Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Nationals 3, Mets 2
By Danny Knobler | Special to ESPNNewYork.com
NEW YORK -- The New York Mets have never won 10 straight games at Citi Field.
The Washington Nationals have.
The Mets have never homered in 10 straight games at Citi Field.
The Nationals have.
Whose home ballpark is this, anyway? Lately, it sure seems to belong to the Nationals, who beat the Mets again (and homered again) in a 3-2 win Wednesday night.
"We've got to be able to keep the ball in the park," Mets manager Terry Collins said Wednesday afternoon. "We can't match them home run for home run."
The Mets actually did match the Nationals homer for homer on Wednesday, but it wasn't that tough. The only Washington home run was Asdrubal Cabrera's eighth-inning shot off Jeurys Familia, after Bartolo Colon pitched seven homerless innings.
Travis d'Arnaud homered off Nationals closer Rafael Soriano in the ninth inning. The Mets then had runners at second and third with one out, but Soriano got ground balls from Eric Campbell and Curtis Granderson to end it.
No team has a longer Citi Field winning streak than the Nationals. The only other team to beat the Mets 10 straight times in New York was the Atlanta Braves, who did it in 1991-92 at Shea Stadium.
Lagares gives, and takes away: The Nationals knew better than to challenge Juan Lagares' arm in the seventh inning. But they didn't need to.
After Adam LaRoche doubled to start the inning, Ian Desmond singled to center field. Nationals third-base coach Bob Henley wisely held LaRoche at third, but Lagares unwisely fired the ball far over the head of cutoff man Lucas Duda. That allowed Desmond to take second base, and it eventually cost the Mets a crucial run, when Desmond scored the go-ahead run on a Kevin Frandsen sacrifice fly.
Mets get a gift: The Mets' fourth-inning run off Jordan Zimmermann was unearned -- very unearned. Duda was on first base with a two-out single when Travis d'Arnaud hit a routine fly ball to left field. Frandsen, playing because Jayson Werth is hurt and Denard Span got the night off, dropped it. Duda scored all the way from first base, and the Mets had a 1-0 lead.
And then almost another: The Mets loaded the bases with one out in the seventh, but only with the help of a pair of Nationals errors and also a hit batter. Even that wasn't enough, because Wilmer Flores grounded weakly to third base (for a force at the plate), and pinch hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis struck out.
The good Bart: Who knows at this point if there will be any more trade interest in Colon this month than there was in July? But the Mets will no doubt hope teams were paying attention as he allowed just one earned run in seven innings against the a good Nationals team, allowing just six hits and striking out eight.
What's next: The Mets and Nationals complete this three-game series with a 7:10 p.m. ET game Thursday at Citi Field. Dillon Gee (4-4, 3.54) starts for the Mets, with right-hander Stephen Strasburg (8-10, 3.68) going for the Nationals.