• Ian Desmond's decision to throw home in the second when Mets’ catcher Josh Thole bounced a grounder off DC starter Garrett Mock with a runner on third, may not have ultimately been a good one, but it was an aggressive play, and the extra runner that Desmond let on didn’t cost the Nationals. Jim Riggleman, Garrett Mock and catcher Jamie Burke’s decision to pitch to the Mets' catcher in the 7-spot with one down, a runner on third and the .250-hitting Wilson Valdez up next with the Mets' pitcher John Maine to follow...Well...1-0 NY...And Valdez did ground into a DP in the next AB for the record...(ed. note - " I know, It's not like Thole's a .300+ hitting backstop that you have to avoid pitching to, I know, he's a rookie called up from Doubl...What? He is hitting over .300? Whatever...pitch to him, go ahead...")
• Runners on first and second after back to back singles in the third. Garrett Mock fields a grounder from David Wright, but double pumps before throwing to second for the force, Ian Desmond can’t get the ball out of his glove to make the DP throw to first. First and third for Carlos Beltran, who takes a two-seam fastball back up the middle for an RBI single. Daniel Murphy doubles in the next AB, Wright and Beltran score, 4-0 NY.
More Game Notes After The JUMP...But First
Historical Note: When the Washington Nationals do eventually lose their 100th game of 2009, two or three games from now, it will be the first time in franchise history going back to 1969 with Montreal that a team has had back-to-back 100-loss seasons, and it will be the first time a DC-based franchise drops 100 or more in two-straight season since the Washington Senators (now the Texas Rangers) finished with 100+ losses in 4 consecutive seasons from 1961-64. The Original Senators, (now the Twins), had 5 100-Loss seasons, but never back-to-back...
For The Completists, Full Game Report After The JUMP...
Nationals now 51-98.
Game Notes (cont)...
• With WIlson Valdez on first and Angel Pagan up with two out in the Mets’ fourth, new Nationals’ back stop Jamie Burke’s tested for the first time. Valdez breaks for second, Burke’s throw is right over the bag, Desmond catches it and tags Valdez for Burke’s first caught stealing as a National. Burke’s first RBI opp comes in the top of the fifth, first and third, one out, and Burke K’s swinging through a high fastball. The pitcher follows with a groundout and it’s 4-0 NY after four and a half.
• John Maine dominates DC, but he’s on a pitch count, so he’s out after 5.0 scoreless over which he strikes out just 1, and holds the Nationals to 2 hits and 1 walk. Maine throws 75 of the 80 pitches he was scheduled to throw, 50 of them for strikes, and gets 5 groundouts and 9 fly outs out of the 18 batters he faces before he hands it to the Mets’ bullpen...Garrett Mock through 5.0, you ask? 5.0 IP, 8 hits, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K’s, 82 pitches, 55 for strikes, 8 groundouts and 3 flyouts from 22 batters faced.
Mock ends up throwing 115 pitches, 74 for strikes, over 7.0 IP, allowing 9 hits, 4 runs and 2 walks while striking out 5 and getting 10 groundouts and 5 flyouts from the 30 batters he faces. Mock’s replaced by Zack Segovia, who give up a leadoff single Carlos Beltran that’s erased by a line drive to second by Daniel Murphy that’s an easy DP when Alberto Gonzalez makes the catch with Beltran running. Segovia then walks two batters with two down and is replaced by Victor Garate, who gives up a two-out, two-run triple to the corner in right, 6-0 Mets. Logan Kensing comes on and walks the first batter he faces, Fernando Tatis, but strikes out Pagan to end a long eighth.
• The Nationals mount a rally in the ninth with back to back RBI doubles by Ryan Zimmerman and Adam Dunn, who collect their 97th and 101st RBI’s of the year after a one-out infield single by Ian Desmond. Josh Willingham takes strike three, Elijah Dukes walks and Francisco Rodriguez comes on to get the last out with a backwards K of Cristian Guzman.
The Mets clinch 4th and the season series with the Washington Nationals, going up 10-5 with 4 games remaining.
Washington Nationals At New York Mets. Game 149 Of 162.
Willie Harris smacks a 1-2 pitch right to Jeff Francoeur, who catches the first out of the day. Ian Desmond flies out to Carlos Beltran in center. Ryan Zimmerman grounds out to short, Wilson Valdez fires from deep in the hole to get Mets’ right-hander John Maine through a scoreless first...Angel Pagan doubles to the wall in right with a low liner on an 0-2 pitch that DC righty Garrett Mock leaves up in the zone. Ryan Zimmerman charges and throws out Luis Castillo on what would have been a bunt single but is instead a sac. David Wright stares a full-count curve all the way in for a called strike three. Carlos Beltran grounds out to second and Alberto Gonzalez’s throw ends the first...
