Aug 17, 2012; Washington, DC, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Johan Santana (57) throws in the third inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-US PRESSWIRE

Game Recap: Johan Santana Struggles Again in 6-4 Loss

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Johan Santana was entering this start hoping he could turn around what has been a nightmare-ish four start stretch for the Mets ace. He was perfect through three innings, but unfortunately, they play nine in baseball, and it was the innings after the first three that gave Santana the most trouble. After another lackluster performance, his season ERA has ballooned up to 4.85.

Mets Offensive Highlights:

After posting eight runs in Thursday’s finale against the Reds, New York went right back to work in the top of the first in D.C., and with two outs of course. David Wright singled and Scott Hairston doubled, allowing Daniel Murphy to come up and drive them both in with a single. The bats were silent until the sixth inning, as Hairston led off the frame with yet another double, moved to third on a ground out, and eventually scored on a ground out from Ronny Cedeno. In his second start since joining the team, Kelly Shoppachshowed Terry Collins and the coaching staff what he can offer at the plate, hitting his first homer as a Met in the seventh inning, his sixth on the year. Of the team’s eight hits, Wright collected two and Hairston got three of his own as New York went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

Nationals Offensive Highlights:

As was said before, Santana was perfect for three innings against Washington, but immediately ran into trouble in the fourth. Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper, and Ryan Zimmerman all singled to lead off the inning, and Michael Morse provided the big blow, hitting a grand slam to right field, enabling the Nats to take the lead and never look back. In the fifth, Werth singled again, but it was Harper this time providing the lumber work, as he hit his 11th homer of the year. Out of the eight team hits, seven of them cam from the top four men in the order.

Pitching Highlights:

Johan Santana looked remarkably better against the Nats than how he did against the Braves, but he still didn’t look great as he lost his fifth straight start. The southpaw ended up going 5 innings, giving up 6 runs on 7 hits, no walks, and 4 strikeouts. Although Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen didn’t specifically say it, there seems to be a conversation looming about possibly shutting Santana down for the remainder of the season. Manny Acosta followed Johan with two scoreless innings of relief, and Ramon Ramirez added a spotless inning of his own.

Ross Detwiler wasn’t great, but he was good enough to earn his seventh win of the year, going 6 innings and giving up 3 runs on 6 hits and 1 walk, while striking out only 1. Craig Stammen and Drew Stores each threw an inning to get the hold, as Tyler Clippard walked 2 and struck out 2 en route to his 26th save of the season.

The Mets now stand 18 games behind the Nats in the NL East, and 10 games out of the Wild Card with their 56-63 season record.

Probable Pitchers Saturday:

Jonathon Niese (9-6, 3.67 ERA) will look to try and give the Mets an opportunity to win the series on Sunday as he takes the mound later today. He will be facing Edwin Jackson (7-7 3.74 ERA). First pitch at Nationals Park is scheduled for 7:10pm.

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Tags: Byrace Harper David Wright Game Recap Johan Santana Matt Musico Mets Game Recap Michael Morse Rising Apple Ross Detwiler Ryan Zimmerman Scott Hairston Tyler Clippard

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