Mets Game 36: Loss to Nationals
Nationals 10 Mets 3
A terrible night, from all angles. The weather stunk, the defense stunk, the pitching stunk, and the hitting stunk.
Nelson Figueroa struggled every inning of his outing, allowing a run in three of the first four frames. Most of it was his own fault — he walked five batters, hit two, and made a key throwing error allowing a run to score. He found himself in trouble again in the fifth, as Nick Johnson singled and Rob Mackowiak walked, but Figueroa managed to retire two batters in between. With two outs in the fifth and the #8 hitter up, it looked like he might eke out of trouble one last time and leave the contest still keeping the Mets in the game. Unfortunately, eight-hitter Jesus Flores stroked a double to clear the bases, then scored himself on a single by pitcher Odalis Perez, before Figgy finally retired Cristian Guzman for the third out. By the time the smoke cleared, the score was 6-3 Nats.
Down three was not insurmountable, particularly with Odalis Perez on the mound, but any chance the Mets had to stay in the game was blown away by Jorge “Gas Can” Sosa, who allowed four hits, two walks, and four runs in his one inning of “work”, to give the Nationals a cushy 10-3 lead. On a cold windy night at Shea, a seven-run deficit may as well be death. Not unexpectedly, the Mets offense was unable to get anything going over the final four innings, save for a mini-rally in the seventh highlighted by David Wright’s seventh homer of the season.
Seventh inning, down seven runs, Ryan Church leading off. What does he do? He swings at the first pitch offered by Odalis Perez and pops up weakly down the third base line. If Willie Randolph had any cojones, he’d sit Church down IMMEDIATELY after that stupidity and set a new tone for the rest of the season. Damion Easley did the same damn thing leading off the eighth, popping up the first pitch to shallow rightfield. Stupidity begets stupidity — and Randolph allows it to happen. Last I checked, it was impossible to hit a seven-run homer with no one on base. Simple fundamentals, people.
Easley did hit an absolute bomb over the centerfield fence in the second inning. Nice shot, and his first dinger of the year.
Figueroa remained a standup guy after the game, taking blame for the loss and giving props to opposing pitcher Odalis Perez. When asked if the weather had something to do with his control, he admitted it could have affected it but refused to make an excuse, citing the fact that everyone else had to pitch in the same weather.
Mets and Nationals do it again at 7:10 on Tuesday, with John Maine going against Long Island native John Lannan. Lannan struck out eleven Mets in six innings, holding them to only one run in a losing cause back on April 17th.