Adam Dunn grounds to first, Daniel Murphy tosses it a little to high to the covering pitcher. Josh Willingham pops out behind the plate. Elijah Dukes hits a one-hop liner to Luis Castillo to end the second scoreless frame for Maine...Daniel Murphy rips a line drive to the outfield just right of center and an odd bounce off the wall turns a double into a triple. Garrett Mock busts Jeff Francoeur inside with a two-strike fastball for a swinging K. Josh Thole grounds back to the mound and off Mock’s glove, and Ian Desmond tries for the play at home, but the throw is late. 1-0 NY. Wilson Valdez grounds to short, Desmond fields, steps on second and throws to first, double play.
Alberto Gonzalez grounds out to short. Jamie Burke in his first DC AB, works the count full and walks. Garrett Mock pops up a bunt, but it drops in for a sac. Willie Harris pops out to Angel Pagan in left to end the third scoreless for John Maine...Maine pops out in his first AB of the day. Angel Pagan drops a soft liner into short center for a one-out single off Mock. Luis Castillo lines to right to put two on for David Wright. David Wright grounds back to Mock, who takes out the runner at second but can’t get a DP, Desmond holds on to it after struggling on the exchange. Carlos Beltran singles up the middle on a two-seam fastball outside. 2-0 NY as Pagan scores from third. Daniel Murphy hits a carbon-copy of his first triple, though this time it’s a two-run double off the wall in right center. 4-0 NY. Jeff Francoeur pops out to end the third.
Ian Desmond gets jammed and pops out to Beltran in short center. Ryan Zimmerman pops out to Daniel Murphy foul of first. Adam Dunn pops out to left...Josh Thole grounds out to second base to start the Mets’ fourth. Wilson Valdez takes a one-out walk from Mock. John Maine K’s trying to bunt with two strikes. Angel Pagan up when Valdez gets caught trying to steal second. Jamie Burke throws out the first baserunner who tests him, nailing Valdez on the attempted stolen base.
Josh Willingham singles to right for the Nationals’ first hit. Elijah Dukes pops out to second on the first pitch he sees. Dukes doesn’t run to first, Castillo catches it anyway, sparing Dukes embarrassment. Alberto Gonzalez punches a hit and run single through second. Jamie Burke K’s swinging through a high fastball from Maine and Garrett Mock grounds out to end DC’s fifth, stranding two...Angel Pagan grounds to second base for the first out of NY’s fifth. Mock’s still in, and he gives up a single to Luis Castillo, who promptly takes second for the first SB off the Nationals’ catcher. David Wright flies to deeep center on a 3-0 pitch. Castillo takes third. Carlos Beltran grounds to third, and Ryan Zimmerman makes it look easy. 4-0 NY after five.
Elmer Dessens takes over for the Mets in the sixth inning. David Wright and Wilson Valdez converge on a foul pop from Willie Harris, but they both let it drop. Harris flies out to short left. Ian Desmond’s robbed on a scorched single to second that Daniel Murphy dives for and stabs. Two down. Ryan Zimmerman flies out to Pagan to end a quick sixth...Daniel Murphy pops out to Ian Desmond in short left. Desmond throws out Jeff Francoeur on a weak grounder to short. Mock walks Thole with two down. Wilson Valdez flies out to Dukes in right. Still 4-0 NY.
Adam Dunn starts the seventh against Dessens with a fly ball out to Pagan in left. Josh Willingham pops out to Luis Castillo at second. Elijah Dukes flies out to Carlos Beltran in center. 7.0 scoreless frames...Pinch hitter Cory Sullivan vs Mock to start the seventh. Mock throws a high fastball by Sullivan for a swinging K. Angel Pagan sneaks a fly ball to center in front of Willie Harris. Luis Castillo grounds to second, Alberto Gonzalez takes out the lead runner. David Wright up with two down, one on. Mock strikes Wright out with another fastball up and in.
Sean Green starts the eighth for NY against Alberto Gonzalez. Gonzalez grounds out to short for Wilson Valdez. Pinch Hittin’ Pete Orr grounds out to second. Josh Bard grounds out to second too to end the eighth scoreless for the Nationals...Carlos Beltran smokes a low liner to right for a leadoff single. Daniel Murphy lines to second with Beltran running, Alberto Gonzalez fields and throws to first, double play. Jeff Francoeur walks with two down. Mets’ catcher Josh Thole takes the second two-out walk and DC Manager Jim Riggleman’s seen enough. Victor Garate vs WIlson Valdez. Two-run triple to right for Valdez, 6-0 NY. Logan Kensing replaces Garate and walks Fernando Tatis with two down. Angel Pagan K’s swinging through a full-count fastball to end the eighth.
Brian Stokes takes over in the ninth. Willie Harris pops out to the catcher. Ian Desmond hits an excuse-me single a foot in front of home and beats it out. Ryan Zimmerman hits an RBI line drive to left center to finally get the Nationals on the board, Desmond scores, Zimmerman in at second, 6-1 NY. Adam Dunn doubles Zimmerman in from second with an RBI single, 6-2. Josh Willingham takes a two-strike slider outside for a backwards K. Elijah Dukes uses his Discerning Eye to draw a two-out walk. Cristian Guzman will have to face Francisco Rodriguez. Guzman flinches at a backdoor change inside that breaks into the zone for a called strike three. Mets win, 6-2 final.
Nationals now 51-98.