Mets 12 Nationals 0
For once, the game was in the bag — from beginning, through the middle, and at the end.
It was only yesterday I suggested that the best solution for the Mets bullpen was to score more runs. Today was an excellent example of what I was talking about.
See, when you’re ahead by a dozen runs going into the sixth and seventh innings, it doesn’t matter whether you have a LOOGY to face a lefty, and you don’t have to pull your “interim closer” because he just loaded the bases.
And it doesn’t matter if John Maine can go only five innings, which he did in this game.
In his first start since coming off the DL, Maine pitched five scoreless frames, allowing one hit and four walks, striking out six. He wasn’t spectacular, but he was plenty good. Having a 12-run cushion made it very easy to pull John after 90 pitches, despite the fact he hadn’t let in a run. That big lead also made it easy to bring in Brian Stokes, effectively putting the rest of the game in cruise control.
The Mets scored in the first and second innings, then absolutely pummeled Nationals starter Jason Bergmann for 8 runs in the third. Bergmann looked terrible, and possibly injured, but was getting no relief — Manny Acta refused to get anyone warmed in the bullpen during the outburst, which bordered on painful even from a Mets fan’s standpoint.
Interestingly, there was only one extra-base hit in that explosive third, a two-out, two-run double by Carlos Beltran that closed the scoring. All the other runs and baserunners came via singles and walks — in fact, Bergmann walked five in the frame.
Fernando Tatis blasted his tenth homer of the season to lead off the second inning.
Daniel Murphy kept his hot hitting going with a 3-for-6 day. Did you order your Murphy’s Law T-Shirt yet?
The Mets go for the sweep in another 7:10 pm start in DC. Oliver Perez goes to the mound against Colin Balester. I fear that Ollie will pitch “down” to the competition … perhaps someone should show him the standings prior to the game.