I have to be blunt. Aaron Heilman blew it again and this loss is all on his back.
Claudio Vargas was downright impressive in his first start with the Mets. He threw 6 1-3 innings, allowing only one run while on the mound and another was charged to him later on in the inning. He gave up three hits, walking four, while striking out six.
I had my expectations set very low for him, but he surprised me, as I'm sure he surprised you. Well done, Vargas. You earned yourself another start, at the least.
Vargas was handed a lead in the fifth inning when Brian Schneider homered to right field, right off the 1988 NL Division Champs banner for the first run of the game.
I'm very pleased by Schneider's hitting ability. Great to see some pop out of this guy who was billed as a "defensive catcher."
Vargas handed the lead right back, allowing Ryan Zimmerman to crank one off the front of the mezzanine level to tie the game up at 1-1.
Vargas was pulled from the game after issuing a one out walk to Elijah Dukes. Aaron Heilman was called in from the bullpen to try and finish out the inning. He eventually recorded three outs, not before the Nationals scored four runs to take the lead.
All the runs came with two outs, and I believe Heilman had two strikes on every batter he faced. He was even ahead 0-2 on Jesus Flores before allowing an RBI single to him.
Heilman needs a change of scenery. New Orleans or another organization, take your pick.
The Mets rally attempts fizzled out too early, as they scored one run in the 7th and 8th innings, but couldn't scratch out anymore. Schneider picked up another RBI with a ground ball to first base, allowing Endy Chavez to score. Carlos Beltran brought home the Mets final run, singling to right and plating Marlon Anderson.
The Mets went down in order in the ninth inning, striking out twice.
This team has fire, but it's equivalent to a cigarette lighter when they need a bonfire. Spurts are shown here and there, but overall, it's just not there. Moises Alou showed a bit of emotion and fire when he was ejected in the fifth after being called out on strikes. Alou immediately slammed his bat into the ground and was ejected seconds later by home plate umpire Dana Demuth.
You have to beat up on last place teams, and now they're heading into tomorrow's matinee hoping for a split of the series, at best. Not good.
Game Ball: Schneider