The Nationals have a very thin line of opportunity to grab the final wild card spot in the National League. A loss this time of year can be devastating, but two losses in a row to the Mets with the second loss an 11-3 setback?
It is one of those losses.
The Mets put the game away early against starter Dan Haren, scoring two runs in the second and six runs in the third. Haren (8-12) lasted just 2 2/3 innings, giving up nine hits and seven runs.
The Mets had one span where nine of 12 hitters notched base hits. One of the three that did not in that surge was a sacrifice fly that scored another run.
"It just wasn't my night, I mean, really," Haren said. "The way it ended, especially - the two singles to finish it. I tried to battle. It seemed everything they put in play was a hit. I mean, literally, almost everything they put in play was pretty much a hit. I can't go out there and striking out everybody. That is baseball. I have had a good stretch, maybe I have had a little bit of luck and today was just one of those days."
Shortstop Ian Desmond was asked if Haren didn't do as badly as it looked because all but one of the hits he allowed was a single. Desmond said that didn't matter. A hit is a hit, regardless if it is a bloop are a ricochets off the outfield wall.
"I will be honest with you, if I get two blooper hits I don't really care, to be honest," Desmond said. "They won, we lost. I am not taking anything away from the way Dan pitched because he made good pitches. But that is part of hitting be able to be in position long enough and good enough to be able to produce a hit like that.
"I am not going to take anything away from Dan, but I am definitely not going to take anything away from them because they put up (17) hits and 11 runs. They beat us in every aspect of the game."
And getting crushed at home to a Mets team that is 20 games out of first place at the start of play with only 27 games left is a serious problem.
"Obviously, we know that we are running out of time," said center fielder Denard Span. "Each game that goes by it is getting even more detrimental for us to win. Tonight, just a terrible game. A type of loss like this came at the wrong time.
"You have losses when you get blown out a handful of times throughout the year. This is definitely bad timing to lose a game like that tonight."
But Haren said there is always tomorrow until they tell you the season is over.
"We know what we are up against," Haren said. "Everybody is pretty down in here right now. But we will go home, get sleep, come back and try to win tomorrow and go from there. There is no use dwelling about it too long. It stinks tonight, but we will be ready to play tomorrow."