The only game the Mets have won since they’ve returned from the All-Star break was when R.A. Dickey was on the mound last week. So, good odds, right? Wrong. Dickey was great up until the sixth inning when the Nationals finally got to the knuckleballer, handing New York yet another loss.
Mets Offensive Highlights:
Unlike like their meeting against him last week, the Mets had a hard time doing anything against Gio Gonzalez, as it only took him 87 pitches to get through seven innings. However, New York struck first in the bottom of the second; Scott Hairston reached base on a Danny Espinosa throwing error, and even though Jason Bay and Ike Davis struck out, Ronny Cedeno came through with a two-out RBI single to give New York the early lead. The only other scoring came in the 8th inning off the bat of Jordany Valdespin, who hit his fifth pinch hit home run of the season.
Nationals Offensive Highlights:
Dickey started off well, as he held Washington scoreless until the 4th inning; Ryan Zimmerman got things started with a ground rule double, then eventually scored with two outs off a Danny Espinosa double. Most of the scoring for the Nats happened in the 6th inning. It started harmlessly as Bryce Harper and Zimmerman were retired to start the frame, but after a Michael Morse single, Adam LaRoche made it hurt with a long home run that reached the Pepsi Porch. Espinosa and Roger Bernadina both followed with singles, and scored on a Jesus Flores single, with some extra help from Jason Bay, with his throw not hitting the cutoff man on it’s way to home plate.
Gio Gonzalez was dominant in getting his 13th win of the season. As was mentioned before, it only took him 87 pitches to get through 7 strong innings, only giving up 1 run, 2 hits, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts. Ryan Mattheus didn’t record an out as he gave up the homer to Valdespin, but Sean Burnett got Washington out of the 8th inning and Tyler Clippard got back on track with his 17th save of the season.
It was a bad 6th inning that cost Dickey and the Mets the game, ending the knuckleballer’s string of 17 straight starts without a loss. His final line was: 6 innings pitched, 8 hits, 5 runs (4 earned), 1 walk, 7 strikeouts. Manny Acosta made his first appearance since being recalled from Triple-A Buffalo and looked impressive in his scoreless inning of work, as did Josh Edgin and Ramon Ramirez. The bullpen did their job, but the offense couldn’t put anything together last night.
The Mets have now lost 12 of their last 14 and are in danger of getting swept for the third time in their last four series. While only registering three hits as a team yesterday, no Met enjoyed a multi-hit game, but Valdespin’s fifth pinch hit homer of the year gives him sole possession of the Mets club record for a single season.
The loss now drops the Mets to 47-50 of the season, now 10.5 games back of the Nationals in the NL East and 6 games back for the second spot in the Wild Card. Remember when they were only a game back of Washington? Feels like it was years ago.
Probable Pitchers Wednesday: