New York Mets: Christian Garcia
September, 12, 2012
By Adam Rubin | ESPNNewYork.com
WHAT IT MEANS: Matt Harvey struck out 10, but the Mets’ bats again were dormant in a 2-0 loss to the Washington Nationals on Wednesday night at Citi Field. The lone damage against Harvey came on Ryan Zimmerman’s fourth-inning solo homer.
The Mets went 0-6 on their homestand, against the Atlanta Braves and Nats. They also had an 0-6 homestand July 20-25, against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Nats. Those mark only the eighth and ninth winless homestands of six or more games in franchise history.
The Mets are 4-21 at home since the All-Star break. Washington now has six wins, Atlanta five and the Mets four at Citi Field during that span.
Wednesday’s loss also dropped the Mets 13 games under .500 for the first time since finishing the 2009 season at 70-92. They have scored three runs or fewer in 13 straight home games, extending their franchise record.
Harvey departed with his pitch count at 106 after the Nats loaded the bases with none out in the sixth. Robert Carson entered and defused the situation without surrendering a run to hold the deficit at 1-0. Harvey’s line: 5+ IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 10 K, 1 WP, 1 HR.
Harvey has now logged 163 1/3 regular-season innings between the majors and minors this season. He has one more start remaining before being shut down because of a team-imposed innings cap. That outing is scheduled for Tuesday against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field.
Meanwhile, left-hander John Lannan -- who entered Washington's rotation in place of Stephen Strasburg, who reached his innings cap -- tossed 5 2/3 scoreless innings to continue the Mets’ run-scoring futility.
The Mets did get consecutive singles from Lucas Duda and Kelly Shoppach to open the bottom of the second. But Jason Bay grounded into a fielder’s choice, Andres Torres lined out to left field too shallow for Duda to tag and Harvey grounded into a fielder’s choice after Zimmerman made a diving stop to his left at third base.
The Mets also had a runner at second base with two outs in the fifth, but Ruben Tejada was retired on a comebacker. In the sixth, Ike Davis pinch hit against right-handed reliever Christian Garcia with the bases loaded and two outs and flied out.
Justin Hampson kept the Mets within a run entering the latter innings. He inherited the bases loaded and one out from Bobby Parnell in the seventh and coaxed an inning-ending double play from Adam LaRoche. Ian Desmond had a solo homer against Jon Rauch in the eighth.
HAMMY WHAMMY: Jordany Valdespin replaced Ronny Cedeno (tight right hamstring) at second base to open the sixth inning. Cedeno had been a late replacement for Daniel Murphy, who was scratched with lower-back stiffness. Murphy, despite the issue, pinch hit with two out and runners on the corners in the ninth and made the final out.
HIT MAN: David Wright went 2-for-4, giving him 1,409 career hits. Wright has moved within nine hits of matching Ed Kranepool's franchise record.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Mets have a day off Thursday before a weekend series in Milwaukee. Terry Collins and Wright smoothed things out with Ryan Braun at the All-Star Game, but it remains to be seen whether the Brewers will seek to retaliate for D.J. Carrasco drilling Braun in May at Citi Field. Jon Niese (10-9, 3.47 ERA) opposes right-hander Mike Fiers (9-7, 3.05) in Friday’s series opener. Jenrry Mejia is due to make his first major league start in two years the following day.