You know, in baseball, when you score a couple of runs to take a lead, it’s imperative that you keep the other guys off the board in their at bat, preferably in order — what they call a “clean inning” nowadays. Well, the Mets took a lead and followed that with a disgustingly dirty, shabby inning.
Neither pitcher was on his “A” game in this one. Seth Lugo started for the Mets, on a strict pitch count, as he’s just off the Disabled List. He started off like a house afire, striking out the side in the first inning, but he was in the shower before the fourth was over. Tanner Roark started for Washington, and gave up only a couple of hits through the first five innings. The Nats jumped out front in the fourth on consecutive singles by Wilmer Difo, Daniel Murphy and Anthony Redon before an out was recorded. Adam Lind hit a fly to deep center and Washington led it, 2-0. Josh Smoker replaced Lugo and held the Nats at bay until he was pinch-hit for in the top of the sixth. It was in that sixth inning when the Mets tied it and then some. With one out, Jose Reyes hit a roller up the middle for a base hit. Juan Lagares split the left and center fielders with a long double up the gap as Reyes scampered home. Brandon Nimmo then launched a shot over the wall in left center and the Mets had a most unlikely lead. But heads up for that disgusting inning.
Hansel Robles started the bottom of the sixth by giving up- a single to Difo. Murphy lined out to Nimmo, but Rendon drew a walk. So did Adam Lind. So did Michael Taylor and the game was tied. Manager Terry Collins yanked Robles right there and summoned Chasen Bradford, who — you guessed it — walked Andrew Stevenson to give the lead back. Washington added some upholstery with a two-out homer off Erik Goeddel in the bottom of the eighth. That extra padding would prove important. The Mets threatened in the ninth. A leadoff single by pinch-hitter Travis d’Arnaud and a one-out safety by Gavin Cecchini put runners on first and second. After Matt Reynold flew out, Reyes hit a ball that clanked off the glove of Taylor in center and d’Arnaud scooted home. Lagares hit a line shot to left, but Alejandro De Aza was able to spear it and the Mets’ hard day’s night was over.
Mercifully, they’re off tomorrow, headed for Cincinnati for the first time this year.