It seemed like a promising start when Michael Conforto and Jay Bruce drew back-to-back walks off of Nationals starter Austin Voth—making his second career start—with two outs in the bottom of the first. However, little did one know that this would represent the Mets’ best threat of the night, as the team would muster only one hit in a lackluster 6-0 defeat.
Corey Oswalt got the start in place of the shut-down Zack Wheeler, and acquitted himself relatively nicely. Oswalt surrendered a double to Victor Robles leading off the third. Trea Turner followed that with a two-run home run down the left field line to give the Nationals the early lead. Oswalt would only surrender one more single the rest of the way as he threw five solid innings in the spot start, providing the offense some time to try to get back into the game.
Unfortunately, that offense was utterly non-existent. Michael Conforto led off the top of the fourth with a squibbed liner towards third base against the shift. This infield single would be the only hit the Mets would record in the game. Conforto—with two walks as well—personally accounted for 60% of the Mets’ baserunners in the game.
After back-to-back games which saw the Mets put a small dent in Max Scherzer’s Cy Young hopes—and actually support Jacob deGrom’s stellar case for once—this game seemed to lack the excitement of the previous contests, as the team’s offense was utterly stagnant against Voth and four middling Nationals relievers. It felt very much like a game between two teams playing out the string, as much of the excitement—at least for the Mets’ booth—was in watching a “brazen” pigeon stroll from the pitchers mound to third base, a 10-year-old fan emulate the home plate umpire, and speculating about Mets fans attending the game in snuggies.
Once Oswalt departed, the Nationals broke the game open against Jerry Blevins in the fifth, when Matt Wieters made the Mets regret giving Ryan Zimmerman an abracadabra walk by launching a three-run home run to deep left center. The Nats would complete the scoring against Tyler Bashlor in the seventh on a Bryce Harper RBI double.
The loss dropped the Mets to 72-83 on the season, as the Nationals crept back above .500 with the victory at 78-77. The teams will meet up for the final time in 2018 Sunday afternoon in Washington.
SB Nation GameThreads
Win Probability Added
Big winners: None
Big losers: Jerry Blevins, -12.4% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Michael Conforto’s infield single in the fourth inning, +4.4%
Teh sux0rest play: Trea Turner’s two-run home run in the third inning, -14.0%
Total pitcher WPA: 13.8% WPA-
Total batter WPA: 37.2% WPA-
GWRBI!: Trea Turner