Nationals 6, Mets 2
Orlando Hernandez's pitching line:
IP H R ER BB SO HR PC-ST GS 5.0 8 6 6 3 4 3 98-54 28Ugh. With the great nor'easter turning this into a two-game series, the Mets went out there and really stunk it up on Saturday. Orlando Hernandez was terrible, truly. He had a lot of trouble getting his slider over early in the game and wound up overusing his fastball, often to ill effect. He was leaving the ball up in the zone with considerable regularity, and the vaunted Nationals' offense took full advantage. DC's version of Murderer's Row -- Dmitri Young, Ryan Church, and Chris Snelling -- each went yard against El Duque, who allowed twelve baserunners in just five-plus innings of work before he was unceremoniously ejected for beaning fellow pitching Shawn Hill following Snelling's gopherball. The ejection was BS, but safe money was on Hernandez getting the hook after another batter or two anyway.
The bullpen was terrific again, allowing just a couple of walks in four innings while striking out four. Ambiorix Burgos pitched two hitless innings, although he apparently hasn't taken the time to read the latest bullpen memo about keeping the ball on the ground: all five of his outs in play were hit in the air. He has wicked flyball tendencies for someone who portends to throw a heavy sinker. Scott Schoeneweis and Joe Smith combined to induce three groundball to zero of the flyball variety, and neither has allowed a run this season.
At the plate, the Mets had plenty of baserunners but were unable to bring them home on numerous occasions. Their 2-5 hitters had two hits apiece and just one run scored between them, which tells you that no one was doing a great job hitting with runners on base. Jose Reyes had his first real stinker of the season, going 0-for-5 and looking overanxious at times. Stachepower had a couple of hits and an RBI, pushing his average over the Mendoza line.
- Hitting: Jose Valentin, 13.0% WPA
- Pitching: Ambiorix Burgos, 3.0% WPA
- Hitting: Jose Reyes, -15.2% WPA
- Pitching: Orlando Hernandez, -26.1% WPA