Monday, September 10, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Nats 5, Mets 1
By Adam Rubin
WHAT IT MEANS: The Mets officially have been eliminated from NL East title contention. The Washington Nationals beat the Mets, 5-1, Monday night before an announced crowd of 21,923 at Citi Field. The first-place Nats opened a 22-game lead over the Mets with 21 games remaining.
Making his third major league start, rookie Collin McHugh surrendered three homers in four innings, to Kurt Suzuki, Ryan Zimmerman and Ian Desmond.
Just two of the five runs surrendered by McHugh were earned because catcher Kelly Shoppach dropped Suzuki’s foul pop-up for an error two pitches before Suzuki launched a solo homer. Zimmerman’s two-run homer came with two out in the same frame and therefore also was unearned.
The Mets failed to exceed three runs for the 11th straight home game, matching the franchise record done twice before -- spanning the 1966 and ’67 seasons, then in 1979.
The Mets are now 4-19 at Citi Field since the All-Star break. They have failed to produce a multi-run inning at home for 106 innings. That's the second-longest streak in major league history, behind only the 1909 Senators, who went 119 innings, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Gio Gonzalez limited the Mets to a solo homer by Scott Hairston in six innings to notch his MLB-leading 19th victory, one ahead of R.A. Dickey. Gonzalez walked five and surrendered three hits.
WHAT’S NEXT: Dickey bids for his 19th victory. He opposes right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (10-8, 2.99 ERA) at 7:10 p.m. Tuesday. Dickey’s .818 winning percentage is higher than any qualifying pitcher in major league history on a sub-.500 team. Sandy Koufax is the record-holder Dickey is looking to unseat. Koufax had a .792 winning percentage (19-5 record) for the Dodgers in 1964, when they finished 80-82.