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Nationals 8, Mets 7: The Duda Dives

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Candidates for most amazing thing that happened in this game:

  1. Nationals starting pitcher Tom Milone hitting a three-run homer in his big league debut.
  2. Terry Collins calling for an intentional walk of Roger Bernadina (career .667 OPS) so Bobby Parnell could pitch to Ryan Zimmerman (career .837 OPS)instead.
  3. Jason Bay recording any kind of base hit, let alone a home run, on the road.
  4. Nick Evans's team-leading .891 OPS.
  5. Dillon Gee recording more strikeouts than innings pitched.

This list doesn't even include the stupendously awful dive by Lucas Duda on the game's final play, on which a more conservative fielder might have grabbed the ball on a hop, allowing Brian Bixler to score with the tying run but likely keeping Jonny Gomes and his would-be winning run at third.

This loss isn't on Duda, though. The best-case scenario for that play was still bases loaded with one out and a 7-7 score with Michael Morse and Jayson Werth due up. With Parnell still on the mound, I might add, who had already walked Gomes and thrown a wild pitch in the inning.

Some of the loss is on Gee, who pitched well apart from the home run allowed to Milone. And the other home runs allowed to Ian Desmond and Jesus Flores. He walked just one, had those six whiffs, and induced seven ground outs to just one fly out. Milone, incidentally, was hitting .346/.370/.385 in 33 plate appearances with Triple-A Syracuse before his recent promotion to the Nats.

Some is also on Parnell, of whom many will be calling for his closer job to be stripped, which naysayers we can only hope will be ignored by Collins & Co. The Mets are on the fast track to 2011 irrelevance and they need to figure out who might reasonably help the 2012 club outperform the current one. Parnell isn't obviously one of those players, but he might be, and these final four weeks of the season are best spent trying to be a little more certain of it.

Jose Reyes went 1-for-4 and continues to hold a slim lead over Ryan Braun (.333 to .331) for the NL batting title. No Met has ever done so, though John Olerud hit .354 in 1998 and finished second to Larry Walker, who hit .363 with the Rockies.

Angel Pagan saw just nine pitches in four at-bats. Gee saw nine pitches in two plate appearances: an eight-pitch fly out in the fifth and a one-pitch sacrifice in the third.

The Mets and Nats wrap up this series on Sunday at 1:35pm EDT when Mike Pelfrey takes on Livan Hernandez. This could be Hernandez's last start of the season for the Nats, as Stephen Strasburg is expected to return this week and take the last (= first) spot in the rotation.

SB Nation Coverage

* Traditional Recap
* Boxscore
* Amazin' Avenue Gamethread
* Federal Baseball Gamethread

Win Probability Added

Big winners: Manny Acosta, 24.2% WPA, Jason Bay, +18.8% WPA
Big losers: Bobby Parnell, -80.9% WPA, Dillon Gee, -33.9% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Bay two-run home run in the sixth, +25.3% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: That thing at the end, -47.0% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -83.2% WPA
Total batter WPA: +33.2% WPA
GWRBI!: Ryan Zimmerman

Game Thread Roll Call

Nice job by MetsFan4Decades; her effort in the game thread embiggens us all.

Num Name # of Posts
1 MetsFan4Decades 159
2 Evan_S 79
3 sj10689 77
4 Spike Davis 63
5 Russ 62
6 santana9237 56
7 CTRefJay 53
8 The Glider 50
9 KaaMets 35
10 theamato 30