Game Recap: Jeremy Hefner Can’t Get Past LaRoche HR in 5-3 Loss

By Matt Musico

Terry Collins was hoping that Jeremy Hefner could act as a stopper last night in Washington after the Mets dropped the series opener to the Nationals. Thanks to more bad defense, this time by Daniel Murphy, Adam LaRoche helped the Nats jump out to a 3-0 lead with a first inning homer. Despite New York trying to chip away at the lead, they could never get all the way back, as they dropped their third in a row, pushing them back into fourth place in the NL East.

Mets Offensive Highlights:

Edwin Jackson kept the Mets bats silent, as the Amazins were only able to muster three hits the whole night. The three base hits were collected by Kirk Nieuwenhuis, David Wright, and Ike Davis. However, both Davis and Lucas Duda drew two walks each, while Omar Quintanilla drew one base on balls as well.

After going down 3-0, Quintanilla walked to lead off third inning and Captain Kirk put New York on the board with an RBI single. In the

top of the fourth, Wright led things off with a single and eventually got to third on a wild throw to first on a pick off attempt by Jackson. Duda then grounded out to Ian Desmond to cut the deficit to one. The last rally the Mets were able to put together was in the seventh; Davis led the inning off with a double and eventually came around on a Quintanilla ground out.

Nationals Offensive Highlights:

Most of the damage for the Washington offense came right in the middle of the lineup; Ryan Zimmerman collected a hit and two runs, while Michael Morse sprayed two more hits to right field, and Adam LaRoche led the offense with two hits and four RBI. Thanks to a Daniel Murphy first inning error, LaRoche made it hurt by hitting a three-run bomb out to right field. After the Mets cut the lead to one, Morse shot a base hit to right field to drive in Zimmerman. Once the Mets inched closer in the top of the seventh, LaRoche gave Washington some insurance with a sacrifice fly.

Pitching Highlights:

Edwin Jackson has been a hard luck loser so far this year, even though he’s been leading the MLB in pitching efficiency (14 pitches/inning). Washington hasn’t won many of the games he started this year, but he got his second win after throwing 7 innings and allowing 3 hits, 4 walks, 2 earned runs, and six strikeouts. Sean Burnett and Tyler Clippard both pitched an inning of scoreless relief to keep the Nats in first place.

Jeremy Hefner had a rough start after allowing the LaRoche home run in the first, but he did settle down by throwing 6 innings, allowing 7 hits, 1 walk, 4 runs (3 earned), and three strikeouts. However, he couldn’t overcome the first inning runs and fell to 1-3 on the season. Tim Byrdak gave up another run in his 0.2 innings, but Miguel Batista pitched for the second straight day, allowing no runs to score.

Worth Noting:

Ike Davis did walk twice and doubled to deep left center field, but his approach to the plate still looks poor. Even in his two walks, he was swinging helplessly at bad pitches, and he looked out in front on the double he hit. Davis came up in the ninth with a chance to tie the game, but he grounded into a force out on the first pitch.

Daniel Murphy is in quite a funk; he’s now in an 0-for-17 slump, and couple that with two errors in the field, you know he’s probably pretty upset with himself.

Probable pitchers today:

The Mets and Nationals get together for a 1:05pm start time today on getaway day as New York will head home to face the Yankees. R.A. Dickey (8-1, 2.69 ERA) will take the mound against Chien-Ming Wang (1-1, 6.43 ERA).