Beloved former Mets manager Willie Randolph used to preach (co-opted from Joe Torre) that winning streaks are not important; the key thing is winning series after series. Well, since the All-Star game the Mets have won just one series. They dropped another one to the Nationals in Sunday. Is it any wonder that they are now seven games under .500 and in danger of slipping into fourth place (and maybe even last) in the NL East?
After a two and a half hour rain delay, the Nationals battered sixth starter Jeremy Hefner. With a man on in the second Danny Espinosa homered to left to give Washington a 2-0 lead.
Jayson Werth led off the third with a single. He scored when Bryce Harper tripled to right-center. Harper came around on a Ryan Zimmerman single to extend the lead to 4-0.
Harper led off the fifth with a solo shot. Nats up 5-0.
Hefner was done after the inning, allowing the five runs on eight hits. On the plus side, he didn’t walk anyone.
The Mets finally got on the board in the sixth. Ike Davis, who had doubled and moved to third on a fly out, scored when Jason Bay hit a weak grounder to short.
With one out in the eighth Ronny Cedeno doubled and moved to third on yet another solid Bay ground out. Kelly Shoppach singled to drive in Cedeno to make it 5-2.
That was the final score.
The loss combined with a Phillies win puts Philadelphia a game behind the Mets. The Marlins are also close behind; just two and a half games are all that separate the Mets from last place.