Remember how I said the losses in this terrible second half were just getting worse and worse? This was the worst one yet. The Nats had not been shut out yet in their seven awful games since the All-Star break, but managed to do that today. They also allowed eleven runs, four more than they had in any other game (and five more than they had in any other loss). The Nats appear to be spiraling downwards faster and faster, with no end in sight. They are likely to be tied or behind the Mets in the standing after this series: Matt Harvey starts tonight, Dan Haren starts tomorrow, and Taylor Jordanstarts on Sunday. Losing two of three would put the Nats in a tie with New York, while losing all three would put the Nats behind the Mets. Two wins from the Phillies would put the Nats in sole posession of fourth place, and could see the Nats fall to the 10th-best record in the NL. It is truly a sordid state of affairs.
Most Important Nationals Hit: Adam LaRoche‘s strikeout (-7.1%)
The Nats’ best offensive chance came in the second inning. A pair of singles by Steve Lombardozzi and Ryan Zimmerman put runners on the corners with one out, but the Nats failed to convert. LaRoche struck out against Jenrry Mejia, eliminating the possibility of a sacrifice fly, and Jayson Werth grounded out to end the inning. The Nats trailed 1-0 then, and blew their lone shot to tie the game early.
Most Important Nationals Pitch: Daniel Murphy‘s two-run homer (-18.4%)
Daniel Murphy had himself a day against Jordan Zimmermann. He hit a solo homer in the first inning to put the Mets up 1-0 early, and struck again in the third. Jordan Zimmermann had set down the first two Mets of the frame, making it seven straight sent down since Murphy’s homer, but Juan Lagares doubled and Murphy made Zimmermann pay again with a two-run shot that put the Mets on top, 3-0.
Champ of the Game: One of two Nats with a positive WPA, Zimmerman (+7.3%) was 2-4 with a pair of singles. Murphy (+29.9%) finished the game with an insane line: he was 4-5 with three runs scored, two home runs, and five RBIs.
Chump of the Game: Zimmermann (-20.2%) had another tough start in a recent string of them. In 6.2 IP, he only gave up six hits, but also walked three batters and gave up five runs. On the bright side, he did strike out eight. Mets OF Andrew Brown (-4.8%) was 0-4.