Mets Game 55: Loss To Nationals
Nationals 3 Mets 2
Nationals suffer a severe case of the Mets but rebound just in time to steal one in the bottom of the ninth.
Mets Game Notes
Oh how the mighty have fallen. Are these the same Washington Nationals who were supposed to run away with the National League East? Granted, there are a few players on the DL — including Bryce Harper — and Jayson Werth just came off the DL, but still, one would think they’d be above .500 at this point of the season.
The Nats received 8 solid innings from workhorse Jordan Zimmerman, and deserved better. He allowed four hits, one walk, and no earned runs, expending a very efficient 101 pitches. Did I mention he didn’t really have his best stuff? Unfortunately, he came away with a no-decision because his club resembled a team from Flushing in the top of the fifth, when the defense made three consecutive boneheaded plays to set up Omar Quintanilla‘s two-run triple. First, a slow grounder by Jordany Valdespin was mishandled by Adam LaRoche, who showed no urgency whatsoever and stayed back, waiting for the ball to come to him a la Daniel Murphy / Ruben Tejada. By the time he gloved it, ‘spin was about to cross the bag and a rushed shovel throw couldn’t be handled by Zimmerman covering. Miraculously, the official scorer ruled it a hit. On the next play, LaRoche made a bad throw to second on what should’ve been a routine double-play to put men on first and second with none out. I wonder if LaRoche’s ADHD meds weren’t kicking in or something, because it was like he was in slow-motion. Honestly, I don’t mean to be funny nor cruel — seeing LaRoche have two straight vapor locks, I sincerely have to consider if they were somehow related to his meds / condition.
Following those two snafus, Jeremy Hefner pushed a bunt right back to Jordan Zimmerman, who would have thrown out Valdespin at third by 25 feet. Except, Ryan Zimmerman kept charging instead of retreating to third — a rookie mistake by a Gold Glover. This is why I (and Willie Randolph) prefer the wheel play in that situation — because it’s nearly impossible for a third baseman to be aggressive … and if he is, there’s a chance you miss a golden opportunity to get the out at third. Not that the bunt coverage mattered so much, as Big Q followed with a triple that would’ve scored two regardless.
Quintanilla, by the way, hit a double and a triple and walked in four plate appearances.
As mentioned, Jordan Zimmerman deserved better, and the same can be said for Jeremy Hefner, who didn’t lose but did miss out on a win. Hefner nearly matched Zimmerman pitch for pitch — he pitched an inning less and allowed one earned run (a solo homer by Ian Desmond), on four hits and a walk, striking out 7 in a 103-pitch effort.
Where the heck was the pinch-runner for Adam LaRoche with none out, tie game, bottom of the ninth, and Ian Desmond at the plate? Shame on Davey Johnson, who slipped on that one.
Further perplexing was the following decision by Terry Collins to walk Roger Bernadina with men on second and third, none out, tie game, bottom of the ninth. Bernadina is struggling, and can be overpowered by Parnell even when he’s hitting well. With one out, I MIGHT understand it, as a double play ends the inning — though not agree with it. With no outs, why create a situation where your pitcher has absolutely no room for error?