The schedule called for the rivals to play three games beginning Monday night. Washington, with a won-loss record of 49-41 held a two game lead over the team from New York. The Mets record when play began was 48-44.
Washington’s starting pitcher, Gio Gonzalez, kept the Mets scoreless until the 4th inning when opposing pitcher, Mets ace Matt Harvey drove in the only two runs the New Yorkers would score with a two out single.
Graphic via dcsportspodcast
Harvey was less successful when he took the mound. The home team profited from a few hits and some questionable fielding to plate two runs in the first inning. They scored three more runs in the 3rd inning when Harvey struggled with his control and also allowed some soft singles.
Harvey settled down after his rough start and retired in order the last fourteen batters he faced. But, it was a case of “too little too late” as the Mets impotent offense went scoreless for the remainder of the game. The final score was Washington 7 – New York 2.
Game two, played Tuesday night, ended with the same final score. However, it was the visitors that won the game 7-2. Interestingly, this contest began as a pitcher’s duel between Mets All Star Jacob deGrom and the Nationals 1st year starter, Joe Ross.
Although the Mets opened the scoring with a first inning run, Ross was able to keep them “off the board” over the next five innings. When catcher Wilson Ramos blasted a two run home run off deGrom in the fifth inning, it seemed that the very light-hitting Mets would be unable to overcome the one run deficit the home run created.
But the Mets are a battling group and on this night they did come back. A two out, two run single by third baseman Eric Campbell in the 7th inning gave the visitors a 3-2 lead. A surprise four run explosion in the ninth inning iced the game for the New Yorkers, knotting this critical series at one game each.
The third and final game, played Wednesday afternoon, began as a pitcher’s duel between Mets rookie pitcher Noah Syndergaard and Washington ace Jordan Zimmermann. Both teams were scoreless until the Mets put together several hits to score three fourth inning runs. The Nationals, a team playing without five regulars, closed the gap a bit by scoring a single run in the fifth inning.
The New York squad protected its 3-1 lead until Washington came to bat in the 8th inning. Bobby Parnell, pitching in relief for the second day in a row, was ineffective and gave up three runs.
The Mets lost this important game 4-3 and the three game series two games to one. It was, by every measure, a crushing loss and the reason why Washington and its fans spent Wednesday celebrating.
Graphic via nypost