Terry Collins and company were hoping to break through against the Nationals on Saturday; after another loss Friday night, the Mets were coming into last night’s game with a 3-10 record against Washington this season. Jonathon Niese and Edwin Jackson engaged in a pitcher’s duel, but it was Niese who came out victorious, with the help of Ike Davis.
Mets Offensive Highlights:
New York didn’t do a whole lot at the plate last night, as they collected only three hits and one walk, while striking out 15 times against Nationals pitchers. Mike Baxter got himself a hit despite striking out three times, but it was Ike Davis who stole the show offensively last night, as he enjoyed a multi-hit game, and his 22nd home run of the year, which broke a scoreless tie in the top of the seventh inning. David Wrightwalked in front of Davis, allowing the Mets to get a small cushion for a lead. That was all they would get, but thankfully, it was all they would need last night.
Nationals Offensive Highlights:
Washington didn’t look nearly as overmatched as the Mets were throughout last night’s tilt, as they collected two more hits than New York did as a team and struck out half as much, but they couldn’t put together any scoring rallies to answer the two-run seventh from the opposition. Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche, and Jesus Flores all collected on hit each, while Danny Espinosa led the way with two hits of his own. No walks were handed out by the Mets pitching staff, and the Nats going 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and stranding five runners.
Both pitchers were locked up in a classic duel through most of the game, but Edwin Jackson wasn’t able to keep the Mets silent in the seventh inning, which led to his eighth loss of the season, despite a solid effort. The righty went 7 innings and gave up 2 runs on 2 hits and 1 walk while striking out 11 hitters. He gave way to Ryan Mattheus and Mike Gonzalez, who struck out 4 more Mets in their combined 2 innings of work, but the damage was already done by the Met offense.
Jonathon Niese enjoyed back-to-back solid starts for the first time in quite a while, as he went 7.1 shutout innings while giving up 5 hits and no walks, including 7 strikeouts. Jon Rauch came in to get the final two outs in the eighth, and Frank Francisco is hoping he’s back on track, as he threw a spotless ninth for his 20th save of the season.
With the win, the Mets now hold a 57-63 record, shave a game off their huge deficit in the NL East (17 GB) and are still 9 games behind the second Wild Card spot in the NL.
Probable Pitchers Sunday:
Jeremy Hefner (2-4, 4.76 ERA) will make his first start back as a member of this modified six-man rotation, as New York will look to take their first series against the Nationals this year. They will have a tall task at hand, as Gio Gonzalez (16-5, 3.29 ERA) will take the mound for Washington. First pitch in D.C. is scheduled for 1:35pm.