...Lastings Milledge reaches on a throwing error by David Wright, and Elijah Dukes walks, so NY Manager Jerry Manuel turns to his pen for the sixth time tonight to try to hold onto the Mets' oddly shaky 9-5, ninth-inning lead. Pedro Feliciano replaces "Generic" Joe Smith on the mound, and gets a ground ball from Anderson Hernandez for the first out of the frame. Emilio Bonifacio grounds back to the mound. Two down. Wil Nieves...reaches down and lines a single to center, two runs score, and Jerry Manuel is coming back out of the dugout, with the Mets ahead by just two now at 9-7 NY. DC Manager Manny Acta wastes a pinch hitter, righty Luke Montz, to make Manuel show his hand, and the Mets' Manager does go to the pen, for the seventh and final time, bringing on former Expos/National Luis Ayala, who faces a new pinch hitter, left-hander Roger Bernadina, but Bernadina K's swinging to end a much-needed Mets' win...
DC starter Shairon Martis, in just the third start of his Major League career, made it through the third inning, but was hit for after that and done there, having allowed 6 runs on 5 hits, 3 of them homers, while walking 2 and striking out 4. Jose Reyes started the game with a bang, his 15th HR of the season in the leadoff spot in the first, and Carlos Delgado followed with his 36th HR, another solo shot two outs later to make it 2-0 NY after a half.
Martis started his third and final frame of the evening with a leadoff walk to Jose Reyes, who scored when left-hander Daniel Murphy tripled off the wall in center (really a misplayed out by Milledge), followed one out later by an RBI single from Carlos Delgado, and Beltran's 26th HR, a two-run blast, that had the Mets up 6-1 early on the 21-year-old Martis.
Emilio Bonifacio singled in the Nationals' second run in the DC fourth (after Casto's RBI double in the 2nd), making it 7-2 NY, and after Marlon Anderson scored a run with a DP grounder, the Mets were back up by six at 8-2 after the top of sixth...Alberto Gonzalez's RBI single in the bottom of the frame made it 8-3...then 8-5 NY after Elijah Dukes' 13th HR, a two-run spectacle to left off Mets' righty Brian Stokes...and 9-5 Mets after Beltran's second long ball of the night, this one off DC lefty Charlie Manning to leadoff Manning's second inning of work in the eighth...with Wil Nieves' two-run double in the ninth making it 9-7 NY...where it would end.
DC relievers Jason Bergmann, Levale Speigner and Charlie Manning all give up runs, with Bergmann pitching 1.0, and Speigner and Manning 2.0 each, before Garrett Mock pitches a scoreless top of the ninth. The Mets use eight pitchers in all and now will have to pray for a long successfull outing from their high-priced left-handed ace, Johan Santana, who starts against DC right-hander, and "Don Sutton's Favorite Pitcher"...Tim Redding tomorrow night in Nationals Park, the final game of the '08 campaign between the Mets and Nationals...
Final score 9-7 NY.
For The Completists, Full Game Report After The Jump...
Nationals now 58-94. (Countdown To 100 Losses Stands At...6.)
Jose Reyes lifts a 3-1 pitch from Shairon Martis to the first row in right for a leadoff blast and a 1-0 New York lead when the Mets desperately need it. A 2-2 change drops out of the zone to get Daniel Murphy swinging. David Wright gets his first look at Martis’ change, outside with two-strikes, and Martis gets his second swinging K. Martis gets a little too much plate with an 0-2 pitch to Carlos Delgado, who reaches down and demolishes a HR to straight center. 2-0 NY. Martis walks Carlos Beltran, to give Ryan Church the two-out chance, which he uses to fly unproductively to Wright...Willie Harris grounds a full-count pitch to first for the first out. Cristian Guzman stares a 93 mph 2-2 fastball all the way in. Knight throws a high heater by Zimmerman, as he dominates in the first.
Martis crosses the outside corner with a 2-2 fastball to get Argenis Reyes looking. Brian Schneider grounds weakly to Kory Casto at first. Brandon Knight bats from the left side, and he gets a look at the change, and goes down swinging for Martis’ fourth K...Lastings Milledge beats out a weak grounder toward third, that David Wright fields and throws a step late to first. Elijah Dukes with one on, works the count full and K’s swinging over a curve from Knight. Kory Casto takes a 3-1 pitch to the gap in right center and off the out-of-town scoreboard to score Milledge with a double, 2-1 NY. Casto’s running when Emilio Bonifacio lines to center, Beltran catches and doubles Casto up at second to end the frame.
Martis walks Jose Reyes, which is always trouble. Reyes steals second when Wil Nieves can’t catch the pitch from Martis. Daniel Murphy lines to center, and Lastings Milledge misses it as he leaps into the wall, Reyes scores, Murphy takes third. 3-1 NY. Wright grounds to short, and Cristian Guzman backhands it, holds Murphy at third, and throws to first in time. Carlos Delgado grounds into the shift and off Bonifacio, Murphy scores as the ball bounces away, 4-1 NY. Carlos Beltran takes Martis deeeeeep to right and GONE! Two-run blast, 6-1 NY. Zimmerman stabs a line drive from Church to end the Mets’ third...Church tracks down a fly to the right field corner from Wil Nieves. Pinch Hittin’ Pete Orr hits for Martis, and K’s swinging over a breaking ball in the dirt. Willie Harris knocks one off Knight’s knee and into center for a single. Guzman grounds back to the mound, 6-1 NY after three.
