WHY, WHY, WHY? Once again, the Mets jump out to an early lead and are unable to hold it. Once again, Johan Santana struggled, giving up six runs over five innings. And once again, I sit at my kitchen table scratching my head, wondering exactly what the problem is.
In the top of the first, the Mets did something they have done all year: score with two outs. After a David Wright single, a Scott Hairston double, and a Daniel Murphy base knock, New York was out to a quick two-zip lead over the Nationals. Murphy's single was followed by a Ronny Cedeno walk and a coaching visit to the mound.
I like to think the conversation went like this:
Randy St. Claire (pitching coach): Hey, you know who's comin' up next?
Ross Detwiler: Yeah, Jason Bay, right?
Randy St. Claire: Yup. Now, you know what to do right?
Ross Detwiler: Fastballs?
Randy St. Claire: You got it.
And with that, Detwiler fed Bay two fastballs. The first one was a ball, and the second one was a fly ball out. Shocking, I know.
Santana ran into trouble in the fourth. Back-to-back-to-back singles from Jayson Werth, Bryce Harper, and Ryan Zimmerman opened the doors for a Michael Morse grand salami. The Nats followed with two more in the fifth on a two run shot from Harper.
New York added a run in the sixth and a run in the seventh, but the Nationals held on for their 74th victory of the season.
I'm tellin' ya, people, I'm more frustrated than I was when my beloved New Jersey Devils lost the Stanley Cup. And frustrated is even a bit of an understatement.
Santana dropped to 6-9 with a 4.85 ERA; Johan has not been able to really find a rhythm since his no-no against Carlos Beltran and the St. Louis Cardinals. In his last five starts, Johan is 0-5 with a 15.63 ERA. Eeeeek!
After the game, Mets' manager Terry Collins said, "His arm strength's back. Early in the game, his command was good. All of a sudden, left some balls in the middle of the plate and they hit 'em hard. You've got to hit your spots. (But) today's stuff was better than the last time out, the crispness of the fastball and the changeup."
"My season has been a roller-coaster--a lot of ups and downs, good days, bad days--but I'm very positive because I'm coming back from a major surgery," Santana said.
There's just not much to say at this point in the season.
Eighteen games back in the division. Ten in the wild card. People often say, "When you're double-digits out after the All-Star Break, you're pretty much done." At least, that's what I say.
Pretty soon, Mets fans will be celebrating a division title. It will just require some patience. After a couple of decent drafts, and maybe a good acquisition or two, New York will be back on the winning track like they were in 2006. Oh, man, the good old days...
Did you miss tonight's loss? Don't worry, catch tomorrow's game at 7:05 PM and come right back here. I'm sure I'll be posting the same old, same old once again...
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