Since returning from DC after being swept 3 games there, the Mets have been hotter than the temps in the New York area. After thrashing the stumbling Cubs in 4 straight and taking 2 of 3 from the Marlins, the Nats came to town hoping to cool off their biggest rivals. That didn’t happen in the first game of the series. Each team hit 4 home runs, but for the Nats theirs were all solo shots and not good enough as the Mets won 9-7.
The Nationals drew first blood as ex-Met Daniel Murphy singled home Bene Revere in the first inning. The Mets tied it in the home third on an RBI-single by surprisingly good acquisition James Loney. Then things got crazy. Bartolo Colon, who has spent most of the season pitching like Superman and even hitting a home run, suddenly morphed into Clark Kent. Bryce Harper hit a gigantic home run to break the tie with one out. One out later, Clint Robinson and Anthony Rendon went back-to-back to give the Nats a 4-1 lead. On their recent road trip, that would have been it for the orange and blue. But not since their return to Citi Field. In the home 4th, Travis D’Arnaud took one out of the lot to dead center field. After Colon was retired hitting for himself, newly signed leadoff hitter Jose Reyes hit his first home run since rejoining his old team. Curtis Granderson doubled and went to third on a balk by a rattled Lucas Giolito. Yoenis Cespedes doubled Granderson home to tie the game. After a walk to Neil Walker, Oliver Perez relieved Giolito and got his team out of the inning. In the fifth, the visitors got two more on a groundout and a single by Wilson Ramos. Colon finally had to leave the game, not even giving his team the five innings they would have hoped for. Jerry Blevins relieved him and after walking the first man he saw, he got Anthony Rendon to fly out. The Mets turned the game around in their next atbat. After hits by Asdrubal Cabrera and Brandon Nimmo, Wilmer Flores who had just been brought in on a double switch hit a 3-run home run making the game 7-6. From there the Mets never looked back, in spite of a Daniel Murphy home run, the 8th all told in the contest.
While the Mets got the win, they got grave news about their supposed ace pitcher Matt Harvey. He will have season-ending shoulder surgery. In the short term, Logan Verett will start in his place Saturday. The question is, will Verett continue in that spot until or unless Zack Wheeler rejoins the Mets following his Tommy John surgery. Knowing Verett has to pitch tomorrow manager Terry Collins tried to push Colon through 5 innings Thursday without success and had to use his bull pen earlier than he had hoped to. In the long run I think the Mets’ chances of getting back to the World Series just went right out the window. Along with Harvey’s impending surgery, Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard have elbow issues. Neither has required surgery up to now but neither pitcher has thrown with the effect they had in 2015. Wheeler is all the Mets have to hope for in the way of reenforcements unless they get a pitcher at the trading deadline, and by then it could well be too late.0