Originally posted on The Baseball Page  |  Last updated 7/18/12

The Mets needed a big-time performance from Jon Niese tonight. They got that but found themselves on the wrong end of a pitchers duel for eight innings. Down 2-0 in the top of the ninth, Jordany Valdespin sent a Tyler Clippard pitch into the right-centerfield seats for a three-run homer to give the Mets a 3-2 lead.

Then the Met bullpen showed their true colors yet again.

Bobby Parnell came in to try and close things out in the bottom of the ninth. After retiring Ryan Zimmerman to lead off the inning, Parnell gave up a one-out single to Michael Morse. The next batter, Adam LaRoche singled up the middle on a hit-and-run which allowed pinch runner, Ian Desmond, to go first-to-third on the play. After Tyler Moore struck out, Danny Espinosa came to the plate as the National’s last hope. Espinosa’s RBI single plated Desmond, tying the game and procuring the blown save for Parnell.

The Mets were able to regain the lead in the top of the tenth off a Josh Thole RBI double but the bullpen let them down again in the bottom of the frame. Lefty Tim Byrdak came in to try and close things out. Jhonatan Solano led off the bottom half with a single and was promptly advanced 90-feet to second on a sacrifice bunt by Steve Lombardozzi. The next batter was Bryce Harper who promptly tripled to tie the game and secure yet another blown save for the Met bullpen. Following intentional walks to Zimmerman and Desmond to load the bases and an Adam LaRoche fielders choice, Pedro Beato relieved Byrdak. Beato threw a wild pitch past the catcher Thole, allowing Zimmerman to score from third to give the Nationals a 5-4 walkoff win.

The Mets wasted a strong outing by Jonathan Niese (7-4, 3.58 ERA). Niese pitched seven innings, giving up only one run on three hits with eight strikeouts. His only mistake was a solo shot given up to Tyler Moore in the bottom of the fifth.

Not to be outdone was Nationals starter Ross Detwiler (4-3, 3.15 ERA) who pitched seven innings of shutout ball. He scattered five hits and struck out four batters. Both Detwiler and Niese left with no decisions.

What’s Next

The Mets and Nats are right back at it tomorrow in Washington. Chris Young (2-3, 4.28 ERA) goes for the Mets. Jordan Zimmerman (6-6, 2.48 ERA) takes the hill for Washington. First pitch is set for 7:05.

Post Game Notes

  • Jason Bay went 0-3 in his return from the disabled list.
  • Bobby Parnell blew his second consecutive save since taking over the closer's job for the injured Frank Francisco.
  • The Mets have now lost five games in a row.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

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