- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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The Mets' pitchers couldn't follow Matt Harvey's lead.
One day after Harvey held the Nationals to one run, the pitching staff had a rough day in a 7-6 loss to Washington on Saturday at Citi Field. The Mets bullpen gave up four runs in five innings of relief work, including Bryce Harper's go-ahead solo homer in the eighth.
COULDN'T SOLVE THEM: Washington's bullpen has been shaky this season, entering the game with a 5.80 ERA, but the Mets managed just one run over the final five innings. They did a good job in chasing Gio Gonzalez after four innings by tagging him for five runs, but the bats were mostly silent against what's been a very forgiving bullpen.
LONG BALLS: Jeremy Hefner has struggled to keep hitters in the park this season, which continued Saturday as he served up two home runs in four innings. Both homers, courtesy of Ian Desmond and Harper, were rockets that left Citi Field in a hurry. Hefner didn't pitch badly, giving up four hits and three runs while recording a no-decision, but the home runs are proving to be costly.
NOT SO GOOD: Mets starter Aaron Laffey was originally lined up to start Saturday before being skipped in the rotation due to the postponements. Perhaps the Mets should have given him the entire day off, as Laffey gave up three runs in 2/3 of an inning of relief, turning a 5-3 lead into a 6-5 deficit in the fifth. With Shaun Marcum working his way back, Laffey is going to have to prove his worth as a reliever.
BUCK STAYS HOT: Catcher John Buck recorded his 21st RBI with a two-out double in the seventh to tie the game at 6. Once considered a throw-in as part of the R.A. Dickey deal, Buck has been the team's leading run producer this season. Buck has always been known for his defensive prowess, but thus far he's got it done with the lumber. In the ninth, representing the winning run, he grounded out to end the game.
TEJADA BACK IN: Ruben Tejada didn't start for precautionary reasons after rolling his ankle Friday, but he was used as a pinch hitter in the fourth and drew a walk to continue the five-run frame. Tejada said before the game he could be used, and he seems to be OK.
FIVE IN FOUR: The Mets plated five runs in the fourth, batting around the lineup. All the runs came with two outs, as the Mets had five batters reach in a row via two walks and three singles. The Mets went ahead 5-3 after that rally, but that lead was gone after the next half inning.