Monday, September 10, 2012

Game #141: Nationals 5, Mets 1

Shea Stadium in its heyday was known for the airplanes that would fly directly over en route to LaGuardia Airport. Citi Field also has that feature, only tonight the objects flying overhead were a little more spherical...and originating from Dulles.

Collin McHugh served up 3 Washington home runs and the offensive woes continued to plague the Mets, who fell to the Nationals 5-1.

The Bad Stuff:
  • It all began with a harmless foul popup by Kurt Suzuki in the 3rd. Collin McHugh was solid for the first couple frames and looking to make short order of Washington's 8-9-1 hitters. Kelly Shoppach was looking to give him the chance to do so...until that hope for a quick inning bounced off Shoppach's mitt and fell harmlessly to the ground. Two pitches later, Suzuki took advantage of the free pass to launch his 4th home run of the year. McHugh looked to put that unfortunate pitch behind him, quickly retiring Gio Gonzalez and Jayson Werth. But McHugh wasn't ready to reach for 4 outs instead of the standard 3: he walked Bryce Harper and promptly served up another longball, this time one of the 2-run variety to Ryan Zimmerman. By the time the inning had finally ended, the Nationals were the proud owners of 3 unearned runs, courtesy of benefactor Shoppach and delivery boy McHugh.
  • I don't have anything nearly as eloquent to say about the 4th inning: Michael Morse single, Ian Desmond homer. Five-zip. Ballgame. McHugh made his exit after that frame with a final line of 4 innings, 5 hits, 5 runs (2 earned), 2 BB, 3 Ks, 3 HRs. Ouch.
  • On the other side of the plate, New York continues to play small ball in hopes that baseball will suddenly switch to golf rules and give the win to the lowest scoring team. Scott Hairston's solo homer in the 4th was the only run the Mets could plate as their 3-runs-or-less home streak stretched on to 11 games.
The Good Stuff:
  • At least now, as Howie Rose pointed out on WFAN, we have one at-bat that serves as a microcosm for the whole second half of 2012: Shoppach's dropped popup that turned into a home run. Imagine how much time we'll save trying to explain it to our non-Met fan friends!
Final Analysis:
Terry Collins moved the team's batting practice closer to game time in hopes of jump-starting some offense. Well...that didn't work. Back to the drawing board, better luck next time. With R.A. Dickey on the mound looking to match Gonzalez with his 19th win, perhaps a single run is all the Mets will need.


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