Rapid Reaction: Nats 8, Mets 2 (10)

July, 23, 2012
WHAT IT MEANS: With Snooki and Star Wars stormtroopers in attendance at soggy Citi Field, the Mets suffered an 8-2, 10-inning loss against the Washington Nationals on Monday night to drop a season-worst two games under .500.

Bryce Harper provided the tiebreaking RBI with a bases-loaded single against Pedro Beato, who had inherited a pair of runners from Tim Byrdak. Ryan Zimmerman followed with a three-run double and Michael Morse added a two-run homer against Beato in the six-run frame.

The Mets could have been in much better shape in the inning, but Ruben Tejada dropped a throw from Byrdak on a would-be 1-6-3 double play after Roger Bernardina led off the inning with a single. That placed two runners on base with none out in what was a 2-all tie. Tejada was spiked in the right ankle by Bernadina on the play and required a visit from trainer Ray Ramirez, but remained in the game.

The Mets have now trailed for 40 straight innings. They are 1-10 since the first-half finale.

The six runs surrendered in the 10th matched the most in franchise history in any extra inning. Five of the runs were earned, swelling the Mets' bullpen ERA to an NL-worst 5.16.

CHRIS ROCKS: Chris Young surrendered a leadoff single to Steve Lombardozzi, then a two-run homer to Harper in the first. Young allowed one more hit in that inning, then retired 14 straight Nats. He matched a season high by tossing seven innings while surrendering no additional hits. It was the 19-year-old Harper’s first long ball since June 28.

The Mets answered with a pair of solo homers.

David Wright took Nats starter Jordan Zimmermann deep in the fourth inning. Ike Davis then homered into the right-field corner against left-hander Michael Gonzalez in the seventh to even the score at 2.

Wright and Davis are tied for the team lead in homers with 15 apiece.

Immediately preceding Wright’s solo homer, Jordany Valdespin grounded into his second double play of the game (both times erasing Tejada from the bases after inning-opening singles). Valdespin, who went 0-for-4, figures to get a serious look in the outfield against right-handed pitching, with Lucas Duda seemingly ticketed for Triple-A Buffalo.

WHAT’S NEXT: R.A. Dickey (13-1, 3.32 ERA) opposes left-hander Gio Gonzalez (12-5, 3.32) on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. in a rematch of last week’s D.C. faceoff, when the two were tied for the National League lead in wins. Dickey appeared in relief in Saturday’s game, on his normal between-starts throw day. He allowed a two-run homer to the Dodgers’ Juan Uribe.
Adam Rubin has covered the Mets since 2003. He's a graduate of Mepham High School on Long Island and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He joined ESPNNewYork after spending 10 years at the New York Daily News.
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Bartolo Colon
15 4.09 151 202
BAD. Murphy .289
HRL. Duda 30
RBIL. Duda 92
RD. Murphy 79
OPSL. Duda .830
ERAJ. Niese 3.40
SOZ. Wheeler 187