After getting shut out in back to back games, and being limited to just 7 total hits by the cross town Yankees at Citi Field, the embattled Mets moved on the nation’s capital this evening, to engage the Nationals in a N.L. East, 3 game weekend scrum.
The Nationals got to Niese early and often, and had him heading for the showers by the 4th inning. Tanner Roark cruised until the Mets touched him for a pair of runs on 3 hits in the 5th inning.
Mets Starting Lineup:
1) Eric Young Jr. – LF; 2) Daniel Murphy – 2B; 3) David Wright – 3B; 4) Curtis Granderson – CF; 5) Bobby Abreu – RF; 6) Lucas Duda – 1B; 7) Anthony Recker – C; 8) Ruben Tejada – SS; 9) Jon Niese – SP.
After a scoreless top half of the first, Jon Neise’s opening pitch to center fielder Denard Span was a fastball inside for ball one.
Niese’s next pitch was pulled through the second base hole for a lead-off single. David Wright then failed to handle Anthony Rendon‘s grounder to third, for an E-5. The third hitter, Jason Werth pulled a single to left, plating Denard Span for the game’s first run. An over throw put two runners in scoring position with no outs for clean-up hitter Wilson Ramos, who flied to center, scoring Rendon from third. Ian Desmond then drew a walk, and Scott Hairston singled to load the bases.
First baseman Tyler Moore, then stepped in against Niese, and grounded to Daniel Murphy, who momentarily bobbled the ball, and was only able to complete a force out at second base. Jason Werth scored from third base on the play. Then with Danny Espinosa at the plate, Washington put the trail runner in motion, but Ian Desmond was caught in a run down between third and home to finally end the inning. The play was scored a caught stealing, 1-4-5-2-6.
Jon Niese exhausted 29 pitches in the inning.
In the bottom of the 3rd, Wilson Ramos reached on a one out single. Scott Hairston then struck a two out double to the left/center gap, giving the Nats a 4-0 lead. Tyler Moore followed with a single, delivering Hairston to make it 5-0.
Through 3 full innings, the Mets managed just one hit (David Wright) off Tanner Roark, while the Nationals roughed up Niese for 5 runs (3 earned) on 6 hits, and two walks, with no strikeouts. He was up to 59 pitches, with 39 going for strikes.
Jon Niese’s first strikeout of the night came in the 4th inning against Denard Span. Niese also thwarted a two-on, two-out situation, by fanning Wilson Ramos to end the frame.
In the top of the 5th, Lucas Duda led off with only the second Mets hit off Tanner Roark. Anthony Recker promptly followed with a double off the left field wall. Ruben Tejada then grounded to third base (5 to 3), allowing Duda to score from third for the Mets first run of the evening. With one out, Chris Young was sent up to pinch hit for Jon Niese, and popped foul to third baseman Anthony Rendon. With two outs, Eric Young Jr. doubled over the left fielder’s head, delivering Recker from second base. Daniel Murphy then walked to set up runners at first and second for David Wright. But, the Captain unfortunately popped up to second baseman Danny Espinosa in shallow right, to end the threat.
Jose Valverde entered the game in the bottom of the 7th inning in relief of Carlos Torres. Pinch hitter Greg Dobbs singled with two outs, and moved to second on a Valverde wild pitch. Tyler Moore then singled to left fielder Eric Young, who’s throw, and fine tag by Recker, nailed Dobbs attempting to score.
Rafael Soriano entered in the 9th to close out the Mets final at-bat. Then, with one out in the falling rain, the SNY booth marveled over the brutality employed by security in apprehending a Mets fans who stupidly ventured onto the field, and took a jaunt around the bases.
That only delayed the inevitable though. After issuing back to back two out walks, Soriano finally secured the Nationals 22nd victory of the season, thanks to a leaping catch of Daniel Murphy’s deep fly to right by Jason Werth at the wall, which effectivley robbed Murphy of a game tying home run.
The Mets staged a near comeback by that much, but nonetheless dropped 3 games below .500, with a 19-22 record, and are now an even 10-10 on the road.
- Bottom 1st inning - Denard Span led off the game with a single. Anthony Rendon reached safely on an E-5. Jason Werth’s single scored Span, and both runners advanced an extra base on the throw in from left. A sacrifice fly to center scored Rendon from third base to make it a 2-0 game. With the bases loaded, Daniel Murphy bobbled Tyler Moore’s grounder, allowing Jason Werth to score from third on the Mets failure to complete a double play. The Nationals took a 3-0 lead.
- Bottom 3rd inning – Wilson Ramos reached on a one out single. Scott Hairston followed with a two out double to left/center, scoring Ramos for a 4-0 Nats lead. Tyler Moore then singled to deliver Hairston, making it a 5-0 game.
- Top 5th inning – Lucas Duda reached on a lead-off single. Anthony Recker doubled. Ruben Tejada’s fielder’s choice to third scored Duda. Eric Young’s double scored Recker to make it a 5-2 game.
- Terry Collins won his challenge in the 2nd inning, on a (6 to 3) play at first base.
- Washington starting pitcher Tanner Roark had a hit in two at-bats, which matches the Mets starting pitchers combined season total.
- By the 4th inning Jon Niese’s fastball was registering below 90mph. He wound up enduring his shortest outing of the season, finishing with just 4 innings pitched, while surrendering 5 runs (3 earned) on 8 hits and two walks. He struck out a pair, and saw his ERA climb from 2.17, to a 2.54 mark. Jon threw 84 pitches, with 52 going for strikes.
- Carlos Torres put in 2 innings of relief, allowing no runs, one hit, one walk, and struck out a pair. He threw 33 pitches, with 21 going for strikes. In all, the bullpen combined on 4 innings, allowed no runs on 3 hits, walked one, and fanned 3 batters.
- The Mets have dropped their last three games.
5/17 – Saturday, 4:05pm, Mets @ Nationals