Terry Collins was hoping Matt Harvey would provide a solid start so the Mets could avoid the sweep at the hands of the Nats, who had already won all six head-to-head match-ups this season. The rookie right-hander delivered a solid performance, but New York was shut out for the 10th time this season as they fall to 4-21 at home since the All-Star break.
Mets Offensive Highlights:
New York, once again, has had plenty of opportunities to put some runs on the board, but couldn’t help Harvey by giving him some run support. David Wright singled and stole a base with two outs in the first, hoping that Scott Hairston could get a big hit, but he was called out on strikes. Lucas Duda and Kelly Shoppach singled to start the second, but the Mets couldn’t scratch out any runs. They had another chance in the 6th, as Wright started the potential rally again with a single and stolen base, followed by a walk to Duda and Shoppach getting hit with a pitch to load the bases. Ike Davis pinch hit for Jason Bay, but he flew out sharply to Bryce Harper in center field to end the threat. New York tried again in the 9th, as Duda and Andres Torres both singled to put men on first and third with two out. Daniel Murphy pinch hit, but couldn’t come through, as he flew out to end the ballgame.
Nationals Offensive Highlights:
Washington used the power of the home run ball to jump out ahead from the Mets and stay ahead for the majority of the evening. Ryan Zimmerman struck first with his 22nd home run of the season, a solo shot in the 4th to left field. Then Ian Desmond hit his 23rd dinger of the year (2nd of the series) to left center field to give the Nats some breathing room and a 2-0 lead. Desmond was the only hitter to record a multi-hit game, and Washington went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position as a team, stranding 9 men on base, but getting the big hits when they mattered the most.
Matt Harvey performed wonderfully, but it was the lack of offense that doomed him to get the loss. He went 5 innings (106 pitches) and gave up 1 run on 5 hits, 3 walks, and 10 strikeouts. He left with a bases-loaded, no out jam, and Robert Carson was able to come in and bail him out by stranding the three inherited runners. Bobby Parnell walked two and gave up a hit in his 0.1 innings of work, leaving the bases loaded for Justin Hampson, who came in and threw one pitch to get an inning-ending double play. Jon Rauch gave up a rare run in the 8th, but otherwise looked good on the mound. Frank Francisco bounced back from a sub-par outing Tuesday to set the Nationals down in order.
John Lannan made his first start since taking over for Stephen Strasburg in the rotation, and held the Mets scoreless for 5.2 innings, allowing 5 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 2. Christian Garcia got the final out in the 6th, and Craig Stammen and Ryan Mattheus each threw an inning to bridge the gap to the 9th, as Sean Burnett came in to give Tyler Clippard the night off, but needed some assistance from Drew Storen to nail the save down, as well as the sweep for Washington.
The Mets have now lost 6 in a row and currently stand at 65-78 on the season.
Probable Pitchers Friday:
The Mets have an off day Thursday as they travel to Milwaukee to take on the streaking Brewers at Miller Park. Jonathon Niese (10-9, 3.47 ERA) will take on Mike Friers (9-7, 3.05 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 8:10 pm EST.