It's nearly impossible to figure out what the Mets see in Miguel Batista, but Terry Collins has had no problem using him in high-leverage situations out of the bullpen. Batista entered the Mets' second straight loss to the Nationals with the team trailing by one at the beginning of the bottom of the seventh inning. Two outs later, he departed the game having allowed two insurance runs that would ultimately be the difference in the game.
Chris Young threw six innings and allowed just two runs, and the Mets would gladly take those results from Young anytime he starts a game. He even recorded a groundball double play and a caught stealing, both rare events by Young's standards, in the same inning. As Mark Simon of ESPN pointed out, this was only the third time Young was credited with both in the same game. Young's only real mistake in the game was the two-run home run he served up to Adam LaRoche in the bottom of the sixth.
The Mets' bats were mostly silent against Jordan Zimmermann, who is quietly an excellent pitcher, but they got on the board with a run-scoring single by Andres Torres in the top of the seventh. Lucas Duda, who had doubled earlier in the inning, scored on the play, but Torres made an awful baserunning decision and got thrown out a second to end the inning after the Nationals cut off the throw from the outfield.
Batista came into the game in the bottom of the inning, and after retiring the first two batters he faced, his outing went downhill fast. Jesus Flores and Roger Bernadina singled before Steve Lombardozzi hit a long double off the fence to plate both runners and put the Nationals ahead by three. Josh Edgin entered the game and induced a fly out from Bryce Harper to end the inning.
The Mets didn't score in the eighth, but Jon Rauch pitched a scoreless inning to keep the deficit at three. The Mets nearly came back in the ninth inning for the second night in a row. David Wright hit a home run against Tyler Clippard, and after Clippard set down Ike Davis and Lucas Duda on swinging strikeouts, Jason Bay hit a solo home run, too. Jordany Valdespin entered the game to pinch hit for Torres, but he, too, struck out swinging.
The Mets look to avoid the sweep on Thursday afternoon at 12:35 pm with R.A. Dickey taking the mound. Gio Gonzalez gets the start for Washington.
Big winners: Chris Young (hitting), +8.2% WPA
Big losers: Ike Davis, -15.6% WPA, Miguel Batista, -14.5% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Chris Young's leadoff double in the sixth, +9.8% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Adam LaRoche's two-run home run in the sixth, -31.1% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -13.8% WPA
Total batter WPA: -36.2% WPA
GWRBI!: Adam LaRoche