The 2008 Washington Nationals go to New York tonight and tomorrow for the final two road games of the season, and luckily ever, against the Mets to be played in the Flushing, Queens, NY eyesore also known as Shea Stadium...
But First....A Look Back...
The Washington Nationals went to New York last season in the third week of September for their final '07 trip to Shea, and a three-game series with the Mets, who, entering the series, held a 2.5 game lead in the NL East over second-place Philadelphia, still atop the division NY had led most of the season, in spite of being in the midst of an epic collapse which would conclude the following weekend with the Mets' historic fall from Postseason contention. How did the NL East's 4th place Nationals influence the Mets' collapse? It all began with the first game at Shea...
Mike Pelfrey on the mound for the Mets against DC lefty Matt Chico. The Mets score first with a double, ground out and sac fly for a 1-0 lead in the second, and Pelfrey's cruising, giving up only a leadoff double to Nationals' outfielder Ryan Church in the second, which amounts to nothing, and it's still 1-0 NY after three. It all unraveled for Pelfrey and the Mets in the fourth, however...
Ryan Zimmerman and Austin Kearns single one out apart in the first, and they both score when Robert Fick singles and Mets' outfielder Moises Alou's throwing error allows the second run in. In the fifth, Pelfrey issues two-out walks to Zimmerman and Church and Kearns makes him pay, plating both walks with a three-run blast to center...It just gets worse for NY, a two-out, two-RBI double by Ronnie Belliard in the sixth, to make it 7-1 DC, and RBI doubles by Belliard and Church in the eighth that make it 10-3 DC in a game the Mets eventually lose 13-4, dropping a half-game to the Phillies, who had the day off...
The next night the Nationals homer twice and score four runs in the first, and lead the desperate Mets 10-3 going into the home-half of the ninth, where the Mets rally for six runs to get within one, at 10-9 DC, taking out two Nationals' relievers (Colome & Cordero) in the process, before The Tallest Pitcher in MLB History, Jon Rauch comes on in the ninth to retire two batters, stranding the tying run at third for the second-straight DC win over NY...
...In the finale of the three game series, with New York officially on the ropes, the Mets respond by scoring four runs in the first three innings to give rookie starter Philip Humber an early lead to work with, but Humber walks the first batter of the fourth and promptly surrenders a two-run blast, again to (Your boy!) Ryan Church, and then after Humber allows a walk and a single in the fifth, NY reliever "Generic" Joe Smith comes on and gives up a double, two singles and three runs total before handing the ball to Pedro Feliciano, who lets in the last two runs of DC's 5-run inning, which ends with the Nationals ahead 7-6...and just to rub it in, Ryan Church knocks in two more in the ninth for a 9-6 Nationals' win, leaving the Mets with just a 1.0 game lead over Philadelphia, which, we all know, eventually vanished...
So, Mets' fans, before you go mouthing off to your friends, or on your blogs, myspaceses, facebooks, all those darn radio shows, etc., about how these are must-win games for the Mets against a last-place team with nothing to play for, (which I guess is sorta true), remember that there is always something to play for...(ed. note - "Multiple Choice: free agent deals, performance bonuses, or pride?...Go Ahead Choose Your Own Sentence Ending!!")... Remember last September, Mets' fan, and how it felt that Wednesday night in early fall, after the last game of the final '07 series with DC, when you realized you'd just been swept...by the Washington Nationals.
(ed. note - "Uh, Nationals? You'd better back me up, or those last 7 paragraphs are gonna look, prett-tee stupid, alright?")
On The HIll...
Live from New York, it's DC left-hander, John "Cool Hand" Lannan (8-13, 3.88 ERA) on the mound against the Mets' lefty Oliver Perez (10-7, 3.86). Lannan takes the mound in Shea having won two of his last three, while Perez has won three straight, separated by a stretch of three no-decisions, which followed his win on the road in DC on 8/14 and ended when he beat Milwaukee on the road in Wisconsin just last week.
Lannan's faced NY 3 times 2-years into his major league career, but he's yet to record a win, going (0-2) with a 5.09 ERA over 17.2 innings pitched, in which he's allowed 23 hits, 10 ER, 2 HR's and 2 walks, with 16 K's, including the 11 "Cool Hand" collected in his April 17th '08 start at Shea, one of Lannan's two starts in NY this season, both of which the Nationals have lost.
Oliver Perez is (3-3) in 7 starts against the Nationals' franchise, all of which have come since the move to DC, which is suprising to me considering he pitched his first three years for Pittsburgh, but Game Logs don't lie, and in fact, Perez's first start against Washington came in 2005 while he was still a Pirate, and the Expos no longer existed...
In 2008, Perez is (1-1) in 2 starts against DC, with a 5.84 ERA in 12.1 IP, 12 hits, 8 runs and 7 walks allowed, with 11 K's, a 1.54 WHIP, and a .261 BAA...Lannan's '08 #'s against NY, (0-1) in 2 starts, (as noted elsewhere above), and a 3.75 ERA in 12.0 innings, in which he's given up 15 hits, 5 ER, 1 HR and 1 walk with 13 K's, a 1.33 WHIP and a .306 BAA NY...
Nationals' #'s Against Oliver Perez...
Ronnie Belliard - 4 for 17, .235 AVG, 1 2B.
Emilio Bonifacio - 1 for 4, .250 AVG, 1 RBI.
Aaron Boone - 3 for 9, .333 AVG.
Ryan Langerhans - 2 for 3, .667 AVG, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI's.
John "Cool Hand" Lannan - 1 for 2, .500 AVG, 1 RBI.
DY!!! - 2 for 5, .400 AVG, 1 2B.
Ryan Zimmerman - 4 for 15, .267 AVG, 2 2B.
"Cool Hand" Lannan vs NY...
Carlos Beltran - 1 for 6, .167 AVG.
Luis Castillo - 2 for 5, .400 AVG, 1 HR, 2 RBI's.
Ryan Church - 3 for 7, .429 AVG, 2 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI's.
Jose Reyes - 4 for 10, .400 AVG, 1 2B.
David "Gold Glove" Wright - 3 for 10, .300 AVG, 2 2B, 2 RBI's.
For The Mets' Fans' Perspective, Check Out The SBN's Mets' Blog:
(ed. note - "I'll try to wade into the New York Media-Matrix tomorrow and I'll check in here in the Comments throughout the day with any good material about the Nationals, the upcoming series, or the counts of how many games it's gonna take the Mets to win the Series this season. The game gets underway at 7:10 pm EST in NY, where as of right now, there's an 80% chance of rain tomorrow night...So you might have two days to read this far, Who's Watching The Nationals?")
Who Is Your Least Favorite Met?
This poll is closed