Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mets Fall to Nationals Suffering Meltdown in Extras

Monday, July 23, 2012
Final Score: 10 innings, Washington Nationals: 8 New York Mets: 2
Mets Suffer Meltdown in Extras, Fall to Nationals

On a soggy night at Citi Field the Mets once again fought valiantly against the division leading Washington Nationals to once again suffer a meltdown in extra innings, losing 8-2.  The loss drops the Mets to a season-high two games under .500 and fading fast in the wild card and NL East division races.  The Mets have now trailed for 40 straight innings and are 1-10 since the All-Star break.

Tonight the culprit out of the Mets bullpen was Pedro Beato.  Beato inherited two runners of Tim Byrdak and subsequently surrendered the tie-breaking single to Bryce Harper with the bases loaded.  Ryan Zimmerman added on with a bases clearing double and Michael Morse launched a two-run homer to finish the scoring in a six run frame for the Nationals. 

The Mets should have been in much better shape, but Ruben Tejada dropped a throw from Byrdak on a tailor made double-play ball after Roger Bernadina led off the inning with a single.  Tejada was spiked on the play and was checked out by trainer Ray Ramirez but remained in the game.

Tonight’s performance was the most runs given up in an extra inning in Mets franchise history.  Five of the six runs were earned, giving the Mets back to back nights in which their bullpen gave up five or more runs in an extra inning.  The bullpen’s total ERA now sits at an appalling 5.16, easily the worst in the majors.

Chris Young was able to give the Mets a strong start even if the beginning was rocky.  Young surrendered a leadoff single to Steve Lombardozzi to start the first and then followed that up by serving up a two-run homerun to Bryce Harper.  Young would allow one more hit that inning then go on to retire 14 Nationals in a row. 

Young matched a season high throwing seven innings, giving the Mets the exact performance they need from their starters if they expect to have any change at the post season.  Young finished the game with a final line of seven innings pitched, three hits, two earned runs, three walks and seven strikeouts. 

The Mets were able to answer for Young, showing some power of their own with two solo homeruns by David Wright in the fourth inning and Ike Davis in the seventh inning.

Wright and Davis are tied for the team lead with 15 homeruns each.

Jordany Valdespin hit in front of Wright tonight and finished the night 0 for 4, but should expect to see lots of playing time in the coming games in the outfield.  He figures to get a good look against right handed pitching with Lucas Duda being rumored to be sent down to clear space for Matt Harvey.

Ruben Tejada was able to get back on track, getting three hits tonight in his four at-bats.  Daniel Murphy also stayed hot, getting two hits of his own in his four at bats.

Next up for the Mets and Nationals is a re-match of All-Stars from last week in D.C. between R.A. Dickey (13-1, 3.32 ERA) and Gio Gonzalez (12-5, 3.32 ERA).  The Mets were able to get their only win of the second half in this match-up last week 9-5.

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