Rapid Reaction: Nats 3, Mets 2

June, 4, 2013
6/04/13
9:33
PM ET


WASHINGTON – Again!

The site of many a late-inning meltdown in recent years again proved a house of horrors for the Mets.

Bobby Parnell, aiming to protect a one-run lead in the ninth, coughed up the lead as the Mets lost to the Washington Nationals, 3-2, Tuesday night in walk-off fashion.

Parnell had converted seven straight save chances. The blown save spoiled a stellar night from Jeremy Hefner and would-be heroics from Omar Quintanilla.

Ryan Zimmerman opened the ninth with a double off the right-center wall. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored the tying run when Adam LaRoche followed with a single.

Ian Desmond then doubled and Roger Bernadina was intentionally walked to load the bases for Steve Lombardozzi.

Lombardozzi delivered a shallow sac fly to left field -- the only out recorded by Parnell.

The Mets had taken a 2-1 lead into the ninth as Hefner continued to state the case that he ought to remain in the rotation when Zack Wheeler is promoted within the next couple of weeks.

Hefner had surrendered a second-inning solo homer to Desmond, then retired the next 10 batters. His final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 103 pitches (67 strikes). Hefner has a 3.60 ERA over his past eight starts.

Quintanilla’s two-out, two-run triple in the fifth against Jordan Zimmermann scored a pair of unearned runs and had given the Mets the one-run lead. Hefner then stranded the bases loaded in the sixth by coaxing a groundout to third base from Desmond.

The Mets mustered only four hits -- two from Quintanilla, who doubled, tripled and walked in four plate appearances.

A pair of sloppy Nats plays preceded Quintanilla’s go-ahead two-run triple. Jordany Valdespin reached when LaRoche’s toss to Zimmermann covering first base was dropped, on a play ruled an infield single. Zimmermann then coaxed a groundball to first base from Rick Ankiel. LaRoche, trying to get the lead runner, threw errantly to second base and the Mets had two on base.

Zimmermann’s final line: 8 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K.

The Mets, who had been swept in Miami over the weekend, have lost four straight.

What’s next: Dillon Gee (3-6, 5.68 ERA) -- coming off an outing in which he limited the Yankees to one run in 7 1/3 innings in the Bronx -- opposes right-hander Dan Haren (4-6, 5.09) at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday. Gee, like Hefner, is trying to ensure he remains in the rotation.
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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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Bartolo Colon
WINS ERA SO IP
14 4.02 143 190
OTHER LEADERS
BAD. Murphy .295
HRL. Duda 27
RBIL. Duda 83
RD. Murphy 75
OPSL. Duda .827
ERAJ. Niese 3.55
SOZ. Wheeler 173