After getting swept by the Marlins over the weekend, the Mets really, really needed a win against the Nationals on Tuesday. For eight inning, it looked like they were going to get it. But you have to play all nine, and that’s when the Nationals won the game.
Ian Desmond got the Nationals on the board in the second with a solo home run off of Jeremy Hefner for a 1-0 lead.
In the fifth, Jordany Valdespin reached on an infield single with one out, beating Adam LaRoche’s toss to the pitcher. Rick Ankiel hit a grounder to first. LaRoche tried to turn the double play, but his throw to second was high and Valdespin was safe on the error. Hefner sacrificed to put runners on second and third. Omar Quintanilla then tripled down the right field line to give the Mets the lead, 2-1. Quintanilla also doubled and is hitting .529 since replacing Ruben Tejada.
Two singles and a walk loaded the bases for the Nationals in the sixth with two out, but Hefner was able to get a ground ball to David Wright to get out of the inning unscathed.
Hefner threw seven excellent innings, allowing just the one run on four hits. He had seven strikeouts and one walk. This was his third straight solid start, lowering his ERA from 5.00 to 4.36 over the three-game span.
Jordan Zimmerman was just as good for the Nationals, but that LaRoche error killed him. He went eight innings, allowing two unearned runs on four hits.
Brandon Lyon pitched a perfect eighth and then it was up to Bobby Parnell to protect the one-run lead. Ryan Zimmerman led off the ninth with a double off the wall in center. It was a close play at second and Terry Collins came out to argue. Replays showed the throw from Ankiel beat Zimmerman, but Daniel Murphy was slow to get the tag down and he was indeed safe. He advanced to third on a wild pitch from Parnell that was too high for Buck to catch. The next pitch to LaRoche was lower but right over the plate. He singled to right to tie the game at two. Desmond doubled to left to put runners on second and third with no outs. Roger Bernardina was intentionally walked to load the bases. Steve Lombardozzi hit a sacrifice fly to win the game for the Nationals, 3-2. It was Parnell’s first blown save since April 29.
The Mets losing streak is now at four games.