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Porcello pitches well, but Mets’ bats come up short in loss to Nationals

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Rick Porcello was more than good enough on Tuesday night, but the Mets were unable to help him out.

Washington Nationals v New York Mets Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

The Mets dropped the second game of a four-game series to the Washington Nationals 2-1 on Tuesday night. Despite Rick Porcello having a second straight strong start and Max Scherzer being off his game in the first two innings, the Mets were unable to produce and saw their record fall to 7-11 on the season.

Though Porcello put in a strong start, the beginning of his outing was a bit rocky. After giving up a lead off home run in the first inning to Trea Turner, Porcello again found himself in trouble in the top of the second. With two men on and two outs, Victor Robles kept the train moving, singling to left field and driving in a run. Luckily for Porcello, Robles was then thrown out advancing to second base, escaping potential further damage that inning.

The story of this game for the Mets’ offense, as well as this season, was the number of men left on base. Facing a rusty Max Scherzer who left his last start due to a tweaked hamstring, the Mets loaded the bases in the bottom of the first thanks to a pair of singles from Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto, as well as a walk from Dominic Smith. This gave a great opportunity to the struggling Wilson Ramos to get the Mets on the board early in the game. Ramos instead struck out looking, leaving three men on base and squandering a great opportunity against one of the best pitchers in the game. More of the same would then occur in the bottom of the second, as Jeff McNeil stuck out swinging, leaving men on first and second base.

One of the bright spots of this game for the Mets was the play of their middle infield in Andres Gimenez and Luis Guillorme, both in the field and at the plate. The Mets lone run of the game came in the fourth inning when Gimenez legged out a triple and was then driven in by a Guillorme sacrifice fly. The two also made their presence in the field known, turning a pair of smooth double plays on Trea Turner, making it the first time Turner has ever grounded into two double plays in the same game.

The Mets did threaten one more time to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh following the departure of Max Scherzer. After a leadoff double by Luis Guillorme and a one out walk by Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil came to the plate with a chance to tie the game, or more. Instead, McNeil grounded into a 4-6-3 double play, and the Mets best chance to tie the game was gone.

To finish up the game, Jared Hughes continued to impress in a Mets’ uniform, pitching two scoreless innings. Edwin Diaz came on to pitch the 9th as well, and looked particularly good against the heart of the Nationals’ order, striking out two. Daniel Hudson got the save for the Nationals in a 1-2-3 bottom of the 9th, retiring the three Mets batters on just nine pitches.

The Mets will try to avoid the sweep tonight against Washington as they face Anibal Sanchez. With Michael Wacha now on the IL, the Mets do not have a starter announced, though with Walker Lockett just activated off the injured list, it could presumably be him taking the mound.

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What’s WPA?

Big Mets winner: Jared Hughes, +9.9% WPA
Big Mets loser: Jeff McNeil, -23% WPA
Mets pitchers: +18.3% WPA
Mets hitters: -68.3% WPA
Teh aw3s0mest play: Luis Guillorme hits a double in the bottom of the seventh, +13.6% WPA
Teh sux0rest play: Trea Turner hits a solo home run in the top of the first, -10.3% WPA