With many potent pieces missing from their offensive puzzle, the Mets fall to the Washington Nationals 6-3, who completed a three game sweep over their favorite foes.
Wheeler hit the first batter he faced, then surrendered an infield single to the speedy Trea Turner, who beat out a throw by the hamstring compromised Asdrubal Cabrera. Bryce Harper’s sharp single through the hole loaded the bases, setting the stage for Murphy’s 408 ft. blast to the centerfield seats.
After getting burned for four runs with his primary fastball, Wheeler kept the Mets in contention with his secondary array of curves and sliders.
But the Mets, like golfers that drive for show but don’t putt for dough, could not advance the few runners that reached base with any amount of small ball.
Josh Smoker relieved Wheeler in the eighth, retiring Adam Eaton and Trea Turner on a ground out and pop up to second. But the pesky Bryce Harper singled to center, and the equally red hot Ryan Zimmerman smacked his sixth homer of the season, increasing the Nationals lead 6-3.
Walker struck out looking, Granderson grounded out to first, and while Jose Reyes stepped to the plate with Bruce on second, Yoenis Cespedes gave the Citi Field crowd some rally cap hope as he stepped into the on deck circle. But Reyes, who earlier punched a single into shallow center, flied out to left.
Following a much-needed day off, NY will face another NL East nemesis, the Atlanta Braves, who’ll bring RHP Julio Teheran (1-1, 3.52 ERA) to square off against rookie RHP Robert Gsellman (0-1, 5.09 ERA) in a bid for his first win of the season.