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: