The Mets blew a chance for a really nice comeback win against the Nationals Saturday night as Bobby Parnell collapsed in the ninth inning.
Early on it looked like another pitcher making his major league debut was going to terrorize the Mets. Tom Milone blanked the Mets through three, and even slammed a three-run home run on the first pitch he ever saw as the Nats built a 5-0 lead. But the Mets got to him in the fourth — Angel Pagan hit a two-run double and Nick Evans crushed a two-run homer to cut the lead to 5-4. Milone was then pulled from the game in the middle of the fifth..
Dillon Gee just didn’t have it. In addition to those five runs, he allowed a solo homer to Roger Bernadina in the fifth. He was done after that inning — his ERA now stands at an unsightly 4.48 despite the impressive 12-5 record.
Jason Bay, of all people, got Gee off the hook for a potential loss with a two-run home run in the sixth to tie the game at six (below). Bay has finally reached double-digits in home runs. It only took him until September.
Lucas Duda gave the Mets their first lead of the night with a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Then it was up to the bullpen. The middle relievers were superb — Pedro Beato, Danny Herrera and Manny Acosta (five strikeouts in two innings) shut down the Nationals over three innings, allowing just one hit.
But then came Parnell to protect a one-run lead. He allowed a leadoff single, a wild pitch (which should have been ruled a passed ball) and a walk. A sacrifice put men on second and third with one out. Then a questionable move — Terry Collins opted to intentionally walk Bernadina to pitch to Ryan Zimmerman, who lofted a broken-bat single to shallow right that was just out of the reach of Lucas Duda. Two runs scored, game over.
I understand wanting to set-up the double play, but Zimmerman is Washington’s the best hitter. I’d much rather pitch to Bernadina, even though he homered earlier this the game, than Zimmerman.
Anyway, the Mets lose 8-7 — they won’t leave D.C. as a .500 team.