|Stephen Strasburg gave up two hits over six innings, walked three batters and struck out nine. (NYTimes.com)|
Stephen Strasburg outdueled Johan Santana and the Nationals, aided by 10 walks, took the rubber game from the Mets, 4-0.
The Bad Stuff
- The Amazin' offense was anemic today against one of the premiere pitchers in the game. Stephen Strasburg held the Mets to 2 hits in his 6 innings of work, walking 3 and striking out 9 to pick up the W. The Washington bullpen was just as stellar, holding New York to 1 hit the rest of the way. Not even Terry Collins' shall we say "spirited" appeal to the umpires could light a spark on the Mets this day.
- At 4-0, the final score doesn't look too horrible. Then you take a look at the number of baserunners the Nats had today and you realize 4-0 was a lucky occurrence. New York pitchers gave up 9 hits and issued an astounding 10 walks. 3 of them were from Johan Santana, who had control problems in the beginning of the game, but 7 of those walks came in the final 4 innings of the game: 3 from Manny Acosta, 2 from Ramon Ramirez, and 1 each from Miguel Batista and Tim Byrdak. Had Washington not hit 1-14 with RISP and stranded 14 men, this game would've been closer to the Mets' very first game in 1962, an 11-4 loss in St. Louis, than a seemingly harmless 4-0 affair.
- Despite his control problems early, Johan Santana wasn't horrible in his second start of the year: 1 run on 5 hits in 5 innings, 3 walks and an impressive 8 strikeouts (he probably would have gone much longer if those BBs and Ks didn't eat up his pitch count).
- Ike Davis got off the schnide, picking up his first hit of the 2012 year, a single in the 7th which helped fuel the Mets' last chance at breaking the shutout.
Maybe it was the bad vibes from the '62 team, or a tricky strike zone, or the disappointment ringing from David Wright's pinkie problems. Whatever it was, the Mets couldn't solve Davey Johnson's puzzle in the finale of their first homestand.
Still, New York heads on the road with a respectable 4-2 record, certainly better than the 2-4 or 1-5 most of the "experts" thought we'd have by now. The team will get an off day before their series in Philadelphia, which gives Wright more of a chance to heal his finger. David said he was feeling better this morning and Terry's still optimistic we'll see him on the field Friday night. Let's hope so: while R.A. Dickey will give them a fighting chance against Cliff Lee, it'll likely take the Face of the Franchise to put them over the top in Citizens Bank Park.