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Mets vs. Nationals recap: Mets declare independence from division race

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The Mets were blown out by the Nationals in their game that began on Tuesday morning.

MLB: New York Mets at Washington Nationals Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports

After suffering a crushing defeat on Monday night, the Mets’ chances of pulling off an improbable surge into the National League East race already felt diminished. And by the time everyone woke up and had breakfast on the fourth of July, they had done even more damage to those very slim hopes in a game that they eventually lost by seven runs.

LOSE, 11-4

Even that score—11-4 was the final—doesn’t really do the game justice. Sure, it was interesting for a while. Jose Reyes led off the game with a home run, and Seth Lugo put up a couple of very efficient scoreless innings in the first and second. He gave up a couple of run-scoring singles to Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy in the third, but even that was not quite the end of the world.

Rene Rivera hit a home run—one of the 2017 variety that looked like a fly out and just kept carrying until it cleared the fence—that tied the game briefly in the top of the fourth. And although Lugo kept the Nationals off the board in that frame, things unraveled for him and his defense in the fifth. The Mets combined to allow four runs in the bottom of that inning, effectively ending the game.

From there, the bullpen’s B-team took over, and the first three of those relievers—Erik Goeddel, Josh Edgin, and Neil Ramirez—gave up five more runs. Only Chase Bradford, who got the final two outs of the eighth inning, escaped the game without being charged with a run.

As for those third and fourth runs scored by the Mets, Jay Bruce hit a two-run home run in the ninth. But the Mets are now standing on the verge of being swept, an outcome that should probably serve as a very clear signal that they are sellers as the trade deadline approaches. They needn’t just give their players away, of course, but it would be more than understandable if they started making deals in the very near future.

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What’s WPA?

Big winners: Brandon Nimmo, +10.5% WPA
Big losers: Seth Lugo, -37.6% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Rene Rivera hits a game-tying solo home run in the fourth, +12.4% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Bryce Harper singles, Jay Bruce makes an error, Wilmer Difo scores in the fifth, -18.9% WPA
Total pitcher WPA: -41.6% WPA
Total batter WPA: -8.4% WPA
GWRBI!: Ryan Raburn