Zack Wheeler struggled on the bump while Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto had to leave the game, as the Nats took down the Mets, 7-4, in Washington on Thursday afternoon. >> Box score
Six things to know about Thursday's game...
1) Coming into this game, Wheeler had been solid in his previous two starts. He allowed just four earned runs over two, seven-inning starts while striking out 21 hitters over that span. But it wasn't the same result against the division rival. He was hammered in a four-run first inning, and though he settled down, two more runs came across in the fifth when Gerardo Parra went deep. Overall, Wheeler went six innings, allowing six earned on 11 hits -- the most allowed all season -- with six strikeouts and two walks as well.
2) The Mets made a late rally in the top of the ninth, as two runs came across to make it a 7-6 game. It was Todd Frazier who had a pinch-hit double to make it second and third with one out. Then, Wilson Ramos and Juan Lagares hit back-to-back RBI singles to make it a one-run game. But, with the bases loaded and two outs, Keon Broxton struck out to end the ball game.
3) Dom Smith finally got a start at first base, in place of Pete Alonso. He couldn't make anything of it, though, as he went 0-for-5 and popped out in the top of the ninth with a runner on second and a chance to tie the game. Still, Smith's average is above .300 on the year.
4) McNeil and Conforto were big losses for the Mets in this one. McNeil left first in the bottom of the third after feeling abdominal tightness. Then, when Howie Kendrick lofted a ball to right field, Conforto collided with Robinson Cano and had to exit as well. Callaway noted after the game that Conforto has a concussion, and will return to New York. In the end, Broxton's spot in the lineup in the ninth would have been Conforto's....
5) Cano had a pretty solid day at the plate, going 3-for-5 with a double, RBI and a run scored.
6) The Mets are 0-20 when trailing after the seventh inning.
The Mets have a good chance to rebound after this series loss, as they travel to Miami to face the Marlins for a three-game set this weekend. It will be Jacob deGrom against Trevor Richards on the mound.