|The Nationals' Laynce Nix hit a three-run homer to help put the game out of reach in the 11th inning, wasting a strong performance from Mets starter Chris Young. (NYTimes.com)|
Chris Young dominated for 7 innings, but Nationals bats came to life in the 8th and 11th, giving Washington the game and the series over the Mets, 7-3.
Normally this would be the part where I'd talk about the good stuff and the bad stuff, but that divide seems to come exactly between the 7th and 8th innings. So I'm going to talk First Seven and Last Four.
The First Seven (The Good):
Starter Chris Young made his case for the ace position, pitching a gem of a game: 1 run on 1 hit and 2 walks in 7 innings. He also struck out 5. Yes, I know he had tossed 108 pitches, but why not leave him in the game? If he's cookin', let him cook. Terry Collins took him out of the kitchen, but he should have stayed in to finish dinner (though I doubt he would've had enough for all 35,157 attendees).
The offense started off hot: 2 runs in the first on singles from David Wright and Angel Pagan. Ike Davis sent home one more in the 5th off a broken-bat blooper, his 10th RBI in 9 games. So it wasn't spectacular offense, but it was enough, or at least appeared to be when Young was on the mound.
The Last Four (The Bad):
Then, much like with a used car on a rural Texas highway, the wheels came off.
The biggest boost in offense the Nationals needed didn't come from any of their hitters, but from New York reliever DJ Carrasco in the 8th. In his 2/3 innings of work he allowed Washington the two runs that so eluded them when Young was pitching, tying the game at 3. Then in the 11th, reliever Blaine Boyer must have figured, "Eh, the wheels are already off, let's torch this sumbitch and call it a day." A Pudge Rodriguez RBI single and Laynce Nix three-run homer later, the sumbitch was torched.
Of course, all this could have been avoided if the Amazin's had decided not to send their bats to the wood chipper after the 7th inning. The Mets got one hit in the last four innings. Even so, they had Jose Reyes on third with two outs in the 10th. But Pagan couldn't bring him home, and New York went down quietly in the next frame to give the Nats game. The home team compiled 17 strikeouts on Sunday, including 4 from Willie Harris, who has cooled off from his lightning-fast start.
Why is it we always lose to the Nationals in extra innings at home? The same thing happened on the final day of the season last year...need I remind you how THAT one ended... There isn't much else I can say about this one: we blew it. We lost when we should have won. But what else can I say? It's the Mets. I'm used to it.
Here's hoping Pelf and the rest of the team can get the wheels back on against Colorado over the next three days.