Sunday, September 4, 2011

Game #137: Nationals 8, Mets 7

Danny Espinosa and the Nationals take out Justin Turner and the Mets 8-7 Saturday night. (
Throughout this season of ups and down, one thing the Mets haven't experienced much of is the straight up blown save. With a few notable exceptions, for the most part New York has held on to win when leading in the 9th. Tonight was one of those notable exceptions.

New York overcame an early 5-run deficit, but Bobby Parnell couldn't shut the door in the 9th, giving the Nationals a dramatic 8-7 win over the Mets.

The Bad Stuff:
  • With a 7-6 lead in the bottom of the 9th, Bobby Parnell was looking for another save, looking to solidify his place as the rightful heir to the closer role. This will set him back a few steps: Parnell allowed a single, walked a guy, let the runners advance on a sac bunt, and intentionally walked another. The plate was set for Ryan Zimmerman, who cleaned up with a game-winning broken bat 2-run single.
  • Dillon Gee had been so good against Washington in the past; the only question was which Dillon Gee would show up: lockdown early Gee or flaky recent Gee. Say hi to flaky recent Gee: Dillon gave up 6 runs on 8 hits in 5 innings of work, including 3 home runs. Only an offensive surge in the later innings saved Gee from a loss he definitely deserved.
  • Jose Reyes went just 1-4 and struck out once, increasing fears that he won't be able to hold on for the batting title.
The Good Stuff:
  • After falling behind 5-0 in the first couple innings, the Met offense turned it on and turned it around, staring in the 4th inning: with runners on second and third, Angel Pagan laced a 2-run single to right for the second straight day. Two batters later, Nick Evans blasted another homer to left center, giving New York a 4-spot in the 4th.
  • Down 6-4 in the 6th, Jason Bay came up with one out and one on. When Jason's been in slumps this year, sometimes all it took was one swing to get him out of his funks. Perhaps this was his big swing: Bay launched a 3-1 fastball deep to center for his 10th homer of the year.
  • In the next inning, Lucas Duda completed the comeback with a go-ahead sac fly.
  • The rest of the bullpen was the redeeming center of a rotten sandwich (with Gee and Parnell serving as the stale bread). Pedro Beato and callup Daniel Herrera got through the the 6th unscathed, and Manny Acosta absolutely sailed through the 7th and 8th, allowing one baserunner and striking out 5.
Final Analysis:
I suppose you could say things came full circle: the Mets ended up losing a game that they were supposed to win, and that win would have been when they were supposed to lose. That's kind of the Eric Idle "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" way of seeing it: "You start with nothing, you end with nothing. What have you lost? Nothing." Unfortunately, Mr. Idle, there's still that fall from something to nothing that hurts. And that's what Met fans will remember about this one.


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