NEW YORK, NY - JULY 25: Stephen Strasburg #37 of the Washington Nationals pitches against the New York Mets at Citi Field on July 25, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
The Nationals completed a sweep of the Mets today behind a brilliant performance from Stephen Strasburg. The Mets have now been swept in three of four series since the All-Star break and are just 1-11 overall in that span. It's ugly.
Strasburg struck out 11 in 7 innings pitched, allowing just 1 run on an Ike Davis solo home run leading off the second inning. Of his 94 pitches, 12 were swinging strikes. That's good for a percentage of 12.8%, better than his terrific season rate of 11.8%. It was breeze for Strasburg, who never had more than one runner on base all day.
Strasburg's Mets counterpart Jeremy Hefner had a serviceable, fifth-starter type of game. He lasted six innings, allowing three runs on six hits. Mike Morse and Danny Espinosa hit back-to-back solo home runs off Hef to start the second inning which gave the Nats a 2-0 lead. Hef struck out seven and walked two.
Tim Byrdak continued to struggle, allowing a two-run homer to Adam LaRoche in the seventh inning in relief of Hefner to make the score 5-1. LaRoche is a left-handed hitter, the type of guy Byrdak is supposed to neutralize.
We knew it was over when...
The Mets managed just one run in the eighth inning, despite loading the bases with no outs to start the frame. Ruben Tejada lined out, Jordany Valdespin grounded out to drive in a run, and David Wright grounded out.
- Wright went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
- Elvin Ramirez tossed two scoreless innings to finish the game.