Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Reeling Mets Lose Fifth Straight

Tuesday, July 17th 2012
Final Score: 10 innings New York Mets: 4 Washington Nationals: 5
Reeling Mets Loss 5th Straight

The Mets were resilient again tonight, but the end result was not a positive one as they fell to the Washington Nationals 5-4 in 10 innings.  It is starting to become sort of a broken record for the Mets, as once again the bullpen struggled and lost the game for the Mets.  The loss tonight drops the Mets to 46-44, seven games behind Washington in the NL East and 3.5 games behind the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves.  This is also the longest losing streak, five games, for the Mets this season. 

The Mets offense was shut down for 8 innings tonight, as Nationals starter Ross Detwiler and reliever Sean Burnett combined to give up only six base runners and strike out five Mets heading into the 9th inning.  The Mets looked dead but thanks to Jordany Valdespin were able to take a 3-2 lead.  It was Valdespin’s 5th homerun of the season and 3rd pinch hit homerun. 

Bobby Parnell came into the game trying to nail down the save in the bottom of the 9th but was unable to hold the lead.  It was the second consecutive blown save for Parnell, who also blew the save Saturday in Atlanta

Josh Thole was able to put the Mets back into the lead in the 10th inning with an RBI single knocking in Daniel Murphy who had an infield single to start the inning, but the lead was short lived.  Tim Byrdak came in the bottom of the 10th and promptly gave the lead back to the Nationals, eventually loading the bases.  Pedro Beato relieved him and threw a wild pitch, scoring Ryan Zimmerman with the go-ahead run.

Bryce Harper hit a rocket to right field to tie the game, but was thrown out on a force at home plate after Byrdak intentionally walked the bases loaded.

This was yet another meltdown for the Mets bullpen, which surrendered runs in three consecutive innings, unable to hold the lead twice.

Not to be forgotten in what will be a tough loss to swallow is the performance of Jon Niese.  Niese gave up only one run, a 5th inning solo homerun to National rookie Tyler Moore.  Niese had retired 12 batters in a row before the homerun.  He finished with a final line of seven innings pitched, three hits, one earned run, no walks and eight strike outs.

Jason Bay made his return from the disabled list and picked up right where he left off, going 0 for 3 and being lifted for Valdespin in the 9th inning. 

David Wright struggled it seemed with picking up the ball in Atlanta, but was back to hitting the ball hard in Washington tonight.  Wright finished 2 for 5, including a double.  Even Wright’s outs were hard hits; the rough weekend in Atlanta seems to have been a blip on the radar. 

Chris Young (2-3, 4.28 ERA) will take the mound and try to end the Mets losing streak against the Nationals’ Jordan Zimmermann (6-6 2.48 ERA).

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