Trying to sustain the momentum gained after an 11-0 afternoon romp over the Nationals in Game One, the Mets took the field this evening behind starter Matt Harvey in Game Two of today’s day/night double-header. On the mound for the Nats and aiming to gain a split, Ross Ohlendorf took his turn against the New Yorkers.
Jul 26, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson (right) brings the lineup card out prior to the game against the New York Mets at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Harvey’s twenty-first start of the season got off to a somewhat ominous start, with Justin Turner lying face down in the left field grass. The first Nats batter of the game, Denard Span lofted a shallow fly near the left field line which Wright, Turner playing shortstop, and Andrew Brown playing left field all converged on. David Wright pulled up, but Turner and Brown collided on the play. Justin Turner still made the catch, as Matt Harvey proceeded to retire the next two batters. Harvey surrendered two hits, and struck out two in his first time through the Nationals order. He then struck out lead-off batter Denard Span to end the third.
First baseman Josh Satin doubled with one out in the top of the fourth. Justin Turner then became Ross Ohlendorf’s fifth strikeout victim. After sitting out Game One, John Buck followed, and clubbed a double to left, one bounce off the wall to score Satin from second, and give the Mets a 1-0 lead.
After four innings, Ross Ohlendorf had thrown sixty-seven pitches, forty-seven for strikes, for an effective rate of seventy percent. Matt Harvey retired the side in order in the fourth, and comparatively, raised his pitch count to only forty-four, with thirty-one going for strikes, for a likewise effective rate of seventy percent. However, Harvey limited his work to eleven pitches per inning, while Ohlendorf was laboring through sixteen pitches per.
Right fielder Jason Werth opened the bottom of the fifth with his second hit off Harvey. Shortstop Ian Desmond then drew a five pitch walk. Left fielder Steve Lombardozzi stepped in, and struck out swinging through a 98mph Harvey fastball for the first out. But when catcher Wilson Ramos batted a grounder to Justin Turner at short, Murphy received Turner’s scoop bare-handed, then threw errantly to Satin at first, allowing Werth to score from third, tying the game at one.
Through six, Ross Ohlendorf was up to ninety-seven pitches, with sixty-nine going for strikes. He allowed one run on five hits, walked one, and struck out eight. Matt Harvey stayed fairly efficient through his six innings of work, throwing seventy-six pitches, with fifty-one going for strikes. He allowed one unearned run on four hits, walked one batter and struck out five.
In the top of the seventh, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman committed his second error of the game, allowing lead-off batter Andrew Brown to reach safely. Matt Harvey took his turn at bat, and with two strikes, still managed to sacrifice Brown over to second. Juan Lagares then stepped in against a clearly tiring Ross Ohlendorf, and lined a well struck sacrifice fly to center field. With opportunity knocking and a shot at redemption upon him, Daniel Murphy stepped to the plate against Ohlendorf, who was surprisingly still in this game. But Murph only managed to draw a walk on Ohlendorf’s 113th pitch of the game. With nary a move from manager Davey Johnson, David Wright then dug in, and popped up the first pitch he saw to first baseman Adam LaRoche in foul territory to end the inning.
Jason Werth once again had his way against Matt Harvey, singling for the third time to open the bottom of the seventh. But he was erased when Ian Desmond bounced into a 6-4-3 double play. Steve Lombardozzi then finished off an easy inning for Harvey on his eighty-fourth pitch of the night, with a soft fly to Andrew Brown in left.
With Ross Ohlendorf done for the evening, Davey Johnson handed the ball to reliever Tyler Clippard for the top of the eighth, who pitched a scoreless inning Harvey stayed on the hill for the Mets, and was still serving up 97mph fastballs, even touching 99mph against pinch hitter Bryce Harper. Through eight full innings, Matt Harvey allowed the one unearned run on just five hits. He walked one batter and struck out his seventh batter with his ninety-ninth pitch of the game. Both he and Ross Ohlendorf unfortunately exited this game to no-decisions.
Reliever Rafael Soriano entered the game for Washington in the top of the ninth. After getting John Buck to pop out, Soriano surrendered a double to left by Andrew Brown. Ike Davis then stepped-in, pinch-hitting for Matt Harvey. Soriano’s first offering to Ike was a wild pitch allowing Brown to advance to third. Ike eventually drew a walk to set up first and third with one out. Juan Lagares then popped-up for the second out bringing up, you guessed it – Daniel Murphy. But a fly to center field was reeled in by Denard Span, ending the Mets threat.
In the bottom of the ninth, Terry Collins turned to reliever LaTroy Hawkins, who continued to deliver fastballs in the mid-nineties. But with one out and a 3-1 count, Ryan Zimmerman hit one of those fastballs the opposite way, into the right field seats for a walk-off home run. The Nationals win the nightcap by a 2-1 final score and gain a split of today’s double-header.
It’s a hell of a way to lose a ball game. Unmercifully, the Mets left their phenom pitcher hanging for an eleventh no-decision on the season. LaTroy Hawkins gets credit for his second loss.
- The Dark Knight of Gotham brought a 2.23 ERA to D.C., which entering the game ranked third in the National League behind Pittsburgh’s Jeff Locke and Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers, who owned the top mark with a 2.01 mark. Harvey lowered his ERA to 2.11 with tonight’s effort, which tied him with Jeff Locke.
- Daniel Murphy extended his hitting streak to six games. He is batting .542 with thirteen hits in his last twenty-four at-bats.
- Miscommunication, or lack there of, between Justin Turner and Andrew Brown in the first inning – could have been disastrous. As it stands, Turner later left the game in the eighth inning with a sore right shoulder.
- An unnecessarily rushed throw by Daniel Murphy in the fifth, resulting in failure to complete a double-play allowed the Nationals to tie the game.
- Boo! to the official score keeper, for reversing Ryan Zimmerman’s first error. What a homer….
- The Mets had a huge opportunity against Ross Ohlendorf in the seventh inning, but couldn’t convert.