Photo by Ian Koski/Nationals Daily News
“A lot of good things happened in that game [today],” according to Nationals Manager Jim Riggleman, but the team still came up short with a 9-5 loss to the New York Mets in the Nation’s capital on Independence Day.
While Riggleman isn’t completely off base by saying the team had some positive moments (they did), there was still a dark cloud hovering over the Nats for the first 3.1 innings pitched. Starter Craig Stammen struggled to find control over his pitches and dug the Nats into a deep hole early in the game.
Mets left fielder Jason Bay started the game with a two run triple off the center field wall in the first, followed by an Angel Pagan RBI in the second, an Ike Davis two run homer in the third, and another two run hit off the bat of Bay in the fourth.
What cemented the Mets lead early was that after three innings played New York scored a total of eight runs forcing Riggleman to pull Stammen. Miguel Batista replaced Stammen and had a quality three innings outing. He pitched a career-high seven strikeouts and allowed just one earned run after the eight run third inning offensive blast from those New York bats.
The Nats ended a potential shut out with a sixth inning three-run rally. Ryan Zimmerman, who is currently on the Final Vote fan ballot for the 2010 All-Star Game, reminded fans why they should vote for him. Zimmerman crushed a three run homer (his 14th of the year) to put Washington on the board, preventing an Independence Day blowout.
Offensive attempts by the Nats neglected to come to a stand-still for the remainder of the game. Zimmerman continued hitting a got a one out RBI single off Pedro Feliciano in the seventh while Wil Nieves received the Nats final RBI of the day for hitting a sharp single up the middle sending Adam Kennedy home from third.
Besides Batista, Nationals relievers Burnett, Clippard, and Peralta all saw time in today’s game and did their respective jobs of holding the Mets in their place.
The Nats have an off-day tomorrow and will be back on Tuesday to face the San Diego Padres at Nationals Park.