Sloppy game by the Mets as they fall 9-5 to the Washington Nationals and make four errors in the field.
Steven Matz made his second spring start and looked good through the first two innings not allowing any runs before running into trouble in the third. He threw eight straight balls to start the inning, walking Danny Espinosa and Matt Den Dekker. Alejandro De Aza then misjudged what should have been an easy out in left field, letting it fall for a single to load the bases.
Matz was taken out of the game with the bases loaded an nobody out. All three inherited runners were allowed to score by Antonio Bastardo. Matz threw 41 pitches with 27 of them for strikes and his only strikeout came against Bryce Harper looking.
Logan Verrett pitched two scoreless innings with two strikeouts, he has given up one run in five innings so far this spring. Sean Gilmartin pitched two innings as well but allowed one run in his second inning of work. He would have given up more if not for a tough catch in foul territory by Gavin Cecchini who then made a good throw home to allow the runner from third to score.
Ugly 8th inning by Duane Below (0.1 IP, five runs) that wasn’t helped by his defense with errors by Cecchini (throwing) and John Mora behind him. Cecchini did redeem himself a little with a nice diving stop up the middle to get the final out of the inning.
The Mets offense was quiet for the first eight inning, scoring their first run of the game in the third inning on a RBI single by Juan Lagares that scored Roger Bernadina who doubled to start the inning. Huge plus by Wilmer Flores who walked in both his plate appearance against Nats starter Stephen Strasburg.
Tough day at the plate for Dominic Smith who went 0 for 5 with four ground outs. T.J. Rivera, Marc Krauss, and De Aza each had one hit on the day. Travis Taijeron continued his strong spring with a walk and sacrifice fly.
Jonathan Papelbon was exactly what the Mets offense needed, giving up four runs (three earned) in the 9th inning and retiring only two batters. He walked three batters and gave up a two-run single to Mora.
The Mets take on the St. Louis Cardinals at 1:10 at Tradition Field on Saturday with Bartolo Colon making his second spring training start.