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Friday, June 28, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Nationals 6, Mets 4

By Kieran Darcy

NEW YORK -- So much for the good vibes coming off that 7-4 road trip.

The Mets were six outs away from winning the opener of a seven-game homestand Friday night. But the bullpen blew a three-run, eighth-inning lead, handing Matt Harvey yet another no-decision, and resulting in a 6-4 Nationals victory at Citi Field.

The Mets have the worst home record in the major leagues -- they're now 14-24 in Queens, and 32-44 overall. The Nationals improved to 40-39 on the season.

The Harvey report: Just your typical Harvey performance -- one run on three hits in seven innings, with 11 strikeouts and no walks.

Harvey was perfect through 4 2/3 innings, before Ian Desmond blasted a curveball off the facade in front of the second deck in left field, tying the score at 1-1. The pitch didn't look that bad, hooking yet ending up low, but Desmond was able to get his bat on it.

The Nationals' only other hits off Harvey were a two-out triple by Denard Span in the sixth, and a leadoff single by Ryan Zimmerman in the seventh. Harvey exited after that inning, having thrown 109 pitches.

Harvey remains 7-1 on the season, and his NL-best ERA dropped to an even 2.00. It's his ninth no-decision of the year.

Disaster strikes: David Aardsma entered the game in the eighth, in relief of Harvey. He gave up a leadoff single to Roger Bernadina, but then struck out Kurt Suzuki and induced Chad Tracy to pop out. Terry Collins then lifted Aardsma for lefty Josh Edgin, to face Span, and that's when it all began to fall apart.

Span doubled, and Edgin was immediately pulled for Brandon Lyon. With runners on second and third, Lyon walked Anthony Rendon to load the bases. And then Zimmerman delivered the crushing blow, a bases-clearing double to left-center, tying the game up again, 4-4.

The final blows: Collins went to closer Bobby Parnell in the top of the ninth, and the Nationals scored a run before he even recorded an out. A Jayson Werth double, followed by a Desmond double, gave Washington the game-winning run.

The Nats tacked on one more when Desmond scored on a sacrifice fly by Suzuki.

On the bright side: David Wright was 2-for-5. Wright scored the Mets' first run of the game, in the fourth, hitting a leadoff double, and coming around after Marlon Byrd reached on a throwing error by Desmond.

The Mets scored two more runs in the fifth. Eric Young Jr. singled to lead off the frame, and raced around the bases to score on a double by Byrd. Josh Satin then singled home Byrd to make it 3-1.

Satin drove in another run in the seventh, on his second double of the game. He was 3-for-3 with a walk on the night, marking a new career-high in hits, and is now batting .360 since being called up from Triple-A in exchange for Ike Davis.

What's next: The middle game of this three-game series. Dillon Gee (5-7, 4.82) will start for the Mets, opposed by 24-year-old Taylor Jordan, who will be making his major league debut. Jordan, who takes the spot of the injured Dan Haren, will be called up directly from Double-A, where in nine appearances (eight starts) he is 7-0 with 0.83 ERA.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m.