Right-hander Jordan Zimmermann thought he was pitching better than his line indicated.
Zimmermann (12-6) lasted 6 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on six hits with three walks, eight strikeouts and two home runs - his third straight loss.
The two sliders that Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy unloaded upon were the ones remembered from this loss, at least early on, before it got real ugly in an 11-0 rout.
In the first, Murphy hit a slider off the second-level advertising banner above section 142 to make it 1-0.
Then in the third inning, Murphy crushed a 3-2 slider down and over the 335-foot sign along the right field line inside the foul pole. The Mets added to their lead to make it 3-0.
Later, Juan Lagares added a run-scoring single in the seventh and the Mets extended their advantage to 4-0.
But it was all about the Murphy pitches that Zimmermann said he wanted back.
“I felt like I pitched a lot better than the stat line says,” Zimmermann said. “I made two mistakes and three runs. I have thrown those pitches to Murphy plenty of other times and got a groundout to second. Today, it wasn’t my day.
“The first one was right down the middle. The second one was 3-2, I am not going to throw it for a ball, and it was right on the inside. He is feeling good right now.
“The whole second at-bat, I was throwing him everything away - fastballs, changeups away. It got to 3-2 and thought maybe he was still thinking away. So if I come in there a little farther, he gets jammed.”
Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki said it was his fault for the slider call after he had a discussion with Zimmermann on the mound in the third inning with the count full.
“I thought he threw the ball good,” Suzuki said. “Murphy kind of killed us. I take the blame for that. Slider in, he got a good piece of that. That second one that was on my fault.”