Back In The Saddle: Mets Drop Nats on 4th of July

Archie Bunker's Army returned from the Scottish Highlands just in time to hear the final three innings of an exciting 4th of July Met comeback over the Washington Nationals last night, 5-2.

We didn't miss much in the interim: 2 out of 3 against the Phils, 1 out of 3 against the Marlins, a perfectly Met-like 3-3 whilst we were away.

Last night the Mets were able to make an unlikely comeback against a team in the Nats that has been on a wild run over the last month, has won 6 straight and have been on the verge of cracking open the NL East like a free range egg and frying their league rivals. The Mets had already fallen opening a huge lead in the NL East in the late innings who has a habit of winning in the late innings.

The Nats had been on a 6 game winning streak, had been 29-10 at home and 22-7 in one-run games whilst the Mets had fallen 10 full games behind them as they neared the All Star break so this series and indeed, this victory, come at a very opportune moment.

However, as the Mets trademark this season has been inconsistency our hopes will not rise too high just yet, not even with Pedro starting against the Nats tonight. Especially considering that even last night's victory came with the injury-riddled Nats playing with only three regulars in the lineup.


The urgency of the Mets struggles at the plate began to show as Manager Willie did some shuffling of the order, knocking Reyes to 7th, hitting Cameron lead-off and having Beltran bat 2nd in the order.

You can't really say it was much of a factor. The Mets, who had been on yet another run-less run, this time of 19 consecutive innings, were unable to put any on the board against Nat starter John Patterson other than two hits through 6 innings until Patterson tired and the Mets were able to manage a pair in the 7th.

From there, Nats reliever Sun Woo Kim blew the game in the 9th when he allowed Reyes to single, steal second and get driven home by pinch-hitter Jose Offerman (and here was a twist, I had to admit although I vaguely recalled Offerman's signing a few months back, with his strikeout ratio and crap batting average, I would never really expected to see him flourish as a pinch-hitter, but there you go...) before Mike Cameron doubled to score Offerman and then Beltran singled to score Cameron and all of the sudden, the Mets were high-steppin' with a 5-2 lead.

On another bright note, Kaz Ishii had his best start since late May, allowing five hits and two runs in 5 1-3 innings. Again, this should be noted in the vein of the Nats starting only three regulars due to injury but a good start is a good start and given the Mets recent hitting woes, a strong outing by the starter was imperative to keep the Mets in the game.


These are just quick notes as the unpacking from the trip hasn't even begun but I shouldn't mind pointing out the shock I registered when reading that the Mets had three All-Stars. Three! And not one of them was Cliff Floyd, the only guy on the team other than Pedro who even merits consideration.

I was shocked at the Piazza bid. Is there such a dearth of catchers in the NL that Piazza, who has had a miserable season to date, deserved such an honour? Granted, his offensive numbers, after a slow start, are virtually identical to Carlos Beltran's and regardless of how much I look forward to seeing Beltran blossom, he hasn't yet, and certainly doesn't deserve to start on the All Star team, all things being equal.

Cliffy, on the other hand, the only Met with anything even remotely resembling All-Star numbers, was snubbed. Go figure. Fan voting has always been a puzzling mixture of stupidity and misguided sentimentality.

But I'll save that rant for another page as well as the coming-soon-to-theatres-near-you review of the first half of the New Mets season.


On the heels of their unlikely victory over the league-leading Nats (Ishii starting against the best team in the NL outside of St Louis and the Mets down 2-0 going into the 7th), we will now put Pedro on the mound to try his luck as he goes for his 10th win of the season.

He faces the enigmatic righty Esteban Loaiza, (4-5, 3.81), who was 3-1 with a 4.33 ERA in June. In his only appearance against the Mets this season he walked 5 in 5 innings and earned the loss.

The Mets are now 4-3 for July and are back at .500 for the season, 9 games behind the Nats for the NL East lead.

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