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Game Recap (4/3/14) : Nats 8 – Mets 2

(Steve Mitchell / USA TODAY Sports)

By Keith Harrison 

In the third and final game of the series, Zack Wheeler took the mound in his season debut for the New York Mets against Tanner Roark and the Washington Nationals. Jordan Zimmerman was originally scheduled to pitch for the Nats but was a late scratch with the flu.

Wheeler comes out of the gate showing off new found confidence in his change up, striking out 2 with it in the top of the 1st.

Bottom of the 1st, Eric Young Jr. grounds out to first to lead off the inning. Up second is Daniel Murphy, making his season debut after missing the first two games of the series on paternity leave. Murph doesn’t waste any time getting acclimated, he slaps a single to right field as if he hasn’t missed any time at all. Up third is David Wright who pops up to center field, it seems like a routine play but Denard Span loses it in the sun and the ball drops in. Murphy to second, Wright on first. Curtis Granderson steps up to the plate, he smacks an RBI double to right field, scoring Daniel Murphy and advancing David Wright to third. Mets lead 1-0. The Mets have scored in the first inning of all 3 games of this series. Lucas Duda is up next, he draws a walk. Juan Lagares hits a sac fly to center field, David Wright tags up on third and scores, Mets lead 2-0.

Top of the 2nd, Ryan Zimmerman leads off the inning with a solo home run to left field. Nats cut the lead to 2-1. Ian Desmond strikes out swinging. Up next is Danny Espinosa who smacks a double off the wall in left center. Sandy Leon then grounds out to short stop, Espinosa advances to third. Runner in scoring position but the pitcher is up next, Wheeler gets out of the inning by striking out Roark.

Moving along to the top of the 5th, Sandy Leon leads off the inning with a walk. Tanner Roark lays down a sacrifice bunt and advances Leon to second. Denard Span continues his smoking hot start to the season, singling to right, Leon scores, Span advances to second on the throw. Game tied up at 2. Up next is Bryce Harper, who flies out to right, Span tags up and advances to third. Jayson Werth then singles to right center, Span scores. 3-2 Nationals.

Top of the 7th, Scott Rice on in relief for the Mets, Zack Wheeler is done for the day. So is Tanner Roark as former Met Scott Hairston will pinch hit for him. Hairston singles to left center field. Denard Span lays a sacrifice bunt down the first base line, Hairston advances to second. Then Bryce Harper gets an infield hit as he hits a hard comebacker off of Scott Rice’s leg and into foul territory, Hairston advances to third. Jeurys Familia then relieves Scott Rice and walks Jayson Werth to load the bases. Adam LaRoche hits a sharp line drive off of Luca Duda’s glove into shallow right field scoring Hairston and Harper, Jayson Werth to third. 5-2 Washington. The Mets bullpen continues their absolutely putrid start to the season. Up next is Ryan Zimmerman, he hits an RBI single, Jayson Werth scores, LaRoche to second. Washington 6-2. Ian Desmond hits a ground ball to third, David Wright tries to turn a double play, he gets the out at second but Daniel Murphy botches the throw to first and the ball ends up in the dugout. Adam LaRoche comes in to score, Desmond ends up at second base. Nats 7-2.

It gets worse. Top of the 8th, Carlos Torres on in relief for Jeurys Familia. Torres strikes out Sandy Leon. Up next is Anthony Rendon who came into the came into the game as part of a double switch in the bottom of the 7th. He singles to center. Denard Span hits a a ground ball down the third base line that rolls into foul territory and gets lost under the tarp along the wall. It’s ruled a ground rule double, Rendon advances to third. Bryce Harper grounds out to first, base runners stay put. Carlos Torres walks Jayson Werth to load up the bases. Torres then walks Adam LaRoche as well, much to the fans chagrin at Citi Field, to surrender a run. The Nationals take an 8-2 lead and that would be the final score. The Mets went down quietly in the 8th and 9th innings yet again.

What an absolutely terrible start to the season. The Mets got decent starting pitching performances from Gee, Colon, and Wheeler in this series but in all 3 games the Mets bullpen got shellacked. It doesn’t matter how good the Mets starting pitching is this season if the offense and the bullpen continues to struggle like this.

The Mets will look to bounce back against the Cincinnati Reds who come into Citi Field for a three game series starting tomorrow night at 7:10 pm.

Keith Harrison : PureSportsNY

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