Friday, September 2, 2011

Game #136: Mets 7, Nationals 3

David Wright hit a three-run home run on Friday during the first inning against the Washington Nationals. (
The last time the New York Mets visited Nationals Park, it was the beginning of the end: the loss of that series opened the floodgates for a 5-17 stretch that would spell doom for the 2011 campaign. On this visit to D.C., with nothing left to play for except pride and .500, the Mets came out ready to exorcise those demons with a power surge.

David Wright's 3-run homer got the ball rolling early, and R.A. Dickey pitched well enough to earn the win, giving the Mets a 7-3 victory over the Nationals, their 7th win in 8 games.

The Good Stuff:
  • David Wright had never hit a home run in Nationals Park before today's game. He got rid of that red flag in a hurry, blasting a 3-run shot deep to left center in the 1st for his 12th longball of the year. David added a double and finished the day 2-3 with a couple runs.
  • Nick Evans liked what Wright did so much, he decided to have a go himself in the next inning, launching a solo jack into left, his 3rd of the year, to make it 4-1.
  • Angel Pagan wouldn't leave the park in the 3rd, but he contributed in a big way, blooping a single into right center to score Lucas Duda and Wright, blowing it open at 6-1.
  • Great things come in 3s: after seeing Wright and Evans send souvenirs into the stands, Lucas Duda didn't want to be left out of the fun. In the 7th, Mr. 3-Hole swung as hard as he could at a 1-0 fastball, sending it deep down the right field line and into the Washington night. It was Duda's 8th home run of the year, making it game, set, and match for the Amazin's.
  • On the other side of the hill, R.A. Dickey pitched as well as he needed to be to get the win: 6 innings, 3 runs on 9 hits, no walks and a K. Not his best stuff, but for once, he didn't need it.
  • After Dickey made his departure, Tim Byrdak and Ryota Igarashi got through a rocky 7th unscathed. In the 8th, enter September callup Josh Stinson for his major league debut. Stinson sailed through his first inning as a big-leaguer. In the 9th he was undone by a single, double play, and single, but was relieved by another callup, Daniel Ray Herrera, who sat down Jonny Gomes swinging to end the game.
The Bad Stuff:
  • Jason Bay went 0-4 and struck out twice, dropping his average down to an even .230
  • Jose Reyes only went 1-5, as his league-leading average fell to .333. Since going on the DL the first time with a mind-boggling .354 batting average, Reyes has cooled down considerably, hitting only .260 in 100 at-bats. If Reyes wants to win the Mets' first-ever batting title, he'll need to dig deep and find the magic of May and June.
Final Analysis:
And all of a sudden, the Mets were hot again. Since that 5-17 stretch, New York is 7-1 and has climbed back to within 2 games of .500 (wow, just had a flashback to May). With a sweep of the Nats, New York would be back up to that benchmark of winning again. And while you never expect a sweep, you'd have to figure that the way Terry's boys are playing right now, it's entirely possible.


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