Jason Bergmann gives up a leadoff double to left when Willie Harris dives and doesn’t come up with it??? Brandon Knight’s sac bunt moves Schneider up. Jose Reyes singles to right, Schneider scores, 7-1 NY. Daniel Murphy’s robbed by Casto’s backhand stab at first. Wright lines to short...Zimmerman takes four from Knight for a leadoff walk. Milledge grounds to short, Reyes to Reyes to Delgado, double play. Elijah Dukes’ Discerning Eye draws a two-out walk. Kory Casto goes to a full count, and takes a second two-out walk. Bonifacio grounds a single through second, Dukes scores, 7-2 NY. Wil Nieves smacks a high fastball to center, bases loaded for pinch hitter Ryan Langerhans, who grounds to second to end the fourth. 7-2 NY
Levale Speigner takes over on the mound for DC in the fifth, and walks the leadoff batter, Carlos Delgado. Beltran grounds into a force at second, but beats the throw to first. Church grounds to second, Bonifacio to Guzman to Casto, double play...Willie Harris takes four straight for a leadoff walk. Cristian Guzman rips a single through second. Ryan Zimmerman swings through a 2-2 fastball for the first out. Milledge flies out to center on the first pitch he sees. Harris takes third. Elijah Dukes pops out to Delgado off first, 7-2 NY after five...Speigner hits Argenis Reyes to put the leadoff runner on. Brian Schneider singles to center, A. Reyes is running and takes third. Pinch hitter Marlon Anderson grounds to second, a run scores, and the Nationals turn two, Bonifacio to Casto, and back to Guzman at second, who tags Schneider. 8-2 NY. Jose Reyes grounds out to short. Now it’s up to the Mets’ bullpen...
Ricardo Rincon vs Casto to start the sixth. Lefty vs Lefty. Casto K’s swinging through a high slider. Emilio Bonifacio singles to center on a sliced line drive. Wil Nieves grounds weakly up the middle, Jose Reyes throws him out from behind second. Pinch hitter Alberto Gonzalez knocks in Bonifacio with a single of his own. 8-3 NY. Gonzalez moves up on a wild pitch. Full-count pitch to Willie Harris, ball four, Gonzalez is thrown out stealing third??...Charlie Manning starts the top of the seventh. Daniel Murphy lines right into Dukes’ glove. Zimmerman picks Wright’s grounder with his backhand and throws to first in time. Charlie Manning K’s Delgado...Stand up and stretch...Brian Stokes gives up a single to center to Cristian Guzman. Ryan Zimmerman pops up unproductively to second. Milledge flies out to Beltran in center. Elijah Dukes TAKES STOKES DEEEEP to right and GONE!! Two-run blast. 8-5 NY. Kory Casto singles to center. Emilio Bonifacio up, wild pitch moves Casto to second. Bonifacio swings over a slider to end the seventh. 8-5 NY.
Charlie Manning’s back for more in the eighth...and Manning gives up a leadoff HR to Bel-Tron to make it 9-5 Metsies. Manning strikes out Church, gets a grounder from A. Reyes, and drops a two-strike curve under Schneider’s bat to end the top of the inning...Aaron Heilman comes on to face Wil Nieves in the DC eighth. Pinch hitter Aaron Boone, drops a single in front of a sliding Beltran, Nieves takes third. Scott Schoeneweis comes on to face Willie Harris. Harris K’s completely unproductively. Cristian Guzman lines to left...Church catches it coming in. Zimmerman...flies deeep to center...but short of the wall, where Beltran makes the catch. 9-5 DC after eight.
Garrett Mock walks the leadoff batter, Luis Castillo. Jose Reyes lines hard to Milledge in center. Daniel Murphy lines to right, Castillo takes third, first and third, one out. Mock strikes out Wright with a high fastball. Mock gets a fly ball to left from Delgado to end the frame....Milledge vs “Generic” Joe Smith to start the ninth. Milledge grounds to Wright, and the “Gold Glover” throws it short of first and off Delgado, Milledge safe. Elijah Dukes uses his Discerning Eye to draw a walk. Two on for Kory Casto, who’ll face lefty Pedro Feliciano, so DC Manager Manny Acta goes with pinch hitter Anderson Hernandez, who rips a grounder to second, and is robbed by a diving Delgado, who throws to first for out number one. Emilio Bonifacio grounds back to the mound. Two down. Wil Nieves is up...two strikes...Wil Nieves lines to center, two runs score, 9-7 NY. Roger Bernadina vs Luis Ayala. Ayala gets a swinging K with a fastball outside. Mets win. 9-7 final.
Nationals now 58-94. (Countdown To 100 Losses Stands At....6.)