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Murphy homers again vs Mets, leads Nationals to 3-2 win

17 July 2016

Last night's loss left the Mets 7-3 on the current 11-game homestand and 9-3 in their last 12 games in Citi Field and 26-19 overall at home this season.

Murphy struck out in the first inning Saturday before delivering an RBI single in the third, an RBI double in the fifth and a two-run homer in the seventh as the Nationals (53-36) won their second straight over the Mets (47-40) to extend their division lead to five games.

What happens from here on out will be determined by lots of things. Can the Mets get healthy and work the trade deadline as masterfully as they did in 2015? Can the Marlins find another gear, perhaps once Dee Gordon returns from his suspension?

Daniel Murphy went 1-for-4 with a two-run home run in Sunday's win over the Mets. Every time it seems like he's done something unbelievable against his former team, he hits the gas and tops himself, taking retribution to lengths that are nearly cruel.

As gaudy as his numbers are, Murphy said he'd rather talk about his team's place in the standings than his spot in Baker's pantheon.

Gonzalez is 1-7 in his last nine starts and has seen his ERA rise almost three runs from 1.86 to 4.79 in that span. That ERA actually came down a bit on Tuesday, when he allowed three runs on seven hits and three walks over six innings in a loss to Milwaukee. In 116 games last season with Toronto and Colorado, Reyes hit seven home runs.

Lohse came back to pitch after a long rain delay and was hit hard in the fourth, giving up three runs. Gonzalez was pulled for Tanner Roark, who was able to go 2 1/3 innings, thanks to the upcoming days off.

Over his last ten starts heading into this afternoon's first-half finale with the New York Mets, Gio Gonzalez was (2-7) with a 6.95 ERA, 23 walks, 66 Ks and a.302/.379/.491 line against in 55 ⅔ innings pitched.

The constant shuffling of pieces, plus a homer-happy approach, explains the Mets' inconsistent nature on offense.

"I would say I'm surprised", Murphy said.

Oliver Perez and Blake Treinen combined to escape an eighth-inning jam, and Washington extended its NL East lead to four games over the Mets after dropping the opener of the four-game set Thursday. Collins won't predict a similar run this season, but New York's ability to remain in the race has him hopeful. He is now batting.

But in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, Collins was more concerned with getting all the Mets' representatives to San Diego in one piece. I can handle it. We've got to get ready for next weekend.

Five of the 10 players that started for the Mets against the Kansas City Royals on April 3 have hit the disabled list.

CUBS KEEP REELING: Josh Bell hit a grand slam in his second major-league at bat, one of four homers by the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 12-6 win over the Chicago Cubs.

A two-out single by Juan Lagares on Gonzalez's 108th pitch of the game ended his outing.

Jose Reyes hit two home runs for the Mets, including a leadoff shot in the first inning. Werth got that rally started with a leadoff walk. He then moved to second on a Murphy groundout and then third with his third stolen base of the season. "But yet, at the same time we're realistic enough to know hey, look, we'll take where we are, because it could be worse". And with Sunday's he is now 126-for-146 in his career, which gives him the third-best steal percentage (86.3) of all-time.

Finally starting to feel confident again in the batter's box, Reyes lamented the timing of the All-Star break, but still believes his performances will continue to carry a vintage feel the rest of the season.