where nine hits are totaled, Wright accounts for a third of them. Jason Bay went 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run on a solo HR.
On Deck: The Mets will look to finish the series against the Nationals with a win, sending R.A. Dickey to the mound against Gio Gonzalez. Game time is 12:35 P.M.