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By Gary W. Marchese Jr.
Flushing, NY (May 18) – The New York Mets defeated the Washington Nationals by the score of 3-0. Jon Niese started and had his best start of the season. It was brutal conditions as the rain was falling very hard and at one point, you could not tell they were playing on a baseball diamond. It looked like a total monsoon and I could not believe they were playing the game in those conditions. Jose Reyes and Justin Turner had big games to lead the Mets offensive attack.
Niese pitched seven innings giving up no runs on six hits with one walk and seven strikeouts. He is now 3-4 on the season. Jason Isrinhausen pitched an inning giving up one hit and he struck out a batter and Francisco Rodriguez picked up his 13th save of the season. Rodriguez pitched an inning giving up a hit and a walk. The pitching was superb today for the Mets and that is why they won, they look at Niese as a guy that is capable of more performances like this and hope he can get it going.
Reyes had three hits and a walk, Turner had two hits, two RBI, and a walk and Carlos Beltran had a hit. Jason Bay had a walk and an RBI. It was talked about before the game that you could see Bay move into the number two hole in the lineup sooner than later. Ronny Paulino drew a walk, Scott Hairston had two hits, and Ruben Tejada in his season debut had a hit and a walk. Tejada they were hoping would stay in the minors at shortstop just in case they trade Reyes away but with the injuries, they had no choice but to call him up.
The Mets scored in the first inning on a weird play. Bay hit a sacrifice fly but it actually resulted in two outs. The out was the catch and then after throwing home and not getting the runner they threw to third and got the second out. The Mets had a 1-0 lead and added to that in the sixth inning on a two run double by Turner. The Mets pitching held on for the victory, they pitched well and they were never in serious trouble.
The Mets will take on the Washington Nationals in the finale of the brief two game set on Thursday afternoon weather permitting. They will then take on the Yankees in a weekend Subway Series at Yankee Stadium. The Mets record is now 20-22; they are tied for last place with the Nationals six games behind the division leading Philadelphia Phillies. They are four games behind the third place Atlanta Braves.