Mets Unleash Capital Punishment Upon the Nationals; Win Their 5th Straight

After pounding the Reds in four straight games, the Mets flew to Washington and unleashed their red-hot offense on the lowly Nationals en route to an 8-5 victory last night, their fifth straight.

Everybody in the lineup was clicking last night for the Mets.  Every starter aside from Lucas Duda had a base hit.  Every starter aside from Angel Pagan and Dillon Gee scored.

Despite goose eggs in the hit or run columns, those three still found ways to be productive, as they each drove in a run last night.

As the Mets have done in their previous three games, they started their unstoppable onslaught early.  The first five Mets reached base off of Chein-Ming Wang, who was making his first start after shoulder capsule surgery.  Four of those Mets scored after a leadoff walk, four straight singles, and two run-producing outs.

[caption id="attachment_480" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Dillon Gee was on point last night. He fired 6.2 mostly effective innings, while giving up only 2 ER's. (Photo Credit: Greg Flume / Getty Images"][/caption]

The four run cushion Dillon Gee had before he took the mound allowed him to settle in early.  He retired the first seven Nationals he faced, before walking Wilson Ramos in the third inning.  Gee was also able to help himself at the plate; his RBI single was a part of another Mets two-run burst in the fourth inning.

Gee ran into some trouble in the bottom of the fourth though.  He loaded the bases before Lance Nix hit a tailor-made double play ball to Justin Turner.  Turner fielded it and flipped it to Jose Reyes for the out at second.  But Jason Werth slid hard and took out Reyes as he was throwing to first.  The throw sailed high which allowed two Nationals to score on the play.

That would be the end of any real trouble for Gee until the seventh inning.  He clearly hit a wall when he loaded the bases with two out, so Terry Collins called for Ryota Igarashi to finish the inning against Ramos.  Ramos hit a pitch right on the button, but right to Pagan in center to end the inning in dramatic fashion.

The Mets continued another trend last night: shaky outings from the bullpen.  Bobby Parnell was called for the eighth inning assignment with a big lead and almost lost it.  After striking out Werth, he allowed singles to the next three Nats, one of which scored a run.  Tim Byrdak relieved him and gave up two more singles and another run, before he was pulled for DJ Carrasco with one out and the bases loaded.

But unlike his predecessors, Carrasco bore down and struck out Daniel Espinosa and Ryan Zimmerman with the bases loaded.

Carrasco’s Herculean effort out of the ‘pen set up Jason Isringhausen nicely, and he saved Gee’s 10tth win with his 1-2-3 ninth inning.

The Mets have won five straight games, as they try to catch the Braves in the wild card standings.  The Braves won last night, so the Mets are still 6.5 games back.  On August 5, the Mets will start a critical three game series against the Braves in Queens that can either strengthen the Mets playoff hopes, or sink them altogether.


Mets Notes:

Jason Bay has been swinging the bat extremely well in Carlos Beltran’s absence.  He has gone 5-13 with 4 RBI’s and 2 doubles in three games since the trade.  Bay will be one of a handful of Mets that are counted on to make up for the drop in production for the remainder of the season.

Johan Santana threw three shutout innings in his first rehab start Thursday.  He also gave up two hits, hit a batter, walked none and struck out three in his 33-pitch outing.  According to the New York Post, his next start should be Wednesday August 3, provided there aren’t any setbacks.

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