"That's baseball," Dan Haren told reporters after he was knocked out in the third inning tonight having given up nine hits, eight of them singles and seven earned runs. "It doesn't matter how they do it," the 32-year-old starter said, "they were able to get some hits off me, whether it be singles, doubles, homers, it doesn't matter. The fact of the matter is they scored a bunch of runs and that was the ballgame." Davey Johnson said the same. "I think he feels good," the Washington Nationals' manager explained after the 11-3 loss to New York. "It's just one of those days. Just a thousand little singles, that one inning he must have given up seven [hits] in-a-row or something. That's baseball. Strange things can happen."
Haren retired the Mets in order in a 12-pitch first, but two one-out singles and a two-out, two-run double by Omar Quintanilla in the second put the Nationals behind 2-0. Six singles into the second, with Haren up to 57 pitches and New York up 5-0, the starter was done for the day. Tanner Roark let two of the runners he inherited score and one of his own as well as the Nats found themselves down by eight after three.
"Well, I mean it was like a momentum," Johnson said, discussing how things got out of hand quickly. "Once they started getting these little dink hits," he continued, "I mean, nine of them in two innings? Or 2 1/3 innings? He was up a little more than usual. But they weren't... little jam shots, little 'off-the-ends', a bunch of little singles."
"Everything that could go wrong in that second and third inning did," Johnson told reporters. "You try to change the momentum and [Roark] pitched well after that, but the cat was out of the bag."
Tanner Roark settled in and ended up throwing three scoreless innings, but with the score 8-2 after seven, the Mets rallied again after Anthony Rendon took too much time on an Eric Young grounder to third and allowed the outfielder to reach base. An RBI double off Ryan Mattheus followed and Juan Lagares drove in two more with a two-out single to center that made it an 11-2 game.
"Rendon kind of non-chalants," Johnson said, "doesn't know the runner's speed, he's fast, you know, little things like that and the dam breaks."
Bryce Harper doubled to start the Nationals' eighth, but when the ball ended up in the right field corner in Nationals Park, Harper knocked his helmet off, rounded second and headed for third, only to get thrown out on a relay from Juan Lagares to Daniel Murphy and on to Josh Satin, who applied the tag. A night after Harper was criticized for not hustling, did he try to do too much?
"Yeah, he needs to quit listening to all this stuff and just, he's a good baseball player," Johnson advised. "He's got great baseball instincts, but sometimes he gets overwhelmed with all the stuff going on. He's still young in that regard. Get caught up in playing the game and only what it gives you. So, he's still learning."
The loss gave New York the series in the nation's capital. The Nationals will have to try to salvage one tomorrow and then keep on winning. "That's one of my worst nightmares, dropping a series to the Mets," Johnson admitted, "but you know we just need to turn it around starting tomorrow and just almost sweep out, that's what we've got to do."
More from Federal Baseball:
- Game 135 WPA: Not enough beer in the world. Nats 3, Mets 11
- Nationals Drop 11-3 Decision To Mets: Dan Haren Knocked Around By New York
- Nationals' Manager Davey Johnson On Bryce Harper; Hustling Drama; Knee Surgery?
- Nationals' Saturday Night Lineup vs The Mets: Dan Haren In D.C.
- Nationals' Bench Coach Randy Knorr On Bryce Harper's Hustle, Ryan Zimmerman's Decision