Game 41: Loss to the Nationals

Nationals 5, Mets 3

Angel Pagan and R.A. Dickey are the kind of players who you could root for, no matter what team they play for. Tonight, they both wore Mets uniforms and they both played (and pitched) their asses off. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to beat the Nationals.

Dickey was solid, allowing two runs in six innings of work. He made a great diving catch on a bunt pop up in the first inning – in the grand scheme of things, it was a small play, but it was clear that Dickey was willing to make the extra effort and earn a spot with the Mets. In the wake of Hanley Ramirez’s recent lollygagging in Florida, Dickey’s effort was nice to see.

Pagan’s night was a bit more historic – he was became the first player in 55 years to take part in an 8-2-6-3 triple play (as a fielder) and hit an inside-the-park home run in the same game. The triple play was the tenth in Mets history.

Dickey was matched by former Met Livan Hernandez, who scattered four hits and allowed two runs over 6 1/3 innings.

After Dickey exited the game, the Mets bullpen blew the lead, thanks to losing pitcher Raul Valdes and Fernando Nieve. Valdes and Nieve allowed three earned runs over 2/3 of an inning. It never got ugly or out of control, but while the Mets bullpen was leaking, the Nationals pen was airtight – Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard and Matt Capps allowed one hit and walked none in 2 2/3 innings of work.

Notes: This game was much more exciting than the past two snore-fests, but the Mets offense has mustered only 7 runs this week… David Wright was given the night off tonight, in favor of Fernando Tatis… Tatis hit a solo home run off Matt Capps in the 9th inning – his first hit off right-handed pitching all season… Ollie “All Over” Perez made his first appearance out of the bullpen and was his typically wild self, walking one batter in 1/3 inning of work… The last player to take part in a triple play and hit an inside-the-park home run in the same game was Philadelphia’s Ted Kazanski on September 25, 1955.

Next Mets Game

The Mets take on Washington again tomorrow night at 7:05pm EDT.

Enjoy this video from Opening Day at Shea in 1972:

John Fitzgerald is an independent film/TV producer. In 2007, he followed former Mets 2B Wally Backman and his minor league team for the TV show, "Playing for Peanuts." Click here for DVD ordering information NOTE: $5 from each sale goes to maintenance costs of
  1. Andy May 20, 2010 at 3:05 am
    Some big managerial gaffes tonight:

    1) Dickey could probably have gone another inning, but Jerry chose to pinch hit. That may in itself have been a defensible move, but with Wright and Carter both sitting on the bench Jerry called on Cora and ordered him to bunt sacrifice. This with a runner on first and nobody out. Either have RA bunt sacrifice and pitch one more inning, or put Wright or Carter in to swing away. Jerry chose the worst of all possible moves.

    2) Ollie Perez threw 8 pitches to end the 7th, by which time the Mets were 3 runs down and didn't have much hope of winning the game. Instead of leaving Ollie in to throw the 8th as well, Jerry brings in Manny Acosta. What if he needs Acosta tomorrow? Why waste another pitcher?

  2. JayPoz May 20, 2010 at 4:02 am
    I tried to defend Jerry a bunch of the past year + but it's impossible now. He manages as if he doesn't look ahead whatsoever. It's even worse than Willie in that aspect, which is unbelievably sad.
  3. JayPoz May 20, 2010 at 12:02 am
    I tried to defend Jerry a bunch over the past year + but it's impossible now. He manages as if he doesn't look ahead whatsoever. It's even worse than Willie in that aspect, which is unbelievably sad.
  4. Nick May 20, 2010 at 4:07 am
    Wright got the day off? Smells like a benching to me..
  5. gary s. May 20, 2010 at 4:07 am
    everybody killed wright the nite before for losing the game.he sits and reyes ,castillo and bay go 0 for 11..impossible to win a game like this.have to brreak up reyes and castillo in the lineup.i wonder if there is another lineup in baseball at this date with the 1-2-3 hitters have a combined total of one home run!!! unreal
  6. @planethardball May 20, 2010 at 4:10 am
    Interesting points, Andy. Hadn't thought of that, but you make a good case.
  7. gary s. May 20, 2010 at 4:13 am
    just chceked..castillo has one double all year and bay has one home run.the mets tied up 98 mill in these 2 bums and jeff wilpon thinks everything is!!
  8. thetruthaboutjeff May 20, 2010 at 4:35 am
    The Mets' COO lied about playing pro baseball and there is no record of him ever playing college or even high school baseball. That's about as bad as it gets.
  9. Tom May 20, 2010 at 4:35 am
    If it makes anyone feel better John Lackey, the guy we didn't go after, isn't doing very well in boston. 🙂

    Bay for Lackey straight up? haha

  10. @planethardball May 20, 2010 at 5:08 am
    I just heard the Astros released Kaz Matsui. It's scary, but the Mets could probably use him off the bench. Not that they should, but things are so bad that he might actually be a spark for the offense. Couldn't be worse than GMJ.
  11. RodKanehl May 20, 2010 at 2:54 pm
    You hindsight is supere IF Jerry leaves Dickey in to bunt, you woiuls say, how can he leave a guy in who was lucky to survive giving up only two runs. If he leaves OP infor the 8thyou'd be screaming how can he let that loser in for an entire inning. You were probably writing about how he could put OP in at all until OP foiled your complaint and didn'tgive up any runs. If Acosta can't pitch two days in a row then he needs to retire. If Jerry doesn't try to buil a run in the 7th then he is not recognizing his team's failure to hit. But blast away in hindsight all you want. You probably think the Mets would be undefeated with a different manager.
    Jerry doesn't make Jose or Bay or Francoer not hit.
    Jerry doesn't make Maine and OP bad pitchers
    Jerry doesn't make David Wrong become whiff man and no glove no throw man.
    Jerry doesn't make his bullpen major league thin, not being able to trust anyone.
    Every fan can and will blast any manager after a close loss. Its meaningless becaue the bottomline is these guys aren't performing on their own, not becaue of Jerry.
  12. Andy May 20, 2010 at 5:02 pm
    Hi, Rod. You're probably right that hindsight plays a role in a lot of the Jerry-bashing. However on these two particular points I was consistent and in real-time taking these positions – there's even evidence in the AmazinAvenue game thread. 😉

    I'll admit that if it had been me I probably would have pinch-hit for Dickey, but I'd have put in Carter with instructions to swing away.

    As for your point on Acosta, fine, so I'll revise my rhetorical question: "What if he needs Acosta tomorrow and the day after and the day after that? No days off until Monday!"

    Anyway, neither of these gaffes can be definitively said to have cost the Mets the game, but you never know. Stupid decisions like this, built up over time, surely cost at least a handful of wins per year. Think how nice an extra handful of wins would have been in 2007 or 2008!