Things you should know about tonight's game...
1) Ryan Raburn blooped a game-winning single in the bottom of the ninth off Fernando Salas to give the Nationals a 3-2 win. Paul Sewald and Josh Edgin put two runners on via walks before Salas entered. Yoenis Cespedes limped off the field after his failed attempt to catch Raburn's hit with what Terry Collins labeled a hamstring cramp.
2) Curtis Granderson launched a pinch-hit, game-tying two-run homer on an 0-2 count off the Nationals' Matt Albers with two outs in the ninth and the Mets trailing 2-0.
3) Jerry Blevins allowed a two-run homer to Michael Taylor in the eighth to give Washington a 2-0 lead. Brandon Nimmo was thrown out at home on Jose Reyes' single with one out in the top of the inning.
3) Steven Matz tossed seven scoreless innings for the second consecutive start to extend his shutout streak to 17. The southpaw allowed four hits, two walks and struck out four.
Post-game reaction from Michelle Ioannou...
It was the battle of Steven vs. Stephen, and this game was quite the pitchers' duel. Both starters did their jobs, and kept their opponents scoreless.
Things were off to a rough start for Matz, who gave up a leadoff single which was then followed by a walk. Luckily, he was able to get out of the jam with a little help from the defense, which turned a great 5-4-3 double play. Matz pitched well for the rest of the game. Yes, he allowed some runners, but he kept them from scoring. We even saw the Matz slider make a comeback.
The top of the fourth inning, though, was a complete embarrassment for the Mets. Strasburg walked three to load the bases. Could the Mets capitalize on this? Nope. Of course they couldn't. They were literally handed baserunners on a silver platter, and nothing could come of it as Travis d'Arnaud struck out looking. Come on, Strasburg walked three of our guys - this is something the Mets need to take advantage of.
In the top of the eighth, Glenn Sherlock sent Nimmo home from second against Brian Goodwin's arm. Sherlock's call to send Nimmo was late… and Nimmo was out by a mile. I get being assertive, especially with the game scoreless at that point, but it still didn't seem like this was the right call to make.
In the bottom of the eighth, Blevins was able to get Mets-killer Daniel Murphy out… but gave up a two-run home run to Taylor, and that was the game. Or so we thought…until Granderson came in to pinch-hit, and lifted a two-run homer. That's right, not only did we all get confirmation that Granderson's hip is better, but he came in and tied the game.
The Mets then proceeded to lose in horrific fashion, as in the bottom of the ninth, Raburn hit a liner to left off of Salas, which looked like Cespedes would be able to catch. However, he slid a bit short and didn't make the catch, and as if that wasn't enough, he limped off the field. Because it truly never fails.
End of story? Matz deserved a win that he didn't get. >> To follow Michelle on Twitter, click here.
News and notes...
The Mets dropped their second in a row and fell to 3-8 against the Nationals this season.
Matz has worked six or more innings in a career-high 10 straight starts dating back to July 24, 2016. In two career starts at Nationals Park, the 26-year-old has not allowed a run in 15 innings.
Blevins has surrendered runs in four of his last eight appearances for a 9.65 ERA.
Granderson's 13th home run was his 89th as a Met, tying Hall of Famer Gary Carter for 18th on the club's all-time list. He improved to 4-for-9 (.444) with a double, home run and three RBIs as a pinch-hitter this season.
Granderson's home run was the first game-tying, pinch-hit blast with two outs in the ninth inning or later by a Met since Damion Easley on April 24, 2007.
What they said after the game...
Terry Collins on the high number of walks: "Against a lineup like that, you can't walk guys, and they are good. ... We're just walking too many guys, especially out of the bullpen."
Cespedes on the cramp in his right hamstring: "It's just a cramp. It could happen to anybody. I could have been walking. I could have been sleeping."
The Mets (38-44) have a quick turnaround when they face the Nationals (49-34) at Nationals Park on Tuesday at 11 a.m. on SNY.
Seth Lugo (3-1, 3.55 ERA, 1.34 WHIP) starts for the second time against Washington this season. The right-hander allowed three runs -- two earned -- over six innings against the Marlins on Thursday to win his second straight start. Lugo suffered his only loss against the Nationals when he surrendered four runs -- three earned -- in 6 2/3 frames on June 17.
Joe Ross (4-3, 5.12 ERA 1.45 WHIP) comes off a pair of strong outings following a loss to New York on June 18. The 24-year-old has allowed three runs in his last 13 2/3 innings after yielding four or more runs four times in five outings. Ross is 1-1 with a 6.30 ERA in two starts against the Mets this season.