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Mets vs. Nationals Recap: Harvey struggles early, Mets can't come back

The Mets had a rough first few innings in Washington and couldn't come back.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

In the first of three games against the division-leading Washington Nationals, the Mets looked the part of a team that had just played a very long game and traveled to a new destination—especially early in the game. Matt Harvey was shaky in the first few innings, and he, Daniel Murphy, and Eric Campbell made defensive mistakes as the Nationals scored five runs through the first three innings of the game.

As was the case in St. Louis on Sunday, the Mets failed to cash in on most of their run-scoring opportunities. Those instances couldn’t be credited entirely to the Nationals’ excellent defensive play in the game, particularly in the outfield, but it definitely played a part in keeping the Mets from making the game closer than they did.

The Mets’ pair of runs both scored in the fourth inning. With runners on second and third and two outs, the Nationals chose to intentionally walk Anthony Recker to get to Harvey, presumably to force Terry Collins into making a decision about whether or not to pinch hit for him. He did not, and Harvey blooped a single over second base to bring home those two runs.

Harvey did get into a groove after struggling early, but in total, he struck out three, walked four, and gave up five runs in seven innings. That he was able to go that deep into the game after the way his night started saved every relief pitcher but Alex Torres, who served up a two-run home run in the eighth, the night off, which seems important considering how much the bullpen worked on Sunday.

So the Mets are three games back in the division. Jacob deGrom starts tonight as the team attempts to bounce back.

SB Nation GameThreads

* Amazin' Avenue GameThread
* Federal Baseball GameThread

Win Probability Added

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Big winners: none
Big losers: Matt Harvey, -23.7% WPA, Johny Mayberry Jr., -12.2% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Daniel Murphy doubles to put runners on second and third in the first, +8.8% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Yunel Escobar’s run-scoring single in the first, -10.2% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -25.5% WPA
Total batter WPA: -24.5% WPA
GWRBI!: Clint Robinson