More like voodoo. This went far beyond the rational belief.
For seven innings, the Mets offense could not even be called lifeless for fear of offending carcasses. They had two hits. They were two runs and two innings were swept away from home by the Nationals.
So she broke out for nine eighth-inning runs. NINE. Yoenis Cespedes cracked his sixth career grand slam, but the even bigger hits were a two-run single by Todd Frazier that tied the score and a two-run-hit double by Juan Lagares who provided the lead. When all the rounds of the bases were completed, the Mets dodged Washington with a 11-5 win to stop their mini two-game slide.
After Washington starter Tanner Roark struck them on two hits over these seven innings, the Mets broke out like Mount Vesuvius. They loaded the bases on singles from Michael Conforto, Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera against Ryan Madson. One later, Frazier singled in two, and took the second home on a pitch.
After a second out, Lagares, apparently the last positional player to be provided as catcher Jose Lobaton, was hit for, then the line doubled in right. After another walk had loaded the bases, left helper Sammy Solis came in and ran Conforto for the fifth run. Helper A.J. Cole was called and Cespedes sent a fearsome missile to the left that made it 1
Real typical inning.
The prize went to AJ Ramos, the second of three strong Mets relievers – Paul Sewald fanned five in three innings.
Manager Mickey Callaway made a surprising decision when he lifted starter Steven Matz in the fourth inning for a pinch hitter. Matz had a miserable first inning and was tagged by Ryan Zimmerman for a three-run homer who added a solo shot in ninth. He threw 32 pitches, put up stressful pitches, but then settled down and had three perfect innings. Along with the last in the first, Matz drew 10 in a row. Then he was dragged.
Apart from the first inning – which was granted, brutally – Matz delivered what Callaway hoped to see.
"The same thing we say every time: Get out, pack with conviction and let them beat you," Callaway said.
"During most of our games, our pitchers did a really good job. [Monday] Night when we lost the lead because we just did not attack, I think that's pretty obvious when that happens just go out there, attack thugs and make them beat him. "
So he moved to second, third and fourth place. Then watched the fifth. Matz went in, knocked out six – five of them.
Down 3-0, the Mets kicked a rebellion, aided by the defense of the Nationals, in the fourth home. Cabrera made a double and Frazier left later. Adrian Gonzalez settled the leap from Washington's second baseman Howie Kendrick, firing Cabrera and sending Frazier to third. Then Jose Lobaton sent a possible double-play bouncer to the top.
But Zimmerman failed in second place, everyone was safe, Frazier scored the 3: 2. Callaway sent Brandon Nimmo, who was hit by a pitch, to the base. Amed Rosario then sent a double-play grounder and this time Washington was executed 3: 2.
Washington won 2-7 in the seventh game against Sewald. Zimmerman ended up with a triple as Jay Bruce tried to dive and catch his sinking liner to the right. The ball bounced under Bruce's glove and Zimmerman hit a sackfly.
While Mets fans, encouraged by the recent momentum of the Nationals in Washington, saw a potential big gap between the rivals, Callaway sees the Mets and Nats face a death match at the end of the season.
"They have a great team, we also have a great team," Callaway said. "So we're going to have some really good games, I thought [Tuesday] night was a really good game, we were in there, we were a bunch of them in one hit." Obviously the game [Monday] was a really good game, so we will have some battles and we should do it that's what baseball is all about: two good teams in a good league fight against each other and I think we'll see that throughout the season. "