for this game

Mets swept by Nationals; NL East lead down to one game

Sep 27, 2007 - 4:11 AM By Doug Mittler PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

FLUSHING, New York (Ticker) - Whether it is a two-time Cy Young Award winner on the mound or a rookie righthander making his first start, it really doesn't matter. The slumping New York Mets can't find anyone to defeat the Washington Nationals.

Wily Mo Pena had a two-run double to cap a five-run fifth inning and Ryan Church homered and drove in four runs as the Nationals completed a three-game sweep of the Mets with a 9-6 victory that tightened things even further in the National League East race.

The Mets (87-71) have lost five of six games to the Nationals over the last two weeks and saw their lead over second-place Philadelphia (86-72) reduced to one game.

"We're in first place," said Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran, who belted a pair of home runs. "It's hard to believe, but we are."

The Phillies defeated Atlanta, 5-2, on Wednesday night and kept the Mets' magic number for clinching their second straight division title at four.

The Nationals pounded Tom Glavine for six runs in five innings on Tuesday, putting even more pressure on Wednesday's game in which they turned to Philip Humber, their first-round pick in 2004 who had all of five innings of major league experience.

The former collegiate star at Rice lasted four-plus innings and was charged with five runs and six hits. Humber did not walk a batter and struck out two.

"I just couldn't make the right pitches at the right time," Humber said.

Another Cy Young Award winner, Pedro Martinez, will try to get the Mets back on track Thursday when he faces the St. Louis Cardinals.

While Beltran had a good night and Moises Alou extended his hitting streak to 30 games, it was not enough to prevent another night of ineffective pitching.

New York has allowed six or more runs in nine of its last 11 games and has allowed a whopping 57 in their last six. Most of the damage has been the result of a bullpen in shambles.

"I still trust them. The bottom line is we're not getting the job done," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "We don't give up on our people. It's a mental game now."

The Mets have dropped nine of its last 13 contests overall and six straight games at Shea Stadium.

One reason the Mets went to Humber was a foot injury to Orlando Hernandez that has kept the Cuban righthander sidelined since September 11. But in a curious move, Hernandez started the seventh inning in relief and did not allow a run.

Church hit a two-run homer off Humber in the fourth and gave the Nats two valuable insurance runs with a two-run double in the ninth off closer Billy Wagner.

"We're not scared of losing," Wagner said. "The problem is how bad we're playing. It's unexplainable."

The Nationals put the first three runners on base in the fifth, including an RBI double by Ronnie Belliard that ended Humber's night. Joe Smith (3-2) entered with runners on second and third and allowed RBI singles to Ryan Zimmerman and Austin Kearns.

Pedro Feliciano relieved and allowed a two-run double to Pena that gave Washington its first lead at 7-6.

"It' fun baseball," Nationals catchder Brian Schneider said of the three-game sweep. "We know we're out (of the race), but it doesn't matter."

Washington starter Mike Bacsik, starting place of the injured Shawn Hill, allowed five runs and seven hits in 2 1/3 innings. Six relievers picked up the pieces, allowing one run over the final 6 2/3 innings. Joel Hanrahan (5-3) earned the win.

Luis Ayala recorded his first save of the season with a perfect ninth inning, allowing the Nationals (72-87) to pass their victory total for all of last season.

"We accomplished something we wanted to do," manager Manny Acta said.

The Mets had staked Humber to a three-run lead in the first. David Wright singled to extend his hitting streak to 13 games and Beltran and Alou hit back-to-back homers.

Alou extended his club-record hitting streak to 30 games, the longest by a New York player since Joe DiMaggio's legendary 56-game streak for the Yankees in 1941.

Beltran hit his 32nd homer on the first pitch of the third, Luis Castillo had an RBI single in the second and Alou drove in his second run with a single in the fourth to give New York a 5-2 lead.






