By: Paul DiSclafani
I admit, I turned it off at 7-1. Not out of disgust or frustration. Just chalking it off to “one of those” games. Hey, you can’t win ‘em all, right? Tomorrow’s another day with deGrom on the mound, so no worries. I thought I would see what all the fuss was about the TV show “Mr. Robot”.
If you were like me, you missed one of the greatest comeback in Mets history as they scored six times in the seventh inning to tie the game, then got a pinch hit home run from, of all people, Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the eighth for an 8-7 lead. Jeurys Familia then got a 5-4-3 double play with two on in the ninth for the save and the Mets built their NL East lead back up to 6 games with an 8-7 win over the Nationals.
After last night’s thrilling come-from-behind Mets win that frustrated the Nats fans so much that they left in the 7th inning, tonight became a must win for Washington. But they were facing Matt Harvey who had a lot to prove to Mets fans after all the nonsense over the weekend about his innings limit. Everyone knew Harvey was going to come out firing, didn’t they?
Instead, it was all Nats firing, as they got to Harvey for three runs and five hits in the first two innings, taking a 3-1 lead as Jordan Zimmerman was cruising along. David Wright touched Zimmerman for a HR in the second, but that was the only Mets hit until the 5th inning.
Harvey settled down, allowing just one base runner until the sixth inning when everything unraveled. After the Nats got the first two runners on, Harvey mis-played Ian Desmond’s bunt and suddenly it was bases loaded with no out and Wilson Ramos, who hit a grand slam yesterday, coming up. Harvey reached back and struck out Ramos, but Michael Taylor delivered a single to center. The ball took a bad hop away from Yoenis Cespedes and rolled all the way to the wall, scoring everyone including Taylor and a close game became a blowout, 7-1, ending Harvey’s evening and causing me to grab the remote.
So what exactly is everyone raving about with “Mr. Robot” anyway? It’s an interesting show. Got a little lost in the plot, but I’ll definitely catch up this weekend and do some binge watching. 49 minutes on demand, not bad…
Back to the game to see the final score and the miserable wrap up show.
7-7? Are you kidding me? What happened?????
Apparently, manager Mike Williams lifted Zimmerman with two out in the sixth (he had reached 100 pitches – oh my!) for Blake Treinen. Now in the seventh what could go wrong with a 7-1 lead? Treinen gave up an innocent leadoff single to Wright, but got the next two outs before walking Michael Conforto. No biggie, right? Wilmer Flores delivered an RBI single to make it 7-2 and that was it for Treinen. In came Felipe Rivero, who walked the pinch hitter Juan Uribe to load the bases. Then he walked Curtis Granderson to force in a run to make it 7-3.
So much for Rivero. In came former Nats closer Drew Storen to get the final out. Instead, Cespedes, who was charged with a 3-base error in the last half inning, lined a double into the left field corner, clearing the bases and cutting the Nats lead to 7-6. What the heck is going on here?
Ok, Nats still have the lead. Let’s end this thing and regroup. But Storen walked Daniel Murphy – the fourth walk of the inning and then threw a wild pitch putting runners on second and third. Then he walked Wright (walk #5) to load the bases with Lucas Duda coming up. Didn’t the Nats have two outs eight batters ago?
Ball one to Duda. Ball two to Duda. Ball three to Duda. He’s not going to walk home the tying run, is he? Ball four and a tie game, 7-7. Storen even managed to fall behind Travis d’Arnaud 2-0 before he swung and ended the inning. Six runs, six walks, three hits and a wild pitch. Storen faced five batters, threw 22 pitches and only seven strikes.
The Nationals and their non-sellout crowd (only 27,000 showed up) were stunned.
In the eighth, Jonathan Papelbon (another former closer – how many do they have?) got the first two outs, then surrendered a bomb to Nieuwenhuis (his first HR since July 12) and amazingly, the Mets had an 8-7 lead!
In the ninth, the Nats got the first runner on and Williams ordered Anthony Rendon, who already had two hits, to bunt the runner over. Even when Familia ran the count to 3-1, Williams still had Rendon bunt, but he pushed it too hard, right at Duda, who threw to second to get the lead runner for the first out. When Bryce Harper (0-4) walked, the Nats were in business with the tying run on second and cleanup hitter Yunel Escobar at the plate.
Familia got ahead 0-2, and Escobar bounced into a game ending 5-4-3 double play for his 38th save, ending the wildest game I ever didn’t see.
Mets go for the sweep tomorrow with Jacob deGrom (12-7) on the hill against Stephen Strasburg (8-6).
The win, combined with the Nationals loss, reduced the Mets magic number to clinch the NL East Pennant to 19.
POSITIVES: Bartolo Colon was named NL Pitcher of the Week. He went 2-0 with 17 scoreless innings, 11K and 1W … On Monday, Cespedes recorded his third 3XBH game since he joined the Mets. Only three other players have recorded a 3 XBH game all year and Cespedes has 3 of them in about a month. Duda is one of them, so the Mets have 4 of the 7 … Harper (0-4 tonight) is now 0-20 against Harvey in his career … Mets lead the majors with 12 come-from-behind victories
NEGATIVES: There were plenty, but who cares tonight?