Nats vs. Mets take two

At first, last night’s game versus the Mets seemed to be headed in the same direction as many of the Nationals’ games the past month–a close, low-scoring game, pitched well enough for Washington’s starter to earn the win, but which ultimately ended in a heartbreaking loss due to lack of offensive output. But last night was different. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth and the scoreboard reading 1-1, Ryan Zimmerman hit a game-ending sacrifice fly, providing Willie Harris enough time to scoot home and beat Jeff Francoeur’s throw from right field. Game over. Nationals 2, Mets 1.

 

Some fun facts about last night’s game:

- Livan Hernandez did not walk a batter and fanned seven, a season-high, in 7.0 innings. He allowed only one run. Hernandez has not given up more than two runs in any of his nine home starts this year. It’s the second-longest streak of consecutive home starts allowing two or fewer runs by any pitcher in Expos/Nationals franchise history. Scott Sanderson holds the record with ten straight starts in 1980.

- Including last night’s 2-1 victory, Washington has played an MLB-leading 46 games decided by two runs or less this season.

- At 14-13 (.519), the Nationals have played discernibly better baseball against NL East foes than when facing interdivision opponents (21-32, .396).

 

Mets (44-35):

1.    Angel Pagan – CF

2.    Ruben Tejada – SS

3.    David Wright – 3B

4.    Ike Davis – 1B

5.    Jason Bay – LF

6.    Rod Barajas – C

7.    Jeff Francoeur – RF

8.    Alex Cora – 2B

9.    Jonathon Niese – SP (5-2, 3.84 ERA)

 

* The Mets have lost five of their last six road games, a skid immediately following a streak of seven consecutive road wins.

* Last night, the Mets suffered their ninth walk-off loss of the year, tied for most in the Majors with Arizona and Seattle.

 Nationals (35-45):

1.      Nyjer Morgan – CF

2.      Cristian Guzman – 2B

3.      Adam Dunn – 1B

4.      Ryan Zimmerman – 3B

5.      Josh Willingham – LF

6.      Ivan Rodriguez – C

7.      Michael Morse – RF

8.      Ian Desmond – SS

9.      Luis Atilano – SP (6-4, 4.33 ERA)

* Washington’s current bullpen ERA of 3.43 ranks fifth in the NL and ninth in MLB. Last year, the Nationals’ bullpen ranked last in MLB with a 5.04 ERA. Contrasting bullpen ERAs from this season to last, the Nationals’ improvement of -1.61 ERA paces the Major Leagues.

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