Friday, July 29, 2011
Rapid Reaction: Mets 8, Nats 5
By Adam Rubin
Recap | Box score | Photos
WHAT IT MEANS: The Mets received a glimpse of the difficult surgery from which Johan Santana is attempting to return. Chien-Ming Wang was roughed up for six runs in four innings by the Mets in his first major league appearance since July 4, 2009, with the Yankees. His return came on the two-year anniversary of the procedure to repair a torn capsule in his pitching shoulder.
Santana, who had that surgery last Sept. 14, had a successful minor league rehab start Thursday with Class A St. Lucie, tossing three scoreless innings. The Mets are eyeing a late-August return to the majors for Santana, although Terry Collins noted: "He’s got a long road ahead."
Meanwhile, with Friday's victory, their fifth straight, the Mets (54-51) moved four games over .500 for the first time since July 20, 2010.
The Mets matched a franchise record by scoring at least eight runs for the fourth straight game, according to ESPN Stats & Information. They previously accomplished it in 1969, 1998, 2000, 2006 and now twice this season.
The temperature at the first pitch registered 101 degrees.
GEE WHIZ: Dillon Gee continued his success against the Nationals in his brief career, holding Washington hitless one out into the fourth inning. He became the seventh rookie starting pitcher in franchise history to record 10 wins in a season. Gee (10-3) joins exclusive company: Tom Seaver (16-12 in starts in 1967), Jerry Koosman (19-12, 1968), Gary Gentry (13-12, 1969), Jon Matlack (14-10, 1972), Dwight Gooden (17-9, 1984) and Ron Darling (12-9, 1984). The 10 wins also matched Jon Niese for the team lead.
Gee was poised to escape the fourth inning unscathed and get out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam when Laynce Nix sent a grounder to second base. However, Jayson Werth's takeout slide disrupted Jose Reyes' throw to first base and the ball went to the netting in front of the Nats dugout. Two runs scored (one technically earned). His final line: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 2 HBP.
Gee improved to 3-0 with a 1.27 ERA (3 ER, 21.1 IP) lifetime against the Nationals. In his major debut on Sept. 7, 2010, Gee took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning at Nationals Park, until now-teammate Willie Harris broke it up with a leadoff homer.
WHEW: The Nats scored two runs in the eighth charged to Bobby Parnell. After Tim Byrdak replaced Parnell and could not retire either batter he faced, D.J. Carrasco entered with the bases loaded and one out. Carrasco consecutively struck out Danny Espinosa and Ryan Zimmerman to hold the lead at 8-5. Jason Isringhausen then notched career save No. 298 in the ninth.
THAT'S OFFENSIVE: The Mets scored six runs (four earned) on eight hits and a walk in four innings against Wang. The game's first five batters reached, including Justin Turner, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games during a four-run first inning. Daniel Murphy had an RBI single and is now hitting .357 (87-for-244) since May 21. David Wright went 2-for-4 and is hitting .459 (17-for-37) since returning from the disabled list last Friday. After going more than two months without a double, Jason Bay produced his fourth two-bagger in five games while going 2-for-4.
WHAT’S NEXT: R.A. Dickey (5-8, 3.74 ERA) looks to push the Mets' winning streak to six games, which would match the season high (April 21-27), Saturday at 7:05 p.m. The knuckleballer opposes on-the-trading-block Jason Marquis (8-5, 3.95).