Through 4.2 innings today, the Nationals had gone 14 up, 14 down. Matt Harvey was in prime form, and Natstown was terrified. After a good catch by Marlon Byrd to rob a hit, it seemed like it would be that kind of night. Some had resigned themselves to being no-hit, while others refused to go gently into that good night. I reached the point where all I cared about was getting one hit. Fortunately for all of us, the Nats were bailed out by Ian Desmond‘s solo homer, which broke up Harvey’s perfect game and no hitter. Even with that threat gone, the Nats continued to flail haplessly at Harvey’s pitches, getting only three hits off him total in seven innings. Meanwhile, Ross Detwiler was decent, but not good enough to compete with Harvey. The teams’ bullpens are a completely different story, however. The Nats hung five runs on the Mets’ bullpen in just two innings, turning a three-run deficit into a two-run lead and win. If this team is going to contend, they’ll need to show the timely hitting they had tonight, which makes this a good start.
Most Important Nationals Hit: Ryan Zimmerman‘s game-tying double (+39.7%)
Going into the eighth, it looked as though all was lost. The Nats trailed 4-1 with just six outs remaining, and their situation got more dire as the inning went on. With two outs, they had just one runner on first, but then the rally started. Denard Span doubled, putting runners on second and third. Anthony Rendon walked to load the bases before Zimmerman’s double scored all three and brought the Nats all the way back on one swing.
Most Important Nationals Pitch: Marlon Byrd’s RBI double (-17.8%)
With the game tied at one in the fifth, the Mets staged a two-out offensive assault of their own. They had one runner on with two down when Byrd doubled off Detwiler to score Eric Young Jr. from first and put the Mets up 2-1. They weren’t done, however, and a single by Josh Satin scored Byrd for the Mets’ third run of the inning. Satin moved to second on the throw home, but would not score as Detwiler got John Buck to ground out.
Champ of the Game: Zimmerman (+41.1%) takes this mainly on the weight of his three-run double, and was 2-4 overall with three RBI. Despite Harvey’s effort, this went to Satin (+27.3%) for the Mets, who was 3-3 with a walk and two RBI. The former 25th-round pick doubled his season total of doubles to two in this game.
Chump of the Game: Detwiler (-19.9%) was better than he had been recently, allowing three runs (two earned) in five innings on six hits and two walks while striking out four. He fared much better than another pitcher who allowed two earned runs, Mets closer Bobby Parnell (-42.2%). Parnell let the Nats take the lead with two hits and a sacrifice fly in the top of the ninth, breaking the 4-4 tie.