Even when he’s not at his best, Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper proves to be a thorn in the Mets’ side and Thursday was no different. Harper drilled a two-run home run off of relief pitcher Carlos Torres to defeat the Mets 5-3 in walk-off fashion in the 13th inning.
Rookie sensation Jacob deGrom got the ball for the Mets for the first time since being named July’s rookie of the month. He started the game with a spotless first inning, but did not fare as well in the second frame.
DeGrom helped his own cause in the top of the third when he lined a single into right field. With two outs in the inning, Daniel Murphy lined a double that landed just out of the reach of Denard Span, allowing deGrom to score New York’s first run.
Desmond was at it again in the fourth when he lined an RBI single to left to drive in LaRoche, giving Washington a 3-1 advantage.
Washington starter Jordan Zimmermann kept the Mets off balance for most of the contest. But with singles in the seventh by Wilmer Flores and Kirk Nieuwenhuis, New York had a rally cooking and Zimmerman was replaced by Drew Storen. Washington’s reliever promptly uncorked a wild pitch, which allowed both runners to advance. Flores would score on an Eric Young, Jr., sacrifice fly. One batter later, the Mets tied the game on a Curtis Granderson single up the middle.
The Nationals had chances in both the eighth and nine innings to take the lead or win the game, but the Mets bullpen came up strong again to force extra innings.
One interesting move came in eighth inning of the game when reliever Josh Edgin came into the game. Chris Young as part of a double switch, which took out center fielder — and arguably the Mets’ best defender — Juan Lagares from the game. Nieuwenhuis would end up moving to center and Young to left.
New York did not record a hit in extra innings until David Wright collected his 26th double of the year in the 13th inning. Eric Campbell, who replaced Young in left, could not drive Wright in to give the Mets the lead.
Not long after the Mets failed to cash in on their opportunity, Washington would end all hopes of another chance. Carlos Torres walked Desmond to start the bottom of the 14th, and Harper finished the game off with a walk-off homer to left field.
The Mets next will take on the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on Friday night. Bartolo Colon will get the ball for New York, while AJ Burnett will pitch for the Phillies.