Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Usual Story

The Nationals beat the Mets once again at Citi Field, continuing a rather disgusting winning streak in which they repeatedly come into Citi Field and smash Home Runs all over the place, while their pitchers stifle Mets bats and cut off rallies with general regularity. After hitting 4 Home Runs on Tuesday night, the Nationals only hit 1 on Wednesday, but this was enough to provide them a margin of victory as a pair of late Mets rallies essentially ended with runners getting thrown out at home.

Bartolo Colon had his usual admirably good outing, throwing shutout ball into the 7th inning, while getting all of 1 run to work with in support of his efforts. Jordan Zimmermann, who seems to pitch against the Mets about as often as Kyle Kendrick, although Zimmermann boasts more talent and more success, weaved in and out of trouble, only allowing the Mets run to score when his Left Fielder Kevin Frandsen yakked on a Travis d'Arnaud fly ball in the 4th inning, which allowed Lucas Duda of all people to scamper around the bases and score from 1st base.

Somehow, you knew this lead wouldn't last, because it's the Mets and the Nationals at Citi Field and something stupid was bound to happen. And happen it did, in the form of a 7th inning rally that was predicated around a pair of Nationals players that seem to stick it to the Mets almost every time they play and yet fly under the radar when it comes to being labeled as "Met Killers." First, Adam LaRoche, who was doing nothing particularly good until the Mets came to town last week and he had a 2-Home Run game and hasn't stopped hitting since, doubled off Colon. Ian Desmond, who hits Home Runs off the Mets regularly enough that he might be confused with Chipper Jones, followed with a single that moved LaRoche to 3rd and Desmond himself moved to 2nd when Juan Lagares uncorked an ill-advised throw home. A pair of sacrifice flies later, the Mets lead had turned into a Mets deficit.

Try as they might, the Mets couldn't mount a good enough response. They loaded the bases in the 7th, just in time for Wilmer Flores to ground into a fielder's choice to get Lucas Duda thrown out at home, and Drew Stören followed by striking out Kirk Nieuwenhuis to get himself out of the inning. Like clockwork, Asdrubal Cabrera led off the 8th with a Home Run that made the score a virtually insurmountable 3-1.

That's not to say the Mets lay down and died. They at least showed some effort in the 9th against erratic Rafael Soriano, scoring on a Travis d'Arnaud Home Run and getting hits from Matt den Dekker and Wilmer Flores, setting up a 1st and 3rd, 1 out situation. But, true to form, this was followed by an Eric Campbell Fielder's Choice that saw den Dekker thrown out at home (Terry Collins mounted a rather futile challenge that was part-desperation, part simply trying to remind everyone he was awake), and a game-ending ground out by Curtis Granderson.

Tuesday night, I was at a game where the Mets were completely bludgeoned to the point where I left after 6 innings because there was no point to sticking around. Last night was the kind of game I would have stuck around for until the end, and I would have left feeling similarly disappointed and arrived home after 11pm with the same result. Somehow, I feel like I might have done better having been at Tuesday's game as opposed to Wednesday's. Maybe I should rethink getting tickets to these Mets/Nationals games until someone starts improving.

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