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Mets vs. Nationals recap: Another loss in extras

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The Mets dropped their series opener against the Nationals in a game that went eleven innings.

MLB: Washington Nationals at New York Mets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

For a while on Friday night, it seemed like the Mets could beat the Nationals in their first head-to-head game of both the weekend and the 2017 season, even though the Mets seem intent on giving their opponents the baseball equivalent of a power play in the near-term future.

LOSE, 4-3

With a one-and-change-man bench, the game featured a pinch-hit double by Zack Wheeler, a statistical anomaly that will be remembered by many and most certainly by those in attendance at Citi Field. But the Mets failed to capitalize on that bit of good fortune, and despite having twice come from behind to tie the Nationals over the course of the game, they lost by a run in the eleventh inning.

Matt Harvey wasn’t divine, but he was good. Bryce Harper tagged him for a two-run home run in the first inning, and he’s just going to do that sometimes, no matter who is on the mound. And Michael Conforto halved the Nationals’ lead immediately with a leadoff home run in the bottom of that inning.

The Mets tied things with a rally that included an RBI single from Curtis Granderson, but nothing more, in the fourth, but Harvey served up a solo blast to Jose Lobaton, of all people, in the fifth inning that put the Nationals back out in front. Granderson tied the game again, this time with a no-doubt solo home run in the bottom of the sixth, but both teams went scoreless until the eleventh. Jay Bruce damn near ended the game on a fly ball to right in the bottom of the tenth, but what really looked like a home run off the bat was caught on the warning track.

Officially speaking, Josh Smoker took the loss after pitching a scoreless tenth and returning to the mound for the eleventh. He got a ground out from Wilmer Difo but got tagged for a double to left by Bryce Harper. The Mets understandably gave Daniel Murphy an intentional pass and brought in Jeurys Familia, who proceeded to allow Harper to advance to third on a wild pitch, walked Anthony Rendon to load the bases, and walked the pinch-hitting Trea Turner to give the Nationals the lead.

Familia got out of the inning from there, but it was already too late. And if you were looking for a couple of extra kicks while you were down, Oliver Perez threw a scoreless inning-and-a-third in the game, and Jose Reyes went 0-for-5 with a strikeout and a whole lot of weak contact. With an .097/.176/.129 line for the season, he’s back under zero with a -8 wRC+. For reference, he’s farther away from the league average 100 in the metric than Michael Conforto, who’s raked this year and is sitting at 187 right now.

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What’s WPA?

Big winners: Curtis Granderson, +33.0% WPA, Addison Reed, +12.8% WPA, Jerry Blevins, +10.1% WPA
Big losers: Jeurys Familia, -23.4% WPA, Juan Lagares, -20.6% WPA, Jose Reyes, -20.3% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Granderson’s home run in the sixth, +20.6% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Familia’s walk of Turner in the eleventh, -18.9% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: +4.5% WPA
Total batter WPA: -54.5% WPA
GWRBI!: Trea Turner