This late morning start time on our Independence Day was just what the doctor ordered for an afternoon barbecue, and things got off well when leading off the game, Jose Reyes reclaimed a share of the top spot for Mets leadoff home runs, re-tying Curtis Granderson with 20.
However, the Nationals took the lead in the third on a single to right by known Mets killer Jose Lobaton, a two-out bunt single by Michael A. Taylor, a bloop by Bryce Harper and a lined single to left by Daniel Murphy.
But, Rene Rivera hit the first pitch for the fourth inning off his front foot 410 feet over the wall in right center field to tie the game.
Coming off a four-pitch first inning and a 13-pitch second inning, Seth Lugo started nibbling and came into the fifth inning with 55 pitches. He fell behind William Difo and gave up a single up the middle; a single to right on a 2-1 pitch to Harper that Jay Bruce overran, so Difo scored and Harper went to third; Murphy then hit a base hit off Wilmer Flores‘ glove at third to score Harper; after an Adam Lind single, Ryan Raburn hit a double into right center scoring two runs but overrunning second and getting caught for an out. Lugo was pulled after that frightful fifth inning. He spent most of the night pitching away and it caught up to him. The only inside pitch all night was a first pitch to Joe Ross on his bunt attempt in the second inning. This team needs a new pitching philosophy.
So, down 6-2, the sixth inning started with Erik Goeddel getting out the opposing pitcher to start the inning. He then walked two guys and Josh Edgin came in to face Harper, but walked him on five pitches. Up came Babe Murphy with the sacks drunk. After giving Edgin an 0-2 lead in the count to make it interesting, he hits what Darling called “a lazy slider” into right field for a two run single. The next hitter Lind hit a slow RBI roller to shortstop and so all three walks scored.
Meanwhile, Joe Ross who was on the ropes early, went seven innings with 114 pitches and despite allowing 10 additional baserunners, the scoring was just two solo homeruns.
To start the seventh inning against the Nationals, Neil Ramirez was brought in signaling the white flag and exciting Chris F and Name in the chatter. However, even though Ramirez was riding a seven inning scoreless inning streak, in the eighth inning the Nats kept scoring. Harper hit a low pitch into right for an RBI single and Murphy drove a low and away pitch into right center for an RBI double, after which Murphy was pulled with four hits, five RBI on the day and several million dejected Mets fans.
In the ninth inning, Bruce hit a two-run homer in the ninth ending his string of bad luck where good contact resulted in outs.