Steven Matz did not make it out of the first inning in the shortest outing of his Major League career as the Nationals handed the Mets their most lopsided loss ever, 25-4, on Tuesday night at Nationals Park.
Things you should know about tonight's game...
1) Washington pounded the quartet of Jacob Rhame, Tim Peterson, Tyler Bashlor and Matz, scoring 19 times on 19 hits through five innings while tallying at least three runs in each frame. Daniel Murphy homered twice and drove in a career-high six runs.
2) Matz (5-9) retired two batters in the first and was removed after allowing seven runs on eight hits, including a three-run double to opposing pitcher Tanner Roark. It was the third time he has allowed seven runs in a start in his career, which matches his personal high. Matz entered Tuesday's outing having allowed no earned runs in 20 innings (three starts) at Nationals Park.
3) Rhame surrendered six runs and seven hits in two innings before giving way to Peterson, who allowed three more in 1 2/3. Bashlor retired two batters in the fifth and was charged with three runs on two hits and two walks. Jerry Blevins and Drew Smith combined for 2 1/3 scoreless innings and Jose Reyes allowed five runs in the ninth -- including two homers -- in his first career pitching appearance which consisted of 48 pitches.
4) Jeff McNeil hit a solo homer in the seventh for his first Major League roundtripper. It was the first long ball by a rookie for the Mets this season and represented the first RBI by a Mets position player since the sixth inning of Friday's game against the Pirates. He also drove in a run with a fielder's choice in the ninth. Austin Jackson hit his first long ball as a Met in the ninth.
Michael Avallone, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Instead of focusing on the interesting performance the Mets put forth Tuesday night, let's take a step back in time.
The baseball gods do have an interesting sense of humor, don't they? Three years ago, to the day, the Mets were opening a weekend series against these same Nationals at Citi Field. Only hours before, Sandy Alderson went down to the wire to bring Yoenis Cespedes into the fold after the now famous Wilmer Flores non-trade two nights earlier. As Mets fans, we know the rest ... the club swept the Nats to move into first place, won 19 games in August and put the division to bed early in September with another sweep of Washington, this time on the road.
My how things have changed.
It's truly remarkable how quickly the Mets have fallen since that special three-month run in 2015. The end result was an obvious disappointment, but there are few memories for Mets fans that are special as that late-season run was. Sadly, a gradual downturn in 2016 has turned into a fall from the steepest cliff around. It's easy to lay blame with moves that have and haven't been made, but the club has also been the victim of its share of bad luck. That being said, it should also never have devolved into the chaos and dysfunction that seems to be enveloping the team right now.
Having stood pat at the deadline sans dealing away Jeurys Familia and Asdrubal Cabrera, the Mets are signaling they plan on contending, or trying to, next season. Crazy? Sure sounds like it based on the needs this team will have. But I also would not be so quick to assume the club is expecting a quick turnaround. With a GM position likely to be filled from outside the organization, it stands to reason no major moves would be forthcoming from lame-duck executives. Those types of trades might end up happening in the offseason. As I sit here now, I can't see how this club could consider itself a bounceback candidate to contend in 2019.
This offseason should be an interesting time in Queens ... just as it was three years ago, for very different reasons.
News and notes...
The 25 runs allowed are the second-highest total in Mets history. The club record of 26 was set against the Phillies on July 11, 1985.
New York has scored two runs in its last 30 innings
Matz became the fifth starter in Mets history to allow seven earned runs while pitching less than an inning. Jeremy Hefner (2012), Tom Glavine (2007), Bob Ojeda (1989) and Mike Scott (1979) were the others.
Wilmer Flores was removed from the game in the bottom of the first after experiencing dizziness due to dehydration.
The Mets (44-60) conclude their brief series with the Nationals (53-53) Wednesday afternoon at Nationals Park at 12 p.m. on SNY.
Noah Syndergaard (6-1, 2.89 ERA/2.57 FIP, 83 K, 1.246 WHIP) returns after a stint on the disabled list with hand, foot and mouth disease. The right-hander surrendered one run in five innings against the Yankees in his last start on July 20. Since returning from a six-week stint on the DL with a strained right index finger, Syndergaard has allowed two runs on 15 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 10 innings. He made his return against the Nationals on July 13 and earned the win after yielding one run in five frames. He is 3-4 with a 3.38 ERA in 11 career starts against Washington.
Tommy Milone (0-0, 5.40 ERA/0.76 FIP, 6 Ks, 1.600 WHIP) makes his second start of the season against the club he made 11 appearances for last year. The southpaw was charged with three runs over five innings against the Marlins last Thursday in his first big league start since Aug. 27, 2017 ... against the Nationals as a member of the Mets. Milone is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in two career matchups with New York, both coming during his rookie season in 2011.