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    Nationals vs. MetsSep 29 10:17 AM
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  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0 2 5 0 0 0 2 9 12 0
    NY METS 3 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 6 10 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: WAS - MIKE BACSIK, JOEL HANRAHAN (3RD), CHRIS SCHRODER (5TH),
    JONATHAN ALBALADEJO (6TH), SAUL RIVERA (7TH), JON RAUCH (8TH),
    LUIS AYALA (9TH) AND BRIAN SCHNEIDER
    N

    Sep 26 10:34 PM
  • mark from argued as best in baseball to might not make the playoffs in just two weeks? brutal.

    Nationals vs. MetsSep 26 10:26 PM


  • NL
    AT NY METS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY RYAN CHURCH SCORED RONNIE BELLIARD AND AUSTIN
    KEARNS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R CHURCH ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 9
    NY METS 6 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: J RAUCH (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Nationals vs. MetsSep 26 10:24 PM
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    Nationals vs. MetsSep 26 10:24 PM
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    Nationals vs. MetsSep 26 10:19 PM
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    Nationals vs. MetsSep 26 9:33 PM


  • NL
    AT NY METS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY WILY MO PENA SCORED RYAN ZIMMERMAN AND AUSTIN
    KEARNS.
    SITUATION: 5 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 7
    NY METS 6 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R FICK (.238, 0-FOR-2)

    Nationals vs. MetsSep 26 9:06 PM


  • NL
    AT NY METS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY AUSTIN KEARNS SCORED RONNIE BELLIARD.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, A KEARNS ON FIRST, R ZIMMERMAN ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 5
    NY METS 6 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R CHURCH (.274, 2-FOR-2, HR, 2 RBI)

    Nationals vs. MetsSep 26 9:00 PM


  • NL
    AT NY METS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RYAN ZIMMERMAN SCORED FELIPE LOPEZ.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, R ZIMMERMAN ON FIRST, R BELLIARD ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 4
    NY METS 6 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: A KEARNS (.265, 0-FOR-1, BB)

    Nationals vs. MetsSep 26 8:58 PM


  • NL
    AT NY METS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY RONNIE BELLIARD SCORED RYAN LANGERHANS.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R BELLIARD ON SECOND, F LOPEZ ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 3
    NY METS 6 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R ZIMMERMAN (.267, 0-FOR-2)

    Nationals vs. MetsSep 26 8:56 PM


  • NL
    AT NY METS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MOISES ALOU SCORED DAVID WRIGHT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M ALOU ON FIRST, C BELTRAN ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2
    NY METS 6 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR NY METS: C DELGADO (.253, 0-FOR-1, HBP)

    Nationals vs. MetsSep 26 8:40 PM


  • NL
    AT NY METS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY RYAN CHURCH (15) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF PHILIP HUMBER SCORED AUSTIN KEARNS.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 2, NY METS 5
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: W PENA (.303, 1-FOR-1)

    Nationals vs. MetsSep 26 8:24 PM


  • NL
    AT NY METS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY CARLOS BELTRAN (32) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 3RD OFF MIKE BACSIK.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0, NY METS 5
    DUE UP FOR NY METS: M ALOU (.347, 1-FOR-1, HR, RBI)

    Nationals vs. MetsSep 26 8:06 PM


  • NL
    AT NY METS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY LUIS CASTILLO SCORED CARLOS GOMEZ.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, L CASTILLO ON FIRST, J REYES ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0
    NY METS 4 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR NY METS: D WRIGHT (.323, 1-FOR-1)

    Nationals vs. MetsSep 26 7:54 PM


  • NL
    AT NY METS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MOISES ALOU (13) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 1ST OFF MIKE BACSIK.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0, NY METS 3
    DUE UP FOR NY METS: C DELGADO (.254, 24 HR, 85 RBI)

    Nationals vs. MetsSep 26 7:24 PM


  • NL
    AT NY METS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY CARLOS BELTRAN (31) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 1ST OFF MIKE BACSIK SCORED DAVID WRIGHT.
    CURRENT SCORE: WASHINGTON 0, NY METS 2
    DUE UP FOR NY METS: M ALOU (.345, 12 HR, 45 RBI)

    Nationals vs. MetsSep 26 7:22 PM
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