The Washington Nationals barrage of 23 runs broke the Mets modest two-game winning streak, but their biggest loss was the early exit of ace Noah Syndergaard to a possible lateral strain.
Syndergaard went from not being able to lift his throwing arm over his head on Thursday, to being tattooed for five runs in one inning on Sunday. And after refusing an MRI for his sore biceps, today’s disastrous result is another miscue on the Mets management of injured players.
These past couple of games, the Mets looked like they had turned a promising corner. Jose Reyes reconciled with his listless bat, Michael Conforto continued to be a powerhouse at the plate, and Zack Wheeler, albeit still rough around the edges, kept the Nats at bay with one earned run.
But Sunday, after taking two steps forward, NY took twenty-three steps back, with Syndergaard sidelined, and the relievers were only a relief to Washington’s offense. Sean Gilmartin looked good for an inning, then imploded surrendering five runs, giving way to Fernando Salas, and Josh Smoker who got roughed up for an additional eight.
In the bottom of the seventh, the hard luck back-up catcher and former high school pitcher, Kevin Plawecki, retired the two batters he faced, but with no one in the bullpen to save him, he was summoned back to the mound in the eighth. And this time, facing the heart of the order, he gave the Nationals the gift of some runs for their record books.
Anthony Rendon turned his unproductive April into a monumental one with his third home run and 10th RBI of the day, a franchise record, while Bryce Harper made MLB history with 32 ribbies in the month of April.
In what turned out to be a dismal day for NY, I’m trying to find some positive takeaway. Rookie Matt Reynolds snagged a sharp liner at third and got his first base hit of the season. Jay Bruce went 3-for-4 and continues to be the new Jay Bruce, and Jose Reyes hit a triple as he continues to emerge from a horrible slump.
It’s hard to find a silver lining in a 23-5 loss, but the Mets need to take those few positives and build off them. More importantly, though, they need to learn from their mistakes. This was a week full of mistakes, and if the Mets don’t learn from them, they are doomed to fail as history will repeat itself.