Mets Drop Third In A Row; 5-1 Loss Leave Mets Under .500

You could have had a bad feeling about this one at old RFK Stadium in Washington DC as soon as the first inning.

In the first inning the Mets had bases loaded with only one out for Cliff Floyd who is hitting .359 and is red-hot on a 14 game hitting streak. With Livan Hernandez struggling early as he did in his last outing, Floyd hit a deep fly on a slow curve that just missed being a grandslam and instead turned into a sacrifice fly which scored Matsui to make it 1-0 but spared Hernandez a blowout first inning. Rather than capitalising on their base runners, the Mets ended the inning with a disappointing 1-0 lead.

It was a trend the Mets would follow all night as they hit just one single in 11 at-bats with runners in scoring position. In fact, the Mets put at least one runner in scoring position in six innings with similarly miserable and unproductive results and that one run lead held only until the 4th inning when Jose Guillen hit a two out line drive homer to left field to tie the score.

Seo didn't pitch poorly, save for a few costly mistakes that led to a pair of empty-bases homers by Schneider and none other than Livan Hernandez himself on a line driver to left to make it 3-1. Obviously, on a listless night for clutcheless Mets hitters, these three mistakes were enough to bury Seo for his first loss against one win although on the bright side, his ERA is still only 3.27.

For the night, Hernandez, ever the Nats workhorse, threw 130 pitches through 8 innings of work, surrendered 9 hits, only two of which were for extra bases (two doubles for the suddenly hot hitting David Wright who raised his season average to .301) and struck out five in raising his record to 3-2 and lifting the Nats above the Mets in the NL East.

For the game, the Mets managed only 1 run off 10 hits, an error and 2 walks whilst the Nats scored all five of their runs on a mere five hits and two walks.

In pitching news, Kris Benson began his rehab with a sparkling 3 inning outing in which he allowed only one runner, a hit batsmen, gave up no hits, no walks and struck out 4.

However, as was part of their problem earlier in the season, the Mets need more clutch hits and with Reyes having gone 1-5 last night, his average dropped to .267 making his lack of walks as a leadoff hitter particularly daunting. Even Kaz Matsui, at .280, is a better bet for getting on base than Reyes so far this season.

Cliff Floyd is now hitting at a .373 clip while raising his hitting streak to 15 games while cleanup hitter Mike Piazza continues his depressing downslide with a .222 batting average following an 0 for 4 evening.

The Mets now stand at 11-12 with one game left in April to at least exit the cruelest month with a .500 record.

The Nats are 12-11 and have guaranteed themselves at least a .500 April during which time they spent more days in first place than they did in 10 years as a Washington Senators franchise.

Tonight, Victor Zambrano gets another chance to disappoint and befuddle taking the mound for the Mets against Zach Day.


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