Nearly four hours after the first pitch was thrown, the Mets prevailed in a 9-5 win over the pesky Nationals, settling for a split of the four-game series. Hisanori Takahashi was great through the first five innings, allowing no runs on just two hits and a walk while striking out seven. In the sixth, the wheels fell off and the Japanese import careened into a roadside ditch as the first four batters went walk, single, home run, single, and just like that Takahashi was out of the game. Everyday Elmer Dessens entered and allowed an infield hit to Josh Willingham and then plunked Mike Morse to load the bases with none out. Dessens fanned Adam Kennedy for the first out and then got the truly awful (like, "-0.6 WAR in 115 plate appearances" awful) Wil Nieves to bounce into a double play to end the inning.
The rest of the Mets LOLpen -- Pedro Feliciano, Ryota Igarashi (whose continued presence on the team defies explanation), Bobby Parnell, and Francisco Rodriguez -- allowed two runs on six hits over the final three innings to wrap up the game and the road trip. Parnell started the ninth inning with a four-run lead, but was quickly and predictably ousted after the first two hitters reached base and a save situation presented itself. Like second basemen batting second and bunting with your cleanup hitter, "a save situation demands that the closer come in to pitch" is just one of the fundamental tenets of good baseball management.
On the offensive side, the Mets pounded out 14 hits and flailed uselessly en route to 14 strikeouts. It was the sixth time in franchise history that they've had at least 14 hits and strikeouts in a single game, but the first time ever accomplished in a nine-inning contest. You can check out the other five occurrences at Baseball-Reference.com.
Two of the 14 hits came courtesy of Jason Bay, whose first-inning triple and fourth-inning single knocked in two runs apiece. Ike Davis drove in two more with a two-run home run in the third inning off starter Craig Stammen. Your starting All-Star third baseman and current NL Fangraphs WAR leader David Wright went 2-for-5 with two steals and three strike outs, helping to clog the bases and fight poverty at the same time.
The Mets head back to Queens to begin a three-game series with the Reds beginning tomorrow night.
Tak is solid, hitters press the Met case
324 is Bay's new RBI pace
Ike sends another fly ball into space
Bullpen proceeds to again make hearts race
Big winners: Jason Bay, +21.5% WPA, Francisco Rodriguez, +9.4% WPA
Big losers: Bobby Parnell, -7.3% WPA, Jeff Francoeur, -2.3% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Bay two-run triple in first, +17.7% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Morse HBP to load bases with none out in sixth, -6.6% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +16.0% WPA
Total batter WPA: +34.0% WPA
GWRBI!: Jason Bay
Nice job by KeithsMoustache; his effort in the game thread embiggens us all.
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