Saturday, June 29, 2013

Game #76: Nationals 6, Mets 4

So much for the conquering heroes of the 7-4 road trip...

Matt Harvey's big night was spoiled by a five-run flourish by the Nationals against the Mets bullpen, as the not-so-Amazin's lost a heartbreaker, 6-4.

The Bad Stuff:
  • For 7.2 innings, the Mets were in complete control, leading 4-1. But David Aardsma had allowed the leadoff man to reach in the top of the 8th, and Josh Edgin was given the chance to retire lefty Denard Span for the third out of the inning. It didn't work out so well, as Span doubled to put men on second and third. After Brandon Lyon walked the bases loaded, Ryan Zimmerman cleared the bases and the Mets' lead.
  • Things got worse in the 9th as Bobby Parnell allowed back-to-back doubles to Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond to put the Washingtonians out front. Desmond came around to score two batters later to provide the final margin.
  • New York gave Harvey more than usual run support, but missed plenty of opportunities in the form of 3-12 RISP hitting and nine men left.
The Good Stuff:
  • Harvey was about as good as he could have been, allowing a solo home run and just two more hits over seven brilliant innings, walking no one and striking out 11 on 109 pitches. He now has an NL-best 2.00 ERA for the worst home team in baseball.
  • Josh Satin was a revelation, going 3-3 (his first career multi-hit game) with two doubles and two RBIs.
  • Marlon Byrd had himself an RBI double in the 5th to go along with a spectacular diving catch in the 4th.
  • David Wright and Juan Lagares also had two-baggers for the New Yorkers.
Final Analysis:
Well...that sucked. The momentum gained from a week and a half on the road was supposed to be built on, and for most of the game it was. Until that darn bullpen relapsed into anti-clutch mode, that is. Parnell took the L, and as irony would have it, the Mets' closer has more decisions (5-4) than does their ace, Matt Harvey (7-1).

But let's stick to the positives: Harvey was amazing again, Josh Satin is making a name for himself in the form of a .360 start, Marlon Byrd is going strong, and Eric Young is finally providing the speed on the basepaths that has been lacking since Jose Reyes's and Angel Pagan's departures. For the most part, this team is coming together for a nice second-half run. Now it's just a matter of getting all parts of the engine firing at the same time, something that alludes the team when it is at home.

There's a high school in my homestate of Indiana, Indianapolis Cathedral, that does not have a home football stadium. They play all their games on the road. Sandy Alderson might want to talk to their athletic director, see if he can swing a similar deal.


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