Game Recap: Jeremy Hefner, Mets Lose Rubber Match in Washington, 5-2

By Matt Musico

After what ended up being a 2.5 hour rain delay, the series finale between the Mets and Nationals was underway in the nation’s capital at 4pm EST. Jeremy Hefner was making his first appearance in the new six-man rotation for the Mets, while Gio Gonzalez was looking to get to 16 wins, a Nationals single-season record.

Mets Offensive Highlights:

The New York lineup did keep Gonzalez’s pitch count up for most of his outing (110 pitches in 5.2 IP), but he was able to keep the offense silent throughout, the Mets were held scoreless until the top of the sixth inning. Ike Davis doubled to lead off the frame, then moved to third after a Ronny Cedeno ground out. Jason Bay did his patented ground out to short, but this time it netted the Mets a run in the process. In the eighth, Kelly Shoppach singled in Cedeno for the second and last run New York would score. Cedeno, Shoppach, Justin Turner, David Wright, and Scott Hairstonall collected two hits each as the Mets mounted 11 hits total, but once again, couldn’t get the base knocks when they mattered the most, going 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position, stranding 10.

Nationals Offensive Highlights:

Jeremy Hefner allowed a lead off single in the first three innings of the game, and it hurt him in the second and third innings. Michael Morse singled in front of Danny Espinosa‘s 14th homer of the year, then Bryce Harper tripled in Jayson Werth in the third, followed by a Ryan Zimmerman single. The Nationals added one more run for good measure in the fifth, as Harper continued his domination of the Mets this season, with his 12th homer of the season. Werth, Harper, and Zimmerman all enjoyed multi-hit games at the top of the order.

Pitching Highlights:

Neither pitcher performed great this afternoon, but it was Gonzalez who was able to condense the nonsense and earn the victory. The lefty went 5.2 innings and gave up 1 run on 7 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 3. He’s now allowed just one run in two starts since he got shelled in the middle of July in D.C. against the Amazins. Craig Stammen and Mike Gonzalez bridged the gap to Tyler Clippard, who earned his 27th save of the year.

Jeremy Hefner dropped his fifth game of the year, as he went 5 inning and gave up all 5 runs on 8 hits, no walks, and 3 strikeouts. Behind him, Manny Acosta, Josh Edgin, and Bobby Parnell combined for 3 shutout innings, but the offense couldn’t take advantage of the performance by the bullpen.

The loss marks the ninth time the Mets have dropped a series since the All-Star break. New York is now 57-64, a full 18 games behind the Nats in the NL East and 10 games out of the NL Wild Card.

Probable Pitchers Monday:

The Mets head home to host the Rockies for a three-game set to start the week. R.A. Dickey (15-4, 2.89 ERA) is looking to bounce back from his tough start in Cincinnati, while the Mets will look to feast on the poor pitching staff of Colorado, as they send Alex White (2-6, 5.74 ERA). First pitch at Citi Field is slated for 7:10pm.