The New York Mets welcomed the Washington Nationals into town for a three-game set this weekend. They were coming off a brutal 11-game stretch against the best of the NL West. In those 11 consecutive games against the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers, the Mets went 2-11, virtually ending their playoff chances.
The Mets entered the series with the Nats with a 61-66 record and 7.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves for first place in the National League East.
Game 1: Nats Win 2-1
The Mets were in their black alternates for the Friday night opener. Sadly, their jerseys were the most interesting thing in this game. The Mets were held to just one run against a combined effort from the Nationals pitching staff. That one run came off the bat of Javier Baez, his 25th home run of the year.
Rich Hill got the start and went five innings while allowing two runs. The bullpen then combined for four scoreless innings. While the Mets’ pitching has been great all year, their offense continually fails to take advantage of it.
Game 2: Mets Win 5-3
The Mets snagged the second game of the series thanks to a 7th inning three-run home run off the bat of Michael Conforto which gave them the lead. This was a bright moment for Conforto who has been having a miserable season so far. What’s even worse for him is that he will be a free agent at the season’s end. But recently, Conforto has been heating up; in August he is slashing .276/.389/.474 and has hit three home runs.
The first two runs of the game came courtesy of two Kevin Pillar solo home runs. These were his 11th and 12th of the year.
Marcus Stroman gave the Mets a quality start. He went six innings, allowing two runs and recording five strikeouts. Stroman has been having a terrific season. Through 27 starts he has an ERA of 2.85.
Game 3: Mets Win 9-4
In the final game, the Mets put up their best offensive showing of the series. Their trade deadline splash Javier Baez hit his 26th home run of the year and his second of the series. Jonathan Villar also homered and Dominic Smith, Francisco Lindor, and Pete Alonso all contributed with RBIs. Lindor also manufactured a run by dancing off third base, causing the pitcher to get distracted and balk.
The starting pitcher for the Mets was Tylor Megill. He went five innings and gave up two runs. On the flip side, the Mets lit up Nationals starter Erick Fedde for five runs in five and a third innings.
Although the Mets scored the most runs of the series in this game, they also gave up the most runs out of any game this series. Josh Bell burned the Mets pitching staff with two home runs. Nats superstar Juan Soto had been contained by Mets pitching so far this series–in the first two games, he was 1-8. However, in the finale, he homered and drew two walks. Despite Washington’s power surge, the Mets won comfortably.
While the Mets were able to win the series, it feels like too little too late. At the end of the series, they are still 7.5 games back of the Braves. If they are going to get back in the race they will need to start sweeping the bad teams like the Nationals. Meanwhile, the Braves played a very competitive series against the Giants who own MLB’s best record. The Mets will start a series against the Miami Marlins in Queens on Tuesday.