Sunday, April 21, 2013

Game #16: Nationals 7, Mets 6

Author's Note: Please excuse the late edition to the blog - as a result of attending the game in person, it took quite awhile to get back to Washington, D.C., where I am living this semester. It was my first visit to Citi Field and I met up with the staff from my other blog, Rising Apple.
(L-R: Will DeBoer, Danny Abriano, Dan Haefeli, Matt Musico, Rich Sparago, Sam Maxwell)

A fun time was had by all, despite the results and the best efforts of our new nemesis. And now, without further adieu, the recap from this afternoon's game.

For those of you keeping track, this sequel shall be titled Chipper the Met Killer Part XVII: Larry Lives.

The Nationals pounded out four home runs, and Bryce Harper's second blast of the day provided the margin in a 7-6 Mets loss.

The Bad Stuff:
  • The trouble started on Jeremy Hefner's first pitch of the 2nd inning, which Ian Desmond deposited into the left field stands (not too far from where I was sitting) for a 1-0 lead. In the 3rd, after a double by Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper continued his hot start with a two-run bomb to right center.
  • After the Mets clawed their way back and chased Gio Gonzalez in the 4th, Aaron Laffey gave away a 5-3 lead in the very next inning, allowing a three-run homer to Adam LaRoche to make it 6-5.

  • New York once again made a comeback in the 7th when John Buck's RBI double knotted things at 6-all, but on the first pitch he saw from Josh Edgin in the 8th inning, Bryce Harper put Washington back in front with a monstrous home run.
  • New York would not have another comeback in them, going down to Rafael Soriano in the 9th to even the series.
The Good Stuff:
  • Making the most of rare starts, Collin Cowgill and Justin Turner each contributed two-run singles as part of the Mets' five-run 4th.
  • Daniel Murphy went 2-5 with an RBI single.
  • David Wright laced a triple to start the rally in the 4th, giving him two games in a row with a three-bagger.
Final Analysis:
Three takeaways from this ballgame.

First: Chipper Jones lives. And his name is Bryce Harper. And he's 20. Uh-oh.

Second: Jeremy Hefner would make a great long man in the bullpen. The problem is, in order for the Mets to have a long man, they need a fifth starter. In turn, in order to have a fifth starter, they need a fourth starter. It's a vicious cycle indeed, one where the answer could be Shaun Marcum, Zack Wheeler, or someone else entirely. But until New York finds at the very least a reliable fourth starter, they will be automatically out of half the games due to simply having half a rotation.

Third: the Mets-Nats series is going to be a good one for the next decade. With a cavalcade of young stars on both sides, the fireworks of this weekend at Citi Field are only the beginning. This season may turn out to be one-sided toward the team from DC, but hopefully it won't stay that way for long.


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