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Mets 7, Nationals 2: Wright Wrecks Clippard, Rookies Rule Roost

Utterly tradable non-Jeter David Wright turned a seventh-inning 2-2 tie into a 5-2 Mets lead with one effortless swing, depositing a Tyler Clippard meatball into the second deck in left field for a three-run home run. It was his 29th of the year, so he has at least a shot to reach 30 if he's in the lineup for Sunday's season finale.

The Mets starting lineup featured seven rookies -- Jesus Feliciano, Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Joaquin Arias, Josh Thole, Ruben Tejada, and Raul Valdes -- the first time that has happened since the Marlins did so in August 2006. Of course, Valdes is 32 and Feliciano is 31, so while they may technically be rookies it's not like the Mets started seven youngsters.

Valdes allowed just one run in 5.1 innings, but he walked four and left a runner on second in the sixth. Sean Green and Pedro Feliciano retired a batter apiece to clean up the mess, but Feliciano and Elmer Dessens combined to allow the tying run to score in the sixth. That run, which evened things up at 2-2, scored on a Wilson Ramos infield hit that hit third base and shot up into the air, leaving the Mets without a play.

Up 5-2 in the eighth, Chris Carter pinch hit for R.A. Dickey and hit a two-run home run to put the game out of reach. With a win on Sunday the Mets can sweep the Nationals and finish 2010 with an 80-82 record.

A few other notes.

  • Lucas Duda hit his fourth homer of the year and is slugging a respectable .436 despite hitting just .205.
  • Carter's home run was also his fourth of the season.
  • The Mets used seven pitchers, including Dickey in relief.
  • Valdes was apparently the first pitcher since 1994 to appear in both games of a doubleheader and then start a game fewer than four days later. So that's a thing.
  • Josh Thole's game-winning home run on Friday night gave the Mets three catcher-contributed game-winning homers this season, the first time that has ever happened.
  • All of these tidbits were taken from the AP recap. We don't have a research staff here or anything.

Poem by Howard Megdal

Trio of homers has Mets thinking sweep
While season's denounment continues to creep