A game of highs and lows ended up in a low for the Mets, as they fell to the Nationals 8-7 on Saturday evening in our nation's capital. Dillon Gee was torched for five runs over the first two innings, three of them coming off the bat of rookie pitcher Tom Milone, who hit a three run shot on the first pitch he saw in his first big league at bat. Pretty impressive stuff. Things started to unravel for him after that, as the Mets roared back for six runs of their own, four of them coming from two run shots via Nick Evans and Jason Bay, the latter of which deadlocked the score at six apiece. The Mets smallball'd their way to a 7-6 lead in the seventh and Manny Acosta threw two impressive innings, striking out five batters but Bobby Parnell came in and immediately, that lead was put in jeopardy. Soon thereafter, Ryan Zimmerman's dunker in front of Lucas Duda won it for the Nats.
One thing to point out in that 9th inning was the curious decision by Terry Colins to intentionally walk Roger Bernadina to load the bases with one out in order to face Ryan Zimmerman. Sure, playing for the double play there would make sense in most cases, but Zimmarman is easily the Nats' best hitter. This was not the average case.
The rubber game of this series takes place tomorrow afternoon at 1:35 PM, as Mike Pelfrey will face off against hefty, innings-eating nemesis Livan Hernandez.
Johan Santana made his second rehab start in Port St. Lucie and went two innings without issue. The team is still using caution when talking about a potential return this season. It's probably a good idea to see how he recovers over the next few days before we set up any crazy expectations.
Here's some more reaction to the news of David Einhorn and the Mets parting ways. Did the Mets drop the ball by messing with the terms of the deal and will they struggle to find investors willing to pay for a portion of the team with no control? Or did Einhorn get greedy by asking to be pre-approved as the controlling shareholder down the line, should his effort to "short" the Wilpons work?
Tough news for Bisons' third baseman Zach Lutz, who has officially pulled himself out of a winter ball commitment in Venezuela due to continued concussion symptoms. If there's anybody in the Mets organization who's snakebitten, it's this guy.
Finally, in case you missed it, Gary Carter spent some time in the hospital last week with blood clots caused by his chemotherapy medication.
Around the NL East
The Marlins beat the Phillies 8-4 behind a pair of home runs from Mike Cameron and a three run shot by Gaby Sanchez. Oh, well look at that! Apparently he kills other teams aside from the Mets!
The Dodgers beat the Braves 2-1 in 10 innings, taking the lead with a Juan Rivera sacrifice fly.
Around the Majors
Brewers backup catcher George Kottaras became the player to hit for the cycle in 2011, the first since Carlos Gonzalez did it July 31st of 2010. Really? Nobody else has hit for the cycle this year? Baseball is weird.
Speaking of the Brew Crew, Fangraphs takes a look at the success they had last offseason dealing all of their prospects for big league talent. Though I wouldn't recommend this strategy for the Mets, it certainly worked out for them this year, since they basically had to go all in before potentially losing Prince Fielder to free agency.
Down 8-6 heading into the bottom of the 9th, the Tigers hit two home runs to walk off with a 9-8 victory over the division nemesis White Sox.
Ian Kennedy furthered his banner season as the Diamondbacks offense smacked Tim Lincecum around and beat the Giants 7-2, extending their division lead to six games. I'm sure the Yankees are quite happy with Curtis Granderson in center field, but imagine what could've been with Kennedy on their rotation?
Finally, today's start will be Livan Hernandez's last of the season. What is his role be going forward?