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Friday, July 26, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Nats 2, Mets 1

By Adam Rubin


WASHINGTON -- It did not end up being a happy anniversary after all, although do not blame Matt Harvey.

With an opportunity to pull within a half-game of second place in the NL East, the Mets instead wasted a gem from Harvey and split a day-night doubleheader.

Exactly one year after his major league debut, Harvey limited Washington to one unearned run in eight innings on Friday night, but the Nats produced a 2-1 walk-off win in the nightcap.

LaTroy Hawkins surrendered the decisive run, on Ryan Zimmerman’s homer in the bottom of the ninth.

The Mets (46-54) would have moved into a virtual third-place tie with Washington and within a half-game of second-place Philadelphia had they won.

Instead, the Mets remained locked into fourth place, where they have resided since May 11.

The Mets had a stellar opportunity in the top of the ninth.

Harvey (8 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K) departed for pinch-hitter Ike Davis with the ace’s pitch count at 99 and the score tied at 1 after Andrew Brown’s one-out double against Rafael Soriano.

With Davis at the plate, Brown advanced to third on a wild pitch. Davis then walked. But Juan Lagares popped out to first base in foul territory and Daniel Murphy flied out to center field to end the threat.

Ouch: Shortstop Justin Turner and the left fielder Brown both appeared to take jolts to the head when they got tangled on Denard Span’s pop fly in shallow left field to open the bottom of the first. Turner ended up on the ground, having made the catch. After a visit from trainer Ray Ramirez, both initially remained in the game.

However, Omar Quintanilla replaced Turner for the bottom of the seventh. Turner had a sore right shoulder, the team announced.

Oh, Danny boy: Murphy mostly had a stellar day, with the ninth-inning missed opportunity and one other notable exception.

With two runners on base, one out and the Mets leading 1-0 in the fifth, Turner made a stellar lunging stop and shoveled the ball to Murphy to initiate a double-play attempt. But Murphy’s throw to first base was offline, hit runner Wilson Ramos and kicked away, allowing Jayson Werth to score from second base on the play.

Had Murphy converted the chance, the inning would have been over. Had Murphy eaten the ball, Werth would have held at third base with pitcher Ross Ohlendorf due up. The E-4 resulted in an unearned run for Harvey.

At the plate, Murphy went 2-for-4 with a walk in the nightcap and 6-for-9 on the day.

What’s next: Dillon Gee (7-7, 4.07 ERA) opposes right-hander Dan Haren (4-11, 5.79) at 3:05 p.m. Saturday.