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Mets vs. Nationals Recap: Gee, this John Buck guy can hit home runs

John Buck hit a very long home run, and the Mets shut out the Nationals in a two-nothing victory on Sunday afternoon.

Mike Stobe

Following a disappointing loss on Saturday afternoon, the Mets were able to beat the Nationals this afternoon. It was the team's second victory in three attempts on the weekend, which isn't bad at all against the team heavily favored to win the National League East.

It felt like Dillon Gee hadn't been effective in forever, as he was rocked in each of his past two starts in Philadelphia and Colorado. While he wasn't dominant against Washington, he was significantly better.

In five-and-two-thirds innings, Gee struck out six and didn't allow a run. He only ran into real trouble in the sixth inning, which was when he issued all three of his walks. He walked Denard Span to begin the inning, but one out later, Span got himself thrown out at second base on a ball that skipped in front of John Buck, who threw him out by a wide margin as he attempted to advance. Gee notched another out but walked Bryce Harper and Adam LaRoche.

With Ian Desmond due up next, Terry Collins called upon LaTroy Hawkins to take over for Gee. Hawkins struck Desmond out looking to get Gee and the Mets out of the inning without any damage.

Perhaps most important for Gee today was that his fastball topped out just a shade below 92 mph and averaged 89.3 mph, easily his highest mark in any of his four starts this season. Never a flamethrower, Gee likely needs every bit of velocity he can get, and today's start was a step in the right direction.

By the time Gee had exited that game, Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann's day was already done. The Mets scored just two runs against him in five innings, but they made him work, as he issued three walks and used ninety-six pitches to get through his relatively brief outing.

The Mets' first run came on a John Buck home run — his seventh of the season — that landed in the second deck in left-center field. The Mets estimated the home run travelled 460 feet, which would make it one of the longest in the ballpark's young history.

New York added another run in the fourth inning after loading the bases with just one out on a Mike Baxter sacrifice fly. They then reloaded the bases when Anthony Rendon dropped what should have been an inning-ending throw from shortstop Ian Desmond on a ground ball off the bat of Ruben Tejada, but Gee stepped into the batter's box and weakly popped out to end the threat and the inning.

From there, the Mets' bullpen kept the Nationals off the board. Brandon Lyon struck out the first batter he faced to begin the seventh inning and induced two ground outs for a quick and easy scoreless seventh.

Scott Rice came on in the eighth, and it looked like he was trying to give the game away. He had a lot of trouble finding the strike zone as he allowed a single to Steve Lombardozzi and walked Denard Span. He then fell behind Jayson Werth 3-0, but Werth swung at the next pitch and grounded into a double play. Rice then struck out Bryce Harper to end the inning.

Bobby Parnell threw a one-two-three ninth inning with two strikeouts to end the game and give the Mets the series victory.

The Mets are off tomorrow, but they'll host the Dodgers on Tuesday at 7:10 pm. Jon Niese is scheduled to start for the Mets, while Clayton Kershaw will start for Los Angeles.

SB Nation Coverage

* Amazin' Avenue Gamethread
* Federal Baseball Gamethread

Win Probability Added

(What's this?)

Big winners: Dillon Gee, +26.7% WPA
Big losers: Daniel Murphy, -5.5% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Jayson Werth's GIDP in the eighth, +19.8% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Scott Rice's walk of Denard Span in the eighth, -10.8% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +51.8% WPA
Total batter WPA: -1.8% WPA
GWRBI!: John Buck