New York-The Washington Nationals were hot entering their series with the New York Mets. Washington had been on a 19-9 run prior to their series with New York, and had pulled themselves back into the wild card chase after a disappointing first four months of the season. While it remains to be seen whether the Nationals can catch the Cincinnati Reds for the final wild card spot, the Nats did put a hurting on the Mets. The Nationals clubbed four more home runs today for a total of 13 long balls over the course of the series and defeated the Mets 7-2 to complete the four game sweep.
Ryan Zimmerman started the home run party in the first inning against the newest Met, righty Aaron Harang (0-1, 4.50 ERA). Zimmerman's 23rd home run of the season gave the Nats an early 1-0 lead. Daniel Murphy tied the game in the bottom of the first with an RBI double off of Nationals' starter Tanner Roark (6-0, 1.30 ERA). The game then was delayed after the first for 56 minutes by rain, but both pitchers came back out after the delay for the second inning.
Adam LaRoche hit a replay confirmed home run in the top of the second off of Harang to give the Nats a 2-1 lead. The Mets tied the game again in the bottom of the fourth, when Anthony Recker hit an RBI single to plate Lucas Duda. Unfortunately for the Mets, that would be all the offense they could muster up on the day. The Nats were far from done, as Met killer Wilson Ramos homered off of Harang in the fifth to give the Nats a 3-2 lead. Harang lasted six innings and allowed three runs (all on solo home runs) on four hits and struck out 10 Nationals' hitters, but his effort was not supported by an anemic Mets' offense.
The Nats tacked on a run in the seventh and two more in the eighth courtesy of a Frank Francisco implosion. Francisco pitched the eighth and surrendered two runs on two hits, and made a stupid decision by hitting Jayson Werth in the back when he was behind in the count 3-0. SNY analyst Ron Darling was critical of Francisco's choice, calling out Francisco for putting the rest of the team at risk of retaliation for a pointless pitch. Werth promptly slid hard into second to try and break up a double play, but Ruben Tejada emerged unscathed. The Nats chose not to throw at Mets' hitters but added on to their score in the top of the ninth when David Aardsma gave up a home run to Nationals' second baseman Anthony Rendon. Rendon's seventh home run of the season capped the scoring as the Nats completed a big sweep.
Player of the Game:
Today's Player of the Game award goes to Nationals' third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. Zimmerman went 2 for 4 with two runs scored and two RBI's, including a home run off of Aaron Harang in the first inning.
Post Game Notes:
- The Nationals out-homered the Mets 13-0 over the course of their four game series.
- The 13 home runs by Washington marks the most the Mets have surrendered in a series at Citi Field.
- The last time the Mets got out-homered by this big a margin occurred back in 1997, when the Detroit Tigers hit 14 home runs in a series at Tiger Stadium against the Mets. The Mets also hit no home runs in that series.
- Denard Span hit a double in the eighth inning to extend his hitting streak to 23 games.
- The Mets finished the season with a 7-12 record against the Nationals.
- The Mets were officially eliminated from playoff contention with the loss today.
The Mets will look to bounce back from this sweep with the lowly Miami Marlins coming to town to play a four game weekend set beginning tomorrow night. Jon Niese (6-7, 3.86 ERA) will look to snap the Mets' four game losing streak, while the Marlins will counter with Brian Flynn (0-0, 6.75 ERA). First pitch for tomorrow night's game is scheduled for 7:10 pm